A Little Women Inspiration

17/01/2020 · 1 comment

in Knitting,magazine,Patterns


‘Have you seen Little Women?’ said one of my best friends. ‘You just have to! I watched it and just kept thinking of you. If you want to go Emma, I’ll see it again?’

With such a ringing endorsement and an invitation for a jolly trip out, the arrangements were made immediately. I wonder if you have had a chance to see the new Little Women Film. I think both audiences and critics have absolutely loved it.

Like many generations I have always loved the book. This film is a joyful and clever adaptation of the book. A cinematic treat. But for the yarn obsessed there is an added bonus. Throughout the film I would nudge my film and say – ‘Oh, look at that shawl….’, ‘Look at that hat…’, ‘What a gorgeous waistcoat’. As a knitter it was impossible not to be inspired.

As I drove away from the cinema I said to my friend; ‘You wait, those patterns will be on Ravelry very soon’. I was not wrong.

That night, as I drifted off to sleep my mind was dreaming of new projects.

Within a week I had discovered that the glorious shawl designs worn by Jo and Beth were designed and made by Norfolk knitter Jenn Monahan She has made up to seven garments for the film. Hundreds of hours of work. Jenn has released the shawl patterns via her website; Fibreworkshop and on Ravelry and even for a basic knitter this is a useful and achievable project which would end up being an heirloom project. Over Christmas I have finished two small gauge garter stitch shawls, so I wasn’t so keen to commit to another.

I did however feel inspired by Jo’s Grey Tam o’shanter. Co-incidentally this month’s Knitter magazine (issue 145) has published a fairisle beret. It is designed by Outi Kater and is called Firefly Beret. I quite like wearing a beret during the winter working week. Just to spice up the wardrobe I thought it might be fun to see how it would be to make a traditional tam o’shanter. Traditionally this type of hat tends to use the tweedy pure Shetland wool. I decided as I was looking at an experiment I would use some 4ply Merino I already have in my stash. I tend to wear brighter hues rather than softer heathery tones, so the colour I have used align better with my wardrobe. All in all it took me about 5 evenings to knit.


Whilst Jo Marsh wears a plain grey wool tam it does have a pom-pom. The fairisle tam in the Knitter magazine has no flamboyant topper. I wanted to add something in between the two. I remembered a design that Kate Davies had done for her Richard the Roundhead Tam. She created a lovely covered button and generously put a tutorial on her website. This lovely detail just adds something special to the hat. The covered button is not difficult to create either. I’m sure I will use this detail again soon.

Thinking about it, I find so much knitting inspiration from historical films or costume drama. If I watch, a Marple, a Poirot, Maigret, Gentleman Jack, Cranford, Call the Midwife… my husband will get a nudge in the ribs…’Look at the knitwear!’ Historical drama in its most authentic form, mirrors the fact that until only recently the majority of clothes were handmade. This means that costumes are a fertile resource for hand-knitters and crocheters. We have a cinematic menu to inspire our crafty finger.s

I wonder what you favourite programmes or films are for knitwear envy? Any suggestions are gratefully received.

I know there are awards for costume design at the Oscars and Bafta, could we have a subgroup for services to yarn?

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