Free Outlander Inspired and 18th Century Knitting Patterns

Any free knitting patterns I put up are available for personal use and may not be reproduced for sale.  I can be found at the Vermont Sheep and Wool Festival and Rhinebeck, New York’s Sheep and Wool Festival, with yarn and kits available for sale.  You contact me from the About Us page if you’re interested in a specific kit or.. we have a new store! Very exciting. The Farm at Morrison Corner’s Online Store

Rachel Hunter’s Quaker Mittens

Rachel Hunter’s Quaker Mittens

Mittens for a Friend, inspired by the Quaker, Rachel Hunter (created by Diana Gabaldon in her series Outlander)  are being released to coincide with World Quaker Day, October 2nd, 2016. These mittens feature the Quaker proverb You lift me, and I’ll lift thee, and we will rise together, which speaks to this year’s theme: Connecting Friends, Crossing Cultures and Changing
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The Skye Boat Poetry Mittens

The Skye Boat Poetry Mittens

A dream ends on Outlander.. Mittens for a tragedy.. Since Bear McCreary used the Skye Boat Song melody as the basis for his Outlander theme youtube.com is awash in versions of this old song, but this one strikes me as particularly authentic.. if the song can be called authentic at all.  The Skye Boat Song
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Bree’s Blue: To Dye With Indigo

Bree’s Blue: To Dye With Indigo

If you can only have one Outlander Adventure… make it dying with indigo. Bree made herself a blue wool dress, using indigo to dye the wool.  Which made me wonder.. what color was Bree’s dress? That’s simple, indigo blue, right?  Well.. not necessarily. I’ve kept a flock of sheep for decades… and have never dyed with indigo.
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Other Outlander Knitting Patterns

Other Outlander Knitting Patterns

I’ve been asked to put up Outlander knitting patterns for specific knits seen on in the Starz film adaptation of Outlander. I have rather strong opinions regarding those knits, which the costume designer started out justifying as authentic to the 18th century, then revised to being not necessarily authentic but authentic to  her vision of the 18th century, regardless
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Keeping it Together: Ribbons and Tapes in the 18th Century

Keeping it Together: Ribbons and Tapes in the 18th Century

From a wedding scene to the court of Paris, to Jamaica to the Colonies… Outlander, and the 18th century, is bound together with ribbons and tapes.  Whether part of a marriage ceremony, a necklace (for a jet fish) or a bit of finery purchased as a token of love, ribbons and tapes hold the 18th century
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A Lady Wears Lace: Bree’s Mittens for her Lord John Grey’s

A Lady Wears Lace: Bree’s Mittens for her Lord John Grey’s

The historic record is pretty firm on two points: women in the 18th century did not drape themselves in knit shawls, and light, angora, lace, mittens.. weren’t part of the wardrobe either.   There’s a school of thought which argues that they did exist, they just didn’t make it into the inventories, paintings, or records
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Staying True to Outlander: A Lace Shawl for Amanda Claire MacKenzie

Staying True to Outlander: A Lace Shawl for Amanda Claire MacKenzie

 For decades, including when I was visiting museums on school trips, 18th century costuming included the ubiquitous plain brown knit shawl.  In those days costumes also included zippers, machine sewn seams, and occasionally, sneakers. Today reinactors are encouraged to create their character with as much historically accurate detail as possible, making sure any visible seams
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A Bonnie Scottish Bonnet

A Bonnie Scottish Bonnet

Knitting was just made for audio books, but Outlander, or rather the 18th century, is woefully short of knitted garment inspiration. It isn’t that they didn’t know how to knit a garment, small shirts were knit for infants and children, but knitwear was not fashionable.  Furthermore, home knitters during this period can barely keep their
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Even More Indigo: River Run Blue

Even More Indigo: River Run Blue

Thanks to Outlander this summer I grew Japanese indigo in my garden.  To be truthful, I didn’t have a whole lot of faith in the roughly one square yard of indigo plants yielding very much color, or any color at all if I’m being honest, so I ordered a neat little kit which makes a
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Poetry Mittens: Useful Beauty (and patterns)

Poetry Mittens: Useful Beauty (and patterns)

“They will habitually prefer the useful to the beautiful and insist the beautiful be useful.”   Alexis de Tocqueville’s observation on New Englanders. Poetry mittens, designed to show a young woman’s skill in needlework, her piety, and her ability to read, appear at the end of the 18th and early 19th century.  I like to
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Yan Tan Tethera: Counting Sheep in Poetry Mittens

Yan Tan Tethera: Counting Sheep in Poetry Mittens

Yan Tan Tethera is a rhyming counting system used by shepherds in the north and highlands and immortalized in the folk song the The Lincolnshire Shepherd (which is available on iTunes, much to my surprise) or  you can hear it on youtube. I like to think Mac would have heard this rhyming count as he exercised the
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The Time Traveler’s Dye: Jewelweed

The Time Traveler’s Dye: Jewelweed

Jewelweed grows from southern Canada to Oklahoma and is often called “touch-me-not” for its exploding seed pods.  As a medicinal, jewelweed is a topical remedy for poison ivy, poison oak, nettle stings and insect bites. It also makes a user friendly introduction to natural dying. Jewelweed will produce color ranging from a lovely peach to
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6 thoughts on “Free Outlander and 18th Century Knitting Patterns

  1. Looking for actual patterns for 18 century hats and mittens. Can you tell me where to look for them

    • M C says:

      The source of the oldest knit patters I’ve been able to find online is http://www.antiquepatternlibrary.org/html/warm/date.htm , but they don’t have patterns prior to the 1800s. This is consistent with my own research, printed patterns don’t start appearing until roughly the 1830s, and then they really take off around the middle of the 19th century as stitches, gauges, and fashion, make knitted garments (such as the Polka Jacket) popular. There is a very nice overview of the history of women’s hats here: http://vintagefashionguild.org/fashion-history/the-history-of-womens-hats/ And men’s hats of the period would have been equally variable, from the knit and fulled caps sailors wore (see http://wyndesign.livejournal.com/3110.html?nojs=1&thread=3622 for a look at a reproduction of a hat found in the wreckage of the French frigate Machault (1757)) to the popular tricorn of the Revolutionary War period. There are patterns available to purchase for both men’s and women’s hats, but whether or not you can re-create them will depend on your sewing and knitting skills as well as whether or not you can source the necessary materials for authenticity.

      Basically, when you’re looking at patterns of this period, you’re looking what people have painstakingly re-created based on original survivors (like the Machault hat, for example, or the John Grey mitten) or patterns that have been handed down through families. We can do a pretty good job of reproducing from original pieces, if we can count stitches, reproduce the technique, and have an idea of the fiber content of the original piece.

  2. Maddi says:

    Would love pattern for Claire’s chunky cowl scarf!!

  3. Shelley says:

    Thank you for sharing your wealth of knowledge, and your resources. Very much appreciated and enjoyed.

    • Heather says:

      Is there a pattern for Claire’s shawelette? It is shown from the back, fitted with caplet type sleeves and a sort of Heather gray wool . Any information regarding the weight of the wool used, is also appreciated.
      Thank you very much.

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