Not too long ago, I was working on my first vintage pattern, The Automobile Bonnet. The original pattern was a hat and scarf set. The hat was designed to hold a scarf that could then be let down to protect a woman's face from the elements.
The hat was crocheted and the scarf was a knitting pattern. Unfortunately, I am not much of a knitter. After reworking the hat which was time consuming, but in my comfort zone, I set out to try the scarf. For several hours I started, made a mistake, ripped out my work and started again. I tried different needle sizes and types of yarn, but I finally surrendered.
I told my mother about the vintage pattern I was working on and how the scarf was eluding me. I even sent her a copy of the original pattern, but I didn't really expect her to make one. Like so many other handiworkers, we enjoy sharing our projects with one another. Yet, when she arrived on her latest visit, she produced this blue scarf from her knitting bag.
Her scarf, pictured above, is made to the exact specifications of the original pattern from 1885. I'd be lying if I didn't admit to feeling better after my mother said she too had to rip out her initial efforts. "This is a pattern that you just can't make a mistake on" she told me. My mom has years of knitting experience, but she also said that she has rarely encountered the same double wrapping that this pattern calls for.
So now I'm going to make one more Automobile bonnet in black to go with her scarf. That way it will be a complete set. Truly I believe that the modern day application of this pattern is to use it to showcase your favorite scarves and I'll go as far as to say that I think the hat looks prettier with a scarf that is less wide. Even so, it will be fun, as a mother and daughter project, to produce a bonnet that is true to the original. It will be our own little showpiece in honor of a time gone by.
P.S. ~ My mom is also known as Helen Athey "Knitter Extraordinaire!"