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Common knitted items of Jane Austen’s day were pincushions and pinballs. They were often very finely knitted in cream and brown silk. Pinballs were made from two pieces of knitted fabric wrapped around a wool core, secured with ribbon or a metal band, and suspended from the wearer’s waist. The pattern motifs included flowers, birds, and geometric shapes often surrounding a date, motto, or initials.
Mrs. Smith in Persuasion might have knitted such small pretty things. This cozy is inspired by Regency era pinballs from the Victoria and Albert Museum collection. Using a stranded-knitting technique, the cozy is knitted in the round with steeks. This is a nice introduction to steeking, and you can use Jane’s initials, your favorite character’s, or your own. The cozy pictured here is knitted from handspun Border Leicester wool. According Jane’s letters, her father Reverend George Austen raised Leicestershire sheep at their home in Hampshire, England (learn more about this in the whole issue of Jane Austen Knits Summer 2012).
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