Liberty Sontag

Inspired by courageous abolitionists Angelina & Sarah Grimke

You can crochet this sontag, a civil-war era wrap vest, to remember the Grimke sisters. The pattern is inspired by Sue Monk Kidd's novel The Invention of Wings and the quilt created by an enslaved woman in the fictionalized version of the sisters' lives. The vest is worked in crocheted entrelac evoking the squares of the quilt. The black triangles forming the sontag's border represent blackbirds, symbolic of freedom among American slaves.  This civil war garment is suitable for historical reenactments but can be made in finer yarn and worn as a striking contemporary vest or shawl.


The full pattern is included in Stories in Stitches No. 6 which can be purchased as a book or ebook.

Sisters Sarah and Angelina Grimke began writing and speaking out for women's rights and the abolition of slavery in the 1830's. They were the first Southern women to speak publicly to mixed crowds of Black and white men and women on political subjects. This was scandalous at the time, and they were barred from speaking in churches. In 1838, they rallied an enormous crowd at the Anti-Slavery Convention of American Women in the newly built Pennsylvania Hall in Philadelphia. The following evening an angry mob burst into the building and set it on fire.  

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