Saturday, March 14, 2009

All things change...

Every so often I like a change. I guess that's my personal A.D.D.- I get bored with things relatively quickly. I call it the "Great Wheel of Edyth". I think of all my varied interests as horses on a merry-go-round. I like the horse I'm riding, but every so often I get distracted by a pretty horse on the other side. So, I abandon the horse I'm on and ride the other for a while. Then the whole process starts over again. Hence the constant changes to the look of this blog.

One neat addition- progress bars on my project pile! The code can be found here. Link via Emine's blog, A Fox in Istanbul.

In completely different news, I've started researching open hoods a bit more. I intend to compile a research paper that outlines a chronology for the different types of open hoods, evaluates any social, political and/or religious events that may have influenced the hood's change in appearance over the 14th and 15th centuries, then expounds upon their possible construction for the purpose of re-creating them. That was a mouthful! I've begun my research on two fronts. First, I'm collecting any and every image I come across that contains an open hood or any type of headdress that looks related to the open hood. Second, I'm researching the construction aspect by looking into fabric, dyeing, sewing techniques, etc.

I need to thank Isis at Medieval Silkwork for my sudden interest in open hoods. Her open kaproen, started all this by inspiring me to make my own. In the making of it, I started wanting to know more, and now I have a full blown research paper on my hands!

I've seen some interesting headdress in my research thus far, and looked at a lot of pictures. This one was particularly interesting, however. The woman on the far right (standing in the back) appears to be wearing a St. Birgitta's Cap, though several strands of her curly hair are loose. I suppose this one caught my eye mainly because it is an Italian fresco, and I had always thought of Italian style as being wholly unique among its more northern neighbors. The fact that this headdress appears here at the end of the 14th century is not only surprising to me, it's pretty exciting.

I also have a few updates on projects beyond headdress. Since June of last year, I've been on the lookout for a 1" wide buckle for a new leather belt. With the relative lack of buckles available in that size, I've had to change my mind about what I wanted to do with the belt, and I settled on being happy with just a buckle, and then looking for a belt tip when I went to Pennsic this year. While at Ceilidh last weekend, Dearg spotted a bronze buckle with a slightly decorative shape to it, and when the merchant told us it was a 1" buckle, I knew my search was over. I did not immediately want the bronze color for the buckle, but then I remembered the other leather project I've got going on - my leather pouch- will also have a gold-toned buckle. That project has been handed over to Dearg (who does leather work), and if I can get him to work on it, should be done by the next event. You may remember my initial post about the pouch here.

Speaking of Pennsic, I've got a lot of projects to complete before then, including bedding, bags, furniture, and a period, mostly non-perishable menu. Not to mention the fact that Dearg and I both need way more clothes if we're going to get through camping for the whole week. I've got my teal fitted dress on the way, plus the rust orange dress that uses the same pattern I've been wearing (because I really need a dress, and can't wait for a proper fitting). I'll need at least two more linen dresses, and probably one more wool one. I also have no smocks - I've been wearing the same tank-top style cotton slip for about 5 years now, and it's all I've got. I will also need to make a couple of pairs of breeches. I know, I know- breeches were not worn by women in medieval Europe, but I've already had the fortune of going through my very first Pennsic with my inner thighs chaffed and heat rashed, thankyouverymuch. The Medieval Tailor's Assistant has an easy pattern for men's breeches (also called "long-legged braies") which is what I plan to use. I'll probably get white cotton fabric to do them because I just can't afford to buy linen for what will essentially be underwear.

Dearg and I are still on an authenticity kick, but our pocket books have a hard time keeping up with our wishes. We've got no choice but to camp in our modern (albeit cool) tent, but we plan to make most of the other aspects of our daily life at War as close to period as we can afford. This will probably prove to be quite difficult, because we won't be camping alone. Our household brother, Tedric, and his wife and two teenage daughters will be camping with us. They are still getting settled in the Society, and do not think of authenticity as being a major component of their recreation right now. We don't knock them for that, but it will make things a bit harder for Dearg and I.

Alright. That's enough rambling. For now.