In Our Own Backyards: A Serendipitous Knitting Discovery

One of the goals of Center for Knit and Crochet is to raise the profile of knit and crochet items already in museum collections. Many times we do not know what is in our own backyards. I discovered how unaware I am on a recent trip to Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park, which is part of our national federal parks system and is located in the county where I live. I went in the visitors’ center merely to get directions to drive the road to the top of the mountain. On that particular day, I was not even interested in the historical displays; I was visiting the park just to enjoy the elevated view. I ended up browsing the museum, and discovered this sock on display alongside uniforms, firearms, and other Civil War artifacts. The label identifies the sock as belonging to Lieutenant Colonel Columbus Sykes, 43rd Mississippi Infantry. The museum textiles were displayed in very low light, as is necessary to protect them. I wasn’t able to measure the sock, but to my eyes the gauge looked finer than typical for today. I was impressed with how many times the heel had been darned. Sock-making was surely a time-consuming chore and someone was determined this sock get the maximum wear possible!

Jolie Elder, Vice President
Center for Knit and Crochet