Three years ago I was introduced to the Outlander Saga, and like many of my friends I eagerly anticipated each next episode. The story had been published as an 8 book series, but now it came to life on the television screen. I was hypnotized by the passion of the leading characters, Claire and Jaime, and eagerly followed their adventures and perils across the Scottish Highlands. The knitted costumes were created by Highlanders to provide realistic clothing for the 1700's. The movie producers were challenged with keeping Claire and the other characters warm, while creating accurate and attractive wool garments. This third season, as I sat entranced once more, I decided how fitting it would be to join my interest in fiber arts with the Highland mystique. Much to my delight, I found many resources in print and on the internet.
My first Outlander project was Claire's signature "Sassenach Cowl," designed by Kristen Brooks for Highland Knits (Knitwear Inspired by the Outlander Series). The elongated circle is worked with two strands of extra-bulky yarn (#6) on size 35 needles in one long piece. Then the short ends are sewn together. To wear this warm and stylish cow,l wrap the scarf two times around the neck. For specific directions, consult the book published by Interweave.com. For my "Sassenach Cowl" I chose a rustic Wool-Ease Thick and Quick in Grey Marble. I enjoyed watching the ridges develop as I continued to work in garter stitch. However, since the needles were so thick, I felt as if I was working with broom handles. I have not decided if I will sell the cowl at an upcoming fair, gift it to family for the holidays, or keep it for my own wardrobe. I can't go wrong, no matter which choice I make. Even though I can only wish I looked like Claire, the cowl will be so cozy and stylish in the cold weather.
"The Castle Leoch Ribbed Cowl" by Karen Clements is also found in Highlander Knits. It is also worked in extra bulky yarn (#6), knitting with a large circle needles. I added 4 stitches to the 40 cast on to make the piece more comfortable for me. I chose Lion Brand Hometown in USA Norfolk Merlot yarn with a smooth finish that was just right for the 3 K- 1P ribbing. This piece also works off quickly and can be done in a day or two, depending how much time you devote to your knitting. This elegant piece sets off any sweater, cape, jacket or coat. However I found my version to be narrower than the piece shown in the photograph from the book.
"The Romantic Capelet" by Red Heart is a free pattern that is easily accessed on line (#LW4679). The capelet sits on the shoulders and comes midway down the arm. Instructions are given for women sized small through extra large. The piece features a collar and ties in front. I already have a plaid shirt like the dress worn on the model. Since I have size 17 needles and a K crochet hook, I am glad not to have to purchase them. The yarn I chose for the capelet is Lion Brand Hometown USA Little Rick Granite, a heathery greyish brown with lighter highlights.. This bulky yarn knits easily and does not split.I have not made this style before and I am looking forward to trying out this unique and stylish accessory to accompany my fall wardrobe.
There are numerous patterns devoted to "Outlander Inspired" styles. Lion Brand has specialized in developing patterns as well as kits so that the reader can produce these styles. although the "outlander" patterns are typical knitted, many of these garments can be crocheted in a manner that mimics the knitted stitches. The following link offers several of their patterns. Type the link into your search bar. http://www.lionbrand.com/blog/outlander-inspired-patterns. Pinter also offers a showcase of favorite "Outlander Inspired" styles as well: https://pinterest.com/explore/outlander-knitting/?p=true. In fact, the cowl that I crocheted from the Leisure arts book using Homespun yarn was very similar to the "Outlander Inspired" styles. (http://www.lilcreates.com/lillianssblog/quick-and-trendy-styles-with-homespun-yarn)
Gauntlets or fingerless gloves fit the bill for keeping hands warm while leaving fingers free to do numerous tasks. I had intended to include some of those pieces in this post, but the article was getting loo long and unfocused. Besides I want to offer my readers some free rustic patterns in addition to published styles I found in my research. As I take a break from knitting my capellet, I am in the process of designing, knitting, and writng about these pieces. My plan is to prepare fingerless gloves and gauntlets much like the cast of
"Outlander" would wear, while offering a contemporary flair. So keep posted for future articles of Lilcreates.
Has the "Outlander" craze captured your knitting imagination and creative spirit. Please share your photos and experiences. What is old becomes new again.