In the last few weeks, I’ve been working hard to release some new designs. April isn’t generally a big sales month for knitting patterns, at least for me, but I’m antsy sitting at home here, especially without my full-time work, and I need to focus on something. So, last week, I released a new pattern, the Wilmington Capelet, and I’d like to feature it here.
Ok, now about this capelet. I make no excuses for the fact that I love the Outlander series, both the books and the television series. One aspect I love about the show, in particular, is the spectacular costuming. Fiber arts? History of fashion? Yes! Now, I have done a bit of poking around, especially when it comes to knitwear on Outlander, and unfortunately it is not necessarily historically accurate. Most cloth in the 18th century was woven, not knitted, with the exception of stockings, caps, and mitts. And these items were knitted with exceptionally fine wool, cobweb to fingering weight, not the chunky homespun we often see on the show. But you know what? This is part history, part fantasy, part time travel, and I still love seeing the costume designers’ vision of the past!
With all this in mind, I decided to create my own capelet, vaguely inspired by the heritage styles featured on Outlander. No, the Wilmington Capelet is not meant to be historical reenactment wear! It does – I hope – capture the essence of old world finery with hints of new world rustic as well!
I decided to make this a quick and fairly simple project, using bulky weight yarns and a cable rib that requires no cable needle. I think that this project would work for a beginner who has just a little experience with basic shaping stitches and yarn overs. The cable rib has small eyelets, but it does not have a lacy look or feel to it – I wanted this capelet to be substantial enough to provide warmth. I used a discontinued yarn from my stash: Reynolds Morocco, a 50% cotton 50% linen blend. The yarn is a bit stiff (linen!) but it gives great stitch definition, and just the right gauge of 15 sts/4″. As a substitute for the Morocco, I would recommend Knit Picks Billow, a softer thick-and-thin pima cotton. Billow should also provide good stitch definition and a lovely refined sheen to the main body of the capelet.
In terms of design, one of the trickier elements of this capelet is the cable running up the raglan shoulder decreases. I wanted to be sure it would continue seamlessly from the bottom ribbing. Getting the raglan decreases to align well on all four sizes of the capelet took come calculating, but I’m very happy with the look of it – well worth the effort!
I also wanted to try out Knit Picks’ Fable Fur, a faux fur yarn with a realistic look, much like Louisa Harding’s now discontinued Luzia line. I purchased one ball and used it to create the collar and a simple trim along the capelet’s edges. The Fable Fur is super bulky, so all I had to do for the edging was pick up stitches and immediately bind off! Therefore one ball of the fur will work for all four sizes of the capelet.
Picking up stitches along the capelet edges is perhaps the most difficult step in this project, because of the super bulky yarn and large size needle going into smaller size stitches. I would recommend casting on a binding off somewhat loosely on the body of the capelet, so that you do not need to struggle!
Finally, the capelet is completed with three large buttons. Thank goodness for our huge button stash – I wouldn’t want to try to match colors online right now!
I’m very happy with this little capelet! Please let me know what you think.
In the next few days, I will be releasing my Alhambra Shawl pattern, which is the perfect large-scale lace project for upcoming warm weather!