Friday, January 19, 2018

A Remade Knitted Hood & A Knitted Sontag

I made this hood over a year ago from the free pattern at Ephemeral Chaos. Due to my yarn weight or my needle size or my gauge or any combination thereof the hood came out really small. It fit my preschool daughter at the time and she initially liked it, but she has refused to wear it since then because she doesn't like the way it wraps around her neck and it tended to slide backwards off of her head. She has other bonnets that she prefers.

I decided to try to redo it and am pretty pleased with how my experiment turned out! Why waste a piece of wool knitting, right?!

Last weekend I took out the gathers at the back of the neck and the scarf ends and dyed the knitted piece on the stove. After about an hour the fibers (and my hands! haha) turned blue. My youngest children thought that was hilarious. 

I laid the piece flat to dry overnight on a towel and the next day I steam blocked it into a symmetrical shape.

The crown portion of the hood was really short. It didn't even begin to come down to my neck and actually ended right above the area the hair would be pinned into a chignon. So to add length, I sewed the short ends of the scarf portion together and then that became the curtain of the new hood. I sewed the curtain the crown, right sides together, with wool yarn in a loose whip stitch. I drew up that seam to fit the back of my head. With the front brim folded back it works quite well.

To finish the hood I added a simple crocheted loop trim to the edge in light grey and made light grey ties and a bow for the back.

Since my children somehow managed to get most of the week off of school, due to cancellations and delays, my 10 year old son was home to take a few photos of the finished hood. I am wearing it with my sacque and petti, my quilted petti and plain petticoats and my 18th century mitts and a sontag I just finished knitting from some yarn I got for Christmas! Even though these photos were taken on a day that was topped out around 10 degrees I was very comfortable while outside.

This is the sontag pattern from Ragged Soldier and it worked up really easily. I made this pattern a long time ago and it was just as easy to follow as I remembered. I did have problems finishing it but that was because I attempted the double crochet border and working the crochet stretched the edge of the knitting and made it all wavy looking. It looks horrible up close but I am not about to take it out and try to do something different. It will just exist this way! It does do a great job of keeping me warm, I must say!

I worked up the body in dark olive green wool and the border is lighter green. I do so love the colors. They remind me of lichens and moss on the rocks around here. :)

I have two more sontags for my girlies in various stages of completion. Annes is of the same light grey as the hood trim and Rosie chose dark grey for hers. It's nice to have quiet handwork to do on snowy days with the sun shining.

So to summarize:

The Challenge: #1 Mend, Reshape, Refashion

Material: Wool yarn

Pattern: Experiment at refashioned a garment knitted from the 1856 opera hood pattern available at Ephemeral Chaos.

Year: Mid-19th Century

Notions: n/a

How historically accurate is it? Hmm this is hard to answer. The hood itself, in its original state, is knitted directly from period instructions. The remade hood is my 2018 self remaking this 1856 hood into a hood that is similar to other period hoods in shape, but probably not in construction. It is passable from a distance to have the right silhouette and is made from proper materials but the construction is iffy.

Hours to Complete: A few, considering the dyeing, application of trim, etc.

First worn: For photos earlier this week. I'll probably wear it to an event in April if it is cool enough.

Total cost: For this remake, nothing.



  1. Just wondering why blocking it didn't take out the waviness. Maybe try blocking it again? It looks fine on so I wouldn't bother too much about it. Clever remake, I really love the way the blue bonnet turned out, you may start a fashion!

    1. Thanks! I am pretty sure the waviness is because I spaced the crochet stitches way too close, so they can't really shrink up much when the sontag is blocked. :( At least I made this mistake on my own sontag and the one I finished for my 5 year old came out so much better! My youngest daughters sontag will probably be the best of the bunch since I have made so many mistakes on these first two!


Thank you for your lovely thoughts!