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!



  1. I'm loving the Two in One: Warm Hat or Cravat. First of all, how clever is that. It actually took me a few minutes to figure out how it worked. It's great, because sometimes you go out in the morning and you need a hat, but then the day gets warmer and you take it off. But then you're stuck carrying it around with your...or not. Just wrap it around your neck and you're good to go.

    I'd probably make this for my family members back East, most likely my nephews and nieces.

  2. Wow all of the patterns look awesome from the "Unofficial Downton Abbey". The "Elegant Scrollwork Traveling Coat" by Vicki Square has such intricate detailing on the collar and at the wrist. The "Fetching Fairisle Cap" by Anne Carroll Gilmour is fair isle beret looks like a definite one to do! Shawl, gloves, clothing, plenty of patterns to choose from.

    1. Pls give me a way to contact you, in case you win... thx.

  3. I love the Footman's Vest and I would make that for my oldest daughter. She loves anything Downton Abbey but likes her clothes simple and understated.

  4. I really love the Elegant Scrollwork Traveling Coat but the first pattern I would cast on would be the Two in One: Warm Hat or Cravat.

  5. The Garden Bouquet Shawl is divine! I'd love to make that for myself! I love shawls and have been looking for another semi-circle one to knit. This one really calls to me!
    Rav Name: jackiecastson

  6. I would knit the Walking Out Eyelet Panel Blouse for my wife. I'd knit the others as well! Thanks for the giveaway.
    Ravelry ID- NLemonds

  7. I would make the Fetching FairIsle Cap for ME! Winter is so close now. Rav amchart theharts at windstream dot net

  8. I like the Garden Bouquet shawl. Thanks for the chance to win the magazine.

    lmecoll on Ravelry

  9. I love the elegance of the Stunning Sunflower Lace Stole. I would knit it for first stole or shawl.

    JKnits51 on Ravelry

  10. I love the garden bouquet shawl would knit this one for myself

    Ravelry id Sandee8908

  11. I would knit the Walking Out Eyelet Panel Blouse or Lady Denman's Vest. For myself. 100Creations on Ravelry

  12. I love the High Tea Jabot
    wahoomerryf on Rav

  13. Half-day Off Mitts for me! I love the picots and simple beauty of them. Thanks for the contest! Ariesandewe on Ravelry

  14. I LOVE the Elegant Scrollwork Traveling Coat. I'm more likely to make the Stunning Sunflower Lace Stole. knitschmidt on Ravelry

  15. I'm already a subscriber. There are two that I would love to knit: Walking Out Eyelet Panel Blouse, and the Garden Bouquet Shawl. The Blouse because it is unique and the Shawl because of it is delicate and very feminine. I would make them for myself.

    sherryglover1 on Ravelry

  16. I really like the look and challege of Dramatic Evening Ensemble: Brocade Vestment but I doubt I would ever wear it. I think I would like the half day off mitts as it is the perfect time of year for those. alcbrooks on ravelry

  17. My favorite is the Genteel Beaded Finger Purse. Thanks

  18. I love the Garden Bouquet Shawl because I like lace and semi circle shawls.

  19. I like the Lady Denman's Vest, it looks very wearable!

    I'm globalite on Ravelry.

  20. I would knit the Genteel Beaded Finger Purse. I've been dying to try beading, and this purse is so pretty and delicate that I just have to have it. If I were to make it, I would keep it all to myself!

    I'm vernalequinox on Ravelry.

  21. I love the scrollwork traveling coat. It is elegant yet useful.

  22. I'd love to make the Genteel Beaded Purse...for me!
    Yhime407 on Ravelry

  23. I have been signed up for the newsletter for a while and find so many of the tips helpful. Thanks for these tips. I love the Chilly Morning Cosycoat. Perfect name and I would love to make it.

  24. lovely the half day off mitts would be what i would knit from this. several others that are just beatiful.Raverly id ajdag

  25. Elegant Scrollwork is the answer to my quest for a sweater/jacket pattern for some yarn in my stash. Of course there are many to choose from!

    Rave - whiskeyweaver

  26. I would knit the Stunning Sunflower Lace Stole because it is so pretty.
    sparky136 on Ravelry

  27. I really like the Walking Out Eyelet Panel Blouse. It's really pretty and looks like it would be fun to knit. Thanks
    gussek on Ravelry

  28. The High Tea Jabot seems a little too prissy for me... I love everything else though, especially Lady Denman's Vest and the Elegant Scrollwork Traveling Coat.

    Thanks for the giveaway!
    -songbirdz on ravelry

  29. I love Galina's stole, but whether I would ever knit it is another question! Thousands of gorgeous little stitches.

  30. I love the fetching fair isle cap - looks like a good first project in fair isle for me.
    kifknits on ravelry

  31. Just love the Elegant Scrollwork Traveling Coat because of the cuffs and collar. Would be fun to knit except Florida is too warm for such a garment. Oh well...

  32. There are 10 patterns I would knit in a heartbeat...My favorite is the fair isle hat ... it is gorgeous

    Nhsarab on Ravelry

  33. I want to make the Chilly Morning Cosycoat - for myself (asimplehomestd on Rav)