For the second challenge of the Historical Sew Monthly, “Blue”, I decided to knit a blue Sontag, or shawl.
Actually, I decided to knit a blue sontag, then realized it fit perfectly into the February challenge! That’s the way it went. Really, I had no idea what to make otherwise, other than a fuzzy idea about a blue work shirt for my husband. I’m still working on the shirt. (Yep, making a shirt too. He is going to need one for blacksmithing at Stuhr Museum this summer.)
There is not really a definition of “Sontag” anywhere to be found, but they are generally known as a long slim shawl that overlaps in front and ties in back. This prevents the struggle of dealing with the ends of a shawl, and keeps it in place while one is working. Sontags are somewhat related to bosom friends but a bit more aesthetically pleasing, at least to my eye.
I of course knit mine, and chose a pattern that was no-frills and no-fuss, but still feminine and pretty. I did not use a historical pattern, but one the same shape. I knit my sontag from the Marianne Dashwood Shawl from Jane Austen Knits Magazine, with three skeins of Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool. (Not the most accurate choice, but it was that or buy new yarn. I own a yarn shop. I shouldn’t have to buy new yarn. At least it has the right hand and look.)
So without further ado, here are the challenge details!
Historical Sew Monthly Challenge Blue
What the item is: A Blue Sontag
The Challenge: Blue!
Fabric: Knit from three skeins of Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool in Woad. (45% wool, 35% silk, 20% nylon)
Pattern: Marianne Dashwood Shawl from Jane Austen Knits
Year: 19th Century in general.
How historically accurate is it? A Sontag is a historically correct type of shawl for much of the 19th century, but this is not a specific pattern from any historical time frame, rather just a pattern designed in the style of. The yarn is not right by content, but the look is just right. It looks like a homespun yarn and has the right body when knit up, and I didn’t have to order something special in. I’d say maybe 50% accuracy, giving myself points for the right shape. I hope to wear this on chilly days when I’m working at Stuhr Museum this spring and summer, and also with my brown 1830’s dress.
Hours to complete: Yikes. 30? All I know is that I spent an entire event working on it trying to finish it and couldn’t.
First worn: As a modern piece in my yarn shop. It works well with a fitted modern shirt too!
Please comment below if you have any questions!