Saturday, February 21, 2015

Largesse for Game Day #1 - Alquerques

Part of my plans as A&S Minister for the Barony of Rivenstar have to do with teaching regular classes in skills that Medieval/Renaissance gentry would have had. Particularly those which would still be useful in a SCA/modern context. Period games figure high on my list of 'ought to know' so I started up monthly gaming sessions.

The plan is to teach a different game every month, and also to have all previously taught games available to play for those who want them. This means I need game boards. Lots of game boards!

I want something easy to pack and carry and clean that is also colorful, inexpensive and easy to work with...hmmmm....FELT!


Sunday, February 1, 2015

Turning Heads Challenge: Step One - Make the Tool

I've decided to go forward with a hairnet for the challenge. I'm intrigued with the contined presence of decorative hairnets in Italian art right through the 16th century. While they are by no means present in every portrait, they continue to be seen and it makes me ponder the possible interaction of an *unseen* hair-colored net and the jeweled head bands I love so much. It seems to me that the sequence of fully dressed hair might be:

Braided hair pined or sewn into a ring on the back of the head
Arranged hair covered with a hairnet and tied in place
Braided cord edging hairnet covered with necklace

Certainly it seems likely that a hairnet might help preserve my hairstyle. :)

So, I needed a netting needle.

Somewhere in my tools stash I own a metal netting needle but I know it is larger than I would prefer to use on this project, and also a bit too rough for the delicacy of the thread I plan to use. After some looking on the Internet I had almost decided to make do with a regular needle again...but then it occurred to me that I might be able to make my own.

I raided my jewelry making supplies and pulled out the thickest brass wire I coud find. I cut off a piece about 7" long

And hammered flat the last 1 1/2" on each end

Then I sawed the flat ends down the middle to make two arms

I spread the arms and hammered and filed them smooth. Then I twisted the arms a 1/4 trin so the flat planes of the metal would be brought together at the tips when I bent the arms.

I bent the arms about halfway up and after some hammering of the central stem to harden it I have a lacis netting tool! I'll report again as I use it on the project, but at this point I'd say you can make your own netting tool.

Feeling very accomplished right now....   :)