Guðrún Sveinsdóttir

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Guðrún Sveinsdóttir (Rosie of Mountain Freehold) and Thomas of Mountain Freehold at A Market Day at Birka, Jan. 2019
Resides: Shire of Mountain Freehold
Status: Active
Awards: Order of Precedence
Lion Rose Shield Device Mock-Up Smaller Bordure.png
Vert, a lion passant Or and a bordure Or semy of octofoils gules barbed vert.
Award & Office Badges
Award of Arms Terpsichore Companion of the Order of the Silver Brooch Companion of the Order of the Silver Wheel Companion of the Order of the Maunche
Minister of Arts and Science


In the Freehold, Guðrún (THL Rosie of Mountain Freehold) enjoys a variety of pursuits. She is heavily into Arts and Sciences (sewing, naalbinding, historical dyeing, card weaving, a little embroidery, singing, playing violin, and Middle Eastern dancing), and is an Underforester in her local Forester's Guild (with interests in wilderness travel/hiking, wildcrafting, medicinal herbalism, and natural dyestuffs). Guðrún has recently started learning about wool processing and spinning, with a focus on historical Norse practices and available materials. She has previously done rapier fencing, and currently uses German longsword.


Guðrún Sveinsdóttir, more commonly called Rosie, was born in the early 10th century in Birka to a Norse pagan merchant father (Sveinn Barðison) and Celto-Germanic Christian mother (Geila Marie Widuapfel). Sveinn and Geila met in Hedeby, on one of Sveinn's early trading expeditions. She came back with him to Birka, where his family lived. Sveinn continued trading, but after a time moved his operations to the Volga trade routes. Sveinn and Geila had several children. Guðrún's older sister Brígiða (by 11 years) was their first child. When Brígiða was 15, she traveled with her father to Baghdad and married the Abbasid Persian trader Hakim ibn Zuhayr. Olafr was born 3 years after Brígiða, and is currently working the trade routes with his father. The next two brothers died young (one from illness, the other from accident -- Guðrún never met one, and barely remembers the other). Two years after Guðrún was born, her parents had another son, Bjorn, who was apprenticed to the local blacksmith as soon as he was old enough to swing a hammer. When Guðrún was 6, her mother died in childbirth, & her father took Guðrún to live with her sister in Baghdad. She spent the rest of her childhood there. Among the many other things she learned in Persia, Guðrún fell in love with the local dance forms and music. As a play on her name, some of her friends nicknamed her "Gulrun," which means "essence of rose" in Persian. (Later on in the Knowne Worlde, this was translated to "Rosie," which is her most commonly used name today.) When Guðrún was 16, her father brought her back to Birka to take care of her paternal grandmother, Amma Hildr (a healer and volva), who had retired from her traveling work. In their time together, Amma Hildr taught her granddaughter much of herbal and healing craft. While taking some food to her brother Bjorn one day, Guðrún met the local blacksmith, Tómas Hamarsson. They fell in love and were married. Eventually Bjorn married as well and took over the forge, and his wife Ásleif took over caring for Amma Hildr. Now free to travel, Guðrún and Tómas found the Knowne Worlde and settled in the Shire of Mountain Freehold.

World Events That Happen During Guðrún's Lifetime

Guðrún was born in the early 10th century (we'll say around 925ish), so the events within her lifetime that she might potentially know about are as follows.

  • In 927, Aethelstan the Glorious unites England.
  • Around 936, Gorm the Old becomes the first recognized King of Denmark.
  • In 945, the Buyid Persian Dynasty takes over Abbasid territory and takes Baghdad as its capital. (But the Abbasid caliphs still govern from there under Buyid protection/control.) -- This could well affect Guðrún personally, as her sister Brígiða & brother-in-law Hakim live in Baghdad. They might become refugees.
  • Around 950 is the beginning of the Medieval Warm Period. -- This would affect clothing, travel, crops, weather, & more.
  • In 962, Otto the Great is crowned Holy Roman Emperor & deposes/replaces the Pope (John XII) with someone he likes better (Leo VIII) a year or two later.
  • In 969, the Kievan Rus conquer the Khazars. (They started fighting around 965.)
  • In 969, the (Shiite) Fatimids take over control of Egypt from the (Sunni) Abbasids, & make Cairo their capital.
  • In 979, the Song Dynasty reunites China. (She might not know about this, but then again, she's from a trading family, & they may have met Silk Road traders in Persia, so it's possible.)
  • Around 980, Al-Azhar University is founded in Cairo by the Fatimids.
  • In 982, Eric the Red is exiled from Iceland, & he starts colonizing Greenland in 985-6. (I don't know if she'd actually know about this one.)
  • In 988, Volodymyr I Sviatoslavych, ruler of the Kievan Rus, converts to Christianity so that he can marry the Byzantine emperor Basil II's sister, Anna. Then he starts converting the rest of the Rus (apparently part of the agreement) and helps his brother-in-law put down a revolt in the Byzantine Empire.
  • Sometime during the 10th century, European lions became extinct (the last ones were in the southern Caucuses).
  • Many Europeans/Scandinavians convert to Christianity.
  • The Rhadanite Jewish traders have huge influence in trade, especially in areas where Christians and Muslims are not friendly with each other (the Rhadanites/Rhadaniyya are able to be diplomatic go-betweens for trade).

A lot of these events could have an effect on trade and travel/safety, as well as religion and everyday life (what's available, what's scarce due to war or climate change, what religious practices are safe to show in public, what are the roads and travel hazards like, etc.).


  • Award of Arms -- Panteria, May 2017
  • Underforester -- Mimir's Well, March 2019
  • Order of Terpsichore -- Mimir's Well, March 2020
  • Order of the Silver Brooch -- Ethereal Court, June 13th 2021
  • Order of the Silver Wheel -- Ethereal Court, June 13th 2021
  • Order of the Maunche -- EK Twelfth Night, Jan. 7th 2023

Offices & Positions

  • Minister of Arts and Sciences, Shire of Mountain Freehold, 01/01/2019 to 12/31/2020
  • Minister of Arts and Sciences, Shire of Mountain Freehold, 01/01/2021 to 12/31/2022
  • Northern Region Deputy MoAS, East Kingdom, starting 07/18/22
  • Minister of Arts and Sciences, Shire of Mountain Freehold, 01/01/2023 to 12/31/2024

Classes Taught

  • History of Middle Eastern Dance, Mimir's Well 2018
  • Youth European Dance Class (co-taught with Mistress Albreda), Panteria 2019
  • Middle Eastern Hafla (incl. basic dance instruction), Panteria 2019
  • Intro to Medieval Middle Eastern Dance, Online EK A&S classes, April & June 2020 (recorded [[1]]) (handout [[2]])
  • Basic Sewing Techniques for Reenactors and Anachronists, Online EK A&S class, Dec. 16, 2020 (recorded [[3]]) (handout [[4]])
  • Early Period Clothing: Rectangular Construction, Shire of Mtn Freehold monthly A&S meeting, Sept. 12, 2021 (recorded [[5]]) (handout [[6]])
  • Intro to Medieval Middle Eastern Dance - History, EK College of Performers Challenge Assembly & Schola, May 14, 2022 (handout [[7]])
  • Intro to Medieval Middle Eastern Dance - Practicum, EK College of Performers Challenge Assembly & Schola, May 14, 2022
  • Intro to Medieval Middle Eastern Dance - Practicum, Panteria XXV, May 29, 2022
  • Intro to Medieval Middle Eastern Dance - History, Pennsic 49, Aug. 6, 2022

Class Offerings

Here are some classes I would be willing to teach if asked:

  • Basic Sewing (hand & machine; useful tools, incl. ergonomic options; historical vs. modern pros/cons)
  • Basic Early-period Garb & Accessories (T-tunic/dress, Birka tunic/dress/coat, Bishop Timotheos tunica, Roman tunica, peplos/chiton, Skjoldehamm hood, drawstring pants, over-the-shoulder bag)
  • Intro to Embroidery (most common stitch types for decoration)
  • Basic Fiber Arts (nålbinding, lucet-cord, crocheting, knitting)
  • Basic Beaded Jewelry & Chainmaille (useful tools, wire-working techniques, beading choices/styles, etc.)
  • Intro to Leatherworking (using basic techniques to make an Eide pouch)
  • Intro to Medieval Middle Eastern Dance (historical context & timeline, extant depictions, cultural understanding/marginalized groups/avoiding appropriation, historical props & instruments, & basic movements)

Event Staff

  • A&S Display/Championship Coordinator, Shire of Mountain Freehold Birthday Bash, 10/5/19
  • A&S Display/Competition Coordinator, Mimir's Well, 3/7/20
  • Class Coordinator, EK Twelfth Night, 1/8/21 (Event cancelled)
  • Class Coordinator, EK Twelfth Night, 1/7/22
  • Middle Eastern Hafla Coordinator, Panteria, 5/29/22
  • Middle Eastern Hafla Coordinator, Panteria, 5/27/23
  • A&S Display/Championship Coordinator, Shire of Mountain Freehold Birthday Bash, 9/16/23

Museum Research Visits

Project Gallery

  • First nålbound socks, striped, 2018. Based on extant Coptic Upper Egyptian find in Museum of Florence (ca. 4th cent.?).
  • Nålbound hat, 2018. Second pair of nålbound socks, yellow & red, 2019. Nålbound mittens, 2019. Fourth pair of nålbound socks, black & red, 2021. All based on patterns and styles from extant early-period finds.
  • Toddler Viking-era outfit (for a friend's daughter), Oct. 2019. Based on Birka tunic pattern, Hedeby smokkr, and Skjoldehamm hood.
  • Walnut-Dyed Birka Tunic and Yarn, Oct. 2019. Based on extant textile dye analysis and availability in Viking-age Sweden.
  • Green Linen Lucet Cord, March 2020. Based on extant Viking-era cording techniques and tools, and beeswaxed for strength.
  • Viking doll outfit, Spring 2020 (to match toddler outfit from Oct. 2019). Doll & original outfit made by The Practical Viking (awesome folks, with great products: Secondary outfit of linen (blue underdress, green smokkr, & orange Skjoldehamm hood) made by Rosie.
  • Goldwork/Embroidered Award Medallions, May 2021. Part of a Shire-wide project to send to Their Majesties for future Courts. Also used for EK Laurels' Challenge: "Stretch That Comfort Zone!" Metallic silver "Japaned silk" thread, Gütermann silk thread, linen fabric. Based on Opus Anglicanum style of goldwork embroidery. Other details in documentation (under Publications section below).
  • Viking-era Silk Coat Trim, May 2021. For EK Laurels' Challenge: "Embellish It!" Byzantine silk reproduction by Sartor, cut into strips similar to extant Viking-era finds such as at Oseberg. Hand-stitched with Gütermann silk thread, using extant stitch types: back-stitch, running back-stitch, and whip-stitch. Extant silk brocade:
  • Køstrup-inspired Smokkr, January 2022. Wool smokkr (apron dress) based on the Køstrup find, with details from several other Viking-era Scandinavian finds. Blue wool smokkr, linen shoulder straps, Byzantine reproduction silk binding at top; linen, silk, & cotton thread. Completely hand-sewn. Cats not included, but they attempt to include themselves. Other details in documentation (under Publications section below).

Publications/Project Documentation


In Case of Court

Please contact The Honorable Lord Tómas Hamarsson (Thomas of Mountain Freehold). My pronouns are she/hers. I am open to either in-person or virtual/online awards.

Scroll information for scribes: I deeply admire and appreciate all of our EK scribes and their art, so I am open to the artist's judgement for art style, including non-traditional formats (such as stained glass, embroidery, stone or wood-carving, etc.). If someone wants to tailor a scroll to my persona, Abbasid Persian and 10th cent. Norse are the closest, and always welcome. I also love Pharaonic Egyptian, Minoan, Sumerian, Safavid Persian & Middle Eastern in general, European illuminations, and Celtic knotwork. If you want to include my heraldic elements, Forester symbols/plants, cats of any type, or anything that has to do with the other things in my bio above, that can be fun, but please don't feel obligated. As for language, English, Arabic (or English using a faux-Arabic script), and Norse runes would fit my persona best, but if there's another script that would fit better with the scroll style, that works too.

In Case of Peerage:

(I do not expect this to happen, especially not anytime soon, but I have been instructed to add this section to my Wiki.) Please notify me at least several months in advance (or more if possible!) so that I can prepare adequately. Thank you!


Shetland Night Demo, Feb. 2020 Rosie's Underforester Scroll, March 2019 Rosie's Abbasid Dancer's Garb, Pennsic XLVIII (2019) Rosie in Roman Garb, Pennsic XLVIII (2019) Rosie and Tom, Pennsic XLVIII (2019) Rosie Receiving Order of Terpsichore, Mimir's Well 2020 Rosie Climbing Tree on Spring Equinox Hike, March 2021 Rosie with Completed Silk Trim on Viking-era Coat, May 2021 Rosie's Kostrup-inspired Smokkr Recreation, Jan. 2022 Rosie & Thomas, local hike Oct. 23, 2022