Look what I made! (Or the art of showing off your Rhinebeck Sweater)

There is little more gratifying than putting on a newly finished jumper, wearing it out and having someone complement you, is there?

I find that just hearing about someone else’s newly finished jumpers, cardigans and shawls seems to give that same feeling of satisfaction, too. Oh, I do love to hear about what the yarn is, where it came from and what it was like to use. I want to know the new techniques that you tried, and the inevitable unpicking that has happened somewhere along the way. Oh, and then of course which pattern you used, where I can find it and then you can tell me all the interesting stuff about the changes you made along the way.

A little while ago I came across this wonderful video by Kristy Glass. It cheered me up immensely on an afternoon when I was a little down. She filmed it at the New York Sheep and Wool Festival, held at Rhinebeck and known in shorthand as such. There has become a tradition to knit a new sweater for the occasion and she wanted to find out who had made what in 2016.

I’d recommend making a cup of tea, putting your feet up and watching a whole hour (yes!) of knitters answer Kristy’s call to ‘Tell me about your Rhinebeck Sweater.’

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Pattern: Langstone Harbour Short Row Scarf

Still chilly round here, isn’t it? We went for a walk along the shore at one of our local haunts, Langstone, at the weekend to blow away the cobwebs and I could definitely have done with taking this scarf with me.

  

So, do you fancy a nice quick knit that is completely potato chippy, as the Knitmore Girls would say? You know, when you just keep having to have a few more, knit a couple more rows. I really don’t think that crispy has the same resonance; maybe Pringles are more where it’s at – we all know the tagline there!

Anyway, back to the knitting. Short rows are a nifty technique to shape your knitting in 3 dimensions. They’re often used in bust shaping and for bags, but learning them by knitting little-squares-with-a-bulge-in can be a bit dispiriting. However, making an awesome, snuggly scarf is a much better way to practise!  

This pattern is good for advanced beginners. It will teach you the basics of short row shaping as well as making eyelets in the fabric.

I used Mirasol Llama Una, but if you don’t have any handy, you will need a smooth aran weight yarn plus appropriate needles.

So onwards for some short-row Pringle knitting… hmmm, too golf jumper-esque?

  

You will need:

3 skeins Mirasol Llama Una and 4mm needles

Abbreviations:

K: knit

P: purl

Yo: take the yarn forwards over the needle from back to front and through to the back again

K2tog: knit two stitches together

W&T: wrap and turn. Keeping the yarn in back, slip the next stitch purlwise from the left needle to the right needle. Bring the yarn forward as if to purl and then slip the stitch from the right needle back to the left needle. Bring the yarn to the back of the work as if to knit, turn the work and you are ready to purl back.

Pattern:

Cast on 40 stitches.

Row 1: knit

Row 2: k1 *yo, k2tog. Rpt from * to end.

Row 3: knit

Work ruffle pattern as follows:

Row 4: k18, w&t, p18

Row 5: k15, w&t, p15

Row 6: k12, w&t, p12

Row 7: k9, w&t, p9

Row 8: k6, w&t, p6

Row 9: K1, *yo, k2tog. Rpt from * to end of row

Row 10: p18, w&t, k18

Row 11: p15, w&t, k15

Row 12: p12, w&t, k12

Row 13: p9, w&t, k9

Row 14: p6, w&t, k6

Row 15: purl all stitches

Row 16: knit

Row 17: k1 *yo, k2tog. Rpt from * to end.

Row 18: knit

Repeat rows 4-18 until the scarf as long as you would like, or you almost run out of yarn, making sure that you end on row 17.

Cast off, weave in the ends, and wear your fabulous, snuggly scarf out and about!

 

Call for Papers – Dressed to Kill: Fashion in Victorian Fiction and Periodicals

A call for papers for what looks to be a really interesting conference in Liverpool this spring, held by Victorian Popular Fiction Association and Liverpool John Moores University.

To be held at Aldham Robarts Library, LJMU, Liverpool, UK on Saturday 19th March 2016.

Submission guidelines as follows.

Submit by 5th February 2016. Please send proposals of 300 words and a 50 word biography in Word format to Drs Janine Hatter and Nickianne Moody at: vpfamembership@gmail.com and n.a.moody@ljmu.ac.uk

The conference welcomes proposals for 20 minute papers on topics including, but not limited to:

Fashion as depicted in serialised fiction.

Fashion adverts, prints and patterns.

The fashion season, events, dressing for the day, Christenings, weddings, funerals and mourning.

Men’s, children’s and servants’ fashions.

Fashion’s role within narrative, such as class, mental state, nationality, character, marital status, empire, transgression and moral worth.

Fashion industry.

Costume, masque and fancy dress.

Theatrical attire, stage, tableaux, circus and ballet.

Hair styles, toilette, accessories and jewellery.
Looks to be an interesting one. Will you be submitting something or attending?

Greta: my alter ego

A couple of months ago my hair was about shoulder length and had got to that point, catching on my collar and my necklaces enough to be persistantly annoying, but not really long enough to make a good up-do.  This, as always, caused me the dilemma: to cut it into a bob again, or to grow it on further and wear it curly, long. (Once longer than shoulder length it takes about 30 minutes to straighten and frankly I have more exciting things to do.)

In order to put off the decision a little longer, I sometimes started to wear my hair with a knitted hairband to get it off my neck. I quickly realised that it would need a little more help and decided to make a turban. I used Susan Crawford’s 1940s-inspired Greta Turban pattern and it turned out to be a great asset to the summer months.

  
 

  

I rather like it, and once I have grown my hair a little longer I’ll be wearing it all the damn time too!

I really enjoyed knitting it up in Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift which I’d not tried before, and the pattern: the lovely mossy texture of trinity stitch is really easy to remember, making it a lovely accompaniment to watching a bit of Miss Marple on the telly.

Oh, and the alter ego? At school one teacher persistantly called me either Greta or Bridget instead of Ingrid. I wasn’t so keen on Bridget, but Greta somehow had a more exciting ring to it, so I’d answer to that.

Pattern notes:
There is no tension given, but as I know I knit rather loosely, I went down a needle size to that given. This has actually made me a smaller turban than the original, but it still fits me fine.

I did the ties differently to those in the original pattern. As my turban turned out a little smaller, continuing on until the ties measured 12 inches would have made them out of proportion, so I stopped at around 8 inches instead and tied them differently to finish off as well as it seemed to suit me more.