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Austentatious Crochet

Posted: 26th March 2015
Austentatious Crochet

When visiting any Jane Austen-related location, I can never resist the gift shop: there is always room for more Jane Austen paraphernalia. On a recent trip to Jane Austen’s House Museum in Chawton, I picked up and was instantly enthralled by Austentatious Crochet: 36 Contemporary Designs from the World of Jane Austen by Melissa Horozewski, a quirkily charming and surprising mixture of Jane Austen fan fiction and Regency-inspired crochet patterns.

When visiting any Jane Austen-related location, I can never resist the gift shop: there is always room for more Jane Austen paraphernalia. On a recent trip to Jane Austen’s House Museum in Chawton, I picked up and was instantly enthralled by Austentatious Crochet: 36 Contemporary Designs from the World of Jane Austen by Melissa Horozewski, a quirkily charming and surprising mixture of Jane Austen fan fiction and Regency-inspired crochet patterns.


We know our Jane Austen to have been a deft needlewoman – if you don’t believe me, go and see the quilt she made with her mother and Cassandra at the Jane Austen’s House Museum! – and Melissa Horozewski’s book makes a perfect bridge between the Georgian period and the present day through the age-old technique of crochet. The designs, which often refer directly to the novels with titles such as ‘star gazing with Edmund’, are a perfect mix of Georgian romance and modern fashion, and therefore eminently wearable.


Austentatious Crochet is beautifully laid out, with large colour pictures of the designs alongside Regency drawings, Jane Austen quotes and fun Georgian history facts. However, Horozewski adds a specific touch that makes this book stand out from other pattern books. Each chapter is prefaced with a passage in which ‘Miss Austen’ mulls over the plot of her novels as she writes them – surrounded by the cacophony of her characters as they chime in whilst engaged in their own stitching. Thus, for example, Catherine Morlands eviction from the Abbey in Northanger Abbey is softened by a pattern for a carriage rug to keep her warm on her journey home. These short, amusing passages provide a welcome break for the crocheting reader.


The patterns are both diverse and practical – for example, many of the dresses and skirts are worked from the top down, allowing the maker to choose their preferred length. Lovers of Regency fashion are sure to find some designs to their taste. The Jane Austen Detectives can’t wait to try their hand at some of them!


Austentatious Crochet: 36 Contemporary Designs from the World of Jane Austen by Melissa Horozewski is published by Running Press and priced at £10.99 in the UK.


Featured image: One of the models from Austentatious Crochet.

 

 


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