A&S Competitions

Sitting at coronation this weekend, I got into a conversation with a friend about A&S stuff that has been going on in my world. They brought up that they have not seen me enter a competition or challenge in a very long time. They asked why that was.  Its not the first time that I have had someone ask me this. I figured, probably best to put it out there, face the music so to speak. So, here goes.

 Sometime ago, like probably about ten years ago (as my youngest was under a year of age) I entered the Kings & Queens A&S champs.  I was a nervous wreck. I entered an outfit I'd sewn entirely by hand from underwear out. I tablet wove a head band and attached pearls and pewter findings on and braided false braids and attached them to it. The outfit even had handmade self stuffed buttons. Again, i was very nervous. I borrowed a dress form from a friend and set it up with my documentation and then the judging began.

Well, to make a long story short, when I was given the judges sheets back with their comments and there was one critique I got back that was particularly harsh.  Very harsh actually. Now, I can take constructive criticism. Give me honest to goodness suggestions on areas to improve or a source to look up to help in an area I need work on and I am fine with that. This was anything but. It brought me to tears.  To this day, i have not entered a competition again. I have displayed some of my items but I have not competed since that day. I have no intention of competing in the future either. I have been told this would seriously hamper my journey to an A&S peerage but honestly, I do not want to put myself through that again.  I am content to post what I do here and on occasion display at local events. If this means that a peerage wont happen because of it, I can accept that. My comfort level is what is most important. I will do what I love and post my research into it here. I have come to the point that I want to do what brings me the most enjoyment.  Currently that is knitting (SOCKS FOR EVERYONE!!), viking embroidery on garb for myself and my family and someday down the road Id love to learn to do tablet weaving to make trim for the garb for the family.

This is not to say that I wont continue to work towards the peerage as I am a protege and an apprentice to two wonderful peers who I love as they are my family. I will just not put myself into a chance to have that same situation happen again.  Ive been told I need to grow tougher skin. Ive never been able to adopt that mindset. I wear my heart on my sleeve and its been punched a time or two.

So, for those that ever wondered why I dont compete in A&S competitions...this is why.

Now..back to knitting socks. I swore to Ryan id lighten my load by October when the next Sheep N Wool Festival happens....and there is a cozy fire begging me to sit besides it. :D


  1. We don't have the sca in England (Iknow theres a chapter, but the whole thing is alien to the English psyche for many reasons I wont go into, it seems to be mainly expats who join here) but I've always thought that judging these things must be very subjective any way, so I've never seen the point

  2. I'm sorry you had that experience. I never got to the point in the SCA where I'd enter something for competition, but I have entered at the local state fair. I've been fortunate to get some very good feedback, some complimentary feedback, and when I didn't do well, at least lose to worthy competition (that shadow embroidered child's pajama set still blows me away).


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