Reading Pride and Prejudice, I always feel a bit sad for Catherine (Kitty) Bennet. Jane Austen attributed particular qualities to the other Bennet girls. Kitty, however, seems an ordinary girl, destined to be teased and forever in the shadow of her vain and thoughless younger sister, Lydia. When Lydia plotted her secret elopement with the scandalous Mr. Wickham, she took only the hapless Kitty into her confidence. How did Kitty manage to keep silent such a secret from the rest of the Bennet household? The answer lies in the recently discovered pattern for Lydia Bennet Secret Stockings.
It is a little-know fact that Kitty was a proficient knitter perfectly capable of knitting secret messages into stocking stitches. In her pattern for Secret Stockings, Kitty adapted a classic lace pattern called horseshoe prints, a subtle reference to the planned elopement in Mr. Wickham's horse-drawn carriage. She incorporated textured hearts to disguise the obvious reference to romance. Whenever tempted to reveal Lydia's wild behavior, Kitty stuck to her knitting. She found the pattern engaging, yet repetitive and soothing." Susan Strawn thinks she has been taking research and writing about the history of knitting entirely too seriously for several years now, so she enjoyed making up this bit of fantasy for Jane Austen Knits.