Preparing to go hunting

I’m planning to go out “hunting” again this weekend, trying to reenact the medieval hunt together with some friends from the Battle of Wisby project. (More about our earlier attempts and the idea behind reenacting medieval hunting here.) I’ve ordered new blades for two spears and as the weather report looks rather promising, I finally took on repairing my thin hunting kirtle.

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One of my favourite kirtels is having a makeover.

I decided to challenge myself to patch it up a bit neater than the blue dress with grande assiettes that I did earlier (more about it here and here). So I tried a new technique that Maria wrote about in her blog some time ago. I think I did well, and it turned out nice! It feels god to have done it the best I can. If you have problems seeing where the fabric was torn before I patched it up, that is exactly what I mean! 😉

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The patching is nearly invisible from the right side, just like I hoped it would be.

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On the inside, you see the patch, but it still looks neat and pretty.

I love to mend and repair my gear, when I have the time for it. I want it to show that it has been used and loved and well taken care of. And it is of course very period to patch and mend, it shows the value of the objects and the work behind producing them.

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I’ve enlarged the neckline a bit and added a nice thin tablet woven edge in blue silk.

And I decided to open up the lower part of the sleeves to make them tightly buttoned. Partly because I think it looks so nice and typically 14th century, and also because I want a good example in my medieval wardrobe on just how tightly the buttons could be placed, each one actually touching the next one. I think I will land on 15 cloth buttons on each sleeve in the end, but I’ve only gotten so far…

6 more buttonholes to go on this one. I'm for once really happy with how they turn out. Maybe the trick is to make them smaller than I usually do?

6 more buttonholes to go on this one. I’m for once really happy with how they turn out. Maybe the trick is to make them smaller than I usually do?

According to the medieval hunting handbook Master of Game written by Edward of Norwich (1373 – 1415) in the early 15th century, a good hunter shall be able to skin his game without turning up or soiling his sleeves, but I still like to be able to do just that. (Read The Master of Game in full text on line here!)

This time it seems that our hunting party will consist of 3 hunters and a dog; Boudica, Johan, Frida and me, but more friends are very welcome to join! The plan is to walk a fair bit carrying our gear, make a camp, do some cooking, and eat a nice dinner. Good food is important, it keeps the spirits high and the hunters merry and strong. 😉

Then perhaps we will practise with bow or javelin, try make some traps and I’ll see if I’ll be able to sound Johans great hunting horn. Again according to The Master of Game, several special series of horn blows were used to communicate different messages between the hunters, helping them to coordinate and plan their hunt over great distances between hunters in different parts of the woods. It would be amazing to eventually be able to do something like that!

Johans hunting horn is huge. When this picture was taken at Battle of Wisby 2011, I only faked sounding the horn for the photographer, but lately I’ve been practising and having some progress.

Photo: Olle Sahlin

Johans hunting horn is huge. Photo: Olle Sahlin

We will stay out over night and try to watch the game on the move at dawn. It beats me now that dawn is really early this time if year. Sun rises at 03:30 in the middle of Sweden right now, but I think this will be an experience well worth loosing some sleep for… And as Edward of Norwich states, the hunter is more joyful than other men, and he is never idle and has no mind for sin as he returns tired and pleased with himself after hunting.

“Every man that has good sense, knows well that this is the truth”

The Master of Game

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