The Jane Austen Influence: British Money & Knitting

Have you heard the news? The U.K. is releasing a new 10-pound bill featuring JANE AUSTEN’S FACE. And what’s money without a little controversy? Some hardcore Austen fans are complaining about the quote and likeness presented on the bill. The new bills go into circulation in September, and we’re excited by the development, regardless of the controversy. Among our editors, we have some hardcore Austen fans of our own. And out of that affinity came the magazine Jane Austen Knits.

Jane Austen Knits was a special issue we produced from 2011 to 2015, and the digital editions are all still available for download. Within these pages, you’ll find patterns inspired by Austen’s characters, as well as articles on the place of needlework and textiles in her novels, and the history of Austen’s own life and family. Here are a few of my favorite knitted designs from the six collections.
jane austen knits

The Prettyish Wilderness Shawl was inspired by a line in Pride and Prejudice.

jane austen knits

Jane’s Barathea Mitts are meant to mimic a woven fabric used in the Regency era.

jane austen knits

Behold the Sensible Shawl.  Super functional, it wraps and ties in the back, leaving hands free for womanly pursuits and otherwise!


Out of the many incredible English writers who could have graced the new bill, Jane Austen is an excellent choice in my BOOK (hehe). Her novels deal in the experiences of women in a culture that bound them to domesticity, but their stories push at the limits of hearth and home and handwork (and class and women’s opportunities). Plus, they’re just good, fun stories. She has become a more important figure in literature posthumously than she was alive, but what an influence she has had over the centuries.

Take a journey to Jane’s time, when clothing and home décor were handmade. Celebrate her wit, her characters, her plot turns, and her knack for describing details of dress with Jane Austen Knits. And just as the Brits have chosen to do with their currency, we salute you, Jane!

Most affectionately yours,

—Lisa

[Featured Image | Getty Images]


Get your Jane Austen fix today!

 

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