Vintage Shetland blog tour stop (help the project, pre-order the book & more!!)

There are a lot of things I love in this world. Knitting is one of them. Vintage is another. History, yet another. When all of these things come together, it’s magical.

Such is the case with Susan Crawford’s latest project and upcoming book. It’s called The Vintage Shetland Project. If you’re a fan of vintage knitting, then you know Susan Crawford. She’s a renowned vintage knitwear designer and one of my knitting idols, and I’m truly honored to call her a friend.

She’s been working tirelessly for four years to bring this project to the world in the form of a glorious book, and I’m overjoyed to help introduce you to it today, as part of her “To Shetland and Back” blog tour.

Read on below to learn about her Pubslush campaign as well as lots more about the book!

The Vintage Shetland Project, © Susan CrawfordThe Vintage Shetland Project, © Susan Crawford

How you can help (and pre-order the book or a special kit!)

To help get The Vintage Shetland Project funded, Susan has opened up a Vintage Shetland Project crowdfunding campaign on Pubslush.

It launched Thursday and it’s been hugely successful already! In fact in just a couple of days, it reached its initial goal, which is phenomenal! However any little bit helps and will help cover other pre-publication costs which have been and continue to be immense for Susan (as you might imagine for a project so in-depth as this). So let’s keep the momentum going!

If you donate at a certain level you’ll receive the book once it’s published, so consider pre-ordering your copy! £15 for the ebook or £25 for the hard copy of the book, plus at other contribution levels you’ll get some other fun goodies! (Note to US readers, you may need to tell your credit card you’re making a UK charge; mine initially declined my donation so I had to confirm with them it was legit.)

Susan has been overwhelmed by all of the support this project has generated in a few short days. Keep reading below to learn more about a new exclusive kit she’s just been able to offer (hint: it’s a delightful 1940s cardigan)!

More about the Vintage Shetland Project

The Vintage Shetland Project has involved years of Susan’s research and collaboration with the Shetland Museum, traveling back and forth to Shetland and carefully studying knitwear in their collection and early 20th century Shetland knitting traditions and history. And she’s recreated 25 of those pieces as pattern for the modern day knitter. Every single stitch and row, meticulously and faithfully noted for all 25 items, most of which were not from commercially available patterns at the time. Each pattern in the book will also be accompanied by an essay, sharing more of the history of Shetland knitting with the knitter.

It shows an incredible love and dedication to knitwear history and knitting traditions, and we will all get to be the lucky recipients of Susan’s hard work, once her book is published!

The Vintage Shetland Project, © Susan CrawfordThe Vintage Shetland Project, © Susan Crawford
(I spy her wearing Ena’s Sweater from her A Stitch in Time Vol. 1!)

The pieces in the book will of course feature many beautiful fair isle designs (Shetland being the home of fair isle, both the knitting and its namesake island), but also lace and some pieces featuring beadwork. For each piece, Susan worked to replicate the color and type of yarn as close as possible, so the patterns are as true to the original pieces as could be. The colors of her Fenella line of yarn were designed to match up to the colors of the garments transcribed. It’s going to be a stunning lineup!

One of my favorite pieces from the book that I’m happy to share with you is this cardigan from the 1940s, full of beautiful floral motifs that pop out of the neutral shades of the background.

The Vintage Shetland Project, © Susan CrawfordThe Vintage Shetland Project, © Susan Crawford

Even damaged as it is, you can see the gloriously fine details and stitches of the knitter’s work.

The Vintage Shetland Project, © Susan CrawfordThe Vintage Shetland Project, © Susan Crawford

It even includes ribbon-backed button bands, with handworked buttonholes.

The Vintage Shetland Project, © Susan CrawfordThe Vintage Shetland Project, © Susan Crawford

If you’d like to knit this gorgeous cardigan yourself, Susan has created a new yarn kit via her Pubslush campaign! It’ll include the 10 colors of Fenella to knit the cardigan, vintage buttons and ribbon for the button band facings, as well as the book, project bag, lapel badge and postcards, priced at £155.

There’s only 5 kits and all the previous yarn kits were snapped up like lightening, so pop over to get yours! They will NOT last!!

The Vintage Shetland Project, © Susan Crawford

Just like you might especially cherish a handmade item from your grandparents’ or great-grandparents’ generation, something that’s gone down through the ages, there’s something so intriguing and wonderful to me about seeing all of these items from the Shetland Museum. They’re significant pieces of a culture and a rich and complex knitting heritage. And now Susan is bringing many of them to life for us again (in multiple sizes of course). It just gives me goosebumps thinking about it!

All of Susan’s books are treasures in my knitting library. I know The Vintage Shetland Project will be, too. I absolutely cannot wait!

If you’ve followed my blog for any length of time, you can imagine how the goals and success of this project are near and dear to my heart. I’m thrilled to help spread the word. For your next stop on the book tour, we pop from Chicago straight to Shetland, with Hazel Tindall, a lifelong knitter and knitwear designer of breathtaking fair isle work. Don’t miss her post on Monday!

To Shetland and Back: The Vintage Shetland Project Blog Tour

 Find out more

Aren’t you excited?!! I can hardly contain myself!

Filed: Knitting, Vintage Dibs and Dabs

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Golly, 5 Comments!

  • I’m excited as well and preordered my copy.


  • What a fabulous sounding book! It’s one of those titles that even as a non-knitter, I sense I’d absolutely love to read.

    ♥ Jessica


  • Wow! I can’t wait. Fair Isle is my latest obsession and I’m currently knitting a vest. I didn’t get the kit, but I’m sure I’ll find something in the book that I want to make. I have donated/pre-ordered. I think I will need a few DVDs to watch while I knit. Maybe Foyle’s War? Or Poirot . . . hmmm. Of course I’ll need more yarn, too. Since I don’t know what patterns will be in the book I’ll have to get All The Yarn! just in case . . .


  • This sounds amazing! I can’t wait to see the finished book!


  • I LOVE Susan Crawford and her beautiful designs! I am so happy to hear that she has come out with a new book!


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