September 2020 Newsletter

Routine Maintenance and Upkeep

The website received a facelift this month, which gave me the opportunity to change up the layout of the front page. After an update to the template I was using, formatting got strange and I no longer liked the way the site looked. I also wanted to try and get a more column type layout, as much of what I do with the site is easier to represent in such a manner. Swapping to a new template gave me space to make some side bars along the right which will persist across all the pages. I am very excited I can now have a bulletin of recent stories and news across all the networks show up on every page. It also means I can fulfil a Patreon promise I’ve been trying to figure out the technical requirements behind: one of the tier benefits for Yeomen, Esquires, and Knights of the Household is to have their name displayed in the “Hundred Rolls” on the website where everyone can see.

From Neep Manor

Community Engagement

I am extremely pleased to announce two major forums for community interaction have been opened up. A group on Facebook (The Turnip of Terror Community) which is linked to the page allows for a more back and forth social environment than the page itself. It allows me the opportunity to be a notch less formal than the page proper and I intend to establish it as the kind of place where I can post behind the scenes photos or start conversations about more than just history and reenactment. Something between the formality of the main page and the intimacy of membership in the household. That’s the goal anyway. So far, as of this newsletter’s posting, the group has almost 150 members and is open to the public for invitation, whether or not they’re subscribed to the page. I will continue to add people as I can, though I keep triggering the anti-spam algorithm and getting my ability invite people restricted for trying to bring too many people in at once.

Speaking of members of the household, another longstanding “I’ll get it done when I figure out how” project was opening up and establishing the Turnip of Terror discord server. The discord server has two distinct sections, public chat rooms for the general public as well as private servers accessible only to those who are members of the household. Patreon has a robot which sorts people out for me, which is nice.

Collaboration with Ylva the Red

I had the opportunity to do a crossover video with the ever talented Ylva the Red. She helped me put together a list of the top ten items of medieval wardrobe you must have, and I helped her combat some misconceptions about medieval clothing. You can find her video here, and mine below.

The Medieval Herauld

My Favorite Thing Video

Responding to the challenge of Matt Blazek, Executive Director of History Live North East and The Agincourt Soldier I talk about my favorite living history item, the one thing out of my collection which I love above all others. As part of the rules I have extended this challenge along to Ben and Reece of Pursuing the Knightly Arts! They assure me they have not forgotten.

Community and Conversations

“Downgrading” Armor

In a Facebook conversation, I put the historical fiction trope of removing bits of armor for the sake of stealth or speed up for disucssion. In a conversation over fifty comments long we discuss the situations in which people may change out the pieces of armor they wear, prior to garniture suits, and compare what might be considered burdensome or required from a medieval context. Like many conversations of this type, it is not always about the “right” answers as much as it is the variety of perspectives and opinions in the reenactment community.

“The Knot” And Your Belt

Though the conversation did not start on my page, there was a bit of discussion on my end as well, I want to point you to a conversation which started on Rosalie’s Medieval Woman’s page. She posted a drawing of a brass of a woman’s effigy and on it she noticed the belt hung direct from the buckle and was not tied into a half hitch around the buckle plate. There seem to be a few camps on this issue, some who consider it an unacceptable reenactorism and some who seem to consider it a completely justified stylistic choice. It has inspired me to do some research, and my next article in two weeks will be on this subject; inspired by this post!

September Hall of Fame

A highlight of some of the most popular things on the Turnip Network. Do you have content you think is a candidate next month? Tag me on Facebook or use the hashtag #turnippicks on Instagram for a chance to be featured on the page, and if you make the top, a mention in the newsletter!


The nine #turnippicks photos posted in August and receiving the most likes in August are (in order top left to right) @medieval_armor, @la.mesnie.enguerran, @sewingthroughthepast, @ivandelirium,  @petrus_apiarius, @sokolovaswetlana, @club_citadel, @kurtmclurn, and @swiaz_vremen. Check out these great Instagram accounts!

Facebook Fun

The top three most liked posts on Facebook in September were:

Jousters in Russia

An article about pattens

An article about a group crossing the Alps in kit.

Future Projects

Every month I release some sort of project for the community, be it a long form written article, an audio episode, or a video, or some blend of the above. The items below are the projects I have in various stages of completion, which are at a stage where they are capable of being the headlining topic for next month. Esquires and Knights of the household who support at high level tiers on Patreon have access to a monthly poll where they can choose which topic I will work on for the next month. If you want to cast your voice, become a Patron!

  • 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.
  • I have a simple, slender belt from Lorifactor I could review. Anything I wear I could review. Do you want more product reviews?
  • More tent diagrams, from other companies or from more tent styles of the companies I already have worked on. Maybe re-do the hand drawn one in CAD like the new one is. 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.) Also, the dead computer doesn’t help.
  • 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 purchased 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.
  • Can you portray an Atheist or Godless medieval impression?
  • How to tie an arming point? (Video and/or print guide.)
  • How to use a fibula style brooch? (Video and/or print guide.)
  • Practical example against cutting corners, using tent stakes and hammers as a reference. (Video)
  • An article/video on medieval camping and comparing/contrasting slavishly accurate camping vs. modern reenactment “glamping.”
  • Build a boat?
  • Knotwork / ropework guide, either as a single large video/article or in a series (knots, bends, splices, marlinespike skills, etc.)

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