Cangames gaming convention long weekend in May 2019

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Cangames 2019 Ottawa Canada. Upstairs at the curling club

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A strange request

Image 2 Cangames 2019

In Ottawa, Canada there is a large gaming convention on the May long weekend each year. Glenn usually runs 18xx train games, other train games and sometimes Settlers of Catan. The 18xx gaming system is extremely long, involves stock trading, math and the early trains rust out part way through the game. It really doesn’t sound like much fun to me so I spin or felt.

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As you may recall from a previous post (https://feltingandfiberstudio.com/2018/05/23/spinning-at-can-games/) I have done these activities in the middle of several gaming conventions for many years. There has always been curiosity about what I was doing, culminating in a request of “can you run that as a game?”

 

Aha! A Challenge!

 

Why yes I think I may be able to come up with something. So I made a beta testing game for this year, with the option of a second theme for beta testing next year.

 

Since its live action it would likely be best to run this game as a live action role-playing game (LARP). Larp’s are a form of role-playing game (RPG) where the participants physically portray their characters. You may be familiar with table top RPG game like Dungeons and Dragons.  In both systems everyone has a character with stats in various skills. Using these skills, critical thinking and co-operative problem solving you have to defeat or solve some problem (rampaging orcs, dragons, other common problems) within a story told by your dungeon master.  (It’s all very exciting and better than trains that rust – Sorry Glenn)

 

Now how to fit fibre arts into this? I need a story arc or plot; one with the necessity to spin.  Rumpelstiltskin, which would be spinning flax, would be a bit hard for a beginner to start spinning on. Sleeping beauty, no that’s just how to catch tetanus. It would also be hard to find a prince that could actually heal that.

 

Eureka!! Jason and the Argonauts! Yes perfect. Jason is an idiot but the story has lots of other great non-player characters (NPCs). Such as Jason, Captain and leader of the Argonauts (a lot of sailors), Medea (a high priestess) and her father (the King). The two important magical artifacts were the cloak of Helios and the Golden Fleece. There is even an epic battle. Perfect! But most important it involves a fleece (a rams fleece technically but I won’t be picky).

Well the battle is unimportant for spinning but it has to have already occurred so the players will have the fleece in hand to spin. It also needs to happen before Jason tries to dump Medea for the young and beautiful Creusila, daughter of the King of Crete.

 

Ok let me try to write that up as an RPG

“Live action RPG Spin the Golden Fleece

(Advanced characters with High Co-ordination best suited to this game but lower levels are welcome too)

 

Spin the Golden Fleece.

This adventure takes place between the heroic battle you fought, assisted by Jason and the Argonauts and the High priestess Medea against her cruel and unreasonable father the king. And before the adventures in Crete with the beautiful Creusala and her father, the king of Crete. (“Weave the Cloak of Helios” may be offered in another RPG another year but only if the weather is cloudy.)”

 

I printed out the instructions (see below) made up kits with the instructions, parts and a bit of wool to practice with. It all fit in a basket I picked up at value village. So off to Cangames with one of my travel wheels in a trundle box and basket to beta test the new “spinning game”.

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The gaming takes place in the curling arena, some games are on tables set in the lobby, a few in the basement and some in the upstairs hall that overlooks the curling area. It’s a very old building and there is no elevator but 2 very long sets of stairs do get you up to the comfortable chairs of the upper hall (luckily the washrooms are also on the upper level). Since Glenn was gaming upstairs and it has the best view for watch the other gaming happening below, I enjoy being up there. The best chairs are also upstairs.

Images 13-14

 

I set up in a corner near the RPG-ers but not underfoot. Most people had pre-signed up for games but occasionally there will be a break, a game is canceled or ends early. If you have a game going that could use another person you put out a small orange traffic cone to indicate you are looking for more players. Since I was beta testing I was not on the schedule so didn’t have preregistration. I put out my traffic cone, kits of spindle making and some extra fibre. Then sat down with my roadbug wheel, turned on my audio book and started to spin.  I had 5 people join me this year. Only one had tried to spin before. I did have lots who stopped to see what I was doing and were interested but about to start a preregistered game. A couple of the organizers stopped by to see what kind of game I had come up with too. They were also busy but wanted to see me submit it for next year’s program.

 

The first part of their adventure was to construct their own drop spindle. I had bought the necessary supplies at the local dollar store. The long and short meat skewers, small hair elastics, bull dog clips in a few different sizes (weights), a box of extra-large Ziploc sandwich bags, a ball of string and a really strong pair of garden pruners. I selected some of my superwash merino wool to stand in for the Golden fleece. Super wash wool may not felt but it does spin quite nicely.

 

After getting the players to assemble their own drop spindle I had them try spinning by using the park and draft method. I also showed them how to put it all together, drafting and spinning all at once. They all seemed very happy and headed off with their spindles, fibre and the web address for the local guild and their Face book page so they could find more spinners.

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It was fun to try to integrate two activities. My solution was to make spinning a game, but Glenn’s solution has been trying to entice me into sheep related boardgames (without trains that rust or excessive math or spelling skills). He has actually found and acquired a lot of sheep related board games for me. We have even taken them in to a couple social nights at the guild to enjoy them with other sheep oriented people.

 

Here are some of them. Have you found ones he has not?

Images 24-25

Images 26-30

“Sheepland”, “Attribute”, “Battle Sheep”, “Shear Panic”, “Sheep’n’sheep” (the Japanies one), “Wooly Bully”,   “Space Sheep!”, “Wool rules” and a sheep staking game.

“Sheep and Thief” and “Lowlands” have recently been added but not yet played.

 

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Image 31 Glenn won a tournament.

 

 

If you were curious here is the written part of the RPG game I was running.

Live action RPG Spin the Golden Fleece

(Advanced characters with High Co-ordination best suited to this game but lower levels are welcome too)

 

Spin the Golden Fleece.

This adventure takes place between the heroic battle you fought, assisted by Jason and the Argonauts and the High priestess Medea against her cruel and unreasonable father the king. And before the adventures in Crete with the beautiful Creusala and her father, the king of Crete. (“Weave the Cloak of Helios” may be offered in another RPG another year but only if the weather is cloudy.)

 

The adventure instructions:

Part 1 Assemble the Turkish Drop spindle (25 experience upon completion)

How to assemble the spindle;

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Take the 4 shorter skewers, elastic-ed together in pairs laid tip to tail.  Make an ‘X’ by crossing the two sets on top of each other. Put the long skewer through the center of the cross and rap elastics diagonally from the point between the arms of the X and back to the point. Then add an elastic to the other diagonal. Trim off some of the extra length at the top of the long skewer. Take an arm’s length of your string and tie a knot to make into a big loop. Rap the loop around the spindle shaft and pull one end through the other do this again to make a double loop to set your leader. Add the bull dog clips on opposite arms to give more momentum if needed.

 

Part 2 spin the Golden top or Roving

 

(the golden Fleece has already been fiber prepped, presumably by Jason (drum carded), his crew of the Argonaut (Roving or Rolags) or Medea herself (Top).)

 

Method; Park and Draft

Use the attached leader from your spindle, fold over a bit of your fiber (pre-drafted if you have not spun before is suggested). Pinch the fiber and now add twist by spinning your spindle.

 

Do not let the twist into the fiber you are not yet spinning.

 

Once you see a good amount of twist in the leader and bit of fiber you are starting with, Stop.  Park the spindle between your knees. Now comes the draft part.  Slide the fingers you are pinching to keep the twist on the spindle side of the roving up the roving until you feel the fiber is starting to lose twist or you reach the end of the area you have predrafted.

 

Twist is what keeps the fibers together.  It’s the magic glue when you spin. If you get too much twist the yarn will have too much energy and twist up on itself when plyed. If you have too little twist it will break.

 

If the singles seems to be twisted to your liking, wind on to the spindle. With a Turkish spindle you wind over 2 and under one arm. Then set up to add more twist by spinning the next section of fiber (roving or top).

When enough twist has built up again, park the spindle and draft out the fiber.  Then add to spindle. Spin again to build up twist repeating until you run out of fiber or have a full drop spindle. (Park/Draft/Park/draft….)

25exp

 

Plying

If you wove or knit with a single (that is the yarn you made on the drop spindle) it will have excess energy which will affect the product you are making. To remove the excess energy plying is used.

Double ended ball method.

Use a ball winder, Nostapina or toilet paper tube to wind a ball keeping the inside end accessible. Join the inside end and the outside end together. Spin in the opposite direction to balance the twist and produce relaxed yarn.

Exp 25

 

Making a skein

Storing the spun 2 ply yarn is important, so it will be ready to weave or knit with between battles.

Equipment: skein winder, reel or squirrel cage. In an emergency, the space between your thumb and first finger and your elbow can be used to make a small skein.

 

Affix with a slip knot or hold the starting end. Wind the skein.  When you have almost finished secure the tail in two or three places to finish the skein.

 

Twist opposite ends of the skein and tuck the tail in to the opposite loop end. Let the twist create a finished looking skein for you.

Exp 25

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Image 33

 

About Jan

Realy im not 12, i am just sivearly dislexic. i can spin, weave, felt, garden, Draw, Paint, and do layout but i realy cant spell. if you read out louwd i do make more sence.
This entry was posted in Demo, Spinning, Teaching, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Cangames gaming convention long weekend in May 2019

  1. Lise G says:

    Wow! Very impressive! Congratulations!

  2. Looks like fun. We need to do another sheep game day.

    • Jan says:

      thank you it was! yes what is the next holiday Monday comeing up? those seem the best opportunity to try sheep gameing.

  3. ruthlane says:

    What a great way to spread the word about fiber art to people who probably have no clue at all. Thanks for sharing.

    • Jan says:

      maybe we can slowly add a fiberart component to Cangames!! we should have a few more spinners there next year! i am looking forward to see what they have produced and if they have aquierd a wheel or two!

  4. Wow! Kudos to both you and Glen. It looks complicated, but fun both Fiber and trains. My son does virtual reality programming which is lost on me as well. Thanks for sharing this wonderful adventure into rpg.

    • Jan says:

      Thanks! i play Runescape (my spelling makes me look young!) thay have looms and spinning wheels in the game but neather works the way real ones do. it drives me nuts! other wise the game is lots of fun. there dose seem to be curiosity about fiber arts from gamers. i hope we can show them lots of other fun things to try.

    • It’s great you’re bringing fiber to the gaming world!

  5. annielynrosie says:

    Brilliant! You worked things out so well and it deserved to be a success. Lovely post to read.

    • Jan says:

      Thsankyou! it was fun trying to figure out a plot that would work in a gameing framework. i think we will definatly not do sleeping beauty, no one needs to get tetnus! i am now even happer i read Media in High school. i think it will run well next year!

  6. Antje says:

    Well thought out Jan, I’m sure everyone who tried it had fun.

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