Gilda’s Cuffs


A Night At The Opera: Rigoletto

Gilda’s Cuffs

One of the longest lasting ‘true loves’ in my life is my love of opera–especially Italian opera.  I often listen to the historic recordings music lovers world-wide share of bygone stars from the earliest days of recording.  One day recently I was listening to this recording of the aria ‘Caro Nome’: recorded in 1906 by a Russian soprano I had not heard before, Antonina Nezhdanova, while I browsed through Victorian era crochet and knitting patterns.  I took a little break from fibre-related content to explore the opera which that aria is from, Rigoletto.  It is interesting to read reviews of the opera performances in the mid-19th century when it was ‘new!’  While researching it I read about the soprano, Teresa Brambilla, who sang at Rigoletto’s premiere performance in 1851; I noticed in a portrait of her that she wore small white ‘pouffed’ cuffs.  They are not crocheted or knit…but I did recall seeing some patterns for similar knit and crocheted lace cuffs from about the same year!


There is also an illustration of the costumes worn at the premiere also appear to have the cloaked heroine wearing white cuffs:


So I found the pattern they reminded me of, selected some yarn, thread, and hooks, and began to adapt and write a pattern for

Gilda’s Cuffs

Gilda's Cuffs Collage

These cute crochet cuffs are adapted from an 1848 design published just 3 years before the Premiere of Verdi’s opera Rigoletto.  The cuffs are named for the heroine of the opera, Gilda.  I hope you enjoy making them  for yourself or a friend!

Visit my Facebook Page to find the coupon code to get the pattern free for ONE DAY ONLY!

FEBRUARY 17, 2015


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