Vintage Knitting, Retro Dressmaking, Make do and Mend, Original and Vintage Inspired Knitting Patterns, Vintage Inspired books

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Seasons Greetings

The latter part of 2015 has not been the calmest for myself or many others on the North West coast of Britain and with more storms to come I suspect this is not going to be the year for long walks across the fields to work off my Christmas excesses. However I am so very lucky. I am warm, dry, well fed and safe. My thoughts are with everyone for whom life has been less kind and I wish you all a peaceful, happy Christmas with the ones you love.

I'll be back very soon,
for now,
Susan xx

Image copyright Susan Crawford 2015. Not to be reproduced without permission of the copyright holder

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Bring Me Sunshine - A Free Festive Corsage Pattern

The Festive season is drawing ever nearer, so to continue my theme of bringing you some sunshine, I’ve decided to share with you an incredibly simple pattern for a knitted corsage.  You can really let your creativity run wild with this pattern, as it provides the starting blocks to all manner of beautiful corsages, brooches and hair decorations.  It only takes around an hour to make so is perfect for making last minute gifts. An added bonus is it only takes a few grams of yarn to make one. In fact you could knit the petals in different colours to use up the smallest of left overs!

The pattern can be followed using thicker or thinner yarn, smaller or bigger needles, all just resulting in bigger or smaller finished items.  Decorate with oddments of ribbon, lace, buttons and beads for a truly unique looking piece.

You can download your PDF copy of the free pattern by following this link.  Don't forget, you don’t need to be a member of Ravelry to do this. 

I do hope you enjoy this little ray of Yuletide sunshine! 

For now, 
Susan xx

Images copyright Susan Crawford 2015 Images not to be used without permission of the copyright holder

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Bring Me Some Sunshine Soup!

I thought I would share with you an old favourite recipe of mine which I originally shared on the blog, back in 2012, but if you haven't yet planned your Christmas menu this is a great starter to consider. Rather fittingly it looks like sunshine in a bowl! It is creamy, well flavoured but not too heavy so great for when there are multiple courses. Served with garlic bread or my favourite, soda bread, it also works as a great lunchtime filler. 

So, today’s #bringmesunshine is my Pumpkin, Sage and Parmesan Soup.

The ingredients you need are as follows:

The flesh of a medium pumpkin, chopped into cubes (I often use homegrown frozen pumpkin)
25g of unsalted butter
1 chopped white onion
1 chopped clove of garlic
A good handful of freshly chopped sage leaves
800ml of vegetable stock (I use Marigold Vegetable Bouillion)
3 tablespoons double cream
Black Pepper

Begin by melting the butter in medium sized pan with a good heavy bottom. Add the onion and gently cook for about 5/10 mins, then add the garlic for a minute or so. 

Next add all of the chopped pumpkin, along with the sage and a healthy grating of nutmeg. (I like a lot of nutmeg but obviously that's down to personal taste, however I think pumpkin needs plenty of other flavours added to it so don't be nervous of the nutmeg or the sage). 

Finally add the vegetable stock. Now keeping the heat pretty low, cook until the pumpkin is 'pulpy' stirring occasionally - mine takes about 20 minutes with the lid partly over the pan, but use your own judgement on this. 

Turn off the heat and either mash or preferably roughly blend the soup. I use a cheap little hand blender for this and it does the job in next to no time. Don't over blend as you don't want a completely smooth soup. Pour in the cream and gently stir.

When serving add a plentiful quantity of grated parmesan all over the surface of the soup so that it melts into the soup. Add salt and pepper as preferred (you can always add the seasoning during cooking, but I like to do it at the end so that everyone gets it seasoned as they like it).

Serve immediately. Enjoy!

For now,

Susan xx

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

My Friend Woolly Wormhead

This post was actually due to be published on Monday (two days ago). Unfortunately on Saturday evening disaster struck the North West coast of Britain with unprecedented rain fall causing flooding throughout Cumbria and North Lancashire. I was very fortunate. Areas of my village have been flooded and further afield friends have been cut off from the outside world or forced to abandon their homes as the flood waters have reached them. At the farm we found ourselves without power for several days. Mobile phone masts went down along with our landline telephone. We had no light, cooker or hot water. We however were very lucky. We have wood burning stoves and ample supply of wood so were able to keep warm and cook using these. Light was provided by candles and paraffin lamps but the most difficult part was communicating with the outside world. Without power though we had no way of charging up our phones or using the internet. The roads all around us were flooded, the bridges damaged and closed so we were genuinely cut off. And so, I was unable to publish my planned post until now. It did however give me more time to contemplate what I actually wanted to say.

It has been difficult as I have struggled over these last few days to find the 'sunshine' that I have been trying to bring to the blog recently but despite the devastation all around me at the moment, the one thing I have witnessed and heard about repeatedly is the friendship and support people have been showing each other to help others get back on their feet, to have somewhere dry to stay, to have some warm food to eat. So I guess the 'sunshine' I'm trying so hard to find right now is just that - friendship - and that's what I want to talk about.

Woolly in a very familiar pose

Woolly Wormhead is an incredibly skilled craftsperson, an amazing designer and photographer but what she is to me is far more than that. Woolly is my friend. We have been friends for eight of the ten years as a Hat designer that Woolly is celebrating. During that time I have been her publisher, her distributor, a collaborator. Gavin and Woolly have also worked together on the graphic side of things. These connections gave us the opportunity to get to know each other better. Talking regularly via email, phone, skype and enjoying the occasions when work brings us together and allows us to unwind together. Our friendship has grown over the years, as good friendships do. I travel to Italy to stay with Woolly. Woolly, Tom and Aran come and stay on the farm to escape the heat of the Italian summer. Tom and Gavin are friends and most wonderful of all Gavin and Aran are friends. Aran waking up early in the morning to accompany Gavin on the farm rounds, feeding the chickens and checking the sheep. Woolly has also become friends with my daughter, Charlie, helping her with her final film for her degree, allowing Charlie into her and her family's life so that Charlie could create a truly beautiful film about Aran's life on the 'yard'.

Teaser Trailer - Mutoid from charliemoon on Vimeo.

Charlie and Aran are also firm friends. Woolly supported Charlie through this, giving her advice and encouragement when the creative process stuttered.

Charlie and Aran at the farm
 Woolly and I don't get to see each other often but we are always there for each other if needed. We have both created new lives for ourselves in a slightly unorthodox way and are both the 'bread winners' in our family group. Both of our lives are complex and sometimes difficult but having someone to talk to who instinctively understands is something everyone needs in their lives and I am very very lucky to have Woolly.

If you don't already have any of Woolly's patterns or books then you really should. From Going Straight, her first book to Painted Woolly Toppers, each and every one contains the patterns to some of the most exciting Hats design you are likely to see and Woolly's website includes some of the best technique tutorials around. I for one go back to them again and again. And just in time for this blog post she even has a fabulous new pattern out in the latest knitty. In the background of Woolly's stunning photographs you can just make out the time machine, an imposing structure, built by fellow artists living in Mutonia, and an important visual reference in much of Woolly's work.

Time Machine Teaser from charliemoon on Vimeo.

I don't know what the next ten years will bring but I do know that Woolly will continue to be creative, exciting, unpredictable and will continue to grow as a craftsperson and designer and I for one just cannot wait to see what she comes up with. Here's to you Woolly, I consider myself incredible fortunate to have you as a friend.

for now,
Susan xx

Images copyright Susan Crawford except for cover image of Painted Woolly Toppers copyright Woolly Wormhead. Film shorts copyright Charlie Moon. Not to be used without permission of the copyright holders.

Sunday, December 06, 2015

Bring Me Sunshine - Easy Carrot Soup

One of my favourite and certainly one of the easiest soups that I make is Carrot soup. Sounds boring? Not at all. It is packed full of flavour but is very easy to make and only really uses store cupboard ingredients. You can increase the quantities and freeze it in batches. I often serve it with some grated parmesan on top and some freshly baked soda bread.

Easy Carrot Soup
(for 2-4 people)

4 large carrots
1 large red onion
2 cloves garlic
1 medium potato
Black Pepper
Worcestershire Sauce
Olive Oil
Marigold vegetable bouillon (or other vegetable stock)

Finely chop garlic cloves and red onion. Add a little olive oil to large pan on a medium heat then add the garlic and onion. Sweat for a few minutes. In the meantime chop the carrots and the potato into small chunks. I usually only top and tail the carrots and certainly don't bother to peel the potato.
When they're chopped add them to the pan, stir for a couple of minutes whilst boiling the kettle. Make up 1.5 litres of vegetable bouillon and add to the pan. Add dried parsley and thyme and ground black pepper and a healthy dash of Worcestershire Sauce. Turn down the heat to low and leave to simmer with the lid partly covering the pan for a good hour or until carrots and potato are soft. Remove from the heat and blend thoroughly. Can be eaten right away or can be reheated and is also great for freezing.


for now, 
Susan xx

Saturday, December 05, 2015

Bring Me Sunshine - The Bowtie Tie Free Pattern

So to get this party started here is the Bowtie Tie knitting pattern. The tie is knitted in a standard 4ply yarn and can be customised to suit whatever colour or style you might fancy knitting.

The pattern includes charts for two logos which can be knitted as part of the tie - the Chevrolet logo - known as the Bowtie and the International Harvester logo - known as Man on Tractor. You can knit the tie with or without the logos. You could add your own logo or knit it in one colour or striped if you prefer. The world is your oyster!

The pattern also includes instructions on how to back the tie with fabric if you prefer.

And the pattern is completely free. Just follow the download link below to obtain your PDF of the pattern.

download now

I hope you enjoy it. Stop by tomorrow for a delicious and simple soup recipe.

for now,
Susan xx

Friday, December 04, 2015

Bring Me Sunshine

With Advent upon us and with so much sadness and conflict all around, I felt I needed to do something positive to bring just a little light and happiness - to the pages of my blog at least.

So for the whole of the Christmas period, I will be sharing some quick posts which will include free patterns, recipes, tips and hints, favourite songs - whatever makes me happy on a given day - in the hope that it will bring a little sunshine into your day too.

As I tried to think of a working title for these posts, the theme tune to the immortal comedy duo, Morecambe and Wise came into my head.

As a child of the 70s and 80s I grew up watching Morecambe and Wise every Christmas. I still watch them at every opportunity to this day and I only need to see Eric Morecambe on screen for the briefest of moments to start to giggle. They are so much a part of me that I bought the videos and then all the DVDs of their TV shows so I could introduce my daughter to them and keep watching them myself. My Albert grand-dad modelled himself on Eric and to me as a child I guess they became almost interchangeable and watching Eric on TV was as though I was getting to see my grand-dad on the small screen.

I now live not far from Morecambe Bay and to the seaside town of Morecambe itself, where Eric Bartholomew was born, and from where he took his stage name. The rest as they say is history. A fabulous statue now stands on Morecambe promenade dedicated to the town's most famous and most loveable son.

So without further ado, for our first ray of sunshine on a cold, miserable day, here are the dynamic duo singing their famous rendition of the song

And here are the words if you want to sing along - try it. There's something about it that cheers the soul no matter how bleak the world is around you.

Bring me Sunshine, in your smile,
Bring me Laughter, all the while,
In this world where we live, there should be more happiness,
So much joy you can give, to each brand new bright tomorrow,
Make me happy, through the years,
Never bring me, any tears,
Let your arms be as warm as the sun from up above,
Bring me fun, bring me sunshine, bring me love.

Bring me Sunshine, in your eyes,
Bring me rainbows, from the skies,
Life's too short to be spent having anything but fun,
We can be so content, if we gather little sunbeams,

Be light-hearted, all day long,
Keep me singing, happy songs,
Let your arms be as warm as the sun from up above,
Bring me fun, bring me sunshine, bring me love.

Sylvia Dee & Arthur Kent

For more wonderful clips from this amazing duo, head to youtube and search for Morecambe and Wise and while away a few hours!

Call back tomorrow morning for our first free pattern. Just perfect for rustling up a quick hand made gift.

for now,
Susan xx

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Susan Crawford Vintage at The Knitting and Stitching Show

Its already that time of year again and as is fast becoming a tradition, I will be having a stand at The Knitting and Stitching Show in Harrogate, Yorkshire, next week! 

The show is open from Thursday 26th to Sunday 29th November and is at the Harrogate International Conference and Exhibition Centre. 

You will find the Susan Crawford Vintage stand at the back of Hall A, stand number A696. As always we will have a wide range of our yarns, books, kits and patterns available, plus a small selection of preview garments from the Vintage Shetland Project for you to see. There will also be a rail of ex-display/sample garments for sale! These are a variety of sizes and designs and all one of a kind. Come and have a look!

As an Autumn treat to brighten your day, we are offering a 10% discount at the show for all newsletter subscribers. If you're not already a subscriber you can join by following the sign up link on my website.

It will be wonderful to meet friends old and new at the Show so please do drop by to say hello!
For now,
Susan xx

Saturday, November 21, 2015

My Shetland Adventure Continues

The last few weeks have been incredibly busy.  I’ve recently returned from a trip to Shetland and the beautiful island of Vaila, where I was working on further research and photoshoots for the Vintage Shetland Project book.

Arriving on Shetland - copyright Jeni Reid 2015

We had originally intended to stay a week, but this turned into just short of two, as gale force winds and high seas whipped up around Vaila preventing our departure. Our wonderful hosts, plentiful food and a huge amount of work to do meant our extended stay was in no way a hardship or a waste of time!

The stormy seas around Vaila
The limited hours of daylight at 60 degrees north latitude, caused a few challenges during the photoshoots.  However, the beautiful images captured on the visit were worth the horizontal rain and gale force winds.

Copyright Jeni Reid 2015
Here I am being held upright by the wind as we walked to the extreme western edge of the island for a very special view. Hidden inside her parka, is my daughter Charlie, who, along with her chap, Denis, accompanied us to Vaila. Charlie in her role as moving picture Director and Camera-Woman filmed behind the scenes, the photoshoot, and the incredible island of Vaila itself. This stunning footage will be edited together into a short film revealing a unique glimpse of our time on Vaila. Look out for further information of when the film will be available to view.

Denis was also with us for a very good reason, agreeing to be the primary male model in the book. Here he is somehow managing to look completely relaxed whilst surrounded by cameras. You may be aware of an additional photographer behind me in this shot and this is Jeni Reid, who took some amazing 'backstage' photos of the trip which will help decorate the book. 

Two days were also spent at the Shetland Museum Archive, where we set up a temporary studio to photograph each of the original museum pieces which are in the book. This was something I desperately wanted to be able to include in the book and thanks to the Crowd Funding campaign I have been able to do so.

Copyright Jeni Reid 2015
Exciting new research has revealed some crucial new stories and developments, which were previously unknown to me, but which are pivotal to the Vintage Shetland Project story and the completeness of the study as a whole. Whilst at the Museum, an additional garment came to light - the missing jigsaw piece in a way - that brings everything together and completes the collection. I felt it essential to include these new details. So this piece is now already being knitted and will be part of the final photoshoot.
This extra research, knitting and pattern writing is obviously going to take up more time so I have had to move the date of release to the Crowdfunders. All Crowdfunding books will still be sent out first with other pre-orders being sent out shortly afterwards. However for Crowdfunders this does mean that their books won't be despatched until early in 2016. If you are a Crowdfunder you should have been receiving regular newsletters about progress including one earlier this week telling you about this. If you've not been receiving your newsletters please check your spam box for emails from If there's nothing there either please let us know by contacting 

You can also sign up for my regular newsletter by following the sign up link on my website. And don't forget you can still pre-order your very own copy of The Vintage Shetland Project here.
More news very soon, but

For now,
Susan xx

All images copyright Susan Crawford unless otherwise stated. Images not to be used without the written permission of the copyright holder.

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

A Glimpse Inside The Vintage Shetland Project

As many of you know, I'm currently working hard on bringing together my research, patterns, photography and history for The Vintage Shetland Project

This very special book is based on garments held in the collection at the Shetland Archives.  I've selected a number of items from the collection and have meticulously charted and recorded stitch counts and patterns, to enable me to recreate them and from this information create multi-sized knitting patterns.  My choice of pieces has not only been based on beauty, but also on the stories which they have each revealed. From the Suffragette Movement to WWII, prize winning knits to highly experimental work the book is proving to be incredibly rewarding and fascinating work. 

I've recently held a photoshoot for the book, on the island of Vaila which is off the West coast of Shetland and surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean.  It is a truly awe-inspiring and majestic location - but more of that later, first let me introduce you to some of the patterns that will be in the book and also give you a peek at some behind-the-scenes photos.

Here is my beautiful model, Ria, knocking at the door of Vaila Hall whilst wearing these beautiful pair of gloves featuring a Norwegian flower motif and knitted in organic Shetland wool produced from the sheep of Vaila.

Here I am hard at work, photographing Ria in the gardens of Vaila Hall. She is also wearing a stunning Aquascutum coat from the 1950s.

Here's a detailed shot of the mittens. Typically of the late 1940s/early 50s these mittens have extra long cuffs to ensure the gap between coat and hand is protected. These mittens are knitted in Jamieson & Smith 2ply jumper weight wool.

One of my absolute favourites is this amazing and highly unusual sleeveless pullover whose pattern and colours echo the rugged landscape and coast of Vaila. If you look to the horizon you can just see the island of Foula in the far distance.

The Vintage Shetland Project featuring 26 patterns, essays and histories is available for pre-order for only £25 (plus p&p). 

You can pre-order your copy here 

Please note that despatch will commence in early 2016.

The island of Vaila is a very special place, owned by Richard Rowland and his wife Dorota, accessible only by boat and home to Shetland sheep, ponies, seals and many, many sea birds.  Richard describes Vaila as a microcosm of all that is Shetland - incredible scenery, nature, space and peace.  I'm so very fortunate to be able to use the island as the backdrop for my book.

When you arrive on Vaila you feel you have stepped into a fairy tale - after all how many places do you know that has a watchtower at the bottom of the garden!

And so, my thoughts are turning to the next photoshoot for the book.  I'm now on my way back up to Shetland and then to Vaila.  I'm excited to see how the landscape has changed since I was there a few weeks ago and also very excited to see the newly prepared pieces in this stunning location!  Look out for more behind the scenes photos and shots of beautiful Vaila on my Instagram feed in the next few days.

For now,
Susan xx

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Diamonds Are Forever and It Cannot Fail to Please Released as Single Patterns

I'm really pleased to announce that, due to demand, I have released Diamonds Are Forever and It Cannot Fail to Please as single PDF patterns.

Diamonds are Forever is knitted in the round from the bottom up and features a stunning yoke knitted in an extra-special Excelana 4ply wool limited shade of Deepest Charcoal, to work alongside Persian Grey. The yoke also features Saharan Sand and Sweet Chestnut reflecting the amazing range of natural colours found in the fleeces of our Shetland and Icelandic sheep.  

Gentle waist shaping with 1.5 inches of positive ease, creates a flattering yet tailored fit.  This design is reminiscent of early 1960s knitwear designs which focussed on what was considered at the time, a woman's more 'active' role in the working world.  It also reminds me of the sweaters which Bond Girls from the 1960s wore, (hence the name) and the way that women reflected the changing times with their wardrobe and didn't compromise on design.
This beautiful colourway will be available to order as a very limited edition kit from mid-November. More details will be announced once the kits are ready. 

You can buy the PDF pattern from the Susan Crawford shop on Ravelry here (You do not need to be a member of Ravelry to make a purchase from the site).

The PDF pattern costs £5 (however, please see the bottom of this blog for a very special offer).

You can also purchase or take a look at all the possible colour combinations of Excelana 4ply in our shop here.

Materials required:
Excelana 4ply (100% pure British wool - 159m/174yds per 50g ball)
7 (9, 9, 12, 12, 14, 14) balls, shade Alabaster - A
1 ball, shade Saharan Sand - B
1 ball, shade Sweet Chestnut - C
1 ball, shade Persian Grey - D
1 ball, shade Deepest Charcoal - E

Needles and Notions needed:
One 2.75mm (US #2) circular needle
A set of 2.75mm (US #2) double pointed needles (DPNs)
One 3.25mm (US #3) circular needle
A set of 3.25mm (US #3) DPNs
Stitch markers
Stitch holders

The second freshly released pattern, It Cannot Fail to Please, is a beautiful form-fitting pullover, featuring an all-over lace design, which has 4-6 inches of negative ease to really show off the lace detail.  It is knitted flat, in pieces, which are seamed together.  The lace pattern is incredibly easy to knit and there is only shaping at the armholes and sleeve heads.

Some of you may well know this show stopping sweater from A Stitch in Time volume 1 where it has remained one of the most knitted patterns since the book first came out in 2008! These newly released photographs show the design knitted in our own Excelana 4ply wool in the gorgeous Damson Wine shade.

I'm also pleased to say that I've spent time re-writing this pattern, extending it to include both written and charted instructions, plus additional sizes.  I do hope you enjoy it!

You can buy the PDF pattern from the Susan Crawford shop on Ravelry here (You do not need to be a member of Ravelry to make a purchase from the site).

The PDF pattern costs £5 (however, please see the bottom of this blog for a very special offer).

You can also purchase or take a look at all the possible colour options of Excelana 4ply in our shop here.

Materials required:
Excelana 4ply (100% pure British wool - 159m/174yds per 50g)
5 (6, 6, 7, 7, 8) balls, shade Damson Wine

Needles and Notions Needed:
1 pair 2.25mm (US #1) needles
1 pair 3.25mm (US #3) needles
Stitch holder

To celebrate the release of these gorgeous patterns, you can purchase them at 50% off the normal price until midnight on the 1st of November (GMT).  Simply use the following code when proceeding through the Ravelry checkout - GULLIVER 

Now, I can hear you all asking, what has Gulliver got to do with anything?!  Well, Gulliver is our new Shetland Ram!  With the invaluable help of The Shetland Sheep Society, we got in touch with a wonderful local breeder who was looking for a new home for one of their favourite rams, Gulliver.  Last week, we made the short trip to South Lakeland in Cumbria, to pick up 'Gully' and bring him home to Monkley Ghyll. He's now settled in and waiting

to meet our Shetland ewes on the 5th of November, which is traditionally the date when Shetland rams (or tups), are introduced to the flock. Gulliver has 'Smirslet' marking which intriguingly features back white legs. His fleece is also the less common light fawn which I can't wait to turn into yarn! By putting him in with the ewes on the 5th this ensures that lambs will be born five months later, in April, as the days are starting to get longer again and the weather kinder.  And so, with romance about to blossom on the farm, I shall sign off.

For now,

Susan xx

Images Copyright Susan Crawford 2015. Images not to be reproduced without the permission of the copyright holder.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Temporary Suspension of Pattern Support

As you all know, I am currently in the midst of preparations for the publishing of the Vintage Shetland Project book.
I simply have such a huge workload at the moment, that it is with much reluctance I have had to decide to make some temporary changes. This is to ensure that I have enough time to finish the Project by the deadlines needed. 
So, with this in mind, I have decided to temporarily suspend pattern support until the beginning of the New Year (2016). 
It’s not been an easy decision to make, however, if you visit the Stitch in Time Susan Crawford Vintage Designs group on Ravelry I am sure there are many fabulous members who will be very happy to help with support whilst I am unavailable. 

I hope you all understand and thank you all again for your continued support. 

For now, 
Susan xx

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Can you help me with some research?

I'm currently working away on the research for the Vintage Shetland Project and I wondered if you, dear reader, could help me with some of that research. One of the most striking of the garments in the Project is the 'Rose Cardigan' featuring a repeating flower/rose motif. This type of flower motif, usually accompanied by stem and foliage, seem to have been popular for a relatively short length of time in the late 1940s-early 1950s and I'm ploughing through my pattern archive trying to find as many examples of this type of motif as I can to date their arrival and demise.

Trimmed with Roses from A Stitch in Time Volume 2 is another example of these motifs, only the motif is bigger and uses a combination of stranded and  intarsia techniques to create it.

So how can you help? Do you have a vintage pattern or pattern book archive - particularly containing patterns published in the UK? I'm only looking for flower motifs from before the 1960s, I don't need any 1970s or 1980s examples. If so, could I ask you to take a flick through your patterns and see if you can find any examples of flower/rose motifs of this type. If you do find any could you scan the cover image, an image of the garment if different from the cover and the chart/instruction for the flower - I don't need the pattern otherwise, just the motif. If there are any other date references these would be very useful too. Please then email the information to

To say thank you let me know in your email any single PDF pattern of mine available on my ravelry pattern page you would like and I will send it to you via ravelry free of charge.

for now,
Susan xx

Friday, October 02, 2015

Yarndale Success!

What a whirlwind Yarndale was this year!  As some of you may know, Yarndale is a yearly yarn festival taking place at Skipton Auction Mart in North Yorkshire, England.  It took place last weekend, the 26 -27 September.  As I’ve mentioned in a previous update of my blog, we decided to try a different layout for our stand this year.  One which gave a preview of the Vintage Shetland Project.

What wonderful feedback and interest we received!  We had three of the garments from the Project on display for people to examine and lust over, with a preview brochure for you to take home.  Plus we also had a ‘squishing rail’ of hanks of our lovely Fenella yarn with shade cards available.  My colleagues Tracy, Jo and Tess were also on hand to answer any questions, take pre-orders of the Vintage Shetland Project book and orders for all our yarns and kits.  We were overwhelmed by the response to the garments and the interest in the book.

Included in this post are photos taken by one of our fantastic customers, at the Yarndale show.

Here you can see the Beaded Yoke Sweater knitted in Limoncello from our Fenella yarn range and also a beautiful cardigan which is knitted in six shades of Jameson & Smith 2ply jumper weight.  This particular garment is one which I’m also displaying at my mini trunk show during Shetland Wool Week.  Here’s some more photos showing some of the detail on this very wearable cardigan.

My colleague Tracy’s, favourite garment was also on display.  This beautiful slipover is knitted using 5 shades of Jameson & Smith 2ply jumper weight and is such a timeless piece.

I know she is itching to start knitting it for herself!

It was such a pleasure to be able to share these garments with you at the show and to receive such positive and supportive feedback.  Thank you to you all.

For now,

Susan xx

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Home and Away

Autumn has arrived in this part of the world, the days are getting shorter and cooler and the mornings often begin with a mist laying heavy over the valley. It’s a beautiful place to live and work, but at the moment, I’ve had little time to contemplate those lovely views.  We are hard at work knitting, finishing, writing, pattern sizing etc all day every day often through to the early hours to make the Vintage Shetland Project the best it can possibly be. 

Last week, we began a series of photoshoots which are going to be taking place over the coming month.  This first shoot included some of the garments from the Project. 

There were also new versions of favourite designs which are being relaunched as single patterns very soon.

Here's I am in photographer mode photographing our fabulous new house model Becky wearing 'Diamonds are Forever' (in a range of suitably sheepy shades) and surrounded by some of our sheep. You can see the 'rear' of our gorgeous new Icelandic ram as he's being fed by Becky. And below, you can just see me going to any lengths to get just the right shot! You can also see 'It Cannot Fail to Please' knitted in Excelana 4ply Damson Wine again being modelled by Becky, braving the brambles and nettles to harvest some of Monkley Ghyll's very own Damsons.

Here I am styling the lovely Becky in the beaded yoke jumper from Vintage Shetland Project with a spectacular 'skirt' created using 8 metres of Vaila Organic Shetland Tweed.

I was so pleased with the photos from this shoot and can't wait to share more of them. In fact if you come along to the Yarndale show at Skipton, North Yorkshire, this coming weekend more of the images will be on display along with some of the finished items from the book. There will also be the opportunity to pick our new promotional brochure with images and previews from the book itself. With so much to do, Gavin and I won't be manning the stand this year, but our wonderful friends and colleagues Tracy, Tess and Jo will be there to help everyone visiting our dedicated Vintage Shetland Project stand. So if you are coming to the show make sure you call at stand 100 to get the chance to see these beautiful pieces from the book and don't forget to pick up a preview brochure.

Due to the huge demand for Fenella during and since the pubslush campaign our stocks are extremely limited until more undyed yarn arrives in October ready to head off to the dyers. Therefore at Yarndale we are only taking orders for Fenella not selling it at the show. There will be lots of information about yarn quantities and colours for the patterns along with the chance to pre-order kits for the likes of the Rose Cardigan

Along with your brochure you can also pick up the new Fenella shade cards featuring all 25 of our gorgeous colours, including the new colours - Sloe Gin, Alta, Melancholy, Balado, Rannoch, Verdigris, Caramel and Dolly Blue (my favourite) - more about these very soon. Kits for designs made using Jamieson & Smith yarns and our other limited edition yarns will be available to order on the website before Christmas.

As I mentioned in my last blog post we've been welcoming many new family members to the farm and just this week we have had a very exciting new addition - Iris. Iris came to live at Monkley Ghyll only last week and has already made a huge difference to efficiency on the farm. Here she is. Our fabulous International 784 vintage tractor. She may look a bit rough around the edges but she's a hard worker and we love her.

When I revealed her on instagram a few days ago I was directed to the The Mike Sammes Singers who sung the jingle for a new version of the International tractor - it was for the 'hydrostatic' which is a much fancier version than ours, however the jingle is well worth a listen :)

Thank you to Felicity Ford for sending me the link to this.

Straight after the Yarndale show I’m heading off up the country to Shetland for Shetland Wool Week. I have a lot of non-wool week work to do for the book whilst I am there but will be hosting the Vintage Shetland Project Trunk Show at the Shetland Museum on Thursday 1st October from 1pm-4pm. There is no booking required and the event is free. I do hope to see some of you there.

For now,
Susan xx