Monday, November 10, 2014

Gerard's Red and Black Scarf


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.


First row:
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.

Next row:
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. :)

Gerard's red and black scarf is featured in my Christian Regency romance, The Spinster's Christmas, which is available to read for free on my blog. It is the prequel book to my Lady Wynwood’s Spies series.

A Regency romantic suspense

Spinster Miranda Belmoore has become a poor relation in her cousin’s house. She determines to escape a life of drudgery and disdain from her own family members, who are embarrassed by her straightforward speech and unconventional behavior that does not match with proper society. She is beginning to believe what they tell her—that she doesn’t matter to anyone, not even to God.

Former naval captain Gerard Foremont is having difficulty adjusting to life back on land, bitter that his career has been cut short by his severely injured knee. A Christmastide houseparty with the Belmoores reunites him with his childhood friend, Miranda, but he is appalled at the verbal abuse she endures and wants to help her.

The festivities are disrupted when a cloaked intruder attacks Gerard, with Miranda as the only witness. Now the two of them must uncover who wants to harm him and why, before Twelfth Night ends in murder …

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