Fearless and Steadfast
We asked Anne Merrow, editor of Jane Austen Knits, to share with us what she loves about the most recent issue.
When I was working on the latest issue of Jane Austen Knits, I had the urge so many times to go back and reread her novels! Looking through the luscious photos and knitting patterns, I read the names of Austen's characters and places and wanted to live in those pages again. From the Abbey Mill Farm Vest pattern, with traditional Fair Isle patterns, to A Shawl for Emma lace pattern, from the Kitty's Chemise easy women's sweater pattern to Socks for Mr Bennet's Leisure, I wanted to revisit Emma and Pride and Prejudice.
My first favorite among Jane Austen’s lovable heroines was Catherine Morland, in part because, like her, I always had my nose in a book. I was Catherine’s age when I first read Northanger Abbey, and at that age I dreamed of Henry Tilney coming to sweep me off my feet.
As I’ve grown older, though, Anne Elliot has overtaken young Catherine in my affections. It’s not just because we share a name, or a more advanced age than the other Austen heroines, but because Anne’s is the story of a second chance.
Plenty of heroines recover from a misfortune or lapse in judgment, but Anne suffers the consequences of refusing Captain Wentworth for years before having the opportunity to turn back the clock. She has no reason to hope, yet with continued grace her luck turns.
And so it is for any knitter. No matter what you do in knitting, you have the opportunity to remove your past mistakes and start fresh, taking what you’ve learned and moving forward to a better future finished object.
Maybe my affection for Anne Elliot explains why one of my favorite projects in this issue of Jane Austen Knits is inspired by Persuasion. The Kellynch Cardigan by Kathleen Dames is a lovely fitted sweater with a lace-patterned yoke, delicate enough to be dressy but simple enough not to demand attention.
Another favorite is the Brighton Shawl by Lisa Jacobs. The shawl is dramatic and pretty, like Lydia Bennet, and as fun as a visit to a seaside town. A shell edging completes the three-quarter circle shape. With just a few skeins of sock yarn (or other fingering weight), you can create a shawl worthy of being flaunted.
Enjoy this newest issue of Jane Austen Knits and remember: Knit fearlessly and steadfastly. Do not be afraid to correct a past error. And above all else . . . have a good time.
Anne L. Merrow
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