Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Downton Abbey Knits - Giveaway!

Brenda Castiel Designs–40% off  ALL patterns from Brenda Castiel on Ravelrycoupon code–thanks40. Available from Nov 27 – Dec 6.

** WINNERS of the DRAWING **
Ravelry ID Gussek and Nhsarab 

Contact me with your mailing address!  Congrats to the winners, and thanks to all who entered!

Downton Abbey!
I’m happy to announce a new giveaway! This time it’s the gorgeous “Unofficial Downton Abbey Knits”
I have two copies, so your chances are excellent. Note, for legal reasons this particular giveaway is only available to US residents. Sorry. In future, international entries WILL be accepted.
How to enter:
  1. Please sign up for my monthly newsletter (upper right side of this blog). I promise to work at making it useful and interesting, not just a sales pitch; for example, every issue has one or more Tips and Tricks  AND,
  2. Write a comment on the blog about one of the designs in the magazine – why you like it, why you would, or would not, knit it, whom you would knit it for, etc. Please include an email address or Ravelry ID so I can reach you!
That’s it! If you are already signed up for the newsletter, that’s fine, you don’t have to sign up again.
Deadline is  November 30, 2013. 

I’m a big fan of Downton Abbey, have watched it since the beginning and have seen some of the episodes more than once. So I was thrilled to get my hands on this magazine.
Before I get to the knitting patterns, I want to say that articles are excellent and well worth reading. The topics include:

- A short history of Highclere Castle, the actual location where DA is filmed.
- Marrying an English Lord
- Mrs Beeton, who wrote books on “household management” in the 1800’s that are still popular today
- Knitting for the Troops.

The last page of the magazine lists books on related topics for further reading.

Categories include: 
  • Upstairs – Beautiful lace detailing, beaded embellishments and classic colorwork mark these elegant garments and accessories. These are upscale in design and detail.
  • Downstairs – While the details are more subtle, these are just as engaging as the Upstairs patterns. The vests, hats, blouses and jackets here are casual yet interesting, and very wearable.
  • World War I – Knitting was a huge part of war-time history, whether it was women knitting for the troops or knitting to create practical garments and occupy their time.
To see all the designs on one screen, here is a Ravelry link.  

Here are some of my favorites:
Garden Bouquet – a lacy semi-circle shawl
Stunning Sunflower Stole – timeless design
Chilly Morning Cozycoat – more of a vest, very practical
Footman’s Vest – actually has sleeves
Half Day Off Mitts – charming edgings, very pretty
Vest for the Cricket Match – traditional cream colored cabled vest with contrast trim, so handsome!

Some designs – while faithful to the look of the historical period – are just not adaptable to our modern, casual lifestyles. But they are gorgeous to look at, and would be fun to make.  An example is the Brocade Vestment that appears on the cover.
You can buy the magazine here.  It comes from Interweave/F+W Media; and costs $14.99. 
Don’t forget to enter the giveaway!
Disclaimer: I was given the magazines for the giveaway and review by F&W Media.

Today's Tip:
I found this through TwinSetEllen. The lovely Dee came up with a way to avoid twisting your knitting when you join to work in the round. It's kind of like hanging a little curtain behind the stitches so they all have to face the same way. 
It's explained here on Ravelry and here is a YouTube video. You can use ribbon, fabric, knitted strips or even old swatches for the little "curtain". I can't wait to try it!