This series, if you can find it in a store, typically gets shelved under “Horror”, but I don’t know. I found out about the first book while trying to watch all of the movies directed by Don Coscarelli. He mostly directs horror movies like Phantasm and Bubba Ho Tep, so I guess that makes the book that the horror movie was based on a horror book. There is plenty of horror in it, but it’s also very funny because there is plenty of humor in it, but it’s not a comedy because there is a good solid serious story under those other layers.
The thing about these books is that each one is better than the last. The horror is more involved. The humor is more pervasive and integrated. The story and the development of the characters is stronger, more personal, and more positive (no, really).
Interspersed with all the bloodshed and explosions, with all the running gags and one-liners, there is some intricate plotting and utterly awesome prose. I read some passages out loud to Sharon because I was just stunned by some of the wonderful things Pargin writes for his characters.
You don’ have to read all the books in order to appreciate any one of them. If you don’t think you have the patience to “get all caught up”, I say don’t bother. Jump straight to this last one even though it will spoil the shock that John doesn’t die at the end of the first one. It’s definitely the best of the series so far.
Back in 2018, when I was being elevated to the Order of the Laurel in the SCA, Sharon made some parts of a Sokutai Sugata for me to wear as my elevation garb. She made the two most important upper-body garments, the houeki no hououter robe and the shitagasanemiddle-layer robe with its long kyo tail. I made or purchased many of the accessories for the garment such as the kanmuri headgear, sekitaibelt of stones, shakubaton, and hiraobelt. However, the lower-body garments and some accessories were substituted with less-formal items because we ran out of time.
To prepare for her elevation next month, I decided to make at leat two of the missing items, which had been on my to-do list for some time. I made the uenohakama out pants, and the oguchi lining pants.
Most of the time, when you see the uenohakama, they are lined and appear to be both of these garments in one. The lined uenohakama are for winter wear. These are for summer wear and are unlined. uenohkama are made very differently from regular hakama. They open in the front, and they only have one long waist tie that connects the front and back at the sides. The tie is arranged so that it can be knotted at the right hip, and there is a fly strip that covers the opening at the front.
The oguchi are supposed to be a bit longer so that the hems are visible sticking out from beneath the hems of the uenohakama. I wound up making mine about the same length as the uenohakama, so I sewed on an extra bit at the bottom to add weight and appear as a hem. The oguchi also only have one tie, and it is arranged to tie at the left hip.
Layered together, the two garments look like this, though you’ll have to wait until after Hara’s elevation to see what they look like as part of the outfit.
All seven of these braids were made on the marudai using cotton crochet thread. I used four plies of thread per strand, four strands of blue and four strands of white. The braids are a variety pack of 7 different braid shapes. All have ring and toggle closures and come with an extra jump ring so that they can be used as medallion cords. They are all approximately 30 inches long.
I completed these braids back in November or December, but I was holding off posting about them because I was going to put them in the Coronation gift basket in April. Then, I found out there was a largesse display at Baronial 12th Night.
They are all color variations on the same braid, with 8 red and 8 white strands per braid. The effects of the different starting positions produce end results that are similar to those produced for other 16-strand braids that are doubles of 8-strand braids.