Introducing The Lady Cuffs! This pattern is a collection of 3 cuffs inspired by ladies from various Arthurian legends.
They’re the perfect accessory for dressing up a sweater or jacket, and they can be made as simple or as fancy as you like. The samples are shown in hand-dyed Cormo Fingering yarn by Elemental Affects. I love Cormo – it’s soft and sproingy and stretchy and simply yummy. Elemental Affects’ Cormo has a good amount of twist so it shows off the stitches well.
Choose a neutral color that will complement most any garment, and you have a go-to accessory that will add a little something extra to an outfit. Or choose a bold color and really perk things up! The cuffs are lovely unadorned, but you can play with embellishments and make each pair unique. Beads, crystals, tiny flowers, sequins, knitted flowers, buttons – your creativity is your only limit.
For an fancier version, consider Elemental Affects’ Civility yarn. It’s a luscious merino-silk blend that also has a good deal of twist, making the yarn pill-resistant. The silk provides a bit of sheen which will dress the cuffs up a bit. And maybe run with a thin sparkly metallic filament…oh, the possibilities!
Cuffs have the added benefit of keeping your wrists warm and your hands free. Look stylish and keep comfortable as you have lunch or cocktails on the outdoor patio! When the weather turns chilly and damp, I will often wear them in the house, especially when I’m knitting or doing other handwork. The cuffs cover just enough of the lower hand to keep my thumb joints warm and flexible (definitely a help with my tendinitis), but they don’t get in the way.
The Lady Cuffs are appropriate for a range of knitting experience. The set of 3 patterns provides variety for the experienced knitter, and beginners can think of the motifs as little samplers and explore simple twisted and crossed stitches, cables, and lace.
Lady of the Fountain has a central diamond motif with rivulets of twisted stitches bordered by cabled stitches. The cuff on the left is embellished with tiny 3mm Swarovski crystals.
Lady of the Lake features a textured triangular motif surrounded by crossed stitches. The texture is provided by alternating directions of twisted stitches, proving that simple patterns can have great results. The cuff on the left is embellished with little Venetian glass disc beads. I chose a pale watery blue bead, but was really torn because the black beads looked fabulous and made the cuff look quite dramatic. (Which just goes to show that a simple change can make a big impact.)
Lady of Shalott features a central lace motif. The cuff on the left is embellished with knitted flowers and little pearls. The pattern includes instructions for the knitted flowers, which require just a wee amount of laceweight yarn.
The e-book collection has complete written and charted instructions for all three cuffs, and it includes a document with full-page charts for those knitters who want “just the charts and nothing but the charts!” You can get the pattern here http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/sources/the-lady-cuffs/patterns.
Now, about those Arthurian ladies. Many will be familiar with the ballad, The Lady of Shalott, by Alfred, Lord Tennyson. Originally published in 1833 and loosely based on the legend of Elaine of Astolat, the poem describes a cursed lady living in isolation in a high tower. Set in the world of Camelot, there’s knights and Sir Lancelot and weaving and that famous statement, “I am half sick of shadows.” (And also the word daffodilly, which I’m going to have to work into something.) If you’re not familiar with the poem, you may have heard the beautiful song of the same name by Loreena McKennitt.
“The Lady of the Lake” is the ruler of Avalon and appears in many Arthurian stories. She’s responsible for giving the sword Excalibur to King Arthur, of enchanting Merlin, and raising Lancelot. The Lady of the Lake is also a well-known narrative poem by Sir Walter Scott. The action takes place in Scotland, with rivalries over a woman, the feuds of kings, and wars between highlanders and lowlanders – oh, those Scots! The poem was highly popular in its day, and influenced many other artistic works.
The Lady of the Fountain is one of three tales known as the Three Welsh Romances that are contained within a Middle Welsh collection of prose known as the Mabinogion. This compilation came from two manuscripts from the late-medieval period, the Red Book of Hergest and the White Book of Rydderch, although the stories likely date back to much older Celtic sources passed down through oral tradition. More than you ever wanted to know, right? As for the story itself, it’s a tale of love found and lost and found again.
All of these poems are fun reading, if you’re into that sort of thing. And if you’re not, well fortunately they’re not required for making these pretty (dare I say romantic?) cuffs. Just knit, and enjoy!