When we go to a Civil War event for just the day rather than a whole weekend we call it “day tripping” and that’s what Dale and I did this past Saturday. It’s much easier than setting up the tent and making arrangements to be away overnight. In fact, these days, it’s my preferred way of attending an event – I get to go and have fun and still sleep in a real bed at night. This particular weekend we held what we call a “Camp of Instruction.” It’s basically a chance for the reenactors in our area to get together and learn new techniques and better ways of recreating our time period.
For the ladies, this means knitting – hooray! I spent some time Saturday morning teaching a few ladies to knit fingerless mitts. We used the ever-popular Fetching pattern. While I have no idea if this particular pattern would be considered period correct, fingerless mitts were widely worn during our time period so we’re knitting these based on that. It was the first time any of these women had knit cables and I showed them how. I guess I really am over my fear of cables!
During the afternoon we had another woman come and talk to us about period correct sewing notions and trims for our dresses. She was so informative and I really learned a lot.
While we were exploring feminine pursuits, the men were doing manly things. Dale gave a presentation on safety as part of his role as the Brigade Safety Officer. They also drilled and fired guns and cannons and stuff.
As much fun as we had during the day, late afternoon and into the evening was even better. Can you guess why?
Was it because the Quartermaster Sergeant appeared with a beverage for me? (And before you all give me any crap, let me just tell you that martinis are indeed period correct. 1862, bay-bee.)
Was it because the 6th New Hampshire Volunteers provided musical entertainment?
Was it because we had a fabulously gorgeous bonfire?
I’m sure it’s partly because of all those things. But I suspect that it’s mostly because of the fellowship we feel while among our fellow reenactors. Our shared love of history and its preservation has bound us together in the same way that wool has bound the knit blogging community together.
These are good people – much like the knitters and spinners I know.