Welcome to the Online Clann Tartan Newsletter for November 2004


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Announcements

Upcoming Events to plan for:

Saturday, January 1, 2005 we will have the Airing of the Tartans and First Footing. the Airing of the Tartans is held at a local park, and traditionally was a time to lay out all your woolens in the snow to clean them. This would allow all the oils, grease, fats, and assorted critters to freeze out of the wools and you would have "fresh" plaids. We like to have everyone bring all their plaid and see how much we can lay out. Let's go for a record! We also have a short drill (length depends a lot on the weather,) and sometimes shoot off the muskets.

Following the Airing, we descend upon our members houses for a progressive dinner, or "First Footing". It is considered good luck if the first person to enter your house on New Years Day is a dark haired male stranger. Woe betide you, however, if the first to enter is a redheaded woman... To make this happen, we need houses. We generally have a warm drinks and appetizers house, followed by a soup and salads house, a main course house, and then a drinks and desserts house. This is one of our biggest events, and we generally have 30 or more people at a house at any given time. If you want to have a bunch of Clann descend upon you, please contact your staff (staff@clanntartan.org) or board (board@clanntartan.org) and let us know what you would like to host, and where you are. We will get back in touch with you and let you know how it all fits into the schedule. If you have any questions, please email staff or board, or Mairi2@juno.com - that's me, Mary - your Madame Prez.

Saturday, January 15th, 2005 at Corcoran Park, we will be holding our winter Muster. This is a chance to hone skills, try new things, add to your Muster list, and in general, meet and mingle with the rest of us. We can do just about everything but shoot weapons. As a special inducement this year, we will have a guest speaker to talk about how to present to school kids. Perry Vining (Headman at Big Island) has been contacted about this (Thanks, Kali!) and is willing to come and talk with us. Please try to make it - it should be a great time! Again, if you have any questions, please contact your staff or board. Times are yet to be arranged - we will be discussing this with Corcoran.

Hello and welcome to our new members! After the weary travelers get back, dry out, and warm up from Big Muddy in Winona, we will have a new roster available for all the members. Look for it in November sometime.

Still looking for thoughts on Why We Do What We Do

—and what will make it more fun for you.

What are you looking for in Clann? What can we do better? What are we doing well? Please let us know—we all want this to be a fun, fulfilling experience for everyone.

Send info to Mary McKinley at the previously posted info—snail mail:
Mary McKinley
1363 Jefferson Ave
St Paul, MN 55105-2410

Drill

Clann's monthly drill will be held on the third Saturday of the month at Bossen Field by Lievtenant Eric and Hellen's home (5732 Bossen Terrace Apt#2), unless there is a scheduled Clann Event that weekend.
The time is NOON.
For directions, Lievtenant Eric can be contacted at: 612-726-6364 or eric@celticfringe.net

Wanted!

Submissions for the Newsletter!
Items you can submit include research articles, character sketches, and other items pertaining to living history and Scottish Culture. Email your items in either plain text, or MS Word format to newsletter@clanntartan.org or snail mail to our postal address.
Items must be received by the 15th of each month to be considered for inclusion for the upcoming months issue. Mailed submissions will not be returned unless requested. All pertinent submissions will be considered as space permits. All research articles must reference at least three sources. Submissions are NOT edited for spelling or grammar, but may be broken in multiple parts.



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Board Minutes

There are no minutes from Sept - as the meeting was cancelled.

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Board & Staff

If you need to contact someone associated with Clann Tartan, here is where you find out how. If you are unsure who to contact, you can always email us at: info@clanntartan.org

Board Members

President Mary McKinley 651-699-6853 mairi2@juno.com
Vice President Bruce Yoder 651-698-8375 bruceyoder@juno.com
Secretary Glenn McDavid 651-490-1842 gmcdavid@comcast.net
Treasurer Rob Portinga 651-253-4506 rob@portinga.org
Quarter Master Herb Lindorff 612-827-4440 deeptinker@hotmail.com
Camp Rep. Diana Steben 612-728-1189 Rillaspins@aol.com
Company Rep. Brenda Bartel 651-335-5097 socks142@aol.com

Staff

Captain David Vavreck 612.378.1973 baethan1630@yahoo.com
Lieutenant Eric Ferguson 612.726.6364 eric@celticfringe.net
Head Campfollower Marty Byers 651.483.1173  
Assistant Head Campfollower Heidi Johnson 612.702.4269  
Corporal Rob Johnson 612.702.4274 roguerpj@mn.rr.com
Corporal Annie Breese 507.280.8679  
Corporal Hellen Ferguson 612.726.6364 hellen@sparkyferguson.net
Goodwife Julie Yoder 651.698.8375 julieyoder@juno.com
Goodwife Maeve Kane 952.461.4666  
Goodwife Judy Byers 651.483.1173  

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Guilds

Sword Guild:

I am now taking names of MEMBERS, who are interested in learning the period correct way to wield the blades we would have used. The methods will be totally Scottish and /or common to the Scottish Island.

But, first I need your name, mailing address, phone number and what type of sword you are interested in...and, do you have such a sword. When I have this information, we will set up a date and time to get together for our first exercise.

I hope to use some of what we learn in a skit or two during the coming years. The more blades we have to be used correctly the better we will be for the public.

So, get me this information soon and let's get started.

Marty L. Byers
651-483-1173


Gaffney's Fife and Drum

NOTICE: Change of Venue.

Because Maeve Kane will be moving to Macalester College in September, fife practice will henceforth be held at Eric and Hellen Ferguson's, the same location as monthly drill and drum drill. Fife practice will continue to be held at 7 to 9 pm on the 2nd and 4th Monday of each month.

Drummers continue to meet at 11 am the third Saturday of each month at Eric and Hellen's, followed by Regimental Drill at Noon. The Regiment owns two drums, but drummers are requested to get their own drumsticks.

A note for soldiers - according to the articles of war, it is a crime punishable by death not to learn the drum calls. Be forewarned.

We have set up a yahoo group for the Corps at http://launch.groups.yahoo.com/group/clannfifeanddrum/ so we can communicate without clogging up non corps folks' e-mail.

Again, drummers will work primarily on period military music for the time being, and fifers will be working on that as well as dance music.

All are welcome - no experience neccessary.

Anyone interested in joining up contact Clann's Music Chair at:

David Vavreck
baethan1630@yahoo.com
612-378-1973


Dance

1st & 3rd Wednesdays
One Grenoble Ave, Inver Grove Heights, MN 55076

The community center for Skyline Village, on the east side of Concord St. at 75th St in Inver Grove Heights. About 2.5 miles south of I494

2nd & 4th Tuesdays
Saint Christopher's Episcopal Church, 2300 N Hamline Ave. in St. Paul.

It is at the northeast corner of Highway 36 and Hamline Avenue (Hamline is between Snelling and Lexington). The church is actually encircled by the highway entrance ramp.
The Dance Guild gathers weekly from 7PM-9PM to learn and practice historic Scottish country dances.
For more information call:

Mary at 651-699-6853 or Julie at 651-698-8375

It's a great place to meet people !

Other Guilds

Want to learn about wool spinning, weaving, or dying? Diana Steben (651-489-2881) Kali Pederson (651-730-5437 ) and Sandy Borrmann (651-489-2881) organize the Fiber Guild.

Clann Tartan has our own historic site near Duluth MN. Dun Gowan is an ongoing project, which is the site of Gaffneyis Annual Tactical in July. We are finishing the fort and beginning the construction of a village this year. Contact David Vavreck at 612-378-1973 or baethan1630@yahoo.com for further information, or to volunteer to help.

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Board Minutes Staff & Board Directory Guilds
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Articles

Stockings of the Common Man, His Wife and Children
By Maeve Kane

First things first: knitting needles, although not as standardized as modern needles, were widely available to professional and amateur knitters in our period. Drawplates for making wire were used in the Germanies since the eleventh century and since 1430 at least in England. Mechanization of wireworks by waterpower was begun in 1566 near Tintern Abbey, and by 1600 the one mill supplied over 5000 workers in England who made wool cards, bird cages and knitting needles from the drawn wire. A second wire mill was set up in 1607 supplying the same number of workers, and several other rival mills were suppressed when the first two were granted a monopoly on the domestic market.

Needles were mentioned as 'pricks,' 'wires,' and 'pins,' much more often than as needles, which is why they are so seldom found in contemporary wills and other documents. They were also a very utilitarian and were used until they could be used no more, leaving little trace in the archeological record. Knitting is also one of the few textile crafts to never really have been taken up by ladies of fashion, and our knowledge of the working poor who did the bulk of the knitting in our period is very sparse.

Most of the knitted articles that survive from our period are from the upper levels of society. So are most of the undershirts, and yet we all wear some version of a shirt, chemise, smock or sark at events. The fact is, most things that poorer people used and wore were used and worn until there wasn't anything left to use or wear. The Gunnister Man find, the description of which is in the Clann library (Henshall and Maxwell), had several knitted articles found with the body, including two well made but poorly mended thigh length stockings. A knitting pattern based off Gunnister Man's stockings can be found at http://costume.dm.net/stockpat.html. Gunnister Man's stockings show knowledge of structured decreases, which gives knitted stockings a much closer fit than cut hose are capable of.

This is not to say that cut hose were not widely worn in our period. They were, in fact, more popular for the majority of low and lower middle class people because they were cheaper to make than silk stockings and better quality than home-spun wool stockings, which were mostly worn by children, the elderly and artisans and their wives. However, everyone who could afford silk stockings did. The Pepys bought several pairs of stockings, both worsted (fine-spun wool) and silk. In a 1583 puritanical rant, Phillip Stubbes described the popularity of knit stockings over the "base cut hosen" in both wool and silken threads, and how families with incomes of less than forty shillings a year would own at least one pair of silk or other fine stockings costing eleven shillings or more.

Children's stockings however, of which we have the best record in accounts books, could be bought or commissioned for between three and twelve pence in 1550. These records were all concerning a child of the family, but several years later, ten pence was paid 'for a pair of knit hose for the kitchen boy,' as well.

There are several extant children's stockings in the Museum of London and the Strangers' Hall, Norwich, which show knowledge of shaping, are otherwise fairly unskilled when compared to other extant knitted pieces. The heels of several are turned in garter stitch, a technique that produces an uncomfortable bulk around the heel and which is usually only used when the knitter does not know how to purl. This suggests that they were knit by someone below the professional level and not belonging to the professional knitter's guilds which existed at the time.

The only other surviving adult stocking besides Gunnister Man's may not even be a stocking. A tube-shaped fragment found with the Mary Rose shows the type of arbitrary decreases typical of stockings of the period and described in the first English knitting pattern (1655), it may also be a scogger or hogger, handless or footless tubes used by working people to protect their forearms and calves and provide extra warmth. The knitting pattern mentioned above is reprinted in A History of Handknitting by Richard Rutt and will soon be available in the Clann library.

There were several mentions in print of the popularity of knit stockings in our period, however. Phillip Stubbes, in his same pamphlet about the evils of decadent stockings, describes the "green, red, white, russet, tawny and else what; which wanton light colours any sober chaste christian . . . can hardly . . at any time wear," that were popular amoung artisan's wives. William Harrison, a rector in the countryside described in his 1577 Description of England the black dye "much used by our country wives in coloring their knit hosen." He also goes on to castigate town women for their "colored nether stocks."

Knit stockings were one of England's biggest exports throughout our period, and both urban and rural areas organized knitting schools to keep people out of mischief and relieve poverty. In 1578, the House of Corrections provided materials for female inmates to spin and knit with and also trained those who didn't already knit. In 1591, John Cheseman established a kntting school for "such as are willing to come to him, or are sent by the aldermen" in Lincoln in exchange for the discharge of his debts. Knitting instruction continued at Lincoln until 1718. In 1588 a Mrs Awtherson was paid 20 shillings by the city of York "in consideration that she teaches poor children to knit." Four counties in northern Norfolk all ordered in 1622 that poor children be put to work with spinning and knitting dames under the supervision of the churchwardens, who would pay the dames when the parents were not able. Two blue-coat schools were founded a year apart at Great Marlow and Newark for the purpose of teaching girls and boys to knit, spin and make lace, and one continued to provide knit stockings to various charities and their own students as late as 1860.

English worsted stockings were much in demand in France and Flanders, but Spanish and Italian silk stockings were imported into England. Ireland bought most of their stockings from northern England and the Lowlands because they produced a much thicker, warmer product than southern England, but Irish Stockings, presumably a kind of cut hose, were recommended for those "such as intend to plant themselves in New England" because they were "much more serviceable than knit ones." They were also much cheaper, the Massachusetts Bay Company listing them as eleven to thirteen pence in 1628 as opposed to two shillings four pence for knit stockings.

This article was not meant to be an overview of knitting or even stocking manufacture in our period, but simply to prove that knit stockings were available and worn by the levels of society we strive to portray.

This is a seventeenth and eighteenth century pattern, but I would hesitate to recommend it to any but merchant class or higher members of Col. Gaffneyis. Eighteenth century stockings tended to be more finely shaped at all levels of society than in our period. The author also has some useful links posted after the directions. http://www.marariley.net/stockings/stocking.htm

Stockings based off the Gunnister Man find. Gunnister Man post dates our period by a few decades, but is the most complete find of knitted articles in Scotland for our time period. http://costume.dm.net/stockpat.html The complete description of the Gunnister Man and several other finds, many of which include whole or partial knitted articles can be found in Henshall and Maxwell, which is in the Clann library.

These stockings are Elizabethan and would be typical of what an officer would be wearing. They are slightly old fashioned for our time period, being designed for wear with trunk hose and not high boots, but the shaping is of a skill level appropriate. http://www.dabbler.com/ndlwrk/stocking.html

Except where noted, all quotations are from Rutt.

Bibliography:

Henshall, Audrey, S. "Early Textiles Found in Scotland." Proceedings of the Society of Antiquairies of Scotland. Vol 86, pp 1-29, 1951-2

Henshall, Audrey S & Maxwell, Stuart "Clothing and Other Articles from a late 17th Century Grave at Gunnister, Shetland." Proceedings of the Society of Antiquairies of Scotland. Vol 86, pp 30-42 1951-2

Rutt, Richard. A History of Handknitting. Interweave Press, Loveland Colorado 1987.

Vouge Knitting. Pantheon Books, New York 1989.

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Calendar of Events

Be sure to contact your staff
if you plan on attending a show event. Try to give at least a ten day notice when possible. This allows proper planning for the feeding of our members, and in some cases is required by event organizers to allow entry as a participant.
You can call any of the staff members listed, or send an email to staff@clanntartan.org.

November 2004

SUNDAY MONDAY TUESDAY WEDNESDAY THURSDAY FRIDAY SATURDAY

 

1
 
2
 
3
Dance 
4
 
5
 
6
Clann Tartan Board Meeting,
Corcoran Community Center. 11am
Clann Tartan Quarterly Meeting,
Corcoran Community Center. NOON
7
 
8
Fife-Ferguson's Home 
9
Dance 
10
 
11
 
12
 
13
 
14
 
15
 
16
Night At the Pub
Molly Quinn's
Minneapolis @ 7PM 
17
Dance 
18
 
19
 
20
Drum at 11AM
 
21  22
Fife-Ferguson's Home 
23
Dance 
24
 
25
 
26
 
27
 
28
 
29
 
30
 
 

December 2004

SUNDAY MONDAY TUESDAY WEDNESDAY THURSDAY FRIDAY SATURDAY
  1
 
2
 
3
 
4
 
5
 
6
 
7
 
8
Dance 
9
 
10
 
11
 
12
 
13
Fife at Ferguson's 
14
Dance 
15
 
16
 
17
 
18
 
19  20
 
21
Night At the Pub
Molly Quinn's
Minneapolis @ 7PM 
22
Dance 
23
 
24
Hellen's Birthday
heeheehee 
25
 
26
 
27
Fife at Ferguson's 
28
Dance 
29
 
30
 
31
 
 

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Maps

Map to Inver Grove Heights location- Dance Map to St. Paul location St. Christopher's- Dance
Map to Board Meetings
Boltt Corporation, 509 Sibley Street Suite 200
Saint Paul, MN 55101
Map to Board/Quarterly/Annual Meetings
Corcoran Park, Minneapolis

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Event Maps and Notification

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