Nobody then wore pants as we know them now, no matter the weather. The men were in knee-length breeches and the women in voluminous skirts. With the wind thus whistling up their legs both sexes wore knitted or sewn socks which went up over the knees and might be tied at the top with a knitted strip. The knitted socks were even made to look as though they had a seam running up the back, which I think means sewn socks were invented first. The instruction book has photos and instructions of knitted garb that Plimoth Plantation reenactors wear. (Some of their volunteer knitters are on Ravelry.com and you can read about their experiences with the yarns and patterns. Search for "clocked stockings" to find them.) You might wish to wear these when in costume or if you just want a jaunty new hat or waistcoat the book has instructions for those as well. I have started a pair of clocked stockings for myself using 8 skeins (!) of the "official yarn" - New Plimoth Worsted - spun and dyed under license by Plimoth Plantation at Harrisville Designs, a 200-year-old New Hampshire mill. The color is "Carnation." (Both yarn and patterns, sold individually or as a book, are available only at Plimoth Plantation's online shop under "knitting.") And why do they call them "clocked"? If you look carefully at the ankles you will see a small design knitted into them, not necessarily a clock, and possibly developed to make darned repairs look better. Clothes were repaired and worn for eons, then on death bequeathed to others in the deceased's will, socks included.
Dr. Maura Mackowski is an Arizona research historian who enjoys the challenge of looking for Mayflower descendants, hers and anyone else's.
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