Aleks Byrd Designs


Inspiration: The Vintage Shetland Project

This treasure of a book was purchased at EYF from Ysolda's amazing selection of books. Susan Crawford, who I had the pleasure of meeting, has created a stunning book bringing together knitting history and stylish patterns.


The book begins by delving into various aspects of Shetland  knitting history, covering topics such as the social and economic aspects of knitting on Shetland, the connection to Norwegian patterns, the eight pointed star (something I've read and talked quite a lot about!), meaning or naming of patterns, and much more.  It creates a very detail picture or understanding of what makes Shetland knitting unique. 

Beyond bringing to light so many aspects of history, there are so many stylish vintage patterns to lust over! Susan Crawford has created patterns that showcase the beauty of the unique Shetland colourwork and lace styles with vintage and timeless flair. The photography is stunning!  You can feel the vintage vibe and see the connection of colours and patterns with the Shetland landscape. What is also a nice addition is seeing the same sweater or jumper on a man and women to showcase how the patterns are versatile and unisex. 

Stunning photos of the Hilda cardigan from the book.

Stunning photos of the Hilda cardigan from the book.

There are so many patterns that I would love to knit! Some that stand out to me are Hilda, Highland, Marianne, and Yule.

It is a large book but well worth owning for all the knowledge and inspiration it provides! For me personally, it is an inspirational book both as an avid knitter but also a budding knitwear designer. I am intrigued and fascinated by the history of knitting styles ( which you can find out reading some of my older posts) and how that can be used as inspiration to create a new "hybrid" modern versions. Susan Crawford has shown how the two (history and knitwear designing) can be brought together in a striking and appealing book to knitters with all types of interests.
Be sure to check out Susan Crawford's Instagram! She shares wonderful behind the scenes photos of the making of this book as well as her sheep (She sells her yarn spun from her flock as well).