Susan Crawford is a designer, writer, researcher, textile historian, and all-round powerhouse of everything knitting. I first worked with Susan several years ago when she published a few of my designs for her online knitting magazine Knit on the Net. She was an incredibly supportive editor, and as a young designer (I was only 17, and applying for art college) I was thrilled to have her support. However, Knit on the Net closed a short while later to allow Susan to work on her own personal projects. These have gone from strength to strength: 'A Stitch in Time' volumes I and II are books which showcase stunning vintage knitting patterns, re-worked with multi-sized patterns, modern yarns and new photography. Both were self-published, and Susan has also created a whole host of other pattern booklets, with her own designs very much inspired by great knits of the past.
The Vintage Shetland Project is Susan's latest endeavour. Once again, hugely ambitious in scope; and wonderful in its archival and historical context; as well as importantly being very relevant for the modern knitter to enjoy. In Susan's own words:
The Vintage Shetland Project is the culmination of several years research I have carried out at the Shetland Museum archive and on Shetland with the help and support of Carol Christiansen, Curator at the Shetland Museum. Through this research I have chosen 25 items and have transcribed their construction, stitch by stitch, row by row, and have then recreated them for the Vintage Shetland Project. These have then been developed into comprehensive multi-sized knitting patterns, complete with instructions, technical advice and of course, beautiful photos all shot in Shetland. The story behind each hand knit is also told throughout the book along with a fascinating chapter about the four year project and the work involved.Click here to read more about the project & campaign on Susan's blog.
Susan created a crowd finding campaign to fund the printing of the book last month. (I am embarrassingly late in writing this post!) Amazingly, within only a few days she surpassed her original goal of raising £12,000. Susan graciously wrote about this here, where she also details how she plans on using the rest of the money.
There are now just 2 days left of the crowdfunder campaign, and I've just supported the project by pre-ordering the book. I hope that there might be a few more people out there who will contribute to the project, in order to give Susan as much help as possible in bringing the book to the final stages of completion. Above all, Susan is a passionate textile historian and a truly lovely person. With all the additional financial support, she will surely be able to keep doing what she does best: preserving history. By not merely archiving items and filing them away, Susan is bringing them out to the public, so that they can continue to be enjoyed!
Click here to watch an interview with Susan about the project.
Click here for the crowdfunder, with more information about the project. (It closes on 9 August)
Click here for Susan's blog.