Little packages . . .

As in, "the best things come in little packages." Knit gloves, mitts, bags, and even a bookmark are all little lovelies that make a big impact. I've chosen four knitted accessories, all from Jane Austen Knits, that are perfect for summer knitting and gifting. Take a look:

   Miss Bingley's Lace Wrist Warmers
by Julie Turjoman

Peeking out from the cuffs of her Spencer jacket, Miss Bingley's lace wrist warmers add a touch of flirtatious elegance to her ensemble. Fashionable ladies of the Regency era wore lightweight muslin gowns year-round, so knitted wrist warmers made a cozy addition during the winter months. As a modern accessory, they are perfect for keeping one's fingers free for texting or computer work and make a quick gift for a special Austen admirer.

Pemberly Riticule
by Catherine Salter Bayar

"Reticule" is an old term for a small handbag, which alludes to the fact that they were originally made of netted fabric—Latin rete, meaning net, became reticulum, or netted bag. Knitted as gifts for sisters and friends, rarely for themselves, women would only be able to carry a few coins in them. Not exactly practical for modern-day use, so this larger-than-Regency style scales-up that net to create a bag that goes from market to beach, adding Gothic floral-lace motifs, which grace and stabilize the base and top.

Hetty's Sunday Cuffs
by Danelle Sorensen

Poor Miss Bates! As we know, from Mr. Knightley's lecture to Emma, "She is poor; she has sunk from the comforts she was born to; and, if she lives to old age, must probably sink more." These cuffs are just the sort of project sure to be treasured by Hetty Bates herself—a precious smidgen of luxurious fiber intended to dress up the ordinary, common clothes of the workday week. Simple lace patterns, knitted in the round, become the perfect showcase for a wool/silk blend with lovely drape and sheen. Hetty's Sunday Cuffs offer a touch of warmth or a bit of color to peek from a sleeve in a quick-to-finish project.

Marianne's Romantic Bookmark
Carolyn Mills

Sonnet 116
Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O, no! it is an ever-fixed mark,
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
—William Shakespeare

Carolyn was inspired to design this bookmark thinking about Marianne Dashwood and John Willoughby reciting Sonnet 116 to each other in the 1995 film version of Sense and Sensibility. The edging is meant to look like the waves of the tempest, yet the arrows point in one direction as in "never shaken," love is "an ever-fixed mark." This fairly simple lace pattern uses many of the basic lace stitches and includes beading, making it the perfect introduction to lace knitting or beaded lace.

Aren't these wonderful little projects? I think the bookmark is my favorite, and it makes a wonderful juxtaposition with the Hunger Games series that's going to be my summer reading!

Get these designs and many other Austenian knitting ideas in the new issue of Jane Austen Knits. You'll love it.


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