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Special knits for special people

Nov 14, 2011

Frederick & Anne Scarf, from Jane Austen Knits

I am a somewhat selfish knitter—I love knitting for myself! But I also enjoy knitting gifts, especially really luxurious gifts for the important people in my life.

I've knit cashmere scarves for my mom, silk scarves for my sister, fair isle hats for my brother and nephew, and pure merino hats for my sister-in-law. I've also knit really special items for new babies, such as bear snuggies, tiny intarsia sweaters, lacy booties, and so on.

I have a new category of people to knit for, which is actually sad for me. I have two friends who have just been diagnosed with breast cancer and they have a hard road ahead. So, I need some very special knits for these very special people. I've already got a couple of hats done, but I'd like to give them something in addition to a hat. I looked no further than Jane Austen Knits, which is full of unique, beautiful designs.

Kirsti Johanson's Frederick & Anne scarf, shown at left, is just beautiful; I know I'd feel loved and honored if someone knit it for me! I enjoy scarf knitting, and this lacy pattern has just enough going on to keep me challenged. I have this in mind for a fellow Austen fan, and I know she'll appreciate Kirsti's inspiration for this scarf:

"Persuasion is my favorite of all of Jane Austen's novels, and I am in agony every time I read it about whether or not Anne and Frederick will find their way back to one another. I came up with a delicate leaf to represent Anne's faithful belief and love for Frederick, ever resilient, as well as her renewed bloom upon reacquaintance with him. For Frederick, I chose an undulating wave pattern to represent his love of the sea and ever-present life force, much like his love for and dedication to Anne. To unite these two motifs, I chose a simple garter-stitch band with eyelets and a delicate Regency-esque edging. "

I just love that Kirsti chose a lace pattern for Anne and one for Frederick, and then fashioned a way to fit them together. What a wonderfully creative design!

Pemberley Slippers, from Jane Austen Knits
My other choice are the Pemberley Slippers by Kristi Schueler. They're so feminine, something that many breast cancer patients need reminders of. Kristi designed these in honor of Mr. Darcy's estate in Pride and Prejudice. When they toured Pemberley, Elizabeth Bennett and her Aunt and Uncle talked about the beauty of the grounds, and Kristi used a lace leaf edging pattern to commemorate that.

I think a hat and slippers will be a wonderful, comforting gift, don't you?

If you have a friend in need, especially if she's a Jane Austen fan, get yourself a copy of Jane Austen Knits and knit her one of these special designs!


P.S. What's your favorite Jane Austen book or movie? My favorite book is Persuasion and the BBC production of Pride and Prejudice is my favorite movie/TV show. Leave a comment below and let me know yours. (And if you'd like to knit a shawl for someone in need, check out our free eBook, 3 Free Prayer Shawl Patterns!)

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sweetie41 wrote
on Nov 19, 2011 8:47 AM

Can't count how many times I have watched the A&E production of Pride and Prejudice!  I read my first Austen book this summer, Northanger Abbey, and really enjoyed it.  I would like to read Sense and Sensibility next...

EssieB wrote
on Nov 19, 2011 7:47 AM


I am 54, and the occurrence of serious illness in friends has become common.  

I have lupus, and I would not feel used if a friend mentioned it publicly.  Every bit of public notice that we receive helps people to understand the diagnosis, to accept its prevalence and to know the needs of people who are affected with it.  Maybe there are folks who wonder how to honor and support their friends through such a struggle, and Kathleen has presented some great ideas.  

CarolD@42 wrote
on Nov 16, 2011 9:01 PM

I've never heard of Jane Austin her novels or knitting patterns. The Frederick & Anne scarf looks very interesting, something I'd like to try to knit. When I had Breast Cancer I would have liked it if someone had made the Pemberley Slippers for me, they are very pretty. I knit mostly for others, I'd like to make these items for myself and for gifts.

 I like your e-mails, of what your knitting and information for us knitters.

on Nov 16, 2011 4:14 PM

LindaM@118—Please send me your email address; I'd like to reply to you privately. I'm sorry you were offended. By the way, my friends are real. Thanks, Kathleen

Aykira wrote
on Nov 16, 2011 6:33 AM

I have a friend who is also battling breast cancer, her hand feel cold very easily, so I plan to make a pair of fingerless gloves for her.

on Nov 15, 2011 3:37 PM

Pride and Prejudice - all the movie versions and the book

LindaM@118 wrote
on Nov 15, 2011 6:26 AM

Kathleen,  You shouldn't use your two friends (if they are real or as fictitous as Jane Austin herself) to sell knitting books, it's in very poor taste. I find it objectionable that they are being used in a sales pitch to market a book.  Linda   ..... Breast  Cancer survivor and Avid Knitter

kdlong wrote
on Nov 14, 2011 7:22 PM

Don't forget to make them warm snuggly soft hats to sleep in.  With the weather getting colder and colder your "Lovlies" will appreciate feeling cozy at night.  That is one item, even here at the hospital I work at, that gets over looked.  I'll be sure to think of your friends and always keep them in my thoughts.  : )

Jersey60 wrote
on Nov 14, 2011 3:14 PM

Persuasion, Pride and Prejudice and Northranger Abbey... Sorry, hard to make a choice I like all of her works.

fairwaymax wrote
on Nov 14, 2011 10:50 AM

I visit a cancer care unit, and a hospital, with my therapy dog--going on a visit  this morning in fact.  Many of the women wear  knit turbans, which look like it is wrapped around the head and gives a little fullness to the shape of the head.  I am going to search for one on the KD site, and others, but since you brought up the subject--would you give us a link to some in your daily column?  Thanks!@

MargaretW@14 wrote
on Nov 14, 2011 10:18 AM

Persuasion is my favorite Jane Austin book followed by Pride & Prejudice.  I love the movie of Persuasion with Kieran Hinds.  

When was undergoing treatment for breast cancer, the chemo made me very cold.  I began making shawls for other women undergoing breast cancer.  The knitting and crocheting were a comfort and distraction for me and the shawl let the women know that someone was thinking of them.


epmunzert wrote
on Nov 14, 2011 10:01 AM

I agree with you Kathleen.  My favorite book is also Persuasion and favorite movie is that nice, long BBC Pride & Prejudice.  I also just saw the mini-series on NetFlix called LIving in Austen which was funny and interesting.


annecloward wrote
on Nov 14, 2011 9:32 AM

I felt the same way you did when opening the magazine. And the luscious patterns are waiting for me. The Pemberley slippers will get made up for my sister who is recovering from foot surgery.

A very dear friend of mine has been diagnosed with two types of breast cancer. Lobular (which is tumors) and inflammatory, which means it has spread all over her body. The first two rounds of chemo almost killed her. There is no reason for a mastectomy, since it has spread to her blood. All the doctors can do for her is to treat her with anti-estrogen drugs. I knit a shawl for her using your prayer shawl pattern and hand dyed yarn from a friend who is a cancer survivor. It was all shades of pink and looked gorgeous.

She loves it and I think it gave me some joy in being able to put some beauty in her life at this time.

karunaverma wrote
on Nov 14, 2011 9:19 AM

i live in india .i like your knitting magajene but i cannot buy your books .so how icould buy? my email address                                                                                                                            karuna verma ranchi jharkhand india

MonikaR wrote
on Nov 14, 2011 9:00 AM

The vest pattern should really have been for Col. Brandon since he was known to wear a "wool vest" under his coat :).   . . . although Marianne doesn't strike me as the knitting type.  

EmmaW@5 wrote
on Nov 14, 2011 7:51 AM

This is not a knitting comment.  I saw your comment about your friends and felt I had to respond to it.   I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer two years ago and went through a double mastectomy followed by Chemo therapy and daily Radiotherapy for three weeks.  Yes there were black moments and times when they will feel bad but this is the most thoroughly known female cancer and that means that every year the treatments get easier to cope with and more certain.  Do not get hung up on the horror stories of being sick from day one.  I returned to work three weeks after my operation and managed to work throughout the chemo and radio therapy.  Admittedly I had a desk bound job (but most of us do these days) and a flexible employer but I had only a couple of weeks off towards the end of the chemo regime throughout the entire time.

Look for the laughter and take fun when you can and there is quite a lot of fun and laughter to be had through this process.  Your friends will undoubtedly re-assess their lives and priorities, we all do, but they may find they are better for the challenge not worse.

on Nov 14, 2011 7:21 AM

Oh I love them all! I think my favorite is Sense and Sensibility with Emma Thompson,Kate Winslet and all those wonderful guys! The music is so beautiful too.

Those  slippers from Pemberly are pretty great. I am going to make them many times.

This wonderful blog of yours, Kathleen, has set me to writing my own! Thanks for all your efforts to inspire! Julie Ressler, Wilmette Arts Guild

hey-mom wrote
on Nov 14, 2011 6:52 AM

Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy????!!!!! There's just no questions that my favorite will always be Pride and Prejudice! I was thrilled when he was cast as Mark Darcy in Bridget Jones Diary. ;-)

on Nov 14, 2011 4:29 AM

Pride and Prejudice is my all time favourite book followed closely by Persuasion. I have numerous copies of both in paper back, hardback, DVD, etc. I never tire of reading or watching these wonderful stories unfold.

PS. It is 10.30am in Somerset, England and we have typical November weather here - mizzle - a combination of drizzle and mist - Yuck- roll on Xmas.

Best Wishes

Pickled Leader

Dawn in NL wrote
on Nov 14, 2011 2:56 AM


I love Persuasion too and loved a serial version on British TV years ago with Hannah Gordon as Anne.

I am sure your friends will love the Anne and Frederick scarf.

Dawn in NL