Tuesday, 26 August 2014

LonCon, and Dread Pirate Robert's Favourite Winter Hat

As I already hinted: it was wonderful at LonCon. That was not only my first WorldCon, but also my first convention ever, and I started full speed ahead - with a dealer's table and a one-hour presentation about medieval textile crafts (with examples from London).

I met a lot of wonderful people, and I had the joyful experience of having an hour and a half on the very first evening, giving my presentation. Thanks again to the wonderful organiser of the academic track, Emma England, who made this possible! From the feedback that I got afterwards, it was an enjoyable experience for my audience, and I had a lot of fun too. There was a bit of an "aaargh!" moment at the very beginning, when I found out that all of the six (six!) microphones on the table were live, and fretted over toppling them over with my textile tools. There were a few further "oops" moments during the presentation, when I did my tools and process demonstrations before having clicked on to the cue cards in the presentation slideshow... but all of these were very minor and more something to grin sheepishly about than to really be troubled.

Apart from that first evening of (enjoyable) work, I spent the time after 18:00 hanging out with friends in filk concerts and in the "Fan Village", or at one of the several dances. During the day, I was mostly at our table in the Dealer's Hall, and that was not any less enjoyable, thanks to lovely customers, colleagues and neighbours. Susanne, our trusty and immensely helpful sidekick, hung out with us most of the time, helping to sell and chat - it wouldn't have been possible to enjoy the Con half as much without her. In fact, we had so much fun we decided it would be nice to do this again - surely not at the next WorldCon, because that is in the US, but there are more conventions apart from that one...

I also learned (quickly, hah!) about the Thing with the ribbons. You see, for your con attendance, you get a plastic badge that you hang around your neck. And if you like, you can stick ribbons to the bottom of it, stacking them. If you are really keen on ribbons, you do that until you have a long, scarf-like tail of cloth hanging from your badge. (I just wanted a few. I ended up with eleven.) There were some official ones (such as the bright orange "Dealers" ribbon, or the light blue "Programme Participant" ribbon, or the multi-coloured "First Worldcon" ribbon) marked with the LonCon symbol. Most of them, though, were unofficial and made by fans, and with all kinds of statements on them - such as "I <3 -="" a="" advertising="" and="" back="" because="" bid="" book="" br="" bryan="" citations="" city="" convention.="" coveted="" dead="" did="" doctor="" dog="" during="" evening="" fetch="" few="" film="" for="" four="" future="" get="" go="" his="" host="" hotel="" i="" instantly="" kind="" last="" making="" manage="" me="" my="" of="" on="" one="" or="" out="" party="" really="" ribbons="" room="" s="" saw="" showing="" so="" support="" that="" the="" there="" thing="" three="" to="" totally="" very="" wanted="" was="" were="" worldcons.="">

The Con also saw the debut of the pattern for Dread Pirate Roberts' Favourite Winter Hat (ravelry pattern page link here), and it was very well received indeed!

The pattern is printed in colour, contains clear illustrated instructions for the special moves that are necessary for the lace part, and is now available via my webshop. Since I wanted to be able to sell it as a printed version, and prints do cost money, I am not planning to offer it as a download for at least a while (read: until the printing costs are, at least to a good part, regained). I know that it's nice to pay, download, and start right away if you buy an electronic pattern, but I did want very much to have the real ink-on-paper version for this one.

And as the introductory offer, you will pay no shipping costs if you order it now! The offer is valid until September 10, 2014.

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