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Museum of the Confederacy Stuff for Knitters

I promised you a post with more details about the Museum of the Confederacy and today seems like as good a time as any to show you the photos I took just for you. The lighting was low so you will have to excuse the pictures as they aren’t of the highest quality but I still think you will enjoy them.

First up, these hand knit socks.

The card said they were knit for a soldier by a young girl from his hometown. The stitches are teeny tiny and they are not ribbed but were shaped in the calf area. I love the purl ridges at the top and also the fact that the soldiers initials were embroidered into the back of the leg.

While the main floor of the museum is mostly military related, the lower floor includes artifacts from civilian life. I enjoyed looking around there a lot and took a few photographs of things I wanted to share with all of you.

I love these fingerless mitts! The stitches on these are really tiny, too, and the thumb gusset looks pretty unique to me. Other than that they look just like something one of us would knit.

I got really excited when I read the information on this card saying that this was a remnant of a sleeve that was hand carded, spun, woven and sewn. I knew I wouldn’t remember all of the details so I took a close up for you.

Isn’t that awesome? Well, except for the part about her dying at the age of 21.

Finally, I have two more sock photos to show you.

According to the identifying card, these socks were hand knit by a young woman to wear on her wedding day. Aren’t they gorgeous? They are pretty long so I’d guess they were knee socks. And how about the deep stockinette cuff – so different than the way we knit our socks now.

Here’s a close up so you can get a better look at the lace patterning. I think it’s just lovely and I’m very tempted to try and reproduce them only with slightly less stitches. Heh.

See? Even when I go on vacation I’m thinking of you all. Or should I say y’all? This was Virginia, my friends.

This Post Has 20 Comments

  1. AND they probably knit them by firelight.

    Infections disease was a real killer back then. Or childbirth. Or injuries from accidents. Or even something simple like appendicitis. Or tooth infections.

  2. Love these samples of knitting way back when! The lace socks are gorgeous. I wonder if the deep cuff kept the socks up!

  3. Thank you for sharing these lovely items. I am always amazed at how tiny the stitches were and think that they were knitted in the dim light of a candle or lantern.

  4. Carole, thank you for sharing these pieces of history. I’ll be showing them to my two history groups today. When kids can see that history is about real people, not names and dates to be memorized, but real people, they become engaged. Happy day!

  5. How many Monkey socks will be in museums in the future? The little pieces of history you’re sharing with us are a reminder of the people who came before…they were just like us.

  6. Amazing how they could knit such teeny stitches by candlelight. I have trouble with a high-power light sometimes. But I’ve already outlived many of them. So sad, the life expectancy back then.

  7. Of course you had to check out the knitted items. It’s like moth to a flame isn’t it. It’s always interesting to see yarns and patterns used by women years ago. I wonder what it will be like 150 years from now. It almost makes you want to start a time capsule.

  8. Fascinating. P.S. Lots of knitting on last night’s “Once Upon a Time.”

  9. Wow! Thank you for sharing your visit to the museum. That story of the sleeve is heartbreaking and amazing all in one. And those socks and all the stitch sizes in general are overwhelmingly teeny!

  10. This was so interesting to read and look at. I wonder how it long it took to knit these items with such small stitches.

  11. Thank you for thinking of us, even during your vacation. I totally love the fact that the museum featured “women’s work”.

  12. Those lace socks are pretty special. And the sleeve…can you imagine all of that work? Thanks Carole!

  13. I’ll bet the wedding socks had such broad stockinette tops so that part would wear well. Bending knees plus garters would be hard on the lace pattern.

    Lovely – thanks for “bringing us along”.

  14. Wow – those are very cool! I love looking at things like that. Thanks for thinking of us on your trip.

  15. Thanks so much for the fabulous pictures and information, Carole. When I knit I feel a bond with all the knitters who have gone before me, as well as current knitters around the world. Especially when we’ve made tha same pattern!

  16. Lovely post! I wonder if the thick cuff on the sock was knit that way because it wouldn’t be seen and would help keep it up. Fascinating!

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