Jane Austen Knits, Fall 2012

Country




Walking to Meryton Bonnet
Cathy Trimble


Maiden Fair Blouse
Laura Lynch


The Mistress of Donwell Abbey Socks
Katie Franceschi

Prettyish Wilderness Socks
Rachel Coopey

Sweetheart Bag
Donna Kay

 

 

Manor

Emma's Overdress
Heather Zoppetti


Kellynch Tunic
Anne Podlesak


Regency Bolero
Karen E. Hooton

 

Bonnet and Wristlets for Baby Emma
Susan Strawn

 

Lydia's Tunic
Annika Barranti

 

Henry Tilney's Vest
Donna Kay

Tilney Socks
Rachel Coopey

Mr. Knightley's Tea Cozy
Anne Berk

Garden

Hussars Spencer
T.L. Alexandria Volk


Kentish Toque
T.L. Alexandria Volk


Betwixt and Between Gloves
Moira Engel


Soutache Spencer
Annie Modesitt


Elinor's Day Coat
Carol Wessinger

Northanger Abbey Mittens
Celeste Young

 
 
Town

Fanny's Chemisette
Deborah Adams


The Misses Bertram Wrap
Catherine Salter Bayar


The Misses Price Wrap
Catherine Salter Bayar

Netherfield Evening Bag
Anna Cole


 
And More…

Jane Austen Knits Fall 2012

Jane Austen Knits Fall 2012 

“Do not make yourself uneasy, my dear cousin, about your apparel. Lady Catherine is far from requiring that elegance of dress in us which becomes herself and her daughter. I would advise you merely to put on whatever of your clothes is superior to the rest—there is no occasion for anything more. Lady Catherine will not think the worse of you for being simply dressed. She likes to have the distinction of rank preserved.” —Mr. Collins in Pride and Prejudice, Chapter XXIX.

As a lover of textiles, I’m really intrigued at how Jane Austen uses some of the details of dress to paint a portrait of her characters. She does it with such a subtle hand—at least for her modern readership. Most likely her descriptions of clothing gave clearer hints and insights into lifestyles and situations of her characters to her contemporary readers. They would have known the steps involved in having a new dress made up for a ball, that owning a white muslin dress meant employing servants to keep it pristinely white, or that miles of lace on a gown equated to wealth and connections during times when supplies were limited by war. “ ‘Oh my dear,’ continued Mrs. Bennet, ‘I am quite delighted with him. He is so excessively handsome! And his sisters are charming women. I never in my life saw anything more elegant than their dresses. I dare say the lace upon Mrs. Hurst’s gown . . .’ ” —Mrs. Bennet in Pride and Prejudice, Chapter III.

Though I imagine that Jane Austen had Mrs. Bennet exclaiming about the lace on Mrs. Hurst’s gown to illustrate the former’s shallow nature (as well as the wealth of the latter, for that matter), I would really love the opportunity to examine that lace in detail. I try to visualize what it must have looked like—perhaps it was intricate handmade bobbin lace from handspun linen. Even Jane Austen, busy with her writing, took time to contemplate lace as more than a literary device. She drew a simple line drawing in a letter to her sister, Cassandra, illustrating a bit of lace that appears on her cloak.

With this, our third special issue of Jane Austen Knits (and with issues four and fi ve in the works), we’ve been able to delve into these questions concerning textiles from the Regency era. In fact, as we asked questions such as “What kind of knitting yarn would Jane Austen have encountered?” or “How did Regency-era ladies learn about fashion trends?” more questions arose than were answered, leading to ideas for articles in future issues. It is as if we’ve been tending a garden—small, but abundant in color and heavenly scents. Each time we move a bulb, we discover more bulbs emerging. Happy knitting,

0083.amy_2D00_clark_2D00_moore.gif

 
Amy Clarke Moore, editor
aclarkemoore@interweave.com