Benwick by Kathleen Dames


November 2013
DK (11 wpi) ?
20 stitches and 30 rows = 4 inches
in Stockinette Stitch
US 5 - 3.75 mm
960 - 1880 yards (878 - 1719 m)
32 (34, 36, 38, 40, 42, 44)" bust circumference
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Captain Benwick had an affectionate heart. He must love somebody.
—Chapter 18, Persuasion, Jane Austen

Louisa Musgrove takes the air on the Cobb. She has finally recovered from her interesting illness and is escorted, of course, by Captain Benwick. A passing breeze gives our invalid a chill. Our gallant captain wraps his coat around her shoulders. How very interesting she is! And how ready to fall in love is he!

Far from an exact replica of naval dress, this cardigan nods to Royal Navy uniforms with it’s epaulet-like braids and clean front closure. It is also trimmed with matching braids at the collar, cuffs, and hem. In a nod to all the love Captain Benwick has to give, there is a heart on the sleeve.

Feel like the heroine in your own novel!

What you’ll love about knitting Benwick:

  • Seamless saddle-shoulder construction is so much fun to knit - you’ll feel so clever using the specified decreases to set in the sleeve and make a saddle for each shoulder
  • Matching braid at collar, cuffs, hem, cardigan fronts, and epaulets are delighfully matchy-matchy and a good excuse to practice cabling without a cable needle
  • Who doesn’t want to knit a heart on their sleeve? This one makes clever use of increases to make a lovely heart
  • Finishing work is modest: seam up the sleeves (or work them in the round if your gauge is similar working flat vs. in the round), weave together the underarms, and sew on those hooks and eyes

What you’ll love about wearing Benwick:

  • You’ve got your heart on your sleeve!
  • Matchy-matchy cables makes everything look sharp
  • Hook-and-eye front closures are crisp and elegant

Size/Finished Measurements
32 (34, 36, 38, 40, 42, 44) inches bust circumference, closed. Shown in size 36-inch with two inches negative ease

Seven Sisters Arts Nova (100% Bluefaced Leicester; 200 yds (183 m)/4 oz (113 g)): cobalt, 5 (6, 6, 7, 7, 7, 8) skeins {approx. 900 (950, 1050, 1150, 1200, 1300, 1400 yds}
Size 6 (4 mm): 29-inch circular (cir) needle (ndl)
Markers (m)
Cable needle (cn)
Removable stitch markers (rm)
Stitch holders or waste yarn
Tapestry needle
7 hook-and-eye sets, sharp-point sewing needle, and matching thread

20 stitches x 30 rows = 4 inches square in Stockinette St.

Skills Needed
casting on
binding off
working stitches out of order (otherwise known as cabling)
following charts

Previously published in: Jane Austen Knits, Fall 2013
Photography: Angela Lee

Everything you need to create your own beautiful Benwick is provided in the professionally designed (by me!) pattern.