Sunday, February 26, 2012


Geburt Mariens
Dieses Bild: 015601
Kunstwerk: Malerei-Holz ; Einrichtung sakral ; Flügelaltar-Sonntagsseite
Dokumentation: 1515 ; 1525 ; Augsburg ; Deutschland ; Schwaben ; Dom Mariae Heimsuchung

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Viking Lucet Cord Research

Before that discussion, I had been aware that there have been heated discussions among reenactors and historical costumers about whether the Vikings used lucets or not, but I didn't really know what support existed for the hypothesis that they used such devices. It turns out that the most solid piece of evidence for the use of lucets in the Viking era comes from a grave find at Barshalder, in Sweden, which was the subject of an article by Kerstin Pettersson. Here's the full citation of her article, for the curious:
Kerstin Pettersson, "En gotländsk kvinnas dräkt. Kring ett textilfynd från vikingatiden," Tor 12, 1967-1968. Societas Archaeologica Upsaliensis, Uppsala, pp. 174 - 200.
Ms. Pettersson's article (of which I have obtained the gist primarily from the English-captions on the accompanying photographs, since the text itself is in Swedish) discusses two pieces of cord found in the grave, one of which apparently held beads, and the other of which appeared to be fastened to one of the tortoise brooches in the grave in a position that suggested a shoulder strap. Whether such cords were used for straps on apron dresses, however, is not the part of the discussion I'm focusing on right now. What I'm interested in is the evidence for the use of lucets in the Viking era, and what a "Viking lucet" might have looked like.

The Barshalder cords have a square cross-section, like the cord made by lucets, according to Sandy Sempel of Frojel Gotlandica, who has had an opportunity to see them in person. Like lucet cord and unlike cords made by fingerlooping, the Barshalder cords appear to be made from one continuous length of string. It seems likely that, if cord with the property of lucet cord is found in a Viking era grave, that the Vikings had a device that could make such cord.
Bone lucets from Jorvik (York), World of Vikings CD-ROM

Bone lucet with runes from Skåne, Sweden, World of Vikings CD-ROM


Kerstin Pettersson, "En gotländsk kvinnas dräkt. Kring ett textilfynd från vikingatiden," Tor 12, 1967-1968. Societas Archaeologica Upsaliensis, Uppsala, pp. 174 - 200.

Monday, March 14, 2011

New dress fabric ordered

I finally ordered fabric for a new dress for me! Yeah!

I went kind of bold and purchased a burnt orange wool for the dress and olive green linen for the lining. I already have the black wool for the guards.

My goal is to recreate the look of these dresses (colorwise)...


I just hope I don't end up looking like a pumpkin. lol

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Introducing Katherine Murrin

My eldest daughter choose her SCA name this morning... she will be Katherine Murrin.

We found "Katherine" listed on an online list of women's names from the 15th century cited in Arnsburger Personennamen by Roland Mulch.  The names are from Arnsburg, in Hessen, Germany.  Frankfurt an Main, where my persona is from is also in Hessen so there was good continuity there.  For simplicity sake she was OK with taking on my persona's last name of Murrin (since we still play mother-daughter in the SCA).

Saturday, March 5, 2011

My First Atlantia University

My daughter, M, and I carpooled with a fellow Buckston Canton member to the Winter session of the Altantia University held in Mineral, VA.  It was the first time for me at university and, although it was a very long day, it was lots of fun too.  These are the classes I took:
  • Making a Pilgrim's Bag - Cairistiona de Coueran
  • Youth - Kumihimo - Elwynne Liers
  • The Evolution of Blackletter in Germany - Livia Zanna
  • Vinework 101 - Livia Zanna
  • She's Got the (Hispano-Flemish) Look - Beatriz Aluares de la Oya
  • Hands on Gilding - Gwerfyl verch Aneirin & Merwenna de Rannowe
M took the same classes as myself except she took Youth Dancing while I was in the German Blackletter class.  She had a good time but was exhausted by the time we left.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

What's for Dinner?

This week's German dinner consisted of Game (Beef) in Pepper Sauce served over homemade Noodles, with Spiced Cabbage on the side and an Apple Torte for dessert.

Game in Pepper Sauce (Welserin 1553)

4. Wilbrett jm pfeffer einzúmachenn. Ain frisch wilbret seúd jn zwaý tail wasser vnnd jn wein/ vnnd wan es gesotten jst, so schneids zú stúcken vnnd legs jn ain pfeffer, lasß nún ain weil darin sieden, machs als so, nim rúckin brott, schneit die herten rinden darúon vnnd schneit das brot zú stúcken aines fingers tick/ vnnd so brait, als der laib an jm selber jst, bren das ob dem feúr, das es anfacht ann baiden orten schwartz wirt, thú das von stúnd an jn ain kalt wasser, lasß nit lang darin ligen, thú es darnach jn ain kessel/ gúsß die brie daran, darin das willbret gesotten jst, seichs dúrch ain túch, hack zwiffel vnnd speck gar klain, lasß vnnderainander schwaisen, thú nit zú wenig jnn den pfeffer, gewirtz jn woll, lasß jn einsieden, thú ain essich daran, so hast ain gúten pfeffer.

Translation: (Armstrong 1998)

4. Game in Pepper Sauce. Boil fresh game in two parts water and one part wine, and when it is done, then cut it into pieces and lay it in a peppersauce. Let it simmer a while therein. Make [the sauce] so: Take rye bread, cut off the hard crust and cut the bread into pieces, as thick as a finger and as long as the loaf of bread is. Brown it over the fire, until it begins to blacken on both sides. Put it right away into cold water. Do not allow it to remain long therein. After that put it into a kettle, pour into it the broth in which the game was boiled, strain it through a cloth, finely chop onions and bacon, let it cook together, do not put too little in the peppersauce, season it well, let it simmer and put vinegar into it, then you have a good peppersauce.

My Redaction:

3-4 lb Roast (Beef, Lamb, Venison, etc.)
4 cups Water
2 cup Red Wine
1 Small loaf Rye Bread
¼ cup Water (will vary)
2 cups Cooking liquid from Roast
1 cup Onions, finely chopped
½ lb Bacon, roughly chopped
1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar

Brown all sides of roast in a dutch oven and cover with water and wine. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat and simmer until done (1-3 hours). Remove roast, reserving 2 cups cooking liquid, allow to cool slightly and then cut into bite sized pieces. For sauce, toast sliced rye bread over fire (or in a toaster). Add toasted bread to just enough water to moisten. Add to reserved cooking liquid and strain through a cloth or fine sieve. Cook bacon until almost crisp, and onions and continue to cook until bacon is crisp. Add bacon and onions to the peppersauce. Add meat to peppersauce and simmer for 10 minutes. Finish with vinegar. Serve.

Basic German Pasta Dough (From my modern German cookbook)

This is a classic German recipe for basic pasta dough that can be varied and adapted by adding different greens, cheese and flavourings to the base mix. You do not have to add the eggs, but they give the pasta a more elastic and pliable texture.


400g flour
2 eggs
115ml water

Sift the flour into a bowl, add the eggs and mix in well. Now add the water and bring the mixture together. Knead until you have a smooth and elastic dough. Turn onto a pasta board and keep kneading until the dough is very elastic and no longer sticks to your hands. Divide into three portions and knead each well for at least 10 minutes. Place on a baking tray, cover and set aside in a warm spot to rest for at least 25 minutes.
At the end of this time turn a dough piece out onto a lightly-floured work surface (or pastry board) and roll out thinly. Cut into noodle shapes with a sharp knife, or roll into strings with the palm of your hand. To cook, drop in a pan of lightly-salted water and boil for about 5 minutes, or until just al dente.

Spiced Cabbage (Rumpolt, Vegetables 109)


109. Cabbage. White cabbage prepared with young chickens and good beef broth/ put ginger, nutmeg blossom [mace]/ fresh butter/ and a little browned flour therein/ let it therewith simmer/ so it will be good and also welltasting.

My Redaction:

4 Tbsp Butter
4 Tbsp Whole Wheat Flour
½ head Green (White) Cabbage, cut into a large dice
2 cups Beef Broth
Pinch of Ginger
1/8 tsp Mace

Melt butter in a dutch oven, add flour and cook over medium heat until flour turns light brown. Add broth and spices and whisk to combine. Add cabbage to broth and simmer until tender. Serve.

Torte Shortbread Crust (Rumpolt 1581)

Von allerley Turten.

I. Nim{m} Feigen/ vn{d} schneid sie klein/ thu kleine schwartze Rosein/ die sauber auszgewaschen seyn/ darvnter/ machs in ein Turten eyn/ vnd thu ein wenig Butter daru:eber/ lasz backen/ es sey im Ofen oder in der Turtenpfannen. Und wenn du wilt ein Turten machen/ so nim{m} Eyerdotter vnd Butter/ thu es vnter das Mehl/ vnd mach ein Teig darausz/ treib jn du:enn ausz/ vnnd schneidt jhn fein rundt/ vnnd saltz jhn. Vnnd ein solchen Teig kanstu zu allerley Turten brauchen.

Translation: (Grasse 1999-2002)


I. Take figs/ and cut them small/ do small black raisins/ that are washed clean/ thereunder/ make in(to) a torte/ and do a little butter thereover/ let it bake/ be it in the oven or in a tortepan. And if you want to make a torte/ so take egg yolkes and butter/ do it under the flour/ and make a dough therefrom/ roll it out thin/ and cut it well round and salt it. And such a dough you may use for all sorts of tortes.

Redaction: (Grasse 1999-2002)

For the crust only:
1 cup flour (unbleached, preferably whole wheat pastry flour)
2 1/2 oz butter, unsalted
2 egg yolks (if too thick beat with a little water)
pinch of salt

Sift your flour, and cut in the butter, then add the egg yolks to make a pastry, it is OK to work it a little. On a floured pastry cloth roll it out thinly, and sprinkle with salt. Transfer it to a baking sheet, and trim the edges round. This pastry is similar to a shortbread, or a German Mu:erbeteig. It will have crumb rather than flake texture as it is not supposed to be a flaky pie crust type dough.

Apple Torte (Rumpolt 1581)

6. Nim{m} Epffel/ schel vnnd hack sie klein/ schweisz sie in Butter/ gib gestossenen Zimmet/ Zucker/ vnd schwartze Rosein/ darvnter/ ru:ers wol ducheinander so wirt es ein gute Fu:ell.

Translation: (Grasse 1999-2002)

6. Take apples/ peel and chop them small/ sweat them in butter/ add crushed cinnamon/ sugar/ and black raisins/ thereunder/ stir it together/ so it is a good filling.

My Redaction:

4 Granny Smith apples
2 Tbsp Butter
½ tsp Cinnamon
4 T Sugar
¼ cup Raisins
1 Torte Shortbread Recipe

Peel the apples and chop them up small.  Melt the butter in a pan and sweat the apples until they soften and become juicy. Add the sugar, cinnamon, and raisins. Mound the apple mixture in center of the torte crust. Fold up the sides to hold in the filling, leaving the center uncovered. Bake at 425F for 10 minutes, then reduce to 350F for another 30 minutes or until done.

Armstrong, Valoise tr. Das Kuchbuch der Sabina Welserin (1553). 1998.

Grasse, M. (Gwen Catrin von Berlin) tr. Ein New Kochbuch by Marx Rumpolt (1581). 1999-2002.
 Rumpolt, Marx. Ein New Kochbuch. 1581.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Goller - The Plan and a good start

What is a Goller?  It is the German version of a capelet, usually fur-lined, worn for warmth.  It is very suitable to the working women that wants to stay warm but can not be bundled up in a full sized cloak.

There are many examples of gollers in period artwork.  Some fur-lined, some not; some with guarding and some without and some with collars and others without.  Below are a few of the examples that I am baseing my goller on:

Paumgartner Altar (detail of right wing) by Albrecht Durer, 1503.

Nuremberg Woman by Albrecht Durer, ?.

Portrait of a Young Woman by Hans Baldung Grien, 1st half 16th Century

So, tonight I got the goller cut out from a light brown wool.  I followed the pattern from Reconstructing History #505 Early 16th Century German Accessories.  I then cut guards an inch and a half wide from a lightly felted black wool and pinned them onto the front of the goller two inches from the edge.  That was all for tonight.  Next the guards will be hand whip stitched in place and the whole goller lined with fur.