New veil and wimple!

I finally finished my new veil and wimple, just in time. Last year (2016) at The Battle of Wisby/Medeltidsveckan i Visby I found some absolutely lovely handwoven light cream colored silk. I also got to attend an awesome workshop called “Veils, veils, veils! – Veils, wimples and how to wear them” by Elina Sojonen; and finally the layering and construction of veil-wearing started to make sense! It was so windy we almost blew away, but the workshop was great fun: like a Tupperware girl’s night only ogling hoods and veils and wimples!

Photo by Stian Green taken at Hamar Middelalderfestival 2017

I got to try it out at Hamar Middeladerfestival, and best of all Cathrine had randomly brought her lovely crown and I got to borrow it! It is made by Lorifactor and fit perfectly, although I admit to having a bit of a “princessmark” on my forehead the next day 😉 With the new veil AND a crown I was giggling and jumping around clapping my hands like a six year old at christmas, having way too much fun^^ I attended the festival with Frilansene Compagni d’Norvege, and Stian Green took these photos before I went to go sit with the nobles during the tournament. It’s funny, because this is my tenth year at Hamar with Frilansene, but I never saw a full tournament before I started sitting with the nobles a few years back; I was always off somewhere working in the kitchens or babysitting. I have to say it’s fun to see the tournaments like that, and I feel very lucky.

Photo by Stian Green taken at Hamar Middelalderfestival 2017

Inspired by the workshop I made the wimple extra long, longer than my old one that always crept up if it was windy. The veil itself is a full circle that I folded in half. I really like that shape, but this is probably the last time I’ll make a circle in silk fabric: sewing the edged was a real hassle and it was really hard on the hands so I had to spread the work out for weeks and weeks. Linen kinda wants to be your friend most of the time, but silk has got way too many opinions of it’s own for my taste. I think I started the edging three times and removed the stitches before I found a half decent way of doing it. In the end I went for a simple double folded edge with white silk thread.  The wimple is about 120cm X 60cm, the veil 120 cm across.

I can see in hindsight that I still have a lot to learn when it comes to balancing the veil. It falls back, exposing more forehead than I would like, even with the crown. I started with basic Pippi Langstrømpe braids, added a linnen band as if I was starring in the next Karate Kid movie and fastened it with a single pin at the back. (Here is where I go wrong, because I never get the band low enough). I pull the braids around so they lie on the sides making small Leia -style earmuffs, fastening them with hairpins; and put a Birgitta hood over the whole thing. Then it’s time for the wimple fastened to overlap nicely with no seams on the top of my head, and then finally it’s veil time!

And I have to add this photo at the end here, because I lost track of time later in the evening and forgot that we were shooting for the next days battle, so I attended it a bit overdressed! No better time has ever presented itself to sing: “She’s beauty, she’s grace, she’ll shoot you in the face” 😉

Photo taken by Rasmus Rasmusson at Hamar Middelalderfestival 2017.

Stuttgart playing cards/Kartenspiel ca. 1430

I have wanted to make playing cards for using in camp when on reenactment adventures for a while, and finally this week got around to do it while hiding from a mountain of laundry from last weekends Hamar Middelalderfestival (Hamar Medieval Festival) 😉

This deck was an experiment, so let me just say it is not an attempt to be accurate up close. I just used materials I had available; like leftover watercolor paper. I am going to go by a specialist arts/paper shop next time I’m in town and find some more proper cardstock to layer into new cards, and some lacquer so I can get a more sturdy and accurate look. I still haven’t managed to find a picture of the back of this deck, which was painted red; but when I make a full scale deck I will figure something out. The deck I made was 8×5 cm – the original deck was 19,5×12 cm.

“In the paint layers of the Stuttgarter Kartenspiel an impressive range of pigments has been detected: white lead, chalk, lead-tin yellow, yellow lake, green basic copper sulphate hydrate, copper green, azurite, vermilion, red lake, minium, charcoal black, and lamp black. A considerable variety of different metal applications results in the splendid appearance of the playing cards: poliment twist-gold, unpolished silver and gold leaf on a white ground, mordant gilding, gilding with mosaic gold, and glazing of twist-gold and mosaic gold with red lake have been observed.” (WoPC, see link to article below)

The original deck is a beautiful work of art, and I can’t wait to make a set that really gives them their deserving credit, although I’ll likely not hand paint a set, when I take into consideration how much time it took to just print all the cards! An enormous effort must have gone in to them originally, and I think it’s fantastic that something like this has survived. Even better, there are several medieval decks that have made it!


Cutting out the deck by hand was a bit of a challenge – but I managed to keep within the range of +/- 1 mm. I luckily had a corner cutter, which saved me a lot of time and made for an even result. I am pretty impressed with the print quality my cheap HP printer can manage. I first marked with a pencil and then used a mat, rulers and a utility knife to cut them out. After a while I noticed that the ordinary 2B pencil was smudging the cards, so I cleaned them up and switched to a 4H which worked perfectly.

And here is where things get really anachronistic. First off, there are three missing cards, second there is no joker card. If I was going to make a deck of cards, I wanted to make a deck that you could play both modern and historical games with, so I added my own joker card. And since, well; I was doing something anachronistic anyway, well, I went with my all time favorite illustration of a medieval knight, even though it was made later in the 15th century. The Joker/fool illustration is from Jean Froissart’s “Chroniques, Vol. IV, part 1” (the ‘Harley Froissart); from the Netherlands made between 1470 and 1472.

 In addition to the improvised joker cards, there were three cards missing: The knave of the falcon suite, 4 in the duck suite and 9 in the hound suite. Since I happened to lack a proper photo editing program on my computer right now I went with the KISS -method of Keep It Simple Stupid and edited them in Paint. It really is quite amazing what that little program can do. As you see here, I removed the falcon of the knight to make a knave and added to the 3 and 8 card. It’s a simple way of fixing it that leaves me with a full deck to play with.

The finished deck, ready to be used 🙂


My main source for good quality pictures of the cards was this page that contains all sorts of awesome historical playing cards, I recommend taking a look! :

More information about the Stuttgart Kartenspiel from WoPC:

Source manuscript of the “joker” illustration: