My surnames book is out!

kindle-cover-wakefieldIt may not be the Great American Novel, but I do have a book out as of a week or two ago. Middle English Surnames in West Yorkshire is a book version of my MA thesis, and it should be of interest to folks into genealogy, onomastics (names), language, the SCA or similar groups, or English history.

The first part of the book is an overview of surnames and the names in the Wakefield Manor court rolls. The rest of the book — most of it — is a list of all the names with etymologies and references, divided by type.

If you are looking for a medieval name for the SCA, this is a good source. Every name in the list is from the 13th or 14th century, so they are all documented during SCA period. Many of the names are from place names as well, so this is also useful when looking for a place name to use.

Here are a few places to buy it:

It should appear in other locations soon as well.

Pinterest is not entirely clothes, food, and crafts

Part of Pamela Saunders' Black Death pinboard on Pinterest.

Part of Pamela Saunders’ Black Death pinboard on Pinterest.

During my long blog hiatus, Pinterest came along to provide the ability to “pin” cool images from the Web to save for later perusal. It combines an appeal to the visual with an appeal to the inner collector and hoarder that sits within far too many of us, which makes it more than a little addictive. I have spent way too much time on Pinterest lately, adding and organizing pins, creating new pinboards, and searching for new topics to curate.

At least among my contacts, Pinterest seems to feature a lot of DIY projects, clothes, and recipes. But it’s used to collect other things as well. The other day I stumbled on an interesting pinboard curated by Pamela Saunders on the topic of the Black Death, the medieval pandemic that may have killed one-third of the population of Europe in the late 1340s, and then returned at regular intervals for the next several hundred years.

A mass grave containing probable Black Death victims’ skeletons was found earlier this month in London during excavations for the Crossrail project, which brought this medieval pandemic into the daily news. Pamela’s pinboard links to that story, as well as to artwork inspired by the plague, mourning jewelry, fourteenth-century plague graffiti, and more. It’s an interesting assortment of links if you have any interest in this aspect of medieval history.

Finished: Medieval pouch again

Here’s my second medieval pouch. This took a while because I haven’t been working on it very often. I got the majority of it done while I was at the Legislative District caucuses a few weeks ago (for 14 hours… don’t get me started on that. I didn’t knit the whole time I was there or I might have actually finished it all that day!).

Technical specs:
Green and grey yarn: Cascade 220 Heathers
Blue yarn: Vintage 1970s Brunswick Germantown from Goodwill
Needles: US 6, 16″ circular
Cord and tassels: DMC perle cotton. Cords are twisted plied cord because I haven’t yet gotten around to learning fingerloop braiding.

Chart: Refined version of my own earlier chart, based on motifs from period knitting in Rutt’s History of Hand Knitting, and also inspired by charts created by Dame Christian de Holacombe, found here. I used Excel to draw out the chart.

I encourage anyone interested in a project like this to try it. It is very easy. It looks much harder to knit one of these than it really is.

Now, no more pouches for a while, I hope.