Tag Archives: Largess

Class: Largess: The Gift That Keeps Needing Gifting

Largess: The Gift that Keeps Needing Gifting

(Taught October 5, 2017) for the Aire Faucon Newcomer A&S Night)

What is Largess?
Largess is the trappings of the “stage” side of the SCA, the sets and props carried into court or used to produce an event. In SCA vocabulary, largess usually refers to gifts given by Royalty and Baronage, but can include gifts given to them as well.

Merriam-Webster’s definition is (13th century) (1) liberal giving (as of money) to or as if to an inferior; (2) Generosity.

Our royalty and baronage, as part of the dream/play, are expected to give gifts generously to those they visit – other royalty, other baronage, medallions and scrolls in court to their populous. In addition they are to look totally spiff. All while holding down real-world jobs, traveling from one end of the kingdom to the other (and outside the kingdom), paying for their normal living, and taking care of the behind-the-scenes management like recommendations or personality friction resolutions. Unless they have a private stream of income like real royalty do, they afford this “production” by the generosity of their friends and those they have no clue.

Types of Largess: Gifts and Spiffs
Royalty Court Largess – The cups given to newcomers, the gifts given in the children boxes, medallions (also candles for flames, feathers, ect.), scrolls, scroll carriers, rings from their hands.

Royalty Gifting Largess – Brews and cookies to get allies at wars like Gulf Wars, Pennsic, and War of the Wings; baskets to give to other baronages and royalties at events useful (like gas-cards) and pretties (like napkins) or both (like paper umbrellas).

Populous Gifts to Royalty for Largess – All that Royalty Court Largess and Royalty Gifting Largess comes from somewhere. Everything they gave out came from someone else’s hands, so see the lists above.

Populous Gifts to Royalty for Spiffness – Garb (including shoes, head coverings, and jewelry), coronets, thrones, tables, pillows, rugs, knifes/swords, mantles/cloaks.

Populous Gifts for Peerage Spiffness – Each time a peer is made certain symbols of rank are given or used in the ceremony. A special vigil and ceremonial outfit, a processional banner, a tent/vigil area with food, a vigil book. Knights: chain, spurs, belt (in some kingdoms a sword); Laurel: medallion, mantle, laurel wreath; Pelican: medallion, mantle, cap of maintenance. (Court Baroncy: Coronet.) – In all cases, an amazing scroll or scroll-like product.

Event and Demo Materials (for Spiffness) – Site and feast tokens, gold key, banners, flags, tablecloths, cooler covers, or anything PERMANENT and/or REUSABLE which makes the site and activities more medieval feeling (dance, food cooked, classes taught don’t count as largess).

Largess Night in the Canton
The Canton of Aire Faucon has had a monthly Largess night since June 2015 as part of their A&S cycle. The purpose is two-fold: (1) make largess both spiff and gifts; and (2) have a small hands-on class allowing people to learn new A&S skills without a big commitment.

Things we have made:
2015 – Fibula pins; Jeweled bookmarks; Spices mixes to give as Largess; Painted processional banner of Aire Faucon for WOW at the request of the Baronage; Painted wooden boxes; Painted notecards

2016 – Messenger bags; Kumihimo cord; Mug hangers; Site tokens for Wow 2016; Origami; Mustards; Repaired all canton and baronial gold key

2017 – Drawn threadwork towels; Sweet bags; Heraldic banners (and planned for December Scribal carriers)

Largess Ideas for Home or Classes
Doesn’t all this sound like fun? You can make this stuff at home, attend Largess night on the 2nd Thursday of the month, or even volunteer to teach a class. Do you have something which will only take about an hour or two? Perfect for a Largess night. Bonus points if children can participate in it in part (example: Isibel’s twins helped with stuffing the sweet bags this year.)

Scrolls, scroll carriers (see medallions and cording under jewelry)

Belts for baronial gold key (the canton has some but the barony doesn’t have any)
And for the ambitious: new outfits for our new baronage.

Necklaces (pendants or beaded), rings (wire or stone), bracelets, earrings, painted beads, glass beads, prayer beads. Fibula pins
Hat/hair/veil pins

Awards: Medallions and Cord
Medallions made from wood & paints, painted ceramic; cast in various metals like pewter, leatherwork, embroidered, carved in amber or stone, glass/enamel work (check with the baronage for particulars of what is needed right now)
Cording to hand medallions including Kumihimo and Lucet (green and white for barony and blue and white for kingdom is especially welcomed). Bonus if clasps are included.

Belt pouches made from felt, linen or leftover materials then plain, beaded, trimmed, or embroidered. Belt pouches made from leather.
Coifs made from linen; Snoots made with linen, silk or cotton; Veils (rectangular or oval – silk or linen),
Mug holders (leather is best), neck coolers (my goodness wouldn’t this be an awesome site token at a summer event!)
Woven trim, buttons (cast)

Linens and Things
Napkins, handkerchiefs, tablecloths, runners, doilies, towels, basket liners, rugs, pillows (pincushions, chair cushions, kneeling cushions, etc). These can be painted, stamped, embroidered, woven, sewn, etc.
Cup covers – usually lace or fabric and beaded

Food and kitchen creations – Any food largess should only be given in relations to particular requests (usually timed to major wars) and only through prearrangement as most have a limited shelf-life and specific transportation requirements.
Brews (mead and beer); Cordials; Cookies; Spices and sauces, Perfumes, Soaps, Candles, Beeswax forms for sewing

Scribal Support
Scribal paint brush carrier, Small scribal paint box, Paper for starting scribes, paint brush holders (think chopstick holders), Painted notecards (thank you cards)

Fiber Arts Support
Drop spindles, Wooden lucets, Sewing kits, Needle cases (cloth, leather, wood, bone), Winding sticks, Laying tools

Game boards and pieces (embroidered, carved, wood-burned, painted, etc – example games Chess, Nine-man-Morris, Fox and goose), Cards made in a period fashion, Dice (metal, bone, wood)
Toys for toy box (small, light, can handle jostling, gender-neutral is good, $2 and under) – cup & ball, small dolls, pirate eyepatch, clothespin/peg doll sets, etc.;

Cups – glass, clay, plastic, metal; Cork screws, flatwear holders for feastgear
Gas cards, Paper umbrellas, Small mirrors, Hair combs, Wooden boxes all sizes (from holding a ring to a feast gear box), Beaded flowers, Sweet bags, Small notebooks – or notebook covers, Bookmarks, Tissue holders, Messenger bags,

Sites for some of the projects
Cup covers – (link broken and removed)

Feast gear (flatwear holders) – http://the-earth-is-flat.blogspot.com/2014/03/largess-project-1a-flatware-holders.html?m=0

Medallions – https://aethelmearcgazette.com/2016/01/18/making-sca-order-medallions/

Neck coolers – http://www.instructables.com/id/Sew-Very-Useful-Neck-Cooler/

Needle holder (notebook style) – http://mmmcrafts.blogspot.com/2011/02/needle-book.html

Scroll carriers – (link broken and removed)

Toy (small felt seahorses) – https://www.cutoutandkeep.net/projects/felt-seahorses

Toy (Crayon booklet party favor) – https://youandmie.com/2012/09/07/crayon-booklet-party-favors/

Toy (linen balls) – http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details/collection_image_gallery.aspx?partid=1&assetid=394405001&objectid=159640

Toy (rag doll) – http://missgioia.com/2007/06/rag-doll-tutorial.html

Project: Open Work – Drawn Thread Linen Towels

Drawn Thread Linen Towels

I make a lot of Drawn Thread Linen towels as they make awesome Largess gifts and they are one of the few embroidery objects I make in under 20 hours.

The Hawkwood Largess Linen Towel (2017 May) – Made from linen cloth, hemmed with linen thread, and embroidery done with linen thread (100/3. 80/3. 50/3 and 30/3 widths). The embroidery was started on May 18 and completed May 19 and took 10 hours. The item was given away in the Hawkwood Largess Basket on May 20.











The Atlantia Largess Linen Towel (2017 May)

Tools and Materials – Linen Fabric (not an even weave); hemmed with Bocken Knyppelgamn’s Linen tread (90/2); Satin stich and drawn work gather stitches worked with Londenderry’s 50-3; The interlace stitch secured with Londenderry 30/3. All linen thread run through beeswax before stitching. No hoops, frames or other tension tools used during the sewing. An embroidery needle (sharp) used for all sewing. Steel pins were used during the hemming stage. Small embroidery scissors used to cut the fabric to draw threads and also during the sewing.

Technique notes: An away knot was used to start the stain stitch and the drawn work gather stitches. Most of the end threads were tucked into the satin stitch lines. Those that were not, are turned into the back along the stitch work. This towel is slightly larger than my normal draw length for thread so I have four threads end during at the “wrong” place.

New stitch: I love the interlace stitch but had been unable to get the double ladder interlace to work with my typical 8-gather. It was just too stiff and twisted the fabric at the edges. This time I only did a 6-gather for the interlace area (8-gather was used for the Hound’s Tooth and the Zig-Zag). This time the interlace did not pull the edges out of alignment. A little extra work, but I got to try something new!

Date worked – The embroidery was started on May 20 and completed May 26.

Final Ownership: Passed on to Mistress Gisela vom Kreuzbach who was coordinating the Pennsic Largess Basket for Atlantia in 2017. Unknown which kingdom received the towel as a gift.