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Special Issue:

Textiles for

Historical Reenactment

Knit

Civil War Socks


Embroider Edwardian Monograms
Re-create a 17th-Century Undershirt

MARCH/APRIL 2009

PIECEWORK

PIECEWORKMAGAZINE.COM

Volume XVII

Number 2

F e a t u r e s / P r o j e c t s

12 14
35

Monograms for Handkerchiefs to Embroider


Dress up contemporary or period attire with our elegant monogrammed handkerchiefs.

Commend Me to a Knitting Wife: Knitting during the American Civil War and A Civil WarEra Sontag to Knit b y C o l l e e n F o r m b y
The authors research will enlighten anyone interested in re-creating period knitted goods.The sontag was an article of womens clothing worn for warmth in mid-nineteenth-century America.

22

Patriotic Toil: Knitting Socks for Civil War Soldiers and Civil War Socks to Knit b y K a r i n T i m o u r
During the American Civil War (18611865), wives, mothers, and the girls left behind worried, prayedand knitted as they never had before. Both original instructions and modern interpretations are provided for knitting Union and Confederate socks.

32
22

A Pinkeep to Embroider

by Elisabeth Shure

The tree motif on this pinkeep is adapted from those seen on eighteenthand nineteenth-century Nantucket, Massachusetts, needlework samplers.

35

A Seventeenth-Century Undershirt to Knit

by M a r y M e r r i l l , A n n e S e a m a n s, B e t t y S h a n n o n , a n d A d e l e H a r v e y

Re-create an undershirt, probably worn over a shirt and under an outer garment, based on one in the collection of the Museum of London.

38

A Babys Gown to Smock b y A l l y n e H o l l a n d and Moms Smocking b y E m i l y - J a n e H i l l s O r f o r d


Step-by-step instructions for creating a stunning silk babys gown embellished with hand smocking and an authors reection on the smocking worked by her mother.

A N D

D E P A R T M E N T S C O L U M N S 2 Notions

7 Necessities

New products
8 Calendar

Letter from the editor

32

2 On the Web

Upcoming events
10 How Did They Do That?

Recent additions to our website pieceworkmagazine.com


Cartes de visite courtesy of Colleen Formby. Photograph by Joe Coca.

14

3 By Post

Letters to the editor


4 Book Marks

Step-by-step photographs and instructions for a technique from times past: lucet braiding
42 Abbreviations

Books of interest

Denitions

N O T I O N S

his is our rst special issue on textiles for historical reenactment. Reenactment itself is not a recent phenomenon

and is not con ned to the United States as I (and probably others) erroneously thought. In fact, reenactments

have been taking place through the centuries and throughout the world since Roman times. Today, they encompass fantasy as well as history, characters from the Japanese comics called manga and anime as well as individuals who actually existed in (for example) nineteenth-century America or Renaissance Europe. While working on this issue, Ive learned much about how articles of clothing were made and who wore them. One source of information was the cartes de visite that Colleen Formby sent along to accompany her article, Commend Me to a Knitting Wife: Knitting during the American Civil War (page 14). ese small, inexpensive e photographs on card stock were popular throughout most of the world during the mid-nineteenth century.

French photographer Andr Adolphe-Eugne Disdri patented the 2-by-4-inch (6.4-by-10.2-cm) format in 1854, and at the onset of the American Civil War in 1861, photographers turned out tens of thousands. Some, of family members and friends, were carried into battle; others, of soldiers, remained at home and became the only surviving likeness of those killed during the war. Almost all of the people depicted in the cartes de visite I examined look solemn, perhaps a re ection of the uncertain times but more likely the result of the long exposure time needed to capture their likeness. Most appear to be dressed in their Sunday best, providing more valuable documentation of period clothing. Many of the books cited in this issue are period diaries, a favorite genre of mine. Ive added several to my must-read list. When I do read them, Ill have those poignant images from the cartes de visite in my mind. I do hope you enjoy the Reenactment issue.

On the Web
oull nd numerous free projects and articles, our index, available back issues, and much more on our website, pieceworkmagazine .com. Look for these new additions: e Story in a Dress Suzanne Smith Arney uses the expertise of Nancy Kirk, teacher, textile scholar, appraiser, collector, president of the Quilt Heritage Foundation, designer of contemporary and reproduction fabrics, and proprietor of e Kirk Collection, to examine a circa-1860 day dress. Her sidebar, Developing a Character, Developing a Costume, will be of special interest to reenactors. Visit pieceworkmagazine .com/go/articles/storyinadress. A Punto Antico Biscornu Pincushion to Stitch One of the Web articles featured in our November/December 2008 issue was Jeanine Robertsons Punto Antico: Italys Classic Embroidery. We received numerous requests for a project featuring this technique; for Jeanines step-by-step instructions on using a variety of the stitches to create a pincushion, visit pieceworkmagazine.com/go/projects/puntoanticopincushion. Great-Aunt Belles Buttons Janie Benander shares some of the thousands of buttons collected by her husbands great-aunt. In a sidebar, Whos Got the Button: Care and Safekeeping Tips for Button Collections, museum curator Linda Moore outlines how best to care for these treasures. Visit piece workmagazine.com/go/articles/buttons.
2 PIECEWORK
PIECEWORKMAGAZINE.COM

B Y

P O S T
C l a r i f i ca ti on
Sara Snake created the ribbonwork design in the Broken Star quilt by Maria Scott shown in The Floral Roots of Winnebago Star Quilts (September/ Broken Star quilt. Photograph courtesy of Woodland October 2008). Trails,Winnebago, Nebraska.

F rom O ur R ea d ers Ha nd s
The baby soaker in the November/ December 2008 issue (A Baby Soaker to Knit) inspired me to pick up knitting needles for the rst time in twelve years. Heres a photograph of my six-month-old daughter, Marisa, wearing the nished project. Lisa Masoni Morgan Hill, California Nancy Bushs patterns are always wonderful, but the Estonian Triangular Summer Shawl to Knit (July/August 2008) is now my favorite. Here is a picture of the nished product. ank you for a wonderful magazine. Kathryn Hagen Rochester, Michigan

Marisa wearing the soaker knitted by her mother, Lisa.


Photograph courtesy of Lisa Masoni.

B l a c kb er r y Truf f l e Tuf f et
I just received o cial word from Zweigart that the 28-count Quaker Cloth in #3993 Light Mocha used in my project, The Blackberry Tru e Tu et Pincushion to Stitch Sharlotte DeVeres pincushion project. (November/December 2008), is no Photograph by Joe Coca. longer available. e substitute for this is Zweigart 28-count Cashel Linen in #3281/309 Light Mocha. Sharlotte DeVere Leechburg, Pennsylvania

Kathryn Hagens Estonian triangular summer shawl.


Photograph courtesy of Kathryn Hagen.

Send your comments, questions, and ideas to By Post, c/o PieceWork, 201 E. Fourth St., Loveland, CO 80537-5655; e-mail piecework@interweave.com. Letters may be edited for space and clarity.

Royal School of Needlework Intensive Certicated Courses


Develop your embroidery skills on an advanced course in technical hand embroidery tutored by RSN Graduates. For a rst certicate study four core techniques: Jacobean; Silk Shading, Canvas Stitches, Basic Goldwork 27 April to 09 May 2009 New for 2009 - Day Classes For beginners & experienced embroiderers 29 April to 15 May 2009 San Francisco (Hyatt Regency Hotel SF Airport), USA
Contact: Gill Holdsworth T: +44 (0)20 3166 6937 E: gill.holdsworth@royal-needlework.org.uk www.royal-needlework.org.uk RCN 312774
M A RC H / A P R I L 2009 PIECEWORK 3

B O O K

M A R K S

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Jeane

Hutchins Strauch Mackin

ASSISTANT EDITOR: Betsy

EDITORIAL ASSISTANT: Allison TECHNICAL EDITORS: Deanna

The Clothing of the Renaissance World:


Europe, Asia, Africa, The Americas
Margaret F. Rosenthal and Ann Rosalind Jones
New York: Thames & Hudson, 2008. Hardbound, 600 pages, $125. ISBN 978-0-500-51426-9.

Hall West, Lori Gayle, Karen Frisa Ligon

CREATIVE DIRECTOR: Linda

Bush, Catherine Amoroso Leslie, Susan M. Strawn, Meg Swansen


DESIGNER: Jason

EDITORIAL ADVISORY PANEL: Nancy

A tour de force! is compilation of the entire rst edition (published in Venice in 1590) and the New World section from the second edition (1598) of Cesare Vecellios Habiti Antichi et Moderni, together with the original woodcuts, presents in meticulous detail the clothing worn by all strata of sixteenthcentury society. e more than 500 illustrations, 77 in color, and the illustrated glossary are icing on the cake. If you have any a nity for the sixteenth century, you will want this book.

Reid Swanson Faubion

PHOTOSTYLING, ILLUSTRATION: Ann PRODUCTION DIRECTOR: Trish

SR. PRODUCTION COORDINATOR:

Marc McCoy Owens


PRODUCTION EDITOR: Nancy Arndt CEO: Clay

B. Hall Murphy Griess

PUBLISHER: Marilyn

ADVERTISING MANAGER: Stephanie MARKETING MANAGER:

Michaelian Forbes

The Ladys Stratagem: A Repository of 1820s


Directions for the Toilet, Mantua-Making, Stay-Making, Millinery & Etiquette
Frances Grimble, editor and translator
San Francisco: Lavolta Press, 2008. Softbound, 755 pages, $75. ISBN 978-0-9636517-7-8.

Annie Hartman Bakken


CIRCULATION MANAGER: Nancy

Silfven

French how-to manuals published in the 1820s are the source of this delightful collection of sewing and embroidery patterns, mending instructions, step-by-step knitting directions, guides to proper behavior and dress, and beauty recipes (dont try these at home: many contain arsenic or other poisons). e Ladys Stratagem is sure to please reenactors, living-history interpreters, historians, and costume designers, as well as casual readers.

PieceWork (ISSN 1067-2249) is published bimonthly by Interweave LLC, 201 E. Fourth St., Loveland, CO 80537. (970) 669-7672. Periodicals postage paid at Loveland, CO 80538 and additional mailing ofces. All contents of this issue of PieceWork Interweave LLC, 2009. Reproduction in whole or in part is prohibitied, except by permission of the publisher. Subscription rate is $29.95/year in the U.S., $34.95/ year U.S. funds in Canada, and $39.95/year U.S. funds in foreign countries (surface delivery). Printed in the U.S.A. POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to PieceWork, PO Box 469107, Escondido, CA 920469107. SUBSCRIBERS: Please allow six weeks for processing address changes.Your customer number on the address label is your key to the best service possible. Please include it with all correspondence to avoid delays or errors.

Jane Morrow

C O NTACT U S

Chinese Braid Embroidery


Jacqui Carey
Devon, England: Carey Company, 2007. Softbound, 128 pages, $44.95. ISBN 978-09523225 -6-6.

Subscriptions: (800) 340-7496. E-mail piecework @pcspublink.com, or visit pieceworkmagazine.com. Advertising: Stephanie Griess (877) 613-4630, e-mail sgriess@interweave.com, or visit piecework magazine.com. Retail sales: (800) 272-2193, e-mail sales@interweave. com. Editorial inquiries: (970) 613-4650, e-mail piecework @interweave.com. Interweave 201 East Fourth Street Loveland, Colorado 80537 (970) 669-7672 An Aspire Media Company Visit the Interweave website at interweave.com.

Jacqui Carey highlights the evolution of the Chinese tradition of braid embroidery used to decorate costumes and accessories, focusing here on a distinctive at and narrow braid. Her clear step-by-step instructions for creating a wide variety of stunning braids, supplemented by vivid photographs, will enable the reader to execute even some of the most challenging.

Allison Mackin

PIECEWORK

P I E C EWO R K M AG A Z I N E . C O M

classic knits

marianne isager collection

This timeless collection of knitwear designs from Danish designer Marianne Isager is a stitch technique guide and a gallery of design inspiration in one book. The new book Classic Knits features 25 traditional, appealing projects worked in basic knit and purl stitch patterns, each with a distinctive design element typical of Mariannes style, be it an interesting combination of yarns, a clever use of stitch pattern, or an unusual form of construction.

interweavebooks.com

J A N U A RY / F E B R U A RY

2009

PIECEWORK

innovation
Sock Innovation Knitting Techniques & Patterns
by Cookie A

Take your sock knitting off the charts!


Cookie A., pioneer of the unconventional sock, shares her secrets for making rule-breaking socks in the new book Sock Innovation. Cookie aims to increase the skills of any sock knitter by exploring design and advanced stitch manipulation with 15 unique sock patterns. Fueled by Cookies unique approach, youll be able to make modications to suit your needs and aesthetics. Sock Innovation goes beyond the basic sock and explores complex stitchery, treating the sock as a knitted canvas where elements are strategically and intentionally placed.
A

interweavebooks.com

N E C E S S I T I E S
N E C E S S I T I E S
Golden Accessory
Needles, 18-carat gold-plated, tapestry and embroidery sizes. DMC, 77 S. Hackensack Ave., Bldg. 10F, S. Kearny, NJ 07032; (978) 589-0606; www .dmc-usa.com.

Glorious Color
Twelve new colors added to Watercolours and Wildowers, cotton threads. The Caron Collection, 55 Old South Ave., Stratford, CT 06615; (203) 381-9999; www .caron-net.com.

Nostalgic Fabrics
Mamas Cottons 2, fabric collection inspired by 1930s feed sacks. Connecting Threads, 131 N.E. 4th St., Vancouver, 18 WA 98684; (360) 260-8900; www .connectingthreads.com.

Terric Totes
Silk taffeta bags, available in small (shown), large, and long. Lantern Moon, 791 N.E. 33rd Dr., Ste. 1 140, Portland, OR 9721 1; (503) 460-0003; www .lanternmoon.com.

Look for these products at needlework, yarn, and craft stores, in mail-order catalogs, or online, or contact the supplier for the name of a retailer near you.

Organizer for Knitters


Debbie Macombers The Knitters Complete Journal. Leisure Arts, 5701 Ranch Dr., Little Rock, AR 72223; (501) 868-8937; www.leisurearts.com.

Why wait to knit?


Now you can purchase some of the most popular patterns from your favorite designers. Visit today and download a pattern!

online store
shop.interweave.com/knitting
Extra! Extra! Annie Modesitt
M A RC H / A P R I L 2009 PIECEWORK 7

C A L E N D A R
EXHIBITIONS stein Museum of Design. (612) 624-7434; http:// goldstein.che.umn.edu.

Corner detail from a tablecloth by Antonilla Cantelli. Aemilia Ars needlework. 4th International Forum of Lace and Embroidery: Weddings Italian Style, Parma, Italy.
Photograph courtesy of Italia Invita.

Call for Entries. May 57. Collage Mania, a Fiberart for a Cause online fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. Entry deadline: April 1. Virginia@virginiaspiegel.com; www.virginiaspiegel.com. Call for Entries. June 13
July 3. Fiberworks 2009, at Individual Artists of Oklahoma, Broadway, Oklahoma. Entry deadline: June 6 and 8. (405) 417-4199; www.berartistsok.org.

Kansas City, Missouri.


Through March 29. Pieced with Love: Girls and Doll Quilts of the Victorian Age, at the Toy & Miniature Museum of Kansas City. (816) 333-9328; www.toyand miniaturemuseum.org.

Rosemont, Illinois. April 17 19. International Quilt Festival of Chicago, at the Donald E. Stephens Center. (713) 7816864; www.quilts.com. Clarkston, Michigan. May 1517. Spring Fling: Lace on the Edge, lacemaking classes, at the Colombiere Confer-

Gujarat by Maryline CollioudRobert. Quilted. New England Quilt Museum, Lowell, Massachusetts.
Photo courtesy the New England Quilt Museum.

Denver, Colorado. Through


June 30. New and Noteworthy: The Hopkins Family Quilt in Context, at the Denver Art Museum. (720) 865-5000; www.denverartmuseum.org.
Wide curtain. Maker unknown. Cotton twill embroidered with silk. England, textile produced in India (Gujarat). Late seventeenth century. Gift of Mr. Samuel Cabot. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts.
Photograph courtesy of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Lincoln, Nebraska. Through May 17. Chintz Appliqu: From Imitation to Icon, at the International Quilt Study Center and Museum. (402) 4726549; www.quiltstudy.org. Newark, New Jersey. Through
May 3. Completing the Circle: The Fiber Art of Ina Golub, at The Newark Museum. (973) 596-6550; www.newark museum.org.

LEFT: The Blue-Green, Bohus sweater designed by Anna-Lisa Mannheimer-Lunn. 19481953. The American Swedish Institute. Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Photograph courtesy of Lars Hansen.

ence Center. www.gllgi.org.

New York, New York. March


28 and April 25. Fascinating Silk Saga, lecture by Karen Selk, and Mirrors, Pinwheels, and More: The Cultural Meaning of Symmetry, lecture by Dorothy Washburn, at The School of Visual Arts. nyghandweavers@aol.com; www.nyhandweavers.org.

District of Columbia. April 16 and May 7. Thats A Quilt? Tracing the Lineage of Contemporary Quilt Art and Reinventing Quilts in a Digital Age, at The Textile Museum. (202) 667-0441; www.textile museum.org. Boston, Massachusetts.
Through June 21. And so to Bed: Indian Bed Curtains from a Stately English Home, at the Museum of Fine Arts. (617) 267-9300; www.mfa.org.

New York, New York.


Through April 12. English Embroidery from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 15801700: Twixt Art and Nature, at the Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts, Design and Culture. (212) 501-3000; http://bgc.bard.edu.

Tacoma,Washington. March 1315. Nordic Knitting Conference, at the Nordic Heritage Museum. Charlotte Lehmann, (206) 789-5707; www.nordicmuseum.org. Madison,Wisconsin. March
26. The Sun and the Moon: Protective Motifs in Central and South Asian Embroideries, lecture by Victoria Rivers, at the Chazen Museum of Art. (608) 262-1162.

Lowell, Massachusetts.
Through April 18. Fabric Connection: Seven Swiss Contemporary Quilt Artists, at the New England Quilt Museum. (978) 452-4207; www.nequiltmuseum.org.

Doll quilt. Maker unknown. Collection of Mary Campbell Ghormley. Toy & Miniature Museum of Kansas City, Kansas City, Missouri.
Photograph courtesy of the Toy & Miniature Museum of Kansas City.

Portland, Oregon. Through May 31. Darrel Morris: The Large Works 19992008, at the Museum of Contemporary Craft. (503) 2232654; http://museumof contemporarycraft.org.
SYMPOSIUMS, LECTURES, WO R K S H O P S, CONSUMER S H OW S , T R AV E L

Album quilt by Elizabeth Hopkins. Appliqu. Cotton. Mid-1800s. Port Jefferson, New York. 100 85 inches (254.0 215.9 cm). Neusteter Textile Collection: funds from Mrs. Irene Littledale Downs, Mrs. August Kern, and Mrs. Alexander Girard by exchange. Denver Art Museum, Denver, Colorado.
Photograph courtesy of the Denver Art Museum.

Parma, Italy. May 810. 4th


International Forum of Lace and Embroidery: Weddings Italian Style, at Parma Fair. 39 0521 996284 271; www.italia invita.it.

Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Through March 29. Radiant Knits: The Bohus Tradition, at The American Swedish Institute. (612) 871-4907; www .americanswedishinst.org.

Please send your event information at least four months before the month of publication. Listings are made as space is available. Although we try to include as many events as possible, we cannot guarantee that your listing will appear.
8 PIECEWORK

Quincy, Illinois. April 18. 21st


Biennial Stitches in Time Quilt and Needlework Show, at Quincy Senior High School. (217) 926-2301; www.orgsites .com/il/quincyega.

Northern Europe and Estonia. August 23September 4.


Knitting cruise with Nancy Bush and Beth Brown-Reinsel. www.craftcruises.com.

St. Paul, Minnesota. Through June 14. Expressions of Change: Ethnic Dress and Folk Costume, at The Gold-

Let There Be by Ina Golub. Mixed bers and beads. 1983. 24 24 24 inches (61.0 61.0 61.0 cm). Collection of the artist. The Newark Museum, Newark, New Jersey.
Photograph courtesy of the Newark Museum.

PIECEWORKMAGAZINE.COM

Watch for Knitting Daily TV on your local Public Television station, and visit to: streaming video previews patterns and other special materials your comments and questions to the community forums your local PBS station carrying Knitting Daily TV

Bagsmith Berroco Blue Sky Alpacas Classic Elite Yarns Colorful Stitches Fiesta Yarns Ironstone Yarns Harrisville Designs Lornas Laces MyHandworkStudio.com Prism Arts, Inc. Signature Needles Spinning and Weaving Association Trendsetter Yarns Tutto Opal Isager
M A RC H / A P R I L 2009 PIECEWORK 9

Lucet Braids HOW ID THEY O THAT?

HE VIKINGS DID IT, medieval and Renaissance Europeans did it, tall-boat sailors did it, proper Victorian ladies did

it. The firm, square lucet braid so handy for lashing and tyingand eventually for embellishingwas ubiquitous throughout the Western world until the industrial revolution of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries replaced it with cheap, machinemade substitutes. Check the mitten strings on old Scandinavian mittens, probably lucet braid. Once youve tried making one, youll see them everywhere, and youll know why they became so common. eyre easy, portable,
Figure 1 Pass the end of the yarn through the hole in a lucet tool from back to front. Wrap the yarn around the tines as shown.
Lucet tool courtesy of Lacis. All photographs by Ann Swanson.

quick to make, and tough. Make one of string, crochet cotton, well-twisted wool, silk. Once youve mastered the basic braid, you can extend your skills to making multicolored, fancier versions. Or make a great fat one out of rope on a tree branch. And you dont even need a tool, reallyjust take a look at your hand, that space between the thumb and fore nger. Perfect.
FURTHER READING

Fuller, Elaine. Lucet Braiding: Variations on a Renaissance Cord. Berkeley, California: Lacis, 1998.

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PIECEWORKMAGAZINE.COM

Figure 2 Pass the lower right-hand loop up over the upper strand. Turn the lucet over from right to left as if turning the page of a book.

Figure 3 Repeat the same move as in Figure 2, slipping the right-hand loop up over the upper strand. Turn the lucet from right to left again. Gently snug the knot in place.

Figure 4 Continue looping and turning the tool, gently snugging the knots in place to form a square braid.

A hand as a lucet tool.

A bone lucet like those popular in the Victorian era.

MARCH/APRIL

2009

PIECEWORK

11

Monograms
for Handkerchiefs
to

hile the origins of the handkerchief are shrouded in mystery (con icting facts by numerous authorities aside), we do know

that they have been functional and fashion accessories for thousands

Embroider

of years. Likewise, the history of embroidering monograms on handkerchiefs is unknown, although that practice probably was a result of trying to identify a valuable, personal item. While styles of both handkerchiefs and monograms have changed over the centuries, for this Reenactment issue, we chose an elegant alphabet from Alphabet de la Brodeuse: Lettres, Chi res, Monogrammes et Ornments published in the late nineteenth or early twentieth century. Our monogrammed handkerchiefs will be appropriate for a broad spectrum of reenactors.

A selection of embroidered hankerchiefs.


Photograph by Joe Coca.

M ATERIALS

I NSTRUCTIONS

Transfer the letter, using a light source, to one corner of the handkerchief. Mount the fabric in the embroidery hoop. Using 1 strand of floss, work the thin lines in outline stitch and the wide areas in satin stitch. Remove the fabric from the hoop. Wash and iron the handkerchief.

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PIECEWORKMAGAZINE.COM

Charts may be photocopied for personal use.

Alphabet de la Brodeuse: Lettres, Chiffres, Monogrammes et Ornments (Boston: Edwin C. Foss, n.d.). Collection of Liz Mrofka.
Photograph by Jason Reid.

Satin stitch

Outline stitch

MARCH/APRIL

2009

PIECEWORK

13

Knitting needles with original knitting attached. America. Nineteenth century. The needles are in a reproduction knitting pin case based on an original in the collection of Old Sturbridge Village, Sturbridge, Massachusetts. Private collection. Photographic cartes de visite, America, 1860s. Collection of the author.
Photograph by Joe Coca.

Knitting during the American Civil War

Commend Me to a Knitting Wife

COLLEEN FORMBY

[T]hough at present, Mr. Editor, a lonely and comfortless old bachelor, I will live in hopes one of these days of getting married; and if I do, I trust it will be to a woman who is a great knitter. Of all the many accomplishments which adorn the gentler sex, I do assure them, from the very bottom of my heart, that I esteem knitting among the greatest. . . . Commend me, then, to a knitting wife a gentle being whom I hope it will yet be my happiness to possess! letter in the American Agriculturist, May 1846
Photographic carte de visite. America. August 1864 August 1866 (a tax stamp on the back indicates that the image was produced between these dates). The woman is wearing a sontag.
Photograph courtesy of B. and K. Bohleke.

Y GRANDMOTHER TAUGHT ME to knit when I was a young girl. I still remember her patience as she showed me how to hold the needles and maneuver the yarn, and my fascination that we were actually making fabric. She also nished almost all of my projects, as I got bored quickly and abandoned them. I picked up the skill again years later when I joined a living history group that strives to reenact the home life of civilians during the American Civil War (18611865) (see e Atlantic Guard Soldiers Aid Society, page 16). Knitting was a large part of daily life then, and I realized that I would need a thorough understanding of patterns, yarns, and needles of the period to re-create accurately what mid-century Americans would have knitted and not
PIECEWORKMAGAZINE.COM

14

PIECEWORK

simply reproduce an antique pattern using twenty- rstcentury materials. Easier said than done! I was confused by references to yarns no longer made, directions to use the usual size needles, instructions to nish articles in the usual manner. Period diaries indicated that knitting was a common avocation of women, children, and even men. Knitting projects mentioned included socks, stockings, helmets or visors (like todays balaclava), neckties, braces (suspenders), hoods, shawls, undershirts, and sontags. e last was similar to a shawl or capelet with long ends crossed in front and fastened in the back (see the sontag project on page 19). Probably named a er the German coloratura soprano Henriette Sontag (18061854), the garment was worn by American women of all social classes. e February 1847 issue of Godeys Magazine and Ladys Book lists a few more of the useful things that industrious ngers could knit: caps, cu s, comforters (scarves), shawls, spencers (close- tting sweaters), tippets (scar ike shoulder capes), gloves, and mittens, as well as purses, bags, and beadwork. In her memoir, A Blockaded Family; Life in Southern Alabama During the Civil War (1888, reprint Carlisle, Massachusetts: Applewood Books, 1995), Parthenia Antoinette Hague (1838unknown) writes: We soon became very apt at knitting and crocheting useful as well as ornamental woolen notions, such as capes, sacques [baby jackets], and mens suspenders. . . . For the bordering of capes, shawls, gloves, hoods, and sacques the wool yarn was dyed red, blue, black, and green. Here again a pleasant rivalry arose, as to who could form the most unique bordering for capes, shawls, and all such woolen knit or crocheted clothing. ere were squares, diamonds, crosses, bars, and designs of owers formed in knitting and in crocheting.

In trying to find modern equivalents for historic knitting materials, I surveyed more than a hundred patterns dated between 1845 and 1865 and numerous original knitted articles in private and museum collections. I found that the vast majority of yarns and needles used were smaller than we might choose today for a similar project, suggesting that stitch definition was a highly desirable characteristic of knitted goods at that time. In numerous examples, two identical pieces knitted from laceweight yarns had been layered and stitched together to create warmth without weight. Even when cold-weather

I have taken up a new accomplishment lately, that of knitting stockings. . . . Mother and I are knitting woolen socks for the soldiers. Sarah Wadley, 1864
garments such as sontags, hoods, and shawls were knitted of heavier yarns, those yarns were never heavier than a modern DK (double-knitting) weight, a yarn size intermediate between sportweight and worsted. Needles, also called pins in the mid-nineteenth century, were made mainly from bone, ivory, steel, boxwood, or whalebone; some had a knob of ivory or bead to prevent the work from slipping o the end or to convert a double-pointed needle to a single point. Many patterns just speci ed coarse wooden needles, ne steel needles, or needles of the usual size. Although yarn tension or gauge, the number of stitches and rows per inch, was not speci ed in patterns until the last quarter of the nineteenth century, knitting needle gauges of various types were readily available in the midnineteenth century. A popular type was the bell gauge, so named because of its shape, with holes and slits for inserting needles to determine size. Bell gauges, however,

LEFT TO RIGHT: The author and Stacy Hampton at a Civil War living history event. Cedar Creek, Virginia. 2007. The author is knitting.
Photograph by Julio C. Zangroniz (www.zphotos .smugmug.com).

Melissa Walker quilting at a Civil War living history event. Belair Mansion, Bowie, Maryland. 2006.
Photograph courtesy of the author.

Vivian Murphy wearing reproduction knitted hood and knitting at a Civil War living history event. Perryville, Kentucky. 2007.
Photograph courtesy of the author.
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Knitting needles and point protectors, bone, America, dates unknown; photographic cartes de visite, America, 1860s; photographic ambrotype in leather case, America, date unknown. The woman in the ambrotype is wearing knitted undersleeves (false sleeves that extend up to the elbow). Collection of the author.
Photograph by Joe Coca.

were not standardized. Further, period literature does not clarify whether you were supposed to measure the needle in the slit (measured in the slit) or the indentation at

the end of each slit (measured in the hole); to add to the confusion, the slits are slightly narrower than the holes and the gauges also had actual holes for measuring larger needles. In the 1840s or earlier, Frances Lambert, the British author of several books on needlework, had devised a disk-shaped gauge punched with graduated holes that she called a lire; due to the commonality of the bell gauge, she also called for this in her patterns. The chart I created comparing modern U.S. and U.K. sizing with a Lambert lire and two di erent bell gauges (measuring both in the slit and in the hole of the latter) and a detail photograph of a Mlle Riegos Bell Gauge are shown on page 19. Using such clues as the wools (silks and cottons generally werent used for the articles mentioned here) and

It is a good plan to have children taught to knit, boys as well as girls, and to have them learn to knit without looking at their work. Old ladies who have lost their sight often knit very beautifully, and as a general rule we nd that they began very young, and learned to knit without giving their work steady attention. The blind in all asylums are beautiful knitters, and in case of any accident to the eyesight it would be a great resource. Florence Hartley, 1854 The Atlantic Guard Soldiers Aid Society

he Atlantic Guard Soldiers Aid Society (AGSAS) is dedicated to remembering the importance and sacri ces of civilians during the American Civil War (18611865). As historical interpreters, we want to honor them by striving for authenticity in what we wear, what we say, and what we do. AGSAS is an independent civilian organization, not an auxiliary of a military reenactment group. Our members include men, women, and children. e organizations goals are to Research and study diaries, letters, textiles, garments, images, and original artifacts of the period; Share research with our peers and the public; Participate in civilian scenarios at battle reenactments and living history programs; Demonstrate and learn by doing period activities not limited to but including knitting, sewing, quilting, spinning,

needlework, rolling bandages, cooking, or doing laundry; Illustrate the impact that the war had on the lives of ordinary citizens, including coping with separation or loss of family members, economic hardship, shortages, substitutes, and the

impact of invading armies; Study and educate the public on the role of soldiers aid societies and of the various ways in which civilians on the home front aided the war e ort; Raise awareness and contribute to nonpro t organizations ded-

icated to preservation of historic sites. For more information, visit www.agsas.org. To request information on membership, contact the membership chair, Stacy Hampton at civusv@yahoo.com. C. F.
Members of the Atlantic Guard SoldiersAid Society (AGSAS) in period-correct Civil War dress, including knitted garments (the women are wearing sontags). From left to right: Travis Haymaker, Stacy Hampton, Drew Gruber, and Kate Egner. Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. 2007.
Photograph courtesy of the author.

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Photographic carte de visite. America. Midnineteenth century. The woman is wearing a sontag.
Photograph courtesy of Juanita Leisch Jensen.

Yarns Used in Mid-NineteenthCentury America with Modern Substitutes


ote: e names and de nitions were compiled from books and magazines published between 1840 and 1880. e word thread is equivalent to the modern ply. Andalusian: a medium wool, less thick than Berlin wool [see below], used for cu s and shawls. Substitute: 4-ply or jumper-weight Shetland wool. Berlin [or Zephyr or German] wool: only procurable in two thicknesses, four-thread (single) and eight-thread (double). Available in at least a thousand shades. Adapted for working all kinds of Berlin patterns; skeined and notted [sic] in small quantities, making it the most convenient and least expensive wool for this purpose. German wool, unquestionably the nest sheeps wool which we possess, is the product of the eece of the Merino breed. All other kinds are harsher than Zephyr Merino. When very ne, it is called split Zephyr. Substitutes: ngering or needlepoint yarn for single Berlin, heavy sportor DK weight for double Berlin. Fleecy: a cheaper wool than Berlin, and now obtainable in a number of beautiful colours. It is made in two-thread, four, six, eight, ten, and twelvethread, and is sold by the pound. Used for jackets and other large articles and in netting, it is manufactured from the Leicestershire breed. Substitutes: Lace- or ngering weight for 2-ply, DK for 12-ply. Pyrenees: Nearly the same thickness as Shetland [see below], but more twisted, ner, so er, and more beautiful. e dye is remarkably beautiful and fast, owing, it is said, to some peculiar property of the waters on the mountains, whence it derives its name. Visitors to Paris may get it at several of the Berlin houses there, not generally introduced into England and America. Substitute: Laceweight. Shetland: a very ne wool, used for veils, scarves, shawls, etc. icker than Pyrenean wool and so er than both it and the Andalusian, not being so tightly twisted. It is not usually to be had in any great variety of shades but the scarlet and crimson are beautiful. Substitute: 2-ply laceweight. Worsted and Lambs Wool: used for knitting stockings, etc. Extensively used for a great variety of useful purposes, which are familiar to everyone. [Worsted here refers to the method of spinning, not to yarn size]. Substitute: Sportweight. e following novelty yarns have no modern substitutes. Many were developed for use with particular projects. Chine wool: wool shaded in various colors. Crystal wools: wools round which bright gold or silver paper, or foil is wound. ese are sometimes called spangled wools. Ombre or shaded wool: shaded in one coloring from dark to light and then back. Orne knitting ball: similar to Patent [see below]. e orne knitting ball consists of beautifully colored threads of ne wool, knotted at equal lengths, each knot terminating one row. When knitted up, it produces the engraved elegant design. Each ball does one design and is adapted only for it. Patent Knitting wool: is wool is sold in balls of various sizes, each exactly calculated to do some certain piece of work (antimacassar, table cover, etc.). It is dyed so that by following the arrangements, the pattern, in varied colors, will appear. e balls are either of Worsted or Berlin wool. Directions are sold with each ball. e knitting is always moss-stitch. Pearl Wool: alternately white and colored, in one, two, or three colors, each not more than a quarter of an inch in length. It is a variety of Berlin made in four-thread or eight-thread.

needle sizes (when given) typically recommended for a particular pattern or garment and comparing them to the fabric of extant examples, I eventually worked out modern yarn substitutes (see Yarns Used in Mid-NineteenthCentury America with Modern Substitutes at right). In the end, determining which needle size to use seems to depend on nding clues in the pattern or garment you wish to replicate. I hope that my research will prove useful to anyone who is knitting for reenactors or who simply is interested in re-creating period knitted goods. As for me, I think my grandmother would be proud to know that her teaching was not in vainand that now I nish my own projects!

I am back at my books again, and read a great deal. I do nothing else, except of course knitting, which does not interfere at all with my reading. Emma LeConte, January 6, 1865
FURTHER R EADING

Bath,Virginia Churchill. Needlework in America: History, Designs, and Techniques. New York:Viking Press, 1979. Out of print. Candee, Richard M. The Hand-Cranked Knitter and Sock Machine; A Social History and Catalogue of 19th and 20th Century Home Knitters of American Invention. Madison, Wisconsin: Cottonwood Hill, 2004. Electronic book. Caulfeild, Sophia Frances Anne, and Blanche C. Saward. The Dictionary of Needlework. 1882. Reprint, New York: Random House, 1988. Lady, A. The Workwomans Guide. 1838. Reprint, Easton, Connecticut: Piper, 2002. Macdonald, Anne L. No Idle Hands:The Social History of American

C. F.
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Knitting. Stockton Springs, Maine: Knitting Out Loud, 2007. Audio book. Rutt, Richard. A History of Hand Knitting. 2d ed. Loveland, Colorado: Interweave, 2003. Taunton, Nerylla D. Antique Needlework Tools and Embroideries.

Easthampton, Massachusetts: Antique Collectors Club, 1997. Vincent, Margaret. The Ladies Work Table: Domestic Needlework in 19th-Century America. Allentown, Pennsylvania: Allentown Art Museum, 1988.
I NSTRUCTIONS

Carriage Boots Stitch Pattern


REBECCA L. DANIELS

Everyone loved the pattern in the carriage boots, shown below, from
the collection of Colleen Formby. is swatch was knit at a very tight gauge to make the red garter-stitch ridges pop up from the background color. e pattern is done in slip stitch, which is a simple technique that allows you to create designs with two (or more) colors while only ever using one yarn in a row. I used Brown Sheeps Nature Spun Worsted 100% wool yarn; the colors I chose are as close as possible to the colors used on the original boots. See page 42 for Abbreviations.
Carriage boots. Maker(s) unknown. Knitted. Wool, leather, ribbon. America. 1850 1860. The boots were meant to be worn either over silk slippers or alone to keep feet warm while in the carriage. Collection of the author.
Photograph by Joe Coca.

MC =red CC =blue Multiple of 6 sts +2 Sl all sts pwise. CO with MC Rows 14: With MC, k. Row 5: With CC,

*sl 2, k4*; rep between * until last 2 sts, sl 2. Row 6: With CC, *sl 2, p4*; rep between * until last 2 sts, sl 2. Row 7: With CC, *sl 2, k4*; rep be-

tween * until last 2 sts, sl 2. Row 8: With CC, *sl 2, p4*; rep between * until last 2 sts, sl 2. Rep Rows 18 to complete patt.

ABOUT THE DESIGNER. Rebecca L. Daniels is assistant editor of PieceWorks sister magazine Interweave Knits. She earned a BFA from the Rochester Institute of Technology, with a concentration in American Crafts. When not knitting, she enjoys spinning, quilting, crocheting, and reading. Visit her blog at www.opheliaspins.wordpress.com.

The front and back of Rebecca Danielss carriage boots stitch pattern.
Photographs by Jason Reid.

Resources
Period Books Carter, W. Exhibition Knitting, Netting, and Crochet Book, No. 1 and Exhibition Knitting, Netting, and Crochet Book, No. 2. 1851. Enquire Within Upon Everything. 1856. Hartley, Florence. The Ladies Hand Book of Fancy and Ornamental Work: Comprising Directions and Patterns for Working in Appliqu, Bead Work, Braiding, Canvas Work, Knitting, Netting, Tatting, Worsted Work, Quilting, Patchwork, &c., &c. 1859. Jackson, Elizabeth. The Practical Companion to the WorkTable Containing Directions for Knitting, Netting, and Crochet Work. 1845. e Ladies Work-Book, Containing Instructions in Knitting, Netting, Point-Lace, Embroidery, Crochet, etc. 1853. e Ladies Work-box Companion: A Handbook of Knitting, Netting, Tatting, and Berlin Work. 1850. The Ladies Work-Table Book. 1859. Lady, An American. A Winter Gi for Ladies: Being Instructions in Knitting, Netting, and Crochet Work, Containing the Newest and Most Fashionable Patterns from the Latest London Edition. 1850. Lambert, Miss. e Handbook of Needlework. 1842. Owen, Mrs. Henry. The Illuminated Ladies Book of Useful and Ornamental Needlework. 1847. Pullan, Matilda Marian. e Ladys Manual of Fancy Work: A Complete Instruction in Every Variety of Ornamental Needle-work. 1859. The Seamstress: A Guide to Plain and Fancy Needlework, Baby Linen, Millinery and Dressmaking, Embroidery and Lacework, Knitting, Netting, and Crochet-work, and Tatting. 1843. Period Periodicals Arthurs Home Magazine Colmans Rural World Debows Review of the Southern and Western States Flag of Our Union e Friend: A Religious and Literary Journal Friends Intelligencer e Genesee Farmer Godeys Ladys Book and Godeys Magazine Grahams Magazine e Ladies National Magazine Petersons Magazine e Saturday Evening Post e Southern Rose Western Literary Cabinet Zions Herald and Wesleyan Journal Online Databases Accessible Archives is a paid database available to individuals for $59.95 a year. In addition to a number of Civil Warera newspapers, it also includes an easily searchable version of Godeys magazines. www.accessible.com. American Periodicals Series is a subscription database available only to universities or colleges that belong to a university system. It contains scanned and digitized periodicals published in the United States between 1740 and 1900. C. F.

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Needle Size Comparison


View of Mlle Riegos Bell Gauge, manufactured by Chambers, showing the numbers. Metal. 1847. Private Collection.
Photograph by Jason Reid.

ABOVE LEFT (clockwise from left): Knitting gauge, Standard Filire, F. Lambert, ivory, circa 1842; knitting gauge, Mlle Riegos Bell Gauge, manufactured by Chambers, metal, 1847; knitting needle point protectors, bone, date unknown. Private collection.

U.S.
(Diameter in millimeters)

U.K. 18 17 15 14 13 12 10 NA 9 8 7 6 5 4 3

Photograph by Joe Coca.

The following chart compares modern U.S. and U.K.


sizes with three nineteenth-century knitting needle gauges: an 1847 filire, an 1847 Riego bell, and a pre-1870s Archer bell. e Riego gauge has holes numbered one through four and slits numbered ve through twenty-eight; the Archer gauge has holes numbered one through five and slits numbered six through twentyfour. In keeping with period literature, comparisons are given for the slit and its hole (the indentation at the end of each slit). Note: NA indicates that only the slit is applicable for measuring and equals no equivalent.

0000 (1.25 mm) 000 (1.5 mm) 00 (1.75 mm) 0 (2.0 mm) 1 (2.25 mm) 2 (2.75 mm) 3 (3.25 mm) 4 (3.5 mm) 5 (3.75 mm) 6 (4.0 mm) 7 (4.5 mm) 8 (5.0 mm) 9 (5.5 mm) 10 (6.0 mm) 10 (6.5 mm)

Riego Bell Archer Bell Slit/Hole Slit/Hole 25 1718/21 18/NA 24 (tight) 18 (loose)/1920 1617/NA 22 15/18 15/NA 19 13 (loose)/16 14 (loose)/NA 18 13/16 14 (loose)/14 16 1112/14 15 (tight)/15 14 1011/12 15/17 12 910/1011 910/15 11 89/10 89/15 10 9/9 9/15 910 78/8 /10 7 56/7 /10 56 /56 /9 56 /5 /4 4 /3 /3 C. F.

Filire

Civil War-Era Sontag to Knit


COLLEEN FORMBY

I nished my sontag and a mat. Anita Withers, October 1861

he sontag, also called bosom friend, was a common article of womens clothing worn for warmth in the mid-nineteenth century. Although it is

frequently seen in images and mentioned in diaries, patterns, and letters from the 1850s through the 1860s, it seems to have fallen out of favor a er this time. ere
Colleen Formbys knitted sontag (back).
Photograph by Joe Coca.

is a mention in an 1870 magazine that is in response to someone asking for an old fashioned sontag pattern.

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e sontag probably was named a er Henriette Sontag (18061854), a German soprano who was known and admired worldwide. Just as we have food named to honor a singerPeach Melba for Australian opera soprano Dame Nellie Melba (18611931) and Turkey Tetrazzini for Italian opera star Luisa Tetrazzini (18711940), for exampleso too with some garments, including the sontag. Sontags seem always to have been knitted of wool on the heavier end of the spectrum, which would put them in the modern sport- to DK weight category since they were speci cally used for extra warmth.

Even though the sontag shown here is accurate enough that a Civil War reenactor can wear it, knowing that it remains true to the original pattern, it also may be adapted and worn with modern clothing as it is a warm, interesting garment. is pattern is sized for a small person, but adjustments may be made for larger sizes by increasing the number of stitches cast on, the length of the back piece, and the length of the wings that cross over the chest and reach to the center back. For this pattern, I chose a simple crochet edging, with a small scallop to nish it. We have ample photographic evidence to show that both crocheted and knitted edgings were used.
I NSTRUCTIONS

Basketweave Pattern (multiple of 10 sts + 5) Rows 1, 3, and 5: (RS) *K5, p5; rep from * to last 5 sts, k5. Rows 2 and 4: (WS) *P5, k5; rep from * to last 5 sts, p5.

M ATERIALS

Colleen Formbys knitted sontag (front).


Photograph by Joe Coca.

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T E C H N I Q U E Rows 6, 8, and 10: *K5, p5; rep from * to last 5 sts, k5. Rows 7 and 9: *P5, k5; rep from * to last 5 sts, p5. Rep Rows 110 for patt. Note: e right and wrong sides of the basketweave fabric look almost identical. Mark the right side of the piece with a removable marker or safety pin so that you can easily identify the sides for shaping purposes. Back CO 35 sts with MC. Work in basketweave patt for 90 rows and at the same time inc 1 st at the beg of every row, working new sts into patt125 sts; piece measures about 12 inches (32 cm) from CO. Next row: (RS, Row 1 of patt) Work 50 sts in patt for right front, place sts just worked on holder, BO center 25 sts for back neck, work in patt to end for le front50 le front sts rem on needle. Le Front Wing Cont in established patt on le front sts for 49 more rows, ending with WS Row 10 of pattpiece measures about 7 inches (18 cm) from back neck BO. Shape center front edge: Dec 1 st at neck edge (beg of RS rows, end of WS rows) on next RS row, then every 4th row 7 times, then every other row 15 times, then every row 26 times1 st rem; 135 le front rows completed from back neck BO; piece measures about 19 inches (49 cm) from back neck BO, and about 32 inches (81 cm) total from CO edge. Fasten o last st. Right Front Wing Return 50 held right front sts to needle with WS facing and rejoin MC in position to work a WS row. Work in established patt for 49 rows, ending with WS Row 10 of pattpiece measures about 7 inches (18 cm) from back neck BO. Shape center front edge: Dec 1 st at neck edge (end of RS rows, beg of WS rows) on next RS row, then every 4th row 7 times, then every other row 15 times, then every row 26 times1 st rem; piece measures same as le front wing from back neck BO and CO edge. Fasten o last st. Edging With RS of sontag facing and using crochet hook, join MC to the lower front tip of one wing. Rnd 1: With MC, work a rnd of dc all the way around the entire piece, working 1 dc into every other row or every other stitch along the edges, and working 3 dc in both front points and both lower back corners. Join with a sl st to rst dc. Rnd 2: Change to CC. Work 1 dc in each dc of prev rnd, working 3 dc in each front point and back corner as before. Rnd 3: With CC, work 5 dc into rst dc, *sk 1 dc, work 1

I-Cord With double-pointed needle, cast on


desired number of stitches. *Without turning the needle, slide the stitches to other end of the needle, pull the yarn around the back, and knit the stitches as usual; repeat from * for desired length.

sc in next dc, sk 1 dc, work 5 dc in next dc; rep from * around, working extra sts in front points and corners as necessary to keep the edging at, without ru ing or puckering. Fasten o last st. Finishing Button loop: With crochet hook and RS facing, join CC to Rnd 3 of edging at tip of right front wing. Work a crochet ch long enough to t around your chosen button, then anchor the end of the ch to the edging with a sl st. Work enough sc in ch lp to completely cover the ch, then fasten o last st. Sew button to tip of le front wing. Ties: With MC and 2 double-pointed needles, make two I-cords (see Technique: I-Cord above) each 24 inches (61.0 cm) long or long enough to reach from lower back corner to wearers center front and tie in a bow. Attach one end of each tie to MC edging rnd in lower back corner of sontag, just below the rst CC edging rnd. Tassels: Most period sontags had tassels at the end of the ties as shown. For each tassel, cut a bundle of 6-inch (16.5-cm) strands of both MC and CC. Tie the bundle tightly in the middle using a square knot. Fold bundle in half and wrap the neck of the tassel with MC about inch (1 cm) down from knot as shown. Trim ends of tassels and attach a tassel to end of each I-cord tie. Weave in ends.
A B O U T T H E A U T H O R A N D D E S I G N E R . Colleen Formby has graduate degrees in Vocal Performance from Radford University in Virginia and an MLS with a specialty in Archives and Preservation from the University of Maryland. She works as a reference librarian in Prince Georges County, Maryland, and is the special collections librarian in charge of the Maryland Room for the county.

How to Wear a Sontag Arrange the sontag with the back neck BO at the nape of the neck, the back
section hanging down in back, and the two wings hanging down in front. Bring the ties to the front and tie at the waist. Cross the wings over the chest, bring the points around to center back, and button the tips of the wings together at the small of the back. Enjoy the fact that youre wearing a nineteenth-century garment that will keep you warm in the twenty- rst century! C. F.

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Patriotic Toil:
Knitting Socks for Civil War SOLDIERS
KARIN TIMOUR

It rained or snowed as often as every third day while we were out and we had to poke along through the mud at the average rate of fteen miles per day. Since the 14th of Jan we have marched over 400 miles. . . . I have worn out three pairs of shoes . . . and a part of the time my feet have had nothing between them and the rough stones.
February 21, 1863, letter of John Follett, Company H, 33rd Illinois Volunteer Infantry FTER READING A LETTER like that from a husband or son, a womans rst thought probably was to send him new shoes or at least several pairs of socks. Over 2.8 million men were marching during the American Civil War (18611865), and wives, mothers, and the girls le behind worried, prayedand knitted as they never had before. Store-bought socks were a relatively new idea; most were made at home. Before the war, knitting ten pairs a year was considered a remarkable accomplishment; a er the war started, outstanding knitters were producing three pairs a week. Children who had to be prodded to knit an inch a day now turned out a sock a week: Everybody is knitting yarn socks for the soldiers. . . . Cousin Margaret Hodge has set all her old ladies at work at the Asylum. We have set up four [socks] tonight for ourselves, and Kate and Mary the cook are to have their turn too, wrote New Yorker Abby Howland Woolsey (see My Heart Toward Home: Letters of a Family During the Civil War in Further Reading below). Women in both the North and South joined local soldiers aid societies. Those in the rural South, where charitable organizations were fewer, knitted for family members or sent donations to town once a week. In the North, the United States Sanitary Commission, Western
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Knitting for the Soldiers by Eastman Johnson (18241906). Oil on millboard. 1861. Collection of the New York Historical Society. (S-26). The little girl is making a three-needle bind-off in a blue army sock.
Photograph courtesy of the New York Historical Society, New York, New York.

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Photograph of Mary Anna Randolph Custis Lee (1808 1873). Photographer and date unknown. Photography Collection, Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs, The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundations.
Photograph courtesy of the New York Public Library, New York, New York.

Sanitary Commission, and United States Christian Commission collected cakes and jams, socks and sheets donated by community groups and shipped them to regional o ces in Chicago, Detroit, Cincinnati, St. Louis, Louisville, Pittsburgh, Bu alo, Philadelphia, New York, and Boston. Each donation was stamped to keep it from being sold or used by anyone but a soldier in the field or a hospital (see Consequences, page 25) and packed for shipping to hospitals or commission field agents. In two months of 1862, the United States Sanitary Commission alone shipped 80,332 socks to the eastern Federal Army of the Potomac. Mary Anna Randolph Custis Lee (18081873), the wife of General Robert E. Lee, was a prodigious sock knitter. Knitters gravitated to her Richmond home, and as the war went on, she had yarn scouts across the Confederacy sending her yarn. She sent socks to her husband

Notes Found in Civil War Socks


Brave Sentry, on your lonely beat May these blue stockings warm your feet And when from wars and camps you part May some fair knitter warm your heart. Union Soldiers and the Northern Homefront: Wartime Experiences, Postwar Adjustments (Bronx, New York: Fordham University Press, 2002) My Dear Boy, I have knit these socks expressly for you. How do you like them? How do you look, and where do you live when you are at home? I am nineteen years old, of medium height, of slight build, with blue eyes, fair complexion, light hair, and a good deal of it. Write and tell me all about yourself, and how you get on in the hospitals. Direct to . P.S. If the recipient of these socks has a wife, will he please exchange socks with some poor fellow not so fortunate? Dear Soldier, If these socks had language they would tell you that many a kind wish for you has been knit into them, and many a tear of pity for you has bedewed them. We all think of you, and want to do everything we can for you; for we feel that we owe you unlimited love and gratitude, and that you deserve the very best at our hands. From My Story of the War: e Civil War Memoirs of the Famous Nurse, Relief Organizer and Su ragette by Mary A. Livermore (1887. Reprint, Cambridge, Massachusetts: Da Capo Press, 1995)

for distribution but started a written tally only in the last winter of the war. From December 1864 to April 1865, she sent out 859 pairs of socks and 190 pairs of gloves (see e Robert E. Lee Family Cooking and Housekeeping Book in Further Reading below). Visiting in 1863, Mary Boykin Chesnut (18231886; see Further Reading) compared Mary Anna Lees knitting room to an industrial school. In April 1865, Lee had just turned the heel on a cream-colored wool sock when she heard that her husband had surrendered the Confederacys Army of Northern Virginia. She handed the sock to the woman next to her, saying, Here, you finish this, your eyes are better than mine. That sock, still on the needles, is now in the Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond, Virginia. That millions of socks were knitted during the war is even more amazing given that many women were now shouldering the work of husbands and sons gone to the war managing or laboring on farms, running boarding houses, shops, or other businesses. Families depending on soldiers pay to survive were sorely pinched: Confederate privates received $11 to $13 a month; Federals, $13. Months could pass between paydays, and as the war continued, in ation soared. Both armies issued their troops factory-made socks purchased from private contractors, most made so shoddily that they were reputed to last only a day. Union soldiers received yarn (wool) socks. Confederates preferred wool, too, but sometimes had to settle for cotton stockings, which were cold when wet and hard on marching feet. A soldier was allotted four pairs a year. Additional army-issue socks cost a Federal soldier 25 to 33 cents a pair, or more than half a days wages. For a Confederate, extras were $1 a pair, or nearly two days wages. Sending a soldier socks from home made good economic sense for families trying to make ends meet on a soldiers pay. The wartime blockade of southern ports by Union forces created great shortages of raw material including wool. e Confederate government and local mill owners

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Consequences
oe betide someone caught using donations meant for the boys. In November 1862, Union nurse Mary Ann Mother Bickerdyke came upon a lieutenant whose shirt looked familiar. Suspicious, she suddenly yanked open his collar, nding the Northwest Sanitary Commissions markings. She knocked him down and checked his other garments. Socks and slippers were also donations. She triumphantly con scated socks, slippers, and shirt to the cheers of patients. e thief was returned to the ghting the next morning. From Civil War Medicine: Care & Comfort of the Wounded by Robert E. Denney (New York: Sterling Publishing, 1995) K. T.

The Anatomy of Civil War Socks


urviving socks from di erent regions di er in some respects but share many characteristics: Shape: Until the 1820s, men wore knee-length breeches with stockings, or hose, which came above the knee. When the fashion changed to trousers that ended at the ankle, they were worn with stockings that came below the knee, called half hose. Half hose are longer in the leg than modern socks and were made with either less than inch (1.9 cm) of ribbing or no ribbing at all. By contrast, Civil War socks had 2 to 3 inches (5.1 to 8.9 cm) of ribbing; only bed socks, intended generally for the aged and invalids, were ribbed to the ankle.

Construction: Socks might be made by hand, knitdonated yarn to be knitted by civilians, who picked it up ting frame, or tubular sock machine. Knitting frames at county courthouses and other government buildings produced a at sheet that was then sewn into a sock (including at least one penitentiary), then returned the shape; such socks can be recognized by the handnished articles to the same location for shipment. sewn seams that run the length of the foot. Sock maSouthern knitters also turned to spinning their own chines produced a tube to which a handknitter later added a heel and toe. fleece or cotton but were hampered by a lack of cards, Heels and Toes: Modern socks have short-row at wire brushes used to prepare the ber for spinning. heels and toes made by machine, but machines caOne enterprising Texas quartermaster, cited in the Octopable of short rows were produced only a er the ber 7, 1863, issue of the Galveston Weekly News, o ered war. Whether hand- or machine-made, all socks this incentive: Any person delivering 25 pairs of homewere finished by hand, narrowing heels and toes until only a handful of stitches remained, then made Socks . . . to Capt. W. J. Mills . . . Clothing Depot bound o using three needles (this technique is ex. . . will receive one pair of cotton or wool Cards. plained in the project that follows). Some toes were As fewer sheep were raised in the South, the demand narrowed until eight or ten stitches remained and for wool increased there as the war continued. Women then the yarn was threaded through the remaining made do, spinning shredded fabric scraps, raveled prestitches, drawn tight, and the end woven in. Gra ing (the Kitchener Stitch) was not used. war clothing and carpets, and the wool stu ng from matNeedles/Gauge: Needles ranged from size 00 to tresses. ey blended wool with rabbit and opossum fur size 00000 or even ner. Gauge ranged from 8 to 15 and cotton to make it go further. When they couldnt get stitches per inch (3 to 6 stitches per cm) or higher, the wool, they knitted with cotton, linen, or silk; and at least tighter gauge being more common. one desperate knitter used ber from raveled Federal Yarn: Materials were expensive, but labor was cheap. A tents made of cotton canvas. pound of wool spun thin could produce many more socks than From every hearth, parlor, log cabin, and a pound of bulkier yarn. Finely spun, multiple-ply yarn knitted on very ne needles produced extremely durable socks. Two- or threefarmhouse, whether in the North or in the ply yarn was standard, and four-ply was not unusual. South, women sent socks to protect and Color: e socks of both armies were either undyed or dyed dark warm their soldiers. With every stitch, blue with indigo, a cheap, readily available colorfast dye in both they knitted in their courage, tears, North and South even though blue was the federal color; the prayers, and hopes. Every sock that dark color was great for hiding the dirt. Some northern women survives from this period is an knitted red-white-and-blue and even ags into their socks, but no surviving socks from the South show evidence inspiration to us of what can be of patriotic Confederate red-white-and-red. accomplished with just needles, K. T. yarn, and determination.

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Department of Cultural Resources, 1979. Hague, Parthenia Antoinette. A Blockaded Family: Life in Southern Alabama during the Civil War. 1888. Reprint, Tuscaloosa, Alabama: University of Alabama Press, 2005. Massey, Mary Elizabeth: Ersatz in the Confederacy. 1952. Reprint, Temecula, California: Textbook Publishers, 2003. Strawn, Susan. Knitting America: A Glorious Heritage from Warm Socks to High Art. Minneapolis, Minnesota:Voyageur Press, 2007. Todd, Frederick E. American Military Equipage, 1851 1872: A Description by Word and Picture of What the American Soldier, Sailor, and Marine of These Years Wore and Carried, with Emphasis on the American Civil War. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1980. Out of print. Wiley, Bell Irvin. The Life of Johnny Reb: The Common Soldier of the Confederacy. 1978. Reprint, Baton Rouge, Louisiana: Louisiana State University Press, 2008. Wormley, Katharine Prescott. The Other Side of War: On the Hospital Transports with the Army of the Potomac. Glen Falls, New York: Corner House Historical Publications, 1998. Out of print. Zimmer, Anne Carter. Robert E. Lee Family Cooking and Housekeeping Book. Chapel Hill, North Carolina: University of North Carolina Press, 2002.

Christmas Boxes in Camp - Christmas 1861 by Winslow Homer (18361910). Cover illustration for the January 4, 1862, issue of Harpers Weekly.
Image used compliments of Applewood Books, Carlisle, Massachusetts (www.awb.com). FURTHER READING

Bacon, Georgeanna Woolsey, and Eliza Woolsey Howland. My Heart Toward Home: Letters of a Family During the Civil War. Roseville, Minnesota: Edinborough Press, 2000. Candee, Richard M. Socks and Stockings, Shirts, Drawers and Sashes: Hand and Machine Knitting for the Civil War. In Proceedings of the Textile History Forum. Cooperstown, New York: Textile History Forum and New York State Historical Association, 2000. Cashin, Joan E., ed. The War Was You and Me: Civilians in the American Civil War. Pr inceton, New Jersey: Pr inceton University Press, 2002. Chesnut, Mary Boykin. A Diary from Dixie. 1905. Reprint, Whitesh, Montana: Kessinger, 2008. Coco, Gregory A. A Strange and Blighted Land: Gettysburg: the Aftermath of Battle. Gettysburg, Pennsylvania: Thomas, 1998. Edmonston, Catherine Anne Deveraux. Journal of a Sesech Lady: The Diary of Catherine Anne Deveraux Edmonston, 18601866. Raleigh, North Carolina: Division of Archives and History,

Mens half-hose. Maker unknown. Knitted. Wool. Origin and date unknown. Collection of the author.
Photograph by Jason Reid.

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Resources
John Folletts letter cited at the beginning of this article is included in e Early Civil War Perspectives of an Illinois Soldier as Re ected in His Letters: From Galesburg to Vicksburg, a research paper by Scott Laidig available at http://ehistory .osu.edu/uscw/library/essays/perspectives.cfm. Transcribed articles from Civil Warera newspapers compiled by Vicki Betts: www.uttyler.edu/vbetts/newspaper_intro .htm. Documenting the American South (DocSouth), sponsored by the University Library of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, provides access to texts, images, and audio les related to Southern history, literature, and culture: http:// docsouth.unc.edu. Making of America (MOA), a collaboration between the University of Michigan and Cornell University, documents American social history from the antebellum period through reconstruction: http://quod.lib.umich.edu/m/moagrp/about.html and http://moa.cit.cornell.edu/moa.

Civil War Socks to Knit


KARIN TIMOUR

elow are the original instructions to knit socks for soldiers serving in both the Confederate and Union armies during the American Civil War (18611865). Each is followed by a modern interpretation (information for altering the foot and/or leg size of the project socks is included in the instructions). These patterns vary by yarn, needle size, heels, and toes. The Northern pattern calls for heavy 3-ply ngering-weight yarn, thicker than that used in the Southern sock. It speci es a size 13 needle (our modern size 1 [2.25 mm]), while the Southern sock is made with either a size 14 (modern size 0 [2.00 mm]) or a size 15 needle (modern size 00 [1.75 mm]). e Northern sock has a round toe, very common in both Union and Confederate socks. The Southern sock toe, made with a three-point double decrease, is the most ordinary toe on Southern mid-nineteenth century socks. e Northern sock has a Dutch heel, as popular today as in the 1860s. e Southern sock has a shaped common heel with a three-needle bind-o (explained in the modern interpretations below), the most common nineteenth-century heel, but rarely seen in modern patterns. Note: If socks are knit for reenactors, DO NOT use yarn with man-made (synthetic) content or reinforce heels or toes with any yarn containing synthetic fibers. Reenactors o en warm their feet at an open flame, and socks can be hit by flying embers or even catch on re. Synthetic fibers or modern sock yarn containing nylon or polyester can melt against the wearers skin if exposed to ame.
UNION SOCKS

Directions for Knitting Socks 1 lb. Yarn knits three pair socks Use No. 13 needles, and three-threaded yarn. For small sock, set up 65 stitches foot 10 inches long. For medium sock, set up 70 stitches foot 11 inches long. For very large sock, set up 75 stitches foot 12 inches long. Leg. Cast on stitches. Rib 3 inches. Knit plain 6 inches, keeping one stitch seam. Heel. Take half the stitches on one needle for the back of heel. Knit three inches, seaming every other row. en turn the heel thus: Knit three-quarters of your stitches, and slip and bind the first stitch of the last quarter. Turn and seam back, repeating the same on the rst stitch of the quarter at the other end, and so on, back and forward, till the two end quarters are used up. Instep. Divide the remaining stitches on two needles, and pick up on each needle the stitches on that side of the heel. With these and the stitches on the instep needles begin the foot. Narrow at the last stitch but two on the side needles, near the instep needles. Do this every other round until you have reduced the number of stitches on each heel needle to half that on the instep needles.

Karin Timours knitted Union sock.


Photograph by Joe Coca.

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1861 Civil War wool socks. Appraised on an episode of PBSs Antiques Roadshow. Knitted by a Virginian loyal to the United States for a Union soldier who reportedly did not wear them, afraid of the consequences if captured while wearing them. The number of stars in the ags knitted into the socks shows that they were made after January 29, 1861, when Kansas became a state, but before April 17, 1861, when Virginia joined the Confederacy. The socks were valued at $1,500 to $2,000; a clip of the appraisal may be viewed at www.pbs.org/ wgbh/road show/archive/ 200602A13.html.
Photograph courtesy of Frontline/ WGBH Educational Foundation. 1993.WGBH/ Boston. Photograph by Jeff Dunn, for WGBH.

Foot. Knit on plain till your foot is the right length, allowing 2 inches for the toe. Toe. Knit one round, narrowing every seventh stitch. en knit six rows plain. Knit one round narrowing every sixth stitch. Five rows plain, and so on till you narrow every other stitch. Cast o . Run heels and toes. To avoid running, and make heel double, follow directions for heel as above; but on seam needles, slip every other stitch. United States Sanitary Commission Bulletin, Volume I, Number 31, February 1, 1865
MODERN UNION SOCKS I NSTRUCTIONS

e original pattern o ered two di erent heel aps, one which is faster (Heel Flap A) and one which is more durable (Heel Flap B, shown on sample). Cu CO 67 (71, 75) sts. Next rnd: *K2, p2; rep from * to last 3 sts, k2, p1. Cont in ribbing as established until cu measures 3 inches (8.9 cm) long. Leg Next rnd: K to last st, p1. e purl st at the end of the rnd is called the seam stitch, and marks the middle back of the leg. Rep the last rnd until leg measures 10 inches (25.4 cm) from CO edge, dec 2 (1, 0) st(s) in last rnd65 (70, 75) sts. K 1 more rnd, ending 16 (17, 18) sts before the p1 seam st17 (18, 19) sts total rem unworked at end of rnd. Heel Flap Place the next 33 (35, 37) sts on one needle for heel ap; heel needle should have the p1 seam st in the center and 16 (17, 18) St sts on each side. Divide the rem 32 (35, 38) sts on 2 needles to work later for instep16 (17, 19) sts on one needle, and 16 (18, 19) sts on the other. Work the heel ap of your choice back and forth in rows as foll: Heel Flap A Row 1: (RS) Sl 1, k to seam st, p1 (seam st), k to end. Row 2: (WS) Sl 1, p to seam st, k1 (seam st), p to end. Rep Rows 1 and 2 until the heel ap measures about 3 inches (8 cm) long, ending with a WS row. Proceed to
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Notes: To determine foot length, have the intended wearer stand on a ruler or trace an outline of his foot and measure the length from the tip of the longest toe to the center back heel. e toe shaping of this sock is about 2 inches (6 cm) long; work the foot until it measures 2 inches (6.4 cm) less than the desired foot length, then begin the toe shaping. The ribbed cuff given will stretch up to about 11 (12, 13) inches (29 [31, 33] cm) around. If a larger leg is desired, measure around the wearers calf about 13 inches (33 cm) up from the oor, subtract 30% from this measurement so that the ribbing will grip the leg and hold up the sock, and multiply the result by the stitch gauge to get the cast-on number. If the total is not a multiple of four plus three, round up or down to the nearest multiple of four plus three stitches.

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Turn Heel below. Heel Flap B Row 1: (RS) Sl 1, k to seam st, p1 (seam st), k to end. Row 2: Sl 1, [p1, sl 1] 7 (8, 8) times, p1 (0, 1), k1 (seam st), [p1, sl 1] 7 (8, 8) times, p2 (1, 2). Rep Rows 1 and 2 until heel flap measures about 3 inches (8 cm) long, ending with a WS row. Turn Heel (both ap versions) Work short rows as foll: Row 1: (RS) Sl 1, k to seam st, p1 (seam st), k7 (8, 9), k2tog, turn. Row 2: (WS) Sl 1, and p to seam st, k1 (seam st), p7 (8, 9), p2tog, turn. Row 3: Sl 1, k to seam st, p1 (seam st), k to gap in prev row, k2tog (1 st from each side of gap), turn. Row 4: Sl 1, p to seam st, k1 (seam st), p to gap in prev row, p2tog (1 st from each side of gap), turn. Rep Rows 3 and 4 until all sts have been worked17 (19, 21) heel sts rem. Gussets Discontinue the purled seam st and work all sts in St st from now on. Rejoin for working in the rnd as foll: Rnd 1: With heel needle, k17 (19, 21) heel sts, then pick up and knit 25 sts along side of heel ap; with Needle 2, k32 (35, 38) instep sts onto one needle; with Needle 3, pick up and k 25 sts along other side of heel ap, then k the rst 9 (10, 11) heel sts from Needle 1 onto the end of Needle 399 (104, 109) sts; 33 (34, 35) sts on Needle 1; 32 (35, 38) sts on Needle 2; 34 (35, 36) sts on Needle 3. Rnd 2: With Needle 1, k to last 4 sts, sl 1, k1, psso, k2; with Needle 2, k all sts; with Needle 3, k2, sl 1, k1, psso, k to end2 sts decd, 1 each from Needles 1 and 3. Note: e decs are deliberately worked with the same le -slant on both sides of the foot. Rnd 3: K all sts. Rep Rnds 2 and 3 sixteen more times65 (70, 75) sts rem; 16 (17, 18) sts on Needle 1; 32 (35, 38) sts on Needle 2; 17 (18, 19) sts on Needle 3. Foot K until foot measures about 7 (8, 9) inches (19 [21, 24] cm) from center back heel, or 2 inches (6.4 cm) less than desired total foot length, dec 1 (inc 2, dec 3) st(s) evenly in last rnd64 (72, 72) sts rem. Toe Rnd 1: *K6, sl 1, k1, psso; rep from * to end56 (63, 63) sts. Rnds 27: K 6 rnds. Rnd 8: K5, sl 1, k1, psso; rep from * to

To Run the Heels and Toes


Commission, the last step is to run heels and toes. This means to reinforce the heels and toes by loosely stitching sock yarn through the nished heel. e knitter would use a darning or tapestry needle and sock yarn to cover the inside surface of the heels and toes with an added layer of reinforcement. Heres how: Turn the sock inside out and use a darning egg to keep from accidentally stitching through more than just the layer you are reinforcing. Dont stitch all the way through to the outside of the sock or use a knot at the end of the yarn. Shallowly dip the needle so that it skims under the inside surface of the sock. Make fairly large running stitches back and forth inside the heel and then the toe. K. T.

In the original pattern published in 1865 by the United States Sanitary

end48 (54, 54) sts. Rnds 913: K 5 rnds. Rnd 14: *K4, sl 1, k1, psso; rep from * to end40 (45, 45) sts. Rnds 1518: K 4 rnds. Rnd 19: *K3, sl 1, k1, psso; rep from * to end32 (36, 36) sts. Rnds 2022: K 3 rnds. Rnd 23: *K2, sl 1, k1, psso; rep from * to end24 (27, 27) sts. Rnds 2425: K 2 rnds. Rnd 26: *K1, sl 1, k1, psso; rep from * to end16 (18, 18) sts. Rnd 27: K. Rnd 28: *K2tog; rep from * to end8 (9, 9) sts. Break yarn, leaving a 10-inch (25.4-cm) tail. read tail on tapestry needle, and pull through all sts, drawstring-fashion, to close toe. Weave in ends.
C ON F E DE R AT E S O C K S

Directions for Knitting Socks for the Army The following directions, which have been furnished by a lady of much experience, may prove useful to those who will engage in knitting woolen socks for the army. e yarn should be bluish grey, No. twenty-two, and the needles No. fourteen to een: Set twenty-seven stitches on each needle; knit the plain and two seam rows alternately until the ribbing is three inches long, then knit plain seven inches for the leg, remembering to seam one stitch at the end of one needle. To form the heel, put twenty stitches on two of the needles, and forty on the other the seam stitch being in the middle.

Karin Timours knitted Confederate sock.


Photograph by Joe Coca.

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Knit the rst row plain, the next row seam, and so alternately until the heel is three inches long, then narrow on the plain row each side of the seam stitch for ve plain rows, which will leave thirty-one stitches. To close the heel, knit the last seam row to the middle of the needle, knit the seam stitch plain, then fold the two needles together, and with another needle take o the seam stitch. en knit a stitch from both needles at once and bind the seam stitch over it. Continue knitting in this manner until but one is le and the heel closed. Take up as many stitches as there are rows around the heel; knit one row plain; then widen every h stitch on the heel needles. Narrow once on every round at each side of the foot needle, knit plain six inches; narrow at the beginning and end of each needle on every third round till you have seventeen stitches on each side; then narrow every round until the foot is closed. One pound of yarn, costing from seventy- ve cents to one dollar, will furnish four pair of socks. Macon Daily Telegraph and Confederate, Macon, Georgia, January 26, 1864
M ODE R N C ON F E DE R AT E S O C K S I NSTRUCTIONS

Notes: To determine foot length, have the intended wearer stand on a ruler or trace an outline of his foot and measure the length from the tip of the longest toe to the center back heel. e toe shaping of this sock is about 2 inches (6 cm) long; work the foot until it measures 2 inches (6.4 cm) less than the desired foot length, then begin the toe shaping. The 81-stitch ribbed cuff given will stretch up to 13 inches (33 cm) around. If a larger leg is desired, measure

M ATERIALS

around the wearers calf about 13 inches (33.0 cm) up from the oor, subtract 30% from this measurement so that the ribbing will grip the leg and hold up the sock, and multiply the result by the stitch gauge to get the cast-on number. If the total is not a multiple of three, round up or down one or two stitches to the nearest multiple of three stitches. Cu CO 81 sts (or desired number; see Notes above). Divide sts evenly onto 3 needles27 sts on each needle. Join for working in the rnd, being careful not to twist sts, and pm (optional) to indicate beg of rnd. Next rnd: *K1, p2; rep from * to end. Cont in ribbing as established until cu measures 3 inches (7.6 cm) from CO. Leg Next rnd: K to last st, p1. e p st at the end of the rnd is called the seam stitch and marks the middle back of the leg. Cont in St st with p1 seam st until piece measures about 10 inches (25 cm) from CO, or desired length to beg of heel, ending the last rnd 20 sts before the p1 seam st 21 sts total rem unworked at end of rnd. Heel Flap Place the next 41 sts on one needle for heel ap; heel needle should have the p1 seam st in the center and 20 St sts on each side. Divide the rem 40 sts evenly on 2 needles to work later for instep. If you used a di erent number of leg sts, divide the sts as evenly as possible between the heel ap and the instep so the heel ap needle contains an odd number of sts with the seam st in the center. Work heel sts back and forth in rows as foll: Row 1: (RS) Sl 1, k to seam st, p1 (seam st), k to end. Row 2: (WS) Sl 1, p to seam st, k1 (seam st), p to end. Rep Rows 1 and 2 until the heel ap measures about 3 inches (8 cm) long, ending with a WS row. Note: e brown sock shown has the heel ap worked in optional twisted St st, created by working each k st tbl on RS rows. Narrow Heel Row 1: Sl 1, k until 2 sts before seam st, k2tog, p1 (seam st), sl 1, k1, psso, k to end2 sts decd. Row 2: Sl 1, p to seam st, k1 (seam st), p to end. Rep Rows 1 and 2 four more times31 heel sts rem, or 10 sts less than at start of the heel ap. Next row: (RS) Sl 1, k to seam st, p1 (seam st), leave rem sts unworked at end of row. Fold heel ap in half with the needles parallel, the right sides of both halves touching and the wrong sides of both halves facing outward. With the WS of the folded heel ap facing you, the seam st should be the st closest to the tip of the front needle (Needle A)16 sts on Needle A; 15 sts on back needle (Needle B). Sl the seam st pwise onto a third needle (Needle C). *Using the tip of Nee-

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dle C, transfer the next st on Needle A to the end of Needle B, then using Needle C, p 2 sts tog from Needle B (the transferred st and the next st a er it)2 sts on needle C. Pass the second st on Needle C over the rst st as if to BO1 st rem on Needle C. Rep from * until 1 st rem. Turn the heel RS out, keeping 1 rem heel st on heel needle (now referred to as Needle 1). Rejoin for working in the rnd as foll: Rnd 1: With Needle 1 holding 1 heel st, pick up and k 29 sts along the side of the heel ap; with Needle 2, k20 instep sts (or half the total number of instep sts); with Needle 3, k20 rem instep sts; with Needle 4, pick up and k 29 sts along other side of heel ap99 sts; 30 sts on Needle 1; 20 sts each on Needles 2 and 3; 29 sts on Needle 4. Rnd 2: With Needle 1, [k5, M1] 5 times, k3, k2tog; k across all sts of Needles 2 and 3; with Needle 4, k2tog, k2, [M1, k5] 5 times107 sts; 34 sts on Needle 1; 20 sts each on Needles 2 and 3; 33 sts on Needle 4. Rnd 3: With Needle 1, k to last 2 sts, k2tog; k across all sts of Needles 2 and 3; with Needle 4, k2tog, k to end 2 sts decd; 1 st each from Needles 1 and 4. Rep Rnd 3 twelve more times81 sts rem; 21 sts on Needle 1; 20 sts each on Needles 2 and 3; 20 sts on Needle 4. If desired, place all 40 instep sts of Needles 2 and 3 on a single needle for working the foot. Foot K until foot measures about 7 inches (20 cm) from center back heel or 2 inches (6.4 cm) less than desired total foot length. Rearrange sts evenly on 3 needles27 sts on each needle. When rearranging sts, move them from Needles 2 and 3. Do not move the beg of the rnd from the bottom of the foot. e rst double dec must start at this point. Toe Rnd 1: *Sl 1, k1, psso, k to last 2 sts of needle, k2tog;

rep from * 2 more times6 sts decd, 2 sts from each needle. Rnds 2 and 3: K. Rep Rnds 13 four more times51 sts rem; 17 sts on each needle. Rep Rnds 1 and 2 only (do not include Rnd 3) ve more times21 sts rem; 7 sts on each needle. Rep Rnd 1 only (with no plain rnds in between) 2 more times9 sts rem; 3 sts on each needle. Break yarn, leaving a 10-inch (25.4-cm) tail. read tail on tapestry needle, and pull through all sts, drawstring-fashion, to close toe. Weave in ends.
A B O U T T H E A U T H O R A N D D E S I G N E R . Karin Timour learned to knit at an early age from her mother, Sandy, an accomplished needlewoman. She researches and reproduces nineteenth-century socks for museums and reenactors and is the author of Federal Issue Stockings in The Columbia Ries Research Compendium, 2d ed. (Warren, Michigan: The Watchdog Press, 2006). She lives in New York and is a member of the Atlantic Guard Soldiers Aid Society (AGSAS) and the New York Historical Society.

Karin Timours knitted Civil War socks. Left to right: light gray Union sock, charcoal gray Confederate sock, and brown Confederate sock.
Photograph by Joe Coca.

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Elisabeth Shures embroidered pinkeep.


Scissors and handforged pins and needles courtesy of Loene McIntyre, Fort Collins, Colorado. Photograph by Joe Coca.

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Pinkeep to Embroider
ELISABETH SHURE

roviding safe storage for ones straight pins has been a common endeavor for needleworkers across the centuries. Whatever the nomenclaturepincase, pinball, poppet, pincushion, or pinkeepall e tree motif on this pinkeep is adapted from those seen on

needleworkers need this sewing accessory.

eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Nantucket, Massachusetts, needlework samplers.

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Key #4167 Very Dark Victorian Green #4162 Lightest Victorian Green #2063 Light Pumpkin Long-armed cross-stitch with #4167 Very Dark Victorian Green Band

Long-armed cross-stitch

Cross-stitch
Charts may be photocopied for personal use.

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Alphabet

I NSTRUCTIONS

Stitching the Top Overcast the raw edges of both pieces of linen fabric with sewing thread. On the square piece of linen, work 2 inches (5.1 cm) of running stitch close to the edge of one of the sides. To ensure that all the cross-stitches are crossed in the same direction, keep the running stitch at the top of your work. If you prefer to use an embroidery frame, use a scrolltype frame that wont crush the stitching or the fabric. Fold the square of linen in half to form a rectangle and nger-press a crease into it. Fold in half again, perpendicular to the rst fold, and make another crease. Stitch the top design according to the chart, aligning the center of the chart with the intersection of the folds. Work over two threads of the linen. Making the Pinkeep When you have completed the top, place the stitched linen on top of the square of lawn or batiste, matching the grain of the fabrics. Center the compass on the design and draw a circle 5 inches (12.7 cm) in diameter with the marker. Stay-stitch around the circle through both layers of fabric with a row of machine stitching or a row of backstitches worked by hand. Trim the fabric to inch (6 mm) outside the stitched circle. Using the fabric circle as a pattern, cut a matching circle from the annel fabric. With a double strand of sewing thread, stitch a row of small running stitches just inside the stay stitching on the linen circle. When you reach the beginning, leave a 4-inch (10.2-cm) tail. Work a similar row of running stitch inch (6 mm) inside the edge of the annel fabric. Wind the wool yarn rmly but not tightly into an even, round ball about 2 inches (7.0 cm) in diameter. Gather the circles of fabric slightly by pulling up the runningstitch threads and cup them over opposite sides of the ball of yarn. e two pieces of fabric should overlap by about inch (6 mm) all the way around the ball. Add or remove yarn from the ball until it ts the circles of fabric.

Place the stitched linen on the ball. Pull the gathering thread tight, distributing the gathers evenly around the circle. Pull the fabric firmly over the ball and hold it in place with a few pins. When you are satis ed with the t, baste the fabric onto the ball. Repeat the same procedure for the annel fabric, lapping it over the linen. Stitching the Trim Band Measure around the middle of the ball where the two fabrics overlap. Fold the remaining piece of linen in half lengthwise and nger-press the crease. Open out the fabric and fold in half again at right angles to the rst fold. From the center of the fabric, begin stitching the band design, extending it in both directions until the length of the embroidery equals the circumference of the ball. If you would like to add initials to the band, select the letters from the alphabet chart, calculate the midpoint of the initials, and align it with the center of the fabric. Work the initials in cross-stitch and then work the band pattern on either side of the completed letters. Check the embroidered length by wrapping the fabric around the pinkeep. Finishing Trim the sides and ends of the band to inch (1.0 cm) outside the stitching. Fold the edges to the wrong side along the outside of the long-armed cross-stitch. Pin the band in place over the overlapped linen and annel fabrics. Turn under the ends of the band where they meet. Slip-stitch the ends of the band together. Slip-stitch the sides of the band to the cover fabrics.
A B O U T T H E D E S I G N E R . Elisabeth Shure is a descendant of a Nantucket, Massachusetts, whaling family and was formerly the associate curator of textiles for the Nantucket Historical Association (NHA). Her heritage is evident in her interpretations of the historic designs of Nantucket Island.To create the designs, she spent many hours cataloging and charting the designs of the NHA. She has taught classes in the history of needlework and various historical needlework techniques.

A version of this originally appeared in the July/August 1995 issue of PieceWork.

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Seventeenth-Century Undershirt to Knit

M ARY M ERRILL, A NNE S EAMANS, B ETTY S HANNON, AND A DELE H ARVEY

or many years, members of the Weavers Guild of Boston have been making textiles to be used at Plimoth Plantation in Plymouth, Massachusetts. e plantation is a reproduction of the rst settlement as it is thought to have been in 1627, seven years a er the May ower arrived at Plimoth in Massachusetts. ese textiles have included sheets, blankets, table linens, and yardage for costumes. ree seventeenth-century knitted caps prompted some of us to attempt to reproduce these articles for use at the plantation. e early Plimoth inventories make no mention of anything to do with knitting, but the pictorial evidence, the ubiquity of spinning, and a few surviving articles in England seem enough to justify the addition of these to the costume of village interpreters. is undershirt, or waistcoat, is patterned a er a childs knitted shirt in the Museum of London [shown at right]. e original is an earth brown and has no surviving ties. It was knitted in the round. Shirts such as this were probably worn over a linen shirt but under a doublet or cassock. While we have used this pattern to make a mans garment, waistcoats of this sort may have been worn by women as well. e patterns have been developed from sketches of old pieces, as in the at caps; photographs of articles as the London purse in such perfect condition that each stitch could be counted; and detailed analyses as in the case of the Gunnister excavation [see Gunnister Mans Knitted Possessions by Deborah Pulliam, PieceWork, September/ October 2002]. e two bags were straight-forward pieces, other articles required several versions before being deemed satisfactory for daily use in the village. We believe the patterns are accurate, suggest the knitter proceed with caution, and welcome any suggestions or corrections.
INSTRUCTIONS

Notes: e directions are for only one size, with general guidelines for size adjustments. If making a larger or longer shirt, plan on purchasing extra yarn. Each sleeve is worked separately from the lower edge up to the armhole, then stitches are placed on a holder to

Vest. Maker unknown. Knitted. Wool. England. Seventeenth century. Probably worn by a young child. Collection of the Museum of London.
Photograph courtesy of the Museum of London, London, England.

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PieceWorks version of the seventeenth-century undershirt knitted by Rebecca L. Daniels.


Photographs by Joe Coca.

M ATERIALS
2" (6.4 cm) 10" (25.4 cm)

5" 6" (12.7 cm) (15.2 cm)

14" (36.8 cm)

6" (15.2 cm)

13" (34.3 cm)

37" (95.9 cm)

work later as part of the body, and the remaining sleeve stitches are worked as a shoulder saddle to the neck edge. The body begins at the neck edge and is worked downward in one piece with a center front opening and gusset decreases to shape the armholes. At the base of the front opening, the body stitches are joined for working in the round and worked down to the lower edge. To increase the finished chest size, work the saddle section of each sleeve longer before binding off; every inch (1.3 cm) added to each saddle will add about 1
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inch (2 cm) to the total width across the shoulders and 2 inches (5 cm) to the chest circumference. When picking up stitches from the saddle selvedges for the body, pick up an extra 3 to 4 stitches for every inch (1.3 cm) of extra saddle length, or 7 stitches for every extra 1 inch (2.5 cm). Work the armhole gusset decreases as given in the directions until you reach the desired number of stitches around the chest; every 14 stitches more than the stitch count in the basic pattern below will add 2 inches (5.1 cm) to the nished chest measurement.

Sleeves CO 100 sts and divide onto 3 dpn, 33 sts on Needle 1, 34 sts on Needle 2, and 33 sts on Needle 3. Join for working in the rnd, being careful not to twist sts, and pm to indicate beg of rnd. *K 1 rnd, p 1 rnd; rep from * 2 more times3 garter ridges completed. Work even in St st (k all sts every rnd) until piece measures 6 inches (15.2 cm) from CO, or desired length to underarm. Shape shoulder saddle: K67 to end of Needle 2. Place 33 sts each from Needles 1 and 3 on holder66 sts on hold. Work St st back and forth in rows on 34 center sts of Needle 2 only until shoulder saddle measures 5 inches (12.7 cm), or desired length, to edge of neck opening piece measures about 11 inches (28 cm) total from CO. BO all sts. Make a second sleeve the same as the rst. Body Set-up row: (WS) With cir needle, CO 21 sts for right front neck. *Holding one sleeve with WS facing and BO saddle edge toward the right, pick up and p 36 sts along saddle selvedge from BO edge to underarm, pm for gusset, p 66 held sleeve sts, pm for gusset, pick up and p 36 sts from rem saddle selvedge from underarm to BO edge,* CO 42 sts for back neck; rep from * to * for second sleeve, then CO 21 sts for le front neck360 sts; 57 sts for each front, 66 sts in each side section between m; 114 back sts. Rows beg and end at center front opening. Row 1: (RS) *K to 3 sts before m, k2tog, k1, sl m, k66 to next m, sl m, k1, sl 1, k1, psso; rep from * once more, k to end4 sts decd. Row 2: (WS) P all sts. Rep Rows 1 and 2 (do not rep the Set-up row) 23 more times or until desired number of sts rem264 sts; 33 sts for each front; 66 sts in each side section between m; 66 back sts; center front opening measures about 4 inches (12 cm) from front neck CO. On the next row, remove gusset m, and continue in St st back and forth in rows until front opening measures 10 inches (25.4 cm) from front neck CO, ending with a RS row. With RS still facing, k 1 rnd across all sts to join for working in the rnd. Work St st in the rnd until piece measures 13 inches (33.0 cm) from joining rnd at base of neck opening, or inch (1.3 cm) less than desired nished length. *K 1 rnd, p 1 rnd; rep from * 2 more times3 garter ridges completed; lower body measures about 13 inches (34 cm) from base of neck opening. BO all sts loosely. Finishing Center front edging: With cir needle and RS facing, beg at le front neck edge, pick up and k 67 sts along le front to base of neck opening, pm, then pick up and k 67 sts along right front to right neck edge134 sts. Next row: K to 2 sts before m, k2tog, sl m, k2tog, k to

end2 sts decd. Rep the last row 2 more times, ending with a WS row128 sts; 2 garter ridges completed. BO all sts as if to k on next RS row. Neckband: With circular needle and RS facing, beg at BO edge of center front edging pick up and k 24 sts along right front neck, pm, 34 sts from BO edge of right saddle shoulder, pm, 42 sts across back neck, pm, 34 sts from BO edge of le saddle shoulder, pm, and 24 sts along le front neck158 sts. Next row: (WS) K. Next row: (RS) *K to 2 sts before m, k2tog, sl m, k2tog; rep from * 3 more times, k to end8 sts decd. Rep the last 2 rows 2 more times134 sts; 3 garter ridges completed. BO all sts as if to k on next WS row. Ties: For each tie, cut two strands of yarn about ve times the desired finished length; the shirt shown has two 30-inch (76.2-cm) ties made from strands about 4 yards (4 m) long. Fold the strands in half to form two equal groups. Anchor the strands at the fold by looping them over a doorknob. Holding one group in each hand, twist each group tightly in a clockwise direction until they begin to kink. Put both groups in one hand, then release them, allowing them to twist around each other counterclockwise. Smooth out the twists so that they are uniform along the length of the cord. Using a tapestry needle, thread each end of tie through one side of the neck edging as shown, knot the ends of the ties, then trim the ends close to the knots. Add as many ties as desired in the same manner. Block lightly. Weave in ends.
Adapted from 17th Century Knitting Patterns, Monograph One, 2d ed., with permission of the Weavers Guild of Boston, Massachusetts.
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Jacqueline Fees version of the seventeenthcentury undershirt in handspun yarn (every issue of PieceWorks sister magazine Spin.Off is packed with information on spinning yarn; visit spinoff magazine.com).
Photograph by Joe Coca.

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Babys Gown to Smock


A
LLYNE

OLLAND

he lovely babys day gown shown here is made of silk fabric and threads and is embellished with

machine-made French Valenciennes lace. It has a round, bishop-style yoke, a style that has been popular on childrens clothing since the late 1800s. Smocking decorates the neckline. Smocking is a type of fabric manipulation in which fabric is gathered by hand or machine to form uniform pleats. Embroidery stitches are then made on the pleats, and when the gathering threads are released, these stitches hold the pleats in place. e gown was pleated by hand. Before the invention of the pleating machine in 1947, fabric was hand-pleated by eye or with the help of dots. Experienced stitchers might use the English method of picking up threads by eye on the grain of the fabric. Others would draw a grid on the back of the fabric and mark dots with a pencil or chalk or use a perforated cardboard template. Transfer dots became available in England in the 1880s; rows of dots were ironed on the wrong side of the fabric. e dots in each row were picked up with needle and thread, and the threads were pulled to form equal pleats.
I NSTRUCTIONS

Babys day gown. Maker unknown. Handsmocked, hand-sewn. Silk. America. Circa 1930. Collection of the author.
Photograph by Joe Coca.

M ATERIALS

Pleating From a sheet of smocking dot transfers, cut a rectangle equal in width to the width of the fabric to be smocked and with the number of rows of dots needed for the pattern. Center the dots on the wrong side of the fabric with the rst row of dots inch (1.3 cm) from the edge of the fabric and the rst and last columns of dots 1 inch (2.5 cm) from the sides. Baste the dots in position and iron them with a warm iron. read a needle with a length of quilting thread slightly longer than the width of the panel of dots and knot the end. Working on the wrong side of the fabric, stitch under the dots and over the spaces across an entire row. Repeat for each remaining row of dots. Pull up the rst pair of threads until the pleated section of fabric equals the finished measurement. Tie the two threads together. Repeat for each pair of pleating threads. Smocking Most traditional English smocking stitches are variations of reverse backstitch. Use the rows of pleating thread

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to guide your placement and spacing of the smocking stitches. Cut the embroidery threads about 15 inches (38 cm) long. To begin stitching, make a knot at the end of the thread and pass the needle from the inside of the rst pleat to the right side of the work through the side of the pleat. As you make each stitch, keep the needle parallel with the pleating threads and stitch into the top one third of the pleats. To begin a new thread partway through a row of stitching, push the needle carrying the old thread into the side of the pleat to the back of the work, leaving it embedded in the fabric. Pass another needle with the new length of thread from the wrong side through the other side of the pleat. Pass the old needle all the way through the fabric to the wrong side and fasten o the thread with a double knot. Making the Garment e smocking patterns may be applied to any roundyoke dress or gown. Follow the assembly instructions for your pattern, substituting these pleating and smocking instructions where appropriate. Transfer 5 rows of smocking dots to the wrong side of the lower edge of each sleeve. e sleeve pattern requires a multiple of 4 plus 75 dots to fit evenly on the sleeve. Transfer 8 rows of dots to the wrong side of the neck edge of the back, fronts, and sleeves. Pleat each piece and then assemble them with French seams. e yoke pattern requires a multiple of 20 plus 3 dots to t evenly around the entire yoke. Adjust the starting and ending point of the pattern so that the le and right sides match at center front or at center back. Work the smocking with 3 strands of #3013 floss threaded on the size 8 crewel needle. Begin the wave diamond pattern at one edge of the sleeve placket or at the center of the sleeve. Repeat the wave pattern across, reversing the wave diamond to end at the placket edge or at the center of the sleeve. Begin the yoke smocking at the le center front or right center back so that the pattern is centered at center front. Finish the garment, applying lace to the neck and sleeve edges. Work the Front Band Embroidery pattern at the top of the bands. Work the roses in bullion stitch, the blue stars in straight stitch, stems in stem stitch, and leaves in lazy daisy stitch.
A B O U T T H E A U T H O R . Allyne Holland, of Blue Ridge, Virginia, has advanced teaching certication from the National Textile Resource and Research Center of the Valentine Museum, now the National Academy of Needlearts. She is a charter member and was third national president of the Smocking Arts Guild of America (SAGA).The author of several books, she recently retired as chairman of the Embroiderers Guild of Americas (EGA) Master Craftsman Program in Smocking and as teacher of the EGA individual correspondence course in smocking. The author invites those interested in learning more about smocking to

The smocking in progress on a new babys gown.


Photograph by Joe Coca.

Stitching the dots

Cable stitch

Bullion stitch Place the needle in the fabric as if to make a straight stitch the length of the bullion knot with the tip of the needle emerging from the fabric beside the emerging thread. Wrap the thread around the tip of the needle. Holding the wrapped thread rmly, pull the needle through the fabric and wrapped thread. Pass the needle through the fabric at the same point at which you began the stitch on the previous step.

Wave diamond stitch

Stem stitch

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contact the Embroiderers Guild of America, 426 W Jefferson St., Lou. isville, KY 40202, www.egausa.org, and the Smocking Arts Guild of America, PO Box 2846, Grapevine,TX 76099, www. smocking.org.
A version of this originally appeared in the September/October 1997 issue of PieceWork.

Sleeve pattern

Front Band Embroidery

Yoke pattern

Repeat

Repeat

Pattern may be photocopied for personal use.

Moms Smocking
EMILY JANE HILLS ORFORD

Y MOTHER, JEAN HILLS, was a consummate needlewoman. When my sister and I were growing up in the 1960s, Mom made all our clothes. We were not a wealthy family, and it was cheaper to make dresses than to buy them, but Moms skill with the needle also ensured that each creation had a little something special added to it.
A collage of smocked dresses by the authors mother, Jean Hills, and the authors fathers mother, Ada Elizabeth Barton Hills. 1950s.
Photograph by Emily-Jane Hills Orford.

My favorites were the dresses that Mom smocked for me when I was really young. I still have them. Colorful geometric and oral embroidered designs decorate the delicately rolled pleats of pastel-colored lightweight cotton fabric. As well as traditional smocking stitches such as the accent stitch (the independent, free-standing stitch used

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for highlighting details) and the cable stitch (the stitch that alternately places the thread above and below the needle), Mom also used stem, chain, lazy daisy, and many other common embroidery stitches to embellish her smocking. In the technique that Mom preferred, called English smocking, the pleats are sewn into the fabric before they are embroidered. For a jumper or sundress, she would rst smock a panel and then set it into the bib of the garment. Other dresses had smocking all down the front or all around the bodice; smocking the entire bodice resulted in a top that was comfortably snug. Mom was born Jane Anne Downer in 1927 in Galt (now Cambridge), a small town in southwestern Ontario. She spent most of her growing-up years in Simcoe, another small town just north of Lake Erie. Simcoe in the 1930s was a tightknit community in the heart of tobacco country. Jeans parents, Henry Thomas and Margaret Murray Dickson Downer (see Margarets Hope Chest by the author, PieceWork, January/February 2007), owned a small grocery store, whose many customers were struggling to survive the Great Depression. e Downers never turned away a customer. Some paid with wooden nickels; others bartered for food. For Jeans English and Scottish grandparents, idle hands were the devils workshop. Jean was thus brought up to be creative, helpful, and always busy. As a young girl, she was expected to help in the store, take care of a younger sister, and entertain a sick, bedridden father. rough all of this, she also knitted and sewed. Jeans Grandfather Dickson bought her two dresses every year, a real treat in an era when everything else was handmade. A er Jeans father died, in 1941, her mother sold the store and lived off the rental income from houses that

her husband had built using bartered services. During the summer following her graduation from high school in 1946, Jean met her future husband, Norman Hills. Norman had just returned from World War II (1939 1945) and was planning to nish his studies in electrical engineering at the University of Toronto. Jean was considering a career in music with the intent of teaching elementary school. Following their wedding in September, the couple attended university, living with Jeans mother in her new home in Toronto. Jean and Norman graduated with their degrees; for the next sixty-one years, they worked hard to meet lifes challenges and shared the joys of watching their four children, eight grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren grow up and develop interests of their own. Always a knitter, Jean madly churned out special Christmas or birthday outfits for members of the family. One year, she took a course in making hats. In the 1960s in Canada, it was not proper to be seen at a social gathering without a hat. When Jean received a letter from the wife of Bishop Henry Marsh, asking her to create something for the wives of the missionary ministers in the Anglican Diocese of Yukon, Jean recruited her classmates to help. e several boxes of hats that they made arrived just in time for the annual Whitehorse retreat, when all the ministers from the many isolated communities brought their wives to the capital city. e women wore their hats at what Margaret Marsh described as a Mad Hatters Tea Party and apparently greatly appreciated receiving something that they never could have bought for themselves. Jean became a smocker in the 1950s a er seeing the many ne smocked out ts that her mother-in-law, Ada Elizabeth Barton Hills (18801964) of Toronto, created for her granddaughters.
MARCH/APRIL 2009

Details of smocked dresses by the authors mother, Jean Hills. 1950s.


Photographs by the author.

Photograph of the authors mother, Jean Hills, and the author in one of the smocked dresses. 1957.
Photograph by Norman Hills. Photograph courtesy of the author.

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Photograph of the author in one of the smocked dresses. Next to her is her mothers mother, Margaret Downer. Circa 1958.
Photograph by Jean Hills. Photograph courtesy of the author.

Jean went back to school to acquire the certi cate that would allow her to accomplish her lifelong dream of becoming a teacher, and in 1969, she graduated from Teachers College in London, Ontario. For the next twenty years, she taught in many of Londons elementary schools. When she retired in 1991, hundreds attended her retirement party, many of them her former students. But Jean really could not retire. Teaching was in her blood. She joined the Quilters Guild and the Embroiderers Guild. She painted and she experimented in all manner of needlework. She taught needlework to her grandchildren. rough it all, she continued to substitute-teach. By the time she turned eighty, in 2007, Jean was the most sought-a er substitute (as well as the oldest) in the city of London. But then she became ill with cancer and had to stop teaching. Most frustrating to her was her increasing inability to hold anything in her hands. When she died, just before Christmas 2007, she le a house full of works in progress. Various family members, keen on preserving Jeans creative legacy, have adopted some of these projects to complete on their own. Jeans needlework projects were works of art, true expressions of her creative genius. It is in this light that I treasure her smocked dresses and have tucked them away to await the next generation of little girls. My sister and I once tried our hands at smocking, but we concluded that no one could smock quite like Mom.
A B OU T T H E A U T HOR . Emily-Jane Hills Orford of Nepean, Ontario, is a freelance writer and historian whose articles and stories center around family, needlework, and music. Her recent book, The Creative Spirit (Ottawa: Baico, 2008) is a collection of short stories about twentieth-century artists. For more information, visit her website: www3.sympatico.ca/mistymo.

A B B R EV IAT ION S
begbegin(s); beginning BObind off CCcontrasting color chchain circircular cncable needle COcast on contcontinue(s); continuing dec(s) (d)decrease(s); decreased; decreasing dcdouble crochet dpndouble-pointed needle(s) follfollow(s); following inc(s) (d)increase(s); increased; increasing kknit k1f&bknit into the front and back of the same stitch1 stitch increased kwiseknitwise; as if to knit k2togknit 2 stitches together k3togknit 3 stitches together k5togknit 5 stitches together lp(s)loop(s) m(s)marker(s) MCmain color M1make one (increase) ppurl p2togpurl 2 stitches together p3togpurl 3 stitches together p7togpurl 7 stitches together pattpattern(s) pmplace marker prevprevious pssopass slipped stitch over pwisepurlwise; as if to purl remremain(s); remaining rep(s)repeat(s); repeating rnd(s)round(s) RSright side scsingle crochet sc2toginsert hook in next stitch, yarn over, pull loop through stitch (2 loops on hook); insert hook in next stitch, yarn over, pull loop through stitch (3 loops on hook); yarn over and draw yarn through all 3 loops on hook; completed sc2tog1 stitch decreased skskip slslip sl stslip(ped) stitch sp(s)space(s) sskslip 1 knitwise, slip 1 knitwise, knit 2 slipped stitches together through back loops (decrease) ssp slip 1 knitwise, slip 1 knitwise, purl 2 slipped stitches together through back loops (decrease) st(s)stitch(es) St ststockinette stitch tblthrough back loop togtogether WSwrong side wybwith yarn in back wyfwith yarn in front yoyarn over *repeat starting point ( )alternate measurements and/or instructions [ ]work bracketed instructions a specied number of times

in the next

Lace courtesy of the Historic Costume and Textiles Collection, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado. Photograph by Joe Coca.
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Classifieds
BEADS
HEIRLOOM GLASS BEADS, innovative and unique supplies. Color matching, bead sample cards, wholesalelow minimums, retailno minimums. 60-page catalog $4. Beadcats, PO Box 2840, Wilsonville, OR 97070-2840. (503) 625-2323; info@beadcats .com; www.beadcats.com. WWW.KNITLACEPATTERNS.COM HAS GORGEOUS eye candy. Six books available with doilies, or with heavy yarn and large needles, shawls. I pay postage. Create an heirloom. Gloria Penning, named master knitter by Missouri University. Knitlace@mchsi.com. HUNGARYTEXTILE ARTS AND BEADS, late summer, 2009: Hands-on workshops with village masters. Juried handicraft fair in Budapest. Collect museum quality pieces, enjoy home visits, and foods. Eniko Farkas, 156 Crescent Pl., Ithaca, NY 14850. (607) 273-2179; edf2@cornell.edu; www.folkscene.hu.

SILK AND SILK RIBBONS

WEBSITES TO VISIT
WWW.LACEMAKING.COM provides all you need to make laceEuropean bobbins, Battenberg, and Princess tapes. Antique and wearable lace. Home of the Lacemaking Circle discount club (Free!).

B O O KS A N D V I D E O
HUGE SELECTION. New and out-of-print needlework books. Information for free catalogs and newsletter. Ruth Kern Books, PO Box 35366, Phoenix, AZ 85069. (800) 429-5075; rkern3@mindspring.com; fax (602) 944-1753; www.ruthkernbooks.com. Free book searches.

UNBELIEVABLY BEAUTIFUL FABRICS from around the worldsilk, velvet, fine cotton, and wool. Fabulous shawls and buttons. Silk crazy-quilt packet $25, including postage. A vintage-inspired shop. Delectable Mountain Cloth, 125 Main St., Brattleboro, VT. (802) 257-4456; www.delectablemountain .com.

W O O L F E LT
SOFT 100% WOOL FELT in over 60 colors and many weights and sizes. Exclusive wooden sewing needles. Great selection of felting fibers, supplies, kits, and books. Mention PieceWork for free catalog! (800) 359-2906; www.achildsdream.com.

S T I TC H I N G S E RV I C E S C O L L E C TO R S
JOIN THIMBLE COLLECTORS INTERNATIONAL! We are the premier organization for collectors of thimbles and other needlework tools. Membership benefits include quarterly bulletins, biennial conventions, published booklets, and a network of regional and international groups. www.thimble collectors.com; info@thimblecollectors.com; Mary Agnes (703) 802-0137. G H O S TS T I TC H E R S P RO F E S S I O NA L STITCHING SERVICE for your knitting, crochet, cross-stitch, crewel, hardanger, pulled threads, embroidery, and needlepoint projects. www.ghoststitch ers.com.

A DV ERT ISER S IN DEX

T R AV E L
BEHIND THE SCENES ADVENTURES! Small friendly groups to India Textiles & Taj Mahal Adventure September 1330, 2009. Crafts & Culture Workshops with Master artists; Gujarat/Rajasthan, Kutch; spice gardens and houseboat in tropical Kerala. See www.btsadventures.com for more information; e-mail Cynthia LeCount, lacynthia@vom.com or (510) 275-3662. CRAFT and FOLK ART TOURS. India, South Africa, SW Balkans, Romania, Ecuador, Guatemala, Chiapas (Mexico), Oaxaca (Mexico). Small, personalized groups. Craft World Tours, 6776PW Warboys, Byron, NY 14422; (585) 548-2667; www.craftworld tours.com.

FABRICS
100% TRULY NATURALLY DYED FABRICS! Many colors on silks and cottons including knit. Artisan dyed by Master Natural Dyer Cheryl Kolander, formulated for fastness. www.aurorasilk.com, (503) 286-4149 MonThu 113 Pacific time.

Abrahams Lady . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 Accomplishments Needlework . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 Andrea Wong Knits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 Bag Lady Press/Presencia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . bc Bag Smith, The . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43 Betty Lampen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 Carolina Homespun. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Colonial Needle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43 Essamplaire, The. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43 Folkwear . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 Harrisville Designs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43 Hedgehog Handworks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 Hoosier Hills Fiberarts Festival . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 Howes Needlework. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 International Quilt Show. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .ifc Interweave Press . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5, 6, 7, 9, 44, 46, ibc Jade Sapphire Exotic Fibres . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Knitters Mercantile. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 Lacemaker, The. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 Lacis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43

KITS AND GIFTS


LADYBUG CREATIONS. Stumpwork kits and supplies. New group projects now available. www .ladybug-creations.com.

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To be listed in PieceWorks Classifieds, please contact Stephanie Griess at (877) 613-4630 or sgriess@interweave.com.
48 PIECEWORK
P I E C EWO R K M AG A Z I N E . C O M

Needle In a Haystack . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 Pemberley House Designs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 Royal School of Needlework . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Royalwood Ltd.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 Skacel Collection Inc.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 Spinningwheel LLC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 Wool 2 Dye 4. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 Wooly West . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 Zoes Trunk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43

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J A N U A RY / F E B R U A RY

2009

PIECEWORK

All the colors of the Rainbow!


Compare to DMC & Anchor brands

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