This thingy is called a sontag or 'bosom friend.' It crisscrosses over your front and ties in the back. I've been wanting to knit one ever since watching 'Lark Rise to Candleford.'
You can find patterns for these as far back as the 1860s Godey's Lady's Book. I have a fascination with historical knitting, what can I say. Anyway, it's just a huge (HUGE) triangle shaped shawl with a row of eyelets running down the center back.
The pattern is here (free!) on Ravelry, and my project notes are here. I knit this in a wool blend, and it's very warm and comfortable.
This was a very easy knit. Super easy. It's just that the damn thing gets unwieldy after awhile, and when you are reaching the end of the pattern you've got over 300 stitches on your needles. Not fun. I actually broke my circular knitting needle on this bad boy - it was so heavy it pulled the cord from the needle. A little patience and some Gorilla Glue fixed it.
I knit this watching 'Frasier' reruns and season 5 of 'The Good Wife', mostly. I think there were a few episodes of 'The Sopranos' in there as well, but it feels strange to knit while watching mafia shows. True facts.
See you later!