Jane Austen and Knitting


As school is winding down for most people, I am feeling the need for a bit of an academic challenge. More than just reading a new book. So, I enrolled in a free class through Hillsdale College. The Course I selected was “The Young Jane Austen: Northanger Abbey“, taught by Dr. Lorraine Murphy. The 30 min lectures capture Murphy’s love for diving into Jane’s methods. They are infectious and easy to listen to.

The course provides lectures, quizzes, and a certificate of completion when the quizzes are completed successfully. I tested it out, the short quizzes can be retaken as many times as needed. And, doing the quizzes is optional. It is totally OK to listen to the lectures and soak up the deep thoughts about Jane Austen and Northanger Abbey without taking the quizzes.

So, I got the book, started reading, and then started listening to the corresponding lectures. Heads up, in lecture 2 the breakdown of what chapters are covered in each lecture is provided.

In my never ending quest to pair knitting with books anytime I can, I found “The Best of Jane Austen KNITS.” Inside are 27 patterns for lovely wraps, bags, sweaters, and many other items that may have been worn by characters created by Jane Austen.

I selected Hetty’s Sunday Cuffs, referenced in Emma.

So while listening to the lectures by Dr. Lorraine Murphy, I knit my cuffs.

Here is my first attempt with some yarn from my stash.


I did not read the pattern well, or perhaps the pattern was a bit unclear!  Anyway , the bottom cuff is supposed to be a picot edge, not a swirling cuff. FYI,  if anyone wants to create a swirlly cuff, just CO an even number of stitches and  YO, K2tog, for as many rows as needed. It also came out too skinny for my hands.

Here is attempt number two. The picot edge is knit properly, and is waiting for the hem.


These cuffs can be worn with either the hem or the lace edge around the palm. They are a fantastic first project if you are new to lace knitting.

I have not completed the course yet, I guess I will have to find another pattern!

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