Friday, October 28, 2011

Armour night!

We had a great turnout for armouring last night with Kansuke, Chris, Jeanne-Marie, Wolf (right-handed Horde archer, not the left-handed Thunder swordsman) and Nora working on various projects. Jeanne-Marie la Verriere made aluminum splints for her gamboised cuises, Kansuke worked on aluminum gauntlets, Chris cut out and edged a birch plywood shield and Wolf wrote up an armour plan and did most of the dishing on his first elbow cop. Nora is looking at an 11th century personna associated with one of the Celtic monasteries where illuminated manuscripts were produced. I worked on a loaner-armour coat of plates and a shield for somebody who just can't seem to make it to armour shop.  Oh yes, and I also made a double batch of Barley porridge which was enjoyed by all. :)
Armour nights have been happening nearly every Thursday lately.  I'm trying to remember to take pictures and post them, but I'm usually running around like a ringmaster in a 3-ring circus so I often forget.
Do YOU have your armour ready for the fall melee season?

Monday, October 3, 2011

Why would anyone want to be a knight?

I wrote this for the Armour Archive a few months ago, but I want to share it with another audience here.  The question was, Why would anyone want to be a knight?

I want to be the guy who, when he shows up for a battle, makes his King smile with confidence and his opponent start worrying. I know those worries.

I want to be the guy in the tournament fight who shares a moment sheer poetry with his opponent, who shows such grace and polished skill that the crowd gasps and the young men weep tears of frustration because they haven't learned to fight like that yet, and they WANT it. I know those tears.

I want to be the guy who everyone refers the new fighters to, because they know I'll help them see how to pursue excellence while having fun in our game. I've been having more than my share of that fun for nearly 30 years now, and I love to share it.

I want to be the guy that is so immersed in the literature and the culture of Chivalry that I can find the right way to share the ideas and ideals with others while sitting around the campfire or doing chores or hiking back from the res. point, and get to see the light in their eyes when they GET it. I have been dazzled by that light.

And if, someday, the Body of Honor in my chosen game and my chosen Kingdom should find me worthy to be their brother, and my King should ask me to serve as one of his personal warband, his comitatus, his hetairoi, his knights, then I would gladly accept. Not because I want the belt, but because I want to be a part of that company, and because the accolade is a significant milestone along the path towards being that guy who I want to be.

But beyond all of that, outside of all reason and logic, the heart wants what it wants. I have wanted to be a knight for as long as I can remember, and I will go on wanting it and studying it and striving towards it while I have breath.

Maelgwyn Dda

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Here we go again

Another fall tourney season begins soon and once again I am working with several new fighters to get them armoured. If I can get Patrick, Russel, Cameron, Abby, Morgan, Diedre and Christian all armoured and on the field in time for War of Ages in November, that would be great! If THEY make it a priority and work at it, I'm sure we'll get there. I've posted some of my patterns to Facebook recently but I'll incude them here too:

Simple gambesons, one size fits many. Assembled from layers of linen, batting, and more linen. Quilt, cut out, then turn in and top stitch edges, sew shoulders together, and you are done.

The pattern picture is laid out flat. Once assembled the garment crosses over in front like a bath robe. Or a mongol del...that's it...a manly, warrior-like mongol del, looking nothing at all like a bathrobe. :)

Ok, for the measurements the hem should be about 1.5 times your size at the hips. Allow for an inch or two of overlap at the shoulders, which means the shoulder-to-waist and armhole need to be an inch longer than you would think. But nothing is really precise in this garment, that's why it works for lots of different people.