vintage shetland blog tour


Hello! today I am here to talk about something very exciting, if you know me you know I love vintage knitwear (see my ever growing collection here) and obviously I love Shetland so this project is very interesting to me. The Vintage Shetland Project is going to be a book full of patterns based on items in the Shetland Museums textile collection. Susan Crawford is the author of a number of knitting books and her main area of interest is vintage knitwear, her specialism is recreating and redoing patterns from vintage knitwear and making them into modern patterns ready for todays knitter, Susan is extremely inspired by the fashions and textile of the early to mid 20th century and I cant wait to see this book!!

Haps and Jumpers on stretchers and jumper boards. photo: JD Ratter, Shetland Museum and Archives.
Haps and Jumpers on stretchers and jumper boards. photo: JD Ratter, Shetland Museum and Archives.

Shetland Museum and Archives has a large and brilliant textile collection, Susan has spent the past few years choosing and developing patterns based on items in the collection, this difference between this and what Susan usually does is that there are no patterns for these items so Susan has painstakingly redesigned each item. She says ‘As these garments slowly perish as they unfortunately will do, I hope to extend their life in another way, recording their image, their patterns, their stitches, and their past and enabling knitters to read these histories and to be able to recreate these perfectly flawed knits too’

Fair Isle Scarves in the Museum Collection.
Fair Isle Scarves in the Museum Collection.

The reason we are doing this blog tour is so that you can be involved in the process too, Susan has organised a pubslush campaign which means by contributing to the publishing of this book you can receive rewards and bonuses (like receiving all of Susans books!) depending on how much you put towards the book.

photo courtesy Susan Crawford

Being in this blog tour has meant a sneaky peek at some of the items featured in the book. Some I have been lucky enough to see myself first hand at the Museum store, but what I like is that Susan has chosen very different and individual pieces from the collection. They all feature interesting or different techniques like the hat shown above. This hat has a crazy open pom pom on the top that I just love!

image (3)
photo courtesy of the Shetland Museum and Archives

The hat is actually part of a two piece set alongside an unusual crossover top, It cleverly uses the plain rounds to do the decreasing in the crown enabling the peerie patterns to stay correct. The huge pom pom obstructs most of the lovely crown shaping so Im intriqued to know more about it!

photo courtesy Susan Crawford

As a Shetlander thats interested in knitting it is quite easy to feel quite smug about the rich culture and heritage I was merely born into, we are so lucky to have these skills passed down to us. Even me who doesn’t come from a textile background, I can ask Sandra who I work with at Jamieson & Smith (she is my personal knitting guru) and you can always find someone or something to inspire you. We, as Shetlanders, have to appreciate the people who have an interest in Shetland and Shetland Knitting and that are willing to publish things like this, I know from my work at J&S that people are constantly looking for books about Shetland knitting and Fair Isle. We are notoriously shy or reluctant (take your pick) to share our knowledge so we must value for those that do so.

photo courtesy Susan Crawford

At the time of writing the project has already totally surpassed its goal, which is amazing! but Susan plans to use the extra funding to continue improving the book and adding more and more to it – so don’t stop contributing!

To see the posts and people in the blog tour, see the list below! Friday see’s the tour continue on to Jess from Ginger Twist Studios.

Thursday 9th July
Saturday 12th July
Monday 13th July
Wednesday 15th July         
Friday 17th July
Saturday 18th July
Sunday 19th July
Monday 20th July
Tuesday 21st July
Wednesday 22nd July
Friday 24th July
Saturday 25th July
Sunday 26th July
Monday 27th July
Wednesday 29th July
Friday 31st July
Sunday 2nd August
Monday 3rd August
Tuesday 4th August
Wednesday 5th Aug
Thursday 6th August
Friday 7th August


9 thoughts on “vintage shetland blog tour

  1. Really interesting post, Ella, about a very special project. Have just contributed and can’t wait either to see the book. Have a birthday coming up and am off to order some J & S Shetland Heritage! Regards Jane

  2. Just keep forgetting to donate! Please can you send me details of how to do it. Can I do it via Paypal?


    Sue Byrne


  3. Wonderful, will donate next week…when I get my next check………heard that before :) Really, I will! Now…if she could copy your fabulous dress, with the Spencer like top and the wave for the skirt, 1980’s. I couldn’t find your post with the best picture :(

    1. That’s a great idea! If anybody could duplicate that 80s vintage dress & write the pattern, Susan could.

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