Saturday, February 18, 2012

A vintage-inspired capelet pattern

A new pattern for you: the puff-shouldered Darrieux Capelet is named for French actress Danielle Yvonne Marie Antoinette Darrieux, who wore a similar garment in the 1954 film “The Earrings of Madame De …”. Hers was of woven fabric and unadorned except for the brooch she used to fasten it. This knitted, lace-trimmed version is worked from the top down with a knitted on lace border and contains instructions for 9 sizes from 30-62" bust. As you can see, there is a fair amount of ease. When choosing your size, remember that the cross-back measurement (shown in the sizing chart on the final page of the PDF) is more important than your bust measurement.

Knit as shown in a richly colored yarn like Brown Sheep Company's Serendipity Tweed in colorway “Chocolate Lily,” the capelet is elegant enough for any formal occasion. Worked in cream or white, it would be a lovely vintage-style wrap for a bride or other member of the wedding party. Fasten it with a button, brooch or shawl pin. With the current popularity of vintage garments and shows like Downton Abbey, this is both a classic and a fashion-forward garment. The capelet is dressy enough to make in white for a bride, or any other color for members of the wedding party.

I worked much of the garment shown while watching Sherlock, the BBC's excellent modernization of Conan Doyle's mysteries. It's amazing how well  the characters translate to the modern day, and the writers adhere to the spirit - if not always the details - of the originals. Holmes is a consulting detective with a cell phone; Watson keeps a blog. ("A Study in Pink" is title #1.)

Darrieux Capelet, $6.95 from Ravelry or Patternfish

A note about the embroidery tutorial mentioned in a previous post: I have, in fact, put one together for the Cloche Encounter hat. It's fairly extensive, with step-by-step photos. The 4-page tutorial PDF is now part of the pattern and can be downloaded from Ravelry or Patternfish. The pattern itself is unchanged and can stand alone, but the additional 4 pages are added at the end. You can print (or refer to) whichever parts(s) of the tutorial you need. If you've already purchased the pattern, thank you - and please check your library at either website to get the updated pattern with tutorial.

Happy knitting!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Happy Sweater Day

I hear that today is National Sweater Day in Canada. Don't you think we should all have a Sweater Day that lasts through all of the cold weather? I do!

Meanwhile, I have four new patterns for you today. Ironically, none of them are sweaters. I hope you will enjoy them anyway.

Nonotuck Silk Cloche

Have you ever worked with mawata? That is the term for stretched, unspun cocoons. It can be tricky, and there don't seem to be many patterns written for it. I couldn't find any specifically for hats, so I designed this one. You could also use any fingering-weight yarn could be substituted. The seamless hat is knit in one piece from the top down and edged with a vintage lace pattern adapted from a Florence Knitting Silk pattern booklet published in 1882 by the Nonotuck Silk Company in Florence, Massachussetts. Pure silk is not stretchy, so the pattern uses a ribbon tie to adjust it to your head size.

Nonotuck Silk Cloche: $5.95 from Ravelry or Patternfish

Halo Braid Headband and Collar Set

It's been an exceptionally mild winter, but it's still winter. As a change from hat, a wide headband and matching collar knit in lofty wool will keep you both toasty and stylish. A cabled braid (simpler than it looks!) makes a lovely halo, while seed stitch borders add texture and depth. Use two special buttons to fasten the collar. At three and a half stitches per inch, the set works up quickly for yourself or as a gift for someone you love. The headband tapers at the back for a comfortable fit.

Only one skein of yarn is needed for the headband, 2 skeins for the collar if they are being made separately. Set shown used less than two skeins total of Crystal Palace Yarns Iceland in colorway “Periwinkle”. It can be made in any yarn - the pattern measures in lengths instead of widths. Use soft yarn if you plan on wearing the collar next to your skin - the Iceland is warm but itchy. The headband was one of my first designs, dating from 2007. I still wear the one I made back then.

Halo Braid Headband and Collar: $5.95 from Ravelry or Patternfish

Two Double-Knit Scarves

I love double-knitting. It's reversible, which has the benefits of giving two different appearances and having no wrong side. Designs can have longer distances between color changes without worrying long floats that distort the knitting or get caught on things. Here are two patterns for you.

Delysia in yellow and grey is DK weight, and Miss Pettigrew in grey and lime is worsted weight. Both were, as you might guess from the names, inspired by the movie “Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day.” The design for Delysia was based on a pair of earrings worn in the movie by Amy Adams, and the shapes in Miss Pettigrew echo some wrought-ironwork from the railway station scene.

Delysia: $5.95 from Ravelry or Patternfish
Miss Pettigrew: $5.95 from Ravelry or Patternfish

And before I forget, Happy Chocolate Day to one and all.