Then and Now
In the middle 1800's, women dressed like this:
Young girls dressed like this youngster, or in garb very close to what she is wearing.
While I can't picture myself covered head to toe, even fingertip, in all that fabric, and being limited in movement by the hoopskirts, hats and petticoats, the ladies of that time period and I do have something very much in common. By now, you've probably even guessed what that common thread might be. Yes, knitting.
The thought occurred to me as I sat on the sidelines of a Civil War Re-enactment yesterday. Bill and I took my kids to the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center to watch a battle and tour the Presidential home. I sat on a paved path beside a shaded, grassy lawn, watching the drama unfold, all the while knitting on my latest project. Clad in jeans and a campaign t-shirt with an orange wool sweater over top, I watched these ladies parading by, some toting little costumed children, and realized that over 150 years ago, during the Civil War, they were knitting too. Even some of what we knit is still the same; socks, mittens, scarves. Things to keep our loved ones warm.
This skill, knitting, that has been around for centuries, provided those women with the same benefits it gives me. I'm sure they knitted to keep themselves busy when they were worried. I'm sure those women knitted to calm themselves, and help assure their families that all would be well. Even with this going on outside, all would be fine if Mama was sitting down with her knitting, right?