For fun, I decided to knit the Regency scarf that Gerard, my hero, gives to my heroine in my Christmas short novel, The Spinster's Christmas. I can’t remember if I posted the finished scarf on my blog, including any changes I made to the pattern, so here it is.
I chose A Gentleman’s Comforter from The Ladies’ Knitting and Netting Book, First Series by Miss Watts, originally published in 1837. You can download the .pdf of the Fifth Edition, with additions, which was published in 1840.
I’m pretty sure this pattern was in use in the Regency, because most patterns had been passed down by word of mouth long before they were published. So Jane Austen could have gotten this pattern from a friend or family member and used it when making a scarf for her father. :)
Here’s the original pattern:
I wasn't entirely certain what “coarse steel needles” and “5 skeins of fine wool yarn” mean, so I just guessed. I used US 1 needles and fingering weight wool yarn, but you could use anything you want, including larger needles and yarn. Just cast on fewer stitches, making sure it’s an even number.
I got my yarn from KnitPicks.com, and was thrilled to find a “Hollyberry” color way. Very Christmasy!
If you’re interested, here’s my project on Ravelry.
I cast on 72 stitches. I used the same cast on I do when I make top down socks, which is the Norwegian cast on with two needles held together. However, you can use whatever cast on you want. I would suggest, however, that you cast on either with a larger needle or two needles held together.
Knit 1, move the yarn to the front, slip one stitch purl wise, move yarn to the back
(knit 1 but instead of throwing the yarn once around the needle, throw it twice around before pulling the loop through, move the yarn to the front, slip one stitch purl wise, move yarn to the back) repeat to the last 2 stitches in the row,
knit 1 with the yarn twice around the needle, knit 1 with the yarn only once around the needle.
Knit 1 (with yarn only once around needle), slip stitch purl wise with yarn in front, dropping the extra loop, (knit with the yarn twice around the needle, slip stitch purl wise with yarn in front, dropping the extra loop) repeat to the last two stitches, knit 1 with the yarn twice around the needle, knit 1 with the yarn only once around the needle.
Repeat this last row until your scarf is long enough.
It’s basic double knitting, but with a drop stitch, which makes the stitches a bit poofy and airy. It makes the scarf soft even if the wool is a bit tightly spun. A tightly spun yarn is typically more durable, and that would make the scarf durable, soft, and warm all at once.
The original pattern calls for one color, but I did 4" long red and black blocks.
If you end up knitting this scarf, please do let me know and send pictures! I might post them on my blog. :)
The Spinster's Christmas, which is up on pre-sale right now, for release on August 22nd. It is the first book in my Lady Wynwood series.
A Regency romantic mystery
Miranda Belmoore has never felt attuned to the rest of society. Her family has never understood her blunt speech and unwillingness to bow to conventional strictures, and so they have always made her feel that there is something wrong with her. Now as a poor relation in her cousin’s house, she makes plans to escape a life of drudgery and disdain from her own family members.
Naval Captain Gerard Foremont is having difficulty adjusting to life back on land, frustrated that his career has been cut short by his severely injured knee. Guilt haunts him as he sees the strain his long convalescence has had upon his parents. As they spend Christmastide with the Belmoores, he wants to help fulfill his mother’s wish to have her orphaned niece come to stay with them.
However, an enemy has infiltrated the family party, bent on revenge and determined that Twelfth Night will end in someone’s death …
Use the links below to order The Spinster's Christmas so you'll be sure to receive your copy when it is released in August.
Nook (coming soon)