Scottish knits that are out of this . . . land (and time!)

Tanawha Wrap

Tanawha Wrap

One of my favorite shows, Outlander, is back. I so love a costume drama, and this one hits on all points; the amazing outfits, breathtaking settings, edge-of-your-seat adventures, and the beautiful (and not so beautiful) people. For me, it’s riveting.

And there are so many handknits to admire! The cowls and shawls and wraps are gorgeous, and much-admired by knitters. There are several Outlander groups on Ravelry, which are lots of fun to browse.

I’m not the only Outlander admirer at Interweave; Louisa from Knitscene is also a big fan. Here she is to talk about our ode to Outlander, the Scottish Time-Traveler Collection.

Come back in time with us, Sassenach

Sometimes there are books that completely take over your life. You want to read just one more chapter, just one more page, it doesn’t matter that it’s two in the morning and you have to be at work at five, you have to know what happens next.

The Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon has been like that for me for many years. I’ve read and reread these books, finding whole passages that I seem to have missed in my eagerness to devour the stories. Last year, a TV series started based on the books, and I have become as obsessed with the show as I am with the books! Rarely do I love a television or movie counterpart to a book as much as the book itself, but this is one of those times. Part of it is definitely the Scottish Highlands setting and the amazingly evocative music. Part of it is seeing the characters I love brought to life with such love and attention to detail. And part of it, truth be told, is the knitwear.

In a nutshell, the story follows the life of a WWII nurse as she mysteriously falls back in time to 1743. In the Scottish Highlands. For no reason that she can understand. She has to come to terms with the fact that her husband in 1945 is probably out of his mind trying to find her, and she must figure out how to navigate a completely foreign culture. It’s fascinating and engaging and absolutely beautiful.

All of the female characters wear gorgeous handmade clothes and knits on the show. Everything is in earthy, neutral tones, often bulky and always cozy looking. This takes place in the 1700s after all; if you couldn’t keep yourself warm, you probably weren’t going to live very long.

There were many beautiful projects from our knitting pattern library that we thought would seamlessly blend in with the knitwear on the show. Several Interweavers (Hannah, Laura, Lindsay, and I) decided to knit them up in earthy, Scotland-y colors. Here are the results:

Louisa, Hannah, Laura, and Lindsay model their time-traveling knits

Louisa, Hannah, Laura, and Lindsay model their time-traveling knits

We thought you would enjoy these patterns as much as we do, so we put them together into our Scottish Time-Traveler Collection. These four accessory patterns look as at home in the 1740s as they do in 2015. (The photo above was taken in Scotland, er, Fort Collins on a Scottishly inclined day.)

I made Ruth Garcia-Alcantud’s Victor Shawl from Knitscene Spring 2014. Working lace with bulky yarn is really fun and the shawl comes together quickly. Blue Sky Alpacas Bulky is soft and cozy and so incredibly warm! The colorway I used is Porcupine, a nice creamy tan with a lot of nuance. The Victor shawl has delicate picots, short-row shaping, and is absolutely ideal for curling up under with a good book (or TV show!).

The Victor Shawl by Ruth Garcia-Alcantud

The Victor Shawl by Ruth Garcia-Alcantud

We will talk more about the other patterns in this collection as the TV show progresses, but in the meantime, I encourage you to read the books, watch the show, and get to knitting! These knits are timeless, and getting lost in time can be a good thing (plus, it makes for one heck of a great story!).

—Louisa Demmitt, Assistant Editor, Knitscene

Get in the spirit with us and cast on something from this Outlander-inspired pattern assortment. Download your own Scottish Time-Traveler Collection today!


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