This past weekend the kids had a gig playing at a Civil War encampment, so we did our best to suit them out in something akin to period dress.We are not Civil War reenactors so we were rather starting from scratch on the 19th century garb. I ended up making a day dress and skirt for the girls to wear, which turned out to be more complicated than I expected due to a challenging pattern. The caps however were simple and a delightful finishing touch to their admittedly somewhat farby but not totally out-of-place outfits.
I used the Sortie Cap pattern, which is an original vintage pattern out of the April 1858 Godey's Lady Book and Magazine. They were a quick and easy knit, basically just a small rectangle. The fun part comes when you drop every other stitch at the end, procuring a unique textured look, and then gather the sides to form the cap. I trimmed them with matching bows and some pewter buttons for the final embellishment. (my Ravelry Link here)
The knitting fit right in as Little House in the Big Woods is one of the books I'm currently reading aloud at our afternoon teatimes.
Now it was summertime, and people went visiting...Sometimes a neighbor sent word that the family was coming to spend the day. Then Ma did extra cleaning and cooking, and opened the package of store sugar. And on the day set, a wagon would come driving up to the gate in the morning and there would be strange children to play with...Ma and Mrs. Huleatt visited and looked at a Godey's Lady Book which Mrs. Huleatt had brought, and Pa and Mr. Huleatt looked at the horses and the crops and smoked their pipes. - Little House in the Big Woods, chapter 10
Of course the girls had to have suitable hair to complete their ensembles. Anna was reading the chapter on the Dance at Grandpa's out of the book as she did her sisters' hairs, in which Ma and the aunts are getting ready for the big party -
Laura sat on their bed and watched them comb out their long hair and part it carefully. They parted it from their foreheads to the napes of their necks and then they parted it across from ear to ear. The braided their back hair in long braids and then they did the braids up carefully in big knots.
They fussed for a long time with their front hair, holding up the lamp and looking at their hair in the little looking-glass that hung on the log wall. They brushed it so smooth on each side of the straight white part that it shone like silk in the lamplight. The little puff on each side shone, too, and the ends were coiled and twisted neatly under the big knot in the back. - Little House in the Big Woods, chapter 8
We called them Aunt Docia and Aunt Ruby for the rest of the day. :-)
The event itself was a lot of fun. They played their music after dark while lantern carrying reenactors gave tours of the encampment by torchlight. At each stop along the tour reenactors gave a short talk or demonstration, and groups of visitors progressed from place to place by firelight. It was lovely to be out listening to music in the cool dark amongst the flickering flames. Fall is definitely in the air.
Joining Ginny at Small Things for Yarn Along with lots of books and yarns.