What would Jane knit?

Chawton Mittens by Anne Blayney, from Jane Austen Knits

A note from Kathleen: My love affair with all things Jane Austen began about twenty years ago when my friend Susan and I found ourselves emailing schemes to get out of work early so we could watch the first installment of the BBC's production of Pride and Prejudice. I was a goner after that.

I've read all of Jane Austen's books (and even some of those cheesy "this is what happened after Elizabeth and Darcy were married" books) and I've seen just about every version of the movies based on the books. One of my favorite Jane-isms happens when my sister and I occasionally call each other "Dearest," just like Elinor and Marianne in Sense and Sensibility. I'm so much like Elinor and my dearest sister is truly Marianne-esque.

So, I was thrilled to learn about our new special issue Jane Austen Knits. There are so many amazing patterns included, along with fascinating articles about fashion during that time in history and about Jane's day-to-day life in Regency-era England. My heart skipped a beat when I saw the Chawton Mittens pictured at left, which feature cameos of a young lady and her fine gentleman gazing at each other. Emma and Mr. Knightly, perhaps?

Here's editor Amy Clarke Moore to tell you more!

Lambton Top by Theressa Silver
Flower and Lace Cuffs by
Carol Huebscher Rhoades

A bit over a year ago, a little idea that I had to create a special knitting magazine inspired by the novels of Jane Austen was given the support and resources it need to become a reality—we've just gone to press with Jane Austen Knits—a special issue from Interweave. This issue has thirty-five gorgeous, and yet classic projects from many gifted knitwear designers who jumped at the chance to combine their passion for knitting with their love of Jane Austen's novels.

And literature and knitting seem to be a perfect pairing—especially when you consider the work of Jane Austen. Perhaps this is because knitting, like reading, has a meditative, quiet quality to it.

Jane Austen's novels resonate with knitters for the same reason that they have resonated with readers around the world for centuries—Jane Austen captures the essence of humanity: quietly, succinctly, and with rich humor.

For knitters, the films inspired by her books are the perfect companions as we snuggle into blankets on the couch with a cup of steaming tea as the snow piles up outside, adding stitches to the garments that hold our dreams and wishes. Immersed in the narratives, we are allowed to escape to a seemingly simpler time and imagine quiet moments to create and contemplate.

While the garments in this magazine are inspired by stories and fashions that are over two hundred years old, they're made to be worn now. Take for example Theressa Silver's Lambton Top, shown top left. Inspired by Mr. Darcy's estate, Pemberley, near the fictional town of Lambton, this top references the lovely empire-waisted gowns of the Regency period.

Modern Reticule
by Heather Zoppetti

You may not even be familiar with reticules; they became fashionable during the Regency era and were necessary to carry a lady's small objects, as the dresses during this time were too delicate to have pockets. When you see our modern version of one, shown at rightt, I'm sure you'll want to make one to carry your latest knitting project (or perhaps your smart phone and keys!).

Reminiscent of Empire-style dresses made from cotton floral fabric, these darling cuffs, shown above, are perfect for wearing to afternoon tea. They're truly timeless.

So join me in knitting with Jane Austen; get your copy of Jane Austen Knits today!

Happy knitting,

Post a Comment