Site Rebuild

Due to a problem with my web-host I have had to rebuild the site. I am trying to migrate the old content back in but it may take a while to clean it all up.

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St Catherines Faire and the Bal d’Argent 2016

The weekend of the 5th and 6th November was Ildhafn’s annual St Catherines Faire. Normally this event runs in December but this year it was in early November. As part of the event, Ildhafn hosted the Bal d’Argent. This is the annual ball of the guild of the Silver Rondel, Lochac’s official dance guild. This meant that most of the weekend was devoted to music and dance practice, with the main ball being on the Saturday night, This was exciting for us as we have been dancing with the SCA for almost 3 years now and we have been hosting the Ildhafn music group for over a year.

The weekend itself was very enjoyable but the really special bit for us was being able to meet the requirements fo the guild in both music and dance. We are now officially Silver Rondels and Silver Semibreves. Wendy also got recognised as a Guildsman of Ildhafn because of the work she puts in with music within the Barony.

As the guild has a charter to promote music and dance across the kingdom we have volunteered to do some work to try and help. This is off the back of something we had already started working on for the local music group but if we can get it going it will become a kingdom resource. The aim is to transcribe the various pieces that are played, re-arrange some of them to suit the instruments that are being played, provide downloadable mp3’s so people can hear what they sound like and play along with their piece or play against the main melody. We have also suggested that there needs to be a kingdom wide discussion forum as different parts of Lochac use different repeat structures, so when travelling to different places it would be good to have a consistent set of music that allows anyone to easily join in with the pieces they know.

While we will be doing this through either the Ildhafn , kingdom or Rondel websites we will also be adding a section here for music.

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Labour Weekend 2016

As we have been doing lots with the SCA here we haven’t done much actual living history camping where you have no modern conveniences. This weekend will be different. Master Ed Braythwayte of the SCA is once again hosting a camp at his property but this year he has deemed that the house is off limits, except for the toilet. There is access to fresh water as well but aside from that everything will be stored, prepared, cooked or worked on in camp. There will be no modern tools, like gas cookers or torches. so it is back to open fires and candle light

We are really looking forward to this as it gets back to the roots of ur camping. Although it has meant a bit of searching around for some of the kit that we don’t often carry with us anymore. I am sure some of it will need a good clean up when we get to site.

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Green Harp Belt

Following on from my post about making new belts for Wendy, see post here, I have finally finished off the green belt with pewter harps.

It took a while to get round to finishing off the dying of the leather, once that was done I fitted all the mounts on and checked it all looked right. At this stage we decided to set the last 5 harps so that ran along the belt instead of across it. This means that when the belt is hanging the harps still are upright.

Green belt worn

Once that was all sorted it was just a case of hammering the pins in place to permanently set the mounts in place.

Green belt rolled
Green belt loose rolled
Green belt rolled 2
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New Belts

While we were at St Johns I made a bunch of harp-shaped belt mounts under the guidance of the talented Edward Braythwayte. Now I am working on the belt itself fro Wendy.

We decided on an Aqua Green colour for the belt itself, although the dye has come out darker than we thought it would. I also order a belt end and buckle from Lionheart Replicas.

Green belt parts

Here is the belt part made. I have already skived the ends to fit the buckle and end plates and punched holes for the mounts. I still need to finish dyeing the leather.

Green Belt unmade

Then I’ll test fit all the elements before finally setting them permanently.

This is the second belt I have done with mounts for Wendy. The other I made a little while ago. The same principle was followed, however, the mounts had a split shaft that just needed to be bent over to fix them. As I didn’t have a lot of the mounts I also did some stamping along the belt, it is just visible in the photo.

Red Belt
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St Johns 2015

Over the weekend of the 10th – 12th July we attended the annual Cluain event of St Johns.

This is an SCA camp held in the Waikato region. While normally we would take our tent and camp we decided to make use of the bunk rooms available at the site, and it was very fortunate that we did as temperatures over the weekend dropped to around -2. Fortunately both the main hall and bunk rooms were nice and warm once the heaters got started.

St Johns was a nice relaxed event. While there was archery, which both Wendy and I took part in, heavy combat and rapier outside most of the event took place inside the main hall.

Wendy had offered to run a couple of workshops on beginner harp. These went very well and I think we may have some new converts. While this was going on I learnt a bit about pewter casting with Master Edward Braythwayte. The end result being 24 harp shaped belt mounts. Now I just need to make Wendy a new belt.

On the Saturday evening there was a banquet. The food as always was excellent. Afterwards there was music and games. Wendy, along with Nadia, played harp while Chantelle played flute and sang. I played a bar game that was along the lines of a giant version of shove ha’penny. Followed by a couple of games of Irish, an early form of modern backgammon.

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It appears that there are 2 different garments that get called a pourpoint. One is an outer layer, often padded that may have started as part of a knight’s armor. The other is a waistcoat style garment that was used to attach the hose, or sometimes with armor the leg harness, as an alternative to a belt.

The pourpoint style we decided to make was a simple waistcoat with no skirt. It was to have a lining to help handle any strain put on it. The outer layer is white linen with the lining of calico.

First step was to make an upper body block. This was adjusted until it fitted snugly. This was done using a combination of the instructions in the Medieval Tailor’s Guide and Wendy’s mother’s knowledge.

Once the block was made up the 2 layers were cut out. Each was then stitched into its own garment that would later be joined together.

Where the holes were to go, to which the hose were to be laced, an additional piece of reinforcing was added. This was also done at the front where the lacing holes for closing the garment were to go. A light cotton canvas was used, this was stitched to the lining.

Once each piece was stitched and fitted to Ian individually, they were then joined together. The bottom, neck, and front seams were joined using a french seam, then the garment was turned right side out through the arm holes, and the arm holes sewn up.

The back of the neck had an extra seam overlaid to keep the lining in place, as did the front hem for reinforcement.

The calico lining layer had previously been hemmed loosely at the arm holes to prevent the fabric fraying while being worked on. Before joining at the arms I unpicked this hem. The two layers were trimmed at the arm holes to align the shapes. Then the rough edges were turned in and hemmed with a double seam (about 3mm apart).

The final step was to eyelet the front and waist for closing and attaching hose.

The front closing was done in 4 pairs to allow for 4 laces to be used for closing. The waist points were added by carefully figuring out where the hose would attach to and then eyeleting those points. If, at a later date, different hose with more lacing are to be used then extra eyelets can always be added.

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Sometime ago now we decide to join the SCA. While their camps are not open to the public they are still a lot of fun.

We’ll add information on the events we attend here so you can get an idea of the sorts of things that happen in the SCA in NZ

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New Tent Part 2

So we have had the new tent for a while now so I thought it was finally time to put some pictures up.

The tent is the same basic design as our older one only on a larger scale.

New Tent 2

The awning attaches to the top of the tent and has additional side flaps that allow for better sun/rain coverage

New Tent 1

The awning can also be pegged to the ground in bad weather and gives extra cover over the door. The pegging for the awning is about 75cm from the tent so there is a bit of space to get in an out.

So this will be our camp for the foreseeable future.

New Tent 3

I’ll post up some more pictures of it and the inside at some point

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Ladies Chemise

A medieval lady’s outfit would always begin with a white undergarment. In 14th century England, linen was cheaper than cotton, and therefore was the more commonly used fabric for clothing – especially clothing that was required to be more hard-wearing. Ironically, in modern day New Zealand, linen is substantially more costly than cotton, and to begin with my soft kit was largely made of pure cotton.

Now I am constantly in the process of revising my historical wardrobe, replacing less accurate cotton garments with the more authentic equivalent in linen.

This garment is possibly the simplest around; or at least, it is the way I’m making it.
To be continued…

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