I hope everyone has recovered from vigorous Valentine’s Day celebrations. Grab some coffee, sit back and follow along as recount the last month’s activities around Neep Manor.
Expanded Reading List
I put a call out for go-to reading resources and have increased the list of books endorsed by various members of the community. I have been going through and adding summaries, usually from the Amazon listing’s description, of the contents of each book for your reference.
How Two Medieval
The How Two Medieval podcast has bee going strong, having released a number of episodes since my last update. Episode Two premiered my new intro phrase which I am still thoroughly proud of. In Episode Three we get down to the topic of choosing impressions. Episode Four is our first guest feature with Ian of Knyght Errant.
I have been eager to produce videos for quite a while, but some major functionality issues with my computer discouraged me from putting together too much, as the computer required for intense editing was not up to the task. Instead of making those sorts of videos I have experimented with a “one or two cut” style of video which I can edit on my phone. The first of this kind is a “Quick Tip” video explaining how I address eyelets sewn too tight to conveniently slide arming points or laces through. I also learned a marketing lesson and will avoid nestling too many shares in a row to avoid the misconception I’m brand promoting more than content producing.
Online Discussions: Belts
I started a rousing conversation which crossed over to several groups regarding the substrate of decorative belts, especially high status expensive plaque belts. The intention is to have the information necessary to make an authentic girdle of spectacular splendor for the Lady of Neep Manor. I have seen museum references photos and read descriptions of heavily ornamented belts made on fabric foundations instead of the customary leather, though I had no idea what the foundation material was or how it stood up to the weight of wear, having purses dangling from it, or supporting the mounts and plaques adorning it. Though I have not developed any authority on the topic, I have learned some things about high status, decorative fabric belts which may benefit the general audience:
The “substrate” of these belts are typically tablet woven. Having no real experience with tablet weaving, I put some considerable research into reading about the process as well as listening and responding to the advice of those online who have more experience. I have learned tablet weaving can make thick, sturdy straps which rival leather in strength and are more than capable of withstanding the rigors of a worn belt. I did not find any extant or period sources which indicate a backing or support layer of leather and the h
Higher end ones were all made from silk. There does seem to be support for large plaque belts, such as the kind worn over the faulds of a knight in armor, having a foundation of leather, though. Also, when woven, they can themselves be works of art, as skillful weavers can pattern in a variety of designs or brocades. On top of all this, the tablet woven threads themselves, already of high value silk, were sometimes with and supplemented by the same types of metallic threads used in embroidery, meaning they would not just adorned with precious metals but woven out of them too. If this was not sufficiently fancy, applying embroidery to the belt, not to mention enameled or gilded mounts and plaques, were often added. The options for opulence in a fabric belt is dizzying with all the layers of extravagance possible. And all your clothes are safe from the possibility of bleed through of dyes and tannin from a leather strap. A mishap such as this would ruin the brocade or velvet garment the belt touched; a risk which did not exist when wearing a tablet woven silk belt.
As the “Dolly Parton” meme made its circuit through the internet my buddy Matt over at Agincourt Soldier made one of them for me, of me. I got in the meme spirit and made one of my own. I have a few others, and I plan to space them out so as not to flood the world with too many medieval memes. However, keep an eye out on Mondays, as I plan to release most (but not all) of my upcoming funnies as part of “Medieval Meme Mondays.”
If you’ve encountered this screen lately, I am not gone, just moved. I changed the URL from “TerrorTurnip.wordpress.com” to “TheTurnipOfTerror.com” to add some sense of official feel and uniformity across the various online forums I operate in. I did not purchase the redirect function, as it comes at a steep monthly cost. If I move up to a custom url and ditch the .wordpress part I suspect I’ll be in a position where I can afford the redirect. Because Facebook enjoys complications I cannot update the url anywhere I have shared posts in the past, so I may have to delete old posts eventually. Also the old URL still shows up higher in search engines when you look for Turnip of Terror, though as the old website down-ranks it will work itself out eventually, but I apologize for any confusion during the transition.
Medieval March #3
What a wonderful Saturday, except for the capriciousness of the weather. For weeks I prepared by reading articles and advices about medieval cold-weather preparedness and survival, ready to go out into a freezing February snowscape. It even snowed the week of the march. Then a random heat wave kicked in and everything melted a day before. The march itself was hot, comparatively, and the ground was muddy and wet. It was good practice walking in mud, anyway, and avoiding deep puddles in grass. Also my friend Tim came along, so it was the first “group” march!
Scheduled Link Review
All links work and are accounted for as of the beginning of February.
I am proud to announce the introduction of Trevor Mora into the Household of Neep Manor. Thank you for your support! He also received a hand written Valentine’s Day card with a fun Valentine’s Day quote from Chaucer inside.
Join on Patreon to participate in future Household-Only events.
Articles and Research Projects
The projects below have no specific order of urgency, so this is an opportunity to voice your suggestions or requests on upcoming content.
- A “Behind the Metal” interview featuring Trevor Clemons of the Kansas City Sword Guild, focusing on his considerable expertise and success with creating a crossover HEMA and living history group.
- A personal musing on making “consolation” purchases when you cannot wait or afford the perfect piece of armor or kit; exploring the boundary between “settling” purchases and ones simply “good enough for now”.
- I have a simple, slender belt from Lorifactor I could review. Anything I wear I could review. Do you want more product reviews?
- In the past, I hand drew some diagrams/floor plans for tents to establish an idea to what extent concepts like “headroom” and “floor-space” exist in any given tent. With access to a CAD program now, I have some far superior drawings of a series of Tentsmith Conical tents I could share as a resource. These drawings are very time consuming though, and with how many size/shape variations exist among the preeminent manufacturers of medieval tents, it will take me years to work through them all (or sufficient support to work on the website full time.)
- I have mentioned once or twice in the past, especially regarding building the elements of my impression and pulling from sources such as effigies, I resist the idea of portraying a specific person. I suspect I am due to put something up which defines what I mean by the statement and my thoughts on unique portrayals versus reenacting historical figures.
- I went on a mission to find fixes to a persistent wardrobe malfunction where my hosen would bunch up on my feet and bind with the rough leather of my boots when putting shoes on over my footed hosen. I received a list of possible solutions, some of which I have tried and some of which remain candidates for experimentation. An article on the subject would include trying and documenting my experiments with all the suggestions.
- I am collecting old, dead tents to re-purpose their fabric for an “Archer Lean-To.” This project would be to benefit any group or encampment portrayal. The idea: unlike the Knight himself who would purchase a proper tent, the commoners who joined him on campaign might opt instead to take an old cast off tent which could be purchase for cheap or salvaged for free and use it to erect a shelter for themselves while on campaign. Hanging a rectangular swath of canvas, as a tarp, can allows a variety of options as a shelter. It could ornamented with cheap mattresses and other excess material culture to give the impression of three or four men (representing a few archers and camp servant in their absence) and provide a contrast in quality to my tent. I need to research, however, is if this is a speculative construction, a reenactorism I have seen others do without any primary documentation. Part of the project and the article would be doing said research.
- I have many video ideas, most of them centering around basic medieval concepts and skills which may embarrass the newest among us to ask, such as what’s the proper way to tie an arming point or how do you put on round fibula style brooches?
What topics would you like me to prioritize for you? What are you seeing on the website or the social media accounts you like or dislike? Drop me your feedback by comment or email.