Hussar Spencer Knitting Pattern DownloadImage

Hussar Spencer Knitting Pattern Download

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In the early nineteenth century, as the invention of the tape measure and other improved tailoring methods shifted menswear design away from expensive, colorful fabric and embroidery to dark colors and meticulous fit, military uniform design underwent a period of extreme opulence. Opinions vary as to the cause of this, but a major one seemed to be that the uniform was a recruitment tool. Men wanted to look impressive, and both sexes loved the way the sculptured, colorful uniforms both revealed and enhanced the male physique. It did not take long for the military look to start influencing feminine fashion, as women took the spencer jacket—originally a man’s garment—and made it one of the most enduring styles of the Regency era.

Dashing uniforms were definitely a part of the Jane Austen aesthetic, as military men and their uniforms swooped through her characters’ lives and thoughts. This spencer is based on one of my favorite regimental designs—the Hussars. I have toned down the opulence to make a more wearable garment for the modern day, but if you feel like making more I-cord and adding more embellishment to the sleeves or body, or swapping out the gray and red for a more bold color statement, take a look at nineteenth-century portraits of the Hussar officers, be inspired, and be as dashing as you dare!

Finished Size: 33 (37, 40, 45, 49)" bust/chest circumference, closed. Cardigan shown measures 33".

Yarn: Cascade Yarns 220 Superwash (100% superwash wool; 220 yd [201 m] /3½ oz [100 g]): #900 charcoal (MC), 5 (5, 6, 6, 7) skeins; #893 ruby (CC1), 1 (1, 1, 2, 2) skein(s). Alchemy Yarns of Transformation Silk Purse (100% silk; 163 yd [149 m]/1¾ oz [50 g]): #02

Needles: Body and sleeves sizes 6 and 7 (4 and 4.5 mm). I-cord size 6 (4 mm): Set of double-pointed (dpn). Adjust needle size if necessary to obtain the correct gauge.

Notions: Stitch holders; tapestry needle; about 1 yd coordinating Petersham ribbon; sewing needle and matching thread; 8 size 1 hook-and-eye closures; fifteen 5/8" metal buttons.

Gauge: 20 sts and 28 rows = 4" in St st with MC on larger needles.

Originally Published: Jane Austen Knits Fall 2012

Author/Designer: Tamara Volk

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