Sunday, September 6, 2020

Victoria: Inspiration and First Photos

Inspiration: two designs in particular lie at the root of my desire to make this sweater. 

1) Carol Sunday's Jane Morris. What is there to say beyond that this is a tour de force of lace loveliness? It's Carol Sunday to the max. I have adored her work ever since I saw Kelmscott in an early issue of Twist Collective. A few issues later I was honoured to have my own Sandridge photographed on the same page of Twist with Carol's Acorns. Her knitting, however, is technically demanding. I wanted to create something with the same feel and a similar silhouette that wouldn't require me to be wedded to a complex chart with fine yarn for the next month and a half.

2) Leila Raven's Deschain. This has the same boxy shape with a wide body and narrow sleeves. I love the way it hangs, aided by the drapey linen ribbon yarn. But I wanted to make something in wool (heck, this is Canada, and it's cold out there) that wouldn't involve any sewing up.

So, now my own take on this design concept is done. In the end I decided to lower the front neck a little for a more comfortable fit than the boatneck version shown in the sneak peek. Here are some pics.

 Now for the magic words: it's seamless, and the lace pattern involves only four "action" rows so it's EASILY MEMORIZABLE. The pattern stitch is Nestled Leaves from p237 of Wendy Bernard's "Japanese Stitches Unraveled". Don't you love it when you get such a big bang for such little effort? The neck detail particularly pleases me. It took so many tries to get it just right that the wool was on the verge of felting!

The yarn in this prototype is good old Cascade Eco+ in "Legion Blue". As I mentioned in my earlier post, the greenish undertone is gorgeous but doesn't show well in photos. I happen to have tons of this yarn in my stash, and it's great for experiments because it's relatively inexpensive. However, I think this design is also well suited to something with a bit of mohair. How about a strand of mohair held with something else? Suggestions? The gauge is 15 sts to 4 inches. FYI, I'm showing it here with my pale cocoa linen York Pinafore from Helen's Closet, sewn by me a couple of months ago. 

This design will be pretty straightforward when it comes to pattern writing. I'm already working on it.

P.S. Bill didn't disappoint in his fashion putdown comments yesterday when I proudly modeled Victoria for him. "It doesn't seem to fit your waist. Why is it so loose?" No use trying to explain looseness as an intentional design element. Oh well...




  1. It is beautiful. I look forward to the pattern.

  2. I love it and adore the color. Well done. I do believe Beatrice Eliott would have made a sweater like this if she got tired of knitting balaclavas for the war effort!