A simple version of the Mammen vine scroll, and how to sew it freehand.


Oh now this is cool to know!


I wanted some embroidery on the hood I made the other day, and settled upon the vine scroll from the mammen finds because it’s a fairly generic vine scroll design which will comfortably cover most of the early medieval period. ( I refer you to flinders petrie’s book on decorative patterns.)

I’m working this only about half an inch wide because I much prefer a subtle dainty band on a hood.

I started by sewing a wiggle in stem stitch along the edge of the hood. The first row of stitches is the only really tricky part as it’s easy for the needle to wander into irregular curves, but once you’ve laid down that first row it’s a breeze to follow along with the next two rows. I chose this yellow as it contrasts nicely with both the red and green sides of the cloth. The colour is a third…

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What were the rules of playing hnefatafl?


I really need to learn how to play this game sometime….


As of this writing, several serious questions remain regarding the physical form of hnefatafl and its variants, chiefly the question of whether or not dice were employed. Even less is known of the rules regulating the players’ actions. There are enough literary and archaeological clues to piece together a vague reconstruction of the game and some of its most basic rules, but even these are uncertain and other important rules remain entirely unknown. So the short answer is, no one knows how hnefatafl was played. The reconstructed rules listed below represent a tentative reconstruction based on known literary references and archaeological remains, but even these are subject to amendment as more information comes to light with further study.

Several variants have been observed in contemporary literature, including Irish and Welsh references to a game featuring a king with four defenders against an attacking force of eight, an Anglo-Saxon variant featuring a king…

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