Queen's Pouch Project



After i'd been in the SCA about a year or so, i was unexpectedly given the "Queen's Treasure Chest" award. This was unexpected because the award is given to those who have made a significant contribution to the Kingdom "gift chest", and i hadn't given a darn thing.

I contacted the Heralds who told me to contact the Queen. I e-mailed the Queen but she never responded. In checking with various people it became clear that the person who was supposed to get the award actually eventually did. That at least was some relief.

But what was i going to do with an award i had done nothing to deserve. This bothered me for several years. I'm not one of those smash embroiderers. So i decided to knit some pouches.

I made them of cotton because it's washable and the moths won't eat it. All the patternsI used were from Medieval Egypt, derived from both knit cotton socks and knit wool luxury cloths. I chose a limited range of colors mostly reflecting those in Medieval Egyptian knitting.

I began knitting in the summer of 2004. I intended to make one pouch for each kingdom. But i'm a very slow knitter. Plus, doing nothing but knitting was making me feel like my head was in a vice. By Twelfth Night i had knitted 8 pouches and i finished 6 - that is, each was fully lined with fine cotton jersey knit (so it's stretchy like the pouches - and, yes, it is NOT historically accurate but is practical), had two draw strings (rattail - a satin look cord), and had 5 long tassels on the bottom made of DMC perle coton.

I took them to Twelfth Night where some folks saw them and said that i really should make one for each kingdom. Sigh. That had been my original plan. So it was back to Plan A. In the five months after Twelfth Night i knit another 10. I intended to give them to the Queen at June Crown, but several still lacked tassels. I've taken a "vacation" from the project, and now i'll go finish them.

The yarns i used were worsted weight, pure cotton, "Lily Sugar'n Cream" and "Lion Brand Lion Cotton". For each pouch i used from two to ten colors. For most i used around five colors.

The solid colors i used were:

       dusty rose     bright yellow     olive green     navy blue
       bright red     pale cream        forest green    light blue
       maroon         ochre             light green     white
                      tan                               off-white

I also used space-dyed colors in 6 of the pouches just because i like using gradated colors:

       medium-to-light blue gradient (in two)   light blue-to-light green-to-yellow-to peach (in one)
       teal-to-tan-to-white (in two)            light green-to-forest green-to-navy-to-red-violet (in one)

Some were trickier to knit than they look. Three involve intarsia in the round and were derived or copied from knit wool textiles, which are now only fragmentary.

  • The 2nd pouch in the 1st row is a form of intarsia in the round; it also has 4 colors carried in the row with the dot in the center of the flower.
  • The 2nd one in the 2nd row (pictures 2 and 3) involves intarsia in the round and a pattern that keeps shifting.
  • The 2nd one in the 3rd row is also intarsia in the round, with a complicated pattern that i simplified slightly to make it more manageable. There were four or five colors in all rows of the intarsia-in-the-round pattern.

NOTE: These were scanned before any of the new ones were lined and tasseled. Most have been at the time of this writing.


red pouch1 red pouch2 red pouch3
maroon pouch1 maroon pouch2 one side
one side of pouch
notice how pattern wraps
maroon pouch2 other side
other side of pouch
maroon pouch3
multicolor pouch3 multicolor pouch4 blue pouch4
multicolor pouch1 multicolor pouch2
green pouch1 green pouch2 green pouch3
blue pouch2 blue pouch3 blue pouch5 blue pouch1

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