Friday, 30 May 2014

Paying Tribute to the Royal Family of Knitting

The British Royals have long been associated with knitting. As I've written before, Queen Victoria had a huge impact on the craft's popularity because her own love of knitting turned what had until her reign been a folk craft for the working class into an domestic art that every properly brought up Victorian girl was taught as a matter of course. In the twenties, then Prince of Wales Edward sported fair isle sweaters, which turned a relatively obscure regional craft into a must-have collegiate and sportswear style in the twenties and then into a classic knitwear staple they've been ever since. During World War II, then Princess Elizabeth and her sister Princess Margaret set a royal example when they were photographed knitting for the war effort. More recently, when the Duchess of Cambridge was expecting Prince George, she caused a minor uproar on knitting media by casually mentioning to someone she was trying to learn to knit in order to make some things for her baby. So it's only fitting that the patron family of knitting should be paid tribute... in knitting. Fiona Goble has published a book on how to created a knitted recreation of William and Kate's wedding, and there's even video of all these knitted characters and corgis in action.

And then there's a gem of a book called Royal Knits: Designer Knitting for the Monarchy and Monarchists, by Nicolette McGuire. Published in 1987, it is now out of print, though with some determined effort you may be able to track down a secondhand copy. The cover, as shown above, depicts one of its patterns, a knitted replica of the Royal Navy uniform that is customarily worn by the Windsor men at royal weddings.

If you have a corgi or similarly small dog ruling over your household, you can give it the royal treatment by knitting it a cushion, a collar, a coat, and set of wellies.

If you think corgis are cute but can't bear the thought of having to listen to them yap, these corgi slippers may be for you.

You can also raise your self-esteem by creating your own set of crown jewels.

Alternatively, you can elevate the seat of power in your home by turning it into a truly royal throne. Presumably you can reverse the way the feet face depending on whether your household is a kingdom or a queendom.

This book also includes patterns for a one-piece twinset and pearls; orb egg cosies, crown egg Cosies, napkin rings, bacon, egg and sausage, oven mitt; a shooting jerkin and game bag; a dress sporran, fish sporran, and camouflage sporran; a tiara and Order of the Garter, a flying jacket, flying scarf with a smile, and flying helmet; a mess jacket and commander's jacket; and Gordon Highlanders Hat, and a Trooping the Colour Hat.

After all, when we knitters pay tribute to the British Royals, we need not be too reverential about it.

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