Gilda’s Cuffs

Rigoletto_premiere_poster

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!

Teresa_Brambilla_1845

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

Rigoletto_premiere_costumes_for_the_Duke_and_Gilda

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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