Jane-Austen-Knits

Finished my first March “Geek” Craft Challenge. This project is from JANE AUSTEN KNITS Summer 2012 and is entitled “Modified Mobcap,” designed by Elizabeth Cherry.  One motivation of mine for making this particular item came from a co-worker of mine who remarked that I needed another hat if I was going to keep forgetting my one knit “toque.” After being so diligent about finishing 4 UFOs from last year and then knitting up 4 projects from my stash, I felt justified in purchasing 2 skeins of one of my favorite yarns, Madeline Tosh (DK) in one of my favorite reds, “Tart.”

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Going on an outing to JoAnne’s to pick up some yarn while sporting two of my newest finished pieces. 

My hat is the Modified Mobcap from Jane Austen Knits, and the scarf is the Winterfell Cowl. Both were knit with Bernat Satin worsted weight yarn in the Plum Mist Heather colorway, which is a beautiful deep purple with red tones. I might have to buy a few more skeins, even though I’ve already made three different projects with it…its now one of my favorite colors. *A*

My “Longbourn Mitts” (and my second “geek” knit for the March Craft Challenge) are finished! The directions suggested stringing I-cord through the “ladders” (the use of I-cord was shown in the issue of JANE AUSTEN KNITTING Fall 2012) or ribbon. The designer, Ms. Danielle Chalson, showed how the mitts could be “scrunched down” – as my right mitt shows.  (Personally, I like the extended look better!) I also elected to use ribbon rather than I-cord. 

As mentioned in previous posts, Madeline Tosh’s colorway, “Tart,” is my favorite red. Since I was not as successful at finding matching ribbon as I was at finding matching nail polish (Mac’s “Sunset Sky”), I chose a textured black cotton ribbon. I like the effect, even though I’m not so sure that the Bennett women would wear this combination. Many throughout the ages have considered deep red and black evocative of the “femme fatale”! 

P.S.: I finished them just in time for – and wore them on – St. Joseph’s Day, Thursday, March 19!

I need to gush for a minute.

Hey all.

I just received in the mail and then immediately read from cover to cover a fantastic little magazine called Jane Austen Knits from Interweave. It was WONDERFUL.

So I love knitting and other yarncrafts. I also love Jane Austen’s novels and their movie adaptations. So I heard about this magazine and was like “YES I must have this.” How could combining two of my loves not create something more awesome than the sum of its parts?

I was not disappointed.

The first half is a bunch of articles written by scholars of literature, crafting, and history (and combinations of all three) to do with Jane Austen herself, Regency era fashion, Regency era knitting, and all sorts of cool stuff. Super fascinating and appealing to the history buff in me.

And then the patterns. SO gorgeous. I want to make them all RIGHT. NOW. So wonderful and clever and wonderful.

But more than the interesting articles or beautiful pictures, I really loved the little tastes of the designers we got. After every article and pattern is a little mini-bio of the writer/designer that they wrote themselves, and before every pattern is an intro to the pattern, including maybe insight into how the designer got inspiration for the pattern, why they chose that name for it, or notes about the pattern itself. These two together (intro and bio) made me feel like I got to know each writer/designer in some small way. And I feel like I could be best friends with almost all of them. They each mentioned their love of “curling up with my knitting and a cup of tea and watching a Jane Austen film” and … I love that. We love the same things. LET’S BE BESTIES KTHANKS.

So I became emotionally attached to a magazine and it’s creators. No big deal.

Check it out if you haven’t yet, especially if you’re both a knitter and an Austen fan. I promise you’ll enjoy it. :)

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For WIP Wednesday, I am almost done with my Longbourn Mitts/Fingerless Gloves. This will be my second “geek knit” challenge for March. I found this project in JANE AUSTEN KNITS Fall 2012. I hope to finish them by – not Friday but Thursday, which is St. Joseph’s Day. I am more enthusiastic about wearing red for a true gentleman such as St. Joseph than I am about wearing green with the threat of assault!

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I thought for my March “Geek Knits” Craft Challenge that my “geeky” fandom might be “Janeite” (as in Jane Austen) knitting. I confess that Ms. Austen is not my favorite author, but I have come to like her better since age 13 when my class was forced to read “Pride and Prejudice”!(Forced is not an exaggeration. Certain ignorant mis-educators actually believed that adolescents would understand what early 19th century British society was like; furthermore, these same ignoramuses even asserted that Jane Austen was using convoluted symbolism and expected adolescents to “get” it!) 

At age 18, I reread “P&P” of my own accord and found I could appreciate it much more. Read the rest of Ms. Austen’s novels as well. Of course, having since been to England and studied English history and literature in that wondrous realm had caused not just Austen, but naturally, Shakespeare and the other “giants” of literature to come alive for me.

In any event, even if I am not “wild” about Jane Austen, I love the fashions of her time. Is it surprising then, that I have every copy of Interweave Publications’ JANE AUSTEN KNITS? However, just because I like the fashions and love the Interweave designs inspired by Ms. Austen, does that mean that the project I chose would be satisfactory?

At the top row is my attempt on “Jane’s Barathea Mitts” by Angela Hahn, which was published in (and is even on the front cover of) JANE AUSTEN KNITS 2014. First I felt that the “twill stitch” looked like moss stitch; so instead of following the directions, I decided to just work in moss stitch. Not too surprisingly, I found that the moss stitch gave a much larger gauge than the recommended “twill stitch.” Rip-Out No. 1! Worked twill stitch as told, but found that the gauge, while right, was too large for me! Rip-Out No. 2! Began again with size 4 (3.5 mm) instead of size 5 (3.75 mm) needles. 

Now that the size is seeming to work, I get to a point where the pattern tells me to “reverse” and that what was the “inside” is the “right side” (top right photo)! However, I like the “wrong side” (top left photo) so much better! Perhaps I could go on with the “wrong side,” but – of all things – the leafy lace uses – guess what? – MOSS STITCH as a kind of “filler stitch” between the “leaves”! (Moss stitch doesn’t seem like it would work with the side I like!) 

I really do want to make mitts/fingerless gloves/hand-warmers with this beautiful yarn (Madelinetosh DK in “Tart”), but I’m wondering if I will find mitts using DK-weight yarn in any of the JANE AUSTEN KNITS magazines.

Again, as I have said before, I promised to show my “goofs” as well as my triumphs. Whether or not this is a “goof,” it is certainly a disappointment!

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I am a few months late for the “Geek Knits Challenge,” but in keeping with my own personal geekiness, and being true to the Jane Austen fandom, I finally finished the “Shawl for Emma” as conceived by Susanna IC. I used the recommended yarn, “Findley” by Juniper Moon Farms in the “Fresco” colorway. This would make a lovely wedding shawl and I hope it will be used for that purpose in the future.