Monday, 14 November 2016

The next thing

There's always a "next thing". In this case, it's a mostly-needlework project that I'm hoping will be completed by the end of next July in time for our major SCA camping trip.

Among attendees there's a tendency to have more and more stuff every year. There are some who have so much in the way of equipment and furniture that they have to hire a van to get it all there. That's absolutely fine if you can manage it, and if I'm perfectly honest I'd love to do that myself. For lots of reasons (starting with no driving license and ending with very little storage space) I can't, however. So, this year, instead of wrestling with the limits of a small flat and public transport, I've decided to embrace it and have a completely different Raglan experience.

Instead of channelling my inner noblewoman, with her baggage train, servants, and travelling bed, I'm going to try channelling someone from a lower walk of life - a merchant. I could still travel, but instead of bringing my accomodation with me I'd be relying on inns. And as for baggage, I'd be limited to what I could carry myself (or get a packhorse). That being the case:

I did a little shopping at the re-enactors' market this weekend!

My new basket looks smaller than it actually is - it's the full length of my torso and a bit larger around. The plan is to take only the personal equipment that I can carry in the basket or wear on my body. Well, that plus my longbow, of course. I'll also have the tent and camping bed I share with my spouse serving as a substitute inn.

As for the specifics of what goes in the basket... Well, that's where the needlework comes in. Most of the clothing I own is rather bulky, or comes from a time and/or place where I can't prove the use of such baskets for transporting goods. That being the case I'm planning to put together a new wardrobe, because why wouldn't I?!

I'm working entirely from Bodleian Library MS. Bodl. 264, which is an illuminated version of the Romance of Alexander originating in France from between 1338 and 1344. It contains a vast number of illustrations, and is rather unusual because it shows both lower class people (in the marginal decorations) and the nobility (in the body of the text), giving a much better idea of how clothing changed at that time and place according to rank.

The plan is to have around 5 linen shifts, three or four linen underdresses, and two or three wool overdresses. Additionally, I'll need veils, hose, a belt, shoes, and things like a bowl and an eating knife. Collectively it shouldn't take up more than a third of the basket, which will leave space for extra things like my quiver and arrows.

1 comment:

Duncan said...

Really excited to se how this project goes.