Thursday, 21 May 2015

Introducing 'Vintage Knitting' & Book Giveaway: Winner!


Back in June 2013 I submitted a knitting book proposal to a publisher thinking that it was a long shot and I'd be lucky if I even got a reply. To my complete surprise they got back to me and suggested that I took the book in another direction than what I originally proposed. Well, almost two years and many drafts later, the said book, Vintage Knitting, was published earlier this month.

The publisher, Old House, specialises in printing facsimile editions of out of print books and my editor and I both thought that one of the 1940s knitting books written by Margaret Murray and Jane Koster deserved a re-issue but in a different format. We chose their 1941 book Knitting for All Illustrated as our source book and so began the difficult choice of which of the original patterns to reprint in the Vintage Knitting book. 



The 1941 book has fifty-three patterns excluding variations and as it wasn't feasible to include all these in my new version, they had to be whittled down to 25 and then to the final 18, which are a varied choice for all knitting abilities. Believe me, this was hard to do and I 'ummed' and 'ahhed' about which ones to keep and which ones to leave out; anyone who is familiar with Murray's and Koster's books will know that their patterns were very comprehensive and full of wearable designs. 



The pages are reproduced exactly as they are in the 1941 book with only a minor bit of editing...


Vintage Knitting is in the background with the 1941 copy in the foreground

To complement the patterns I also wrote a chapter focussed on knitting and making do, but from a contemporary 1940s viewpoint. This involved reading and researching a pile of primary source material from the early '40s such as needlecraft and womens interest magazines to get the feel for a 'voice' and vocab appropriate for the era. 

One of the fun things though was choosing the photos to go into the book, as Old House were keen for it to be fully illustrated throughout. I knew that there would eventually be a reason for me to keep on collecting old magazines, knitting patterns and books etc. and I'm glad that did as I had a wide to choice to pick and choose from. 



As well as a selection of the 1941 patterns, the 'Principles of Knitting' chapter is also included and reproduced in Vintage Knitting



As most of the original chapter's content is still relevant today, not much editing was needed; only a few tweaks to bring it more in line with contemporary knitting and the patterns featured in the book.

The one thing I was adamant about though, was that Vintage Knitting had to re-use the endpapers from Murray and Koster's 1941 book. Those of you who are familiar with Murray and Koster's series of knitting books for Odhams Press throughout the 1940s will be aware that the charm of these books includes the different endpaper designs that incorporated visual aspects of knitting such as balls of yarn, needles and even hands. To have published Vintage Knitting without reproducing these original endpapers wouldn't have felt right as an important feature of the 1941 book would have been missing. So I'm happy to say that they have been included:


The endpapers from Vintage Knitting are the paler version whilst the original ones are more vivid
Writing the book and putting it all together was quite an intensive process throughout 2014, which is why there weren't many frequent posts on this blog; but now I'm so chuffed that its all come together and I can finally strike 'writing a book' off my list of ambitions!

If you buy the book I hope you do enjoy it as much as I did working on it and thanks for choosing it.

Finally as a 'thank you' to all of you who follow my blog and put up with my ramblings, I'm giving away a copy of Vintage Knitting. All you have to do is be a follower of my VK blog and leave a comment below. Feel free if you want to comment but not be entered into the giveaway - just let me know. For those entering the giveaway, it'll be open until Friday 5th June; after this deadline a name will be pulled from a hat in true traditional style and I'll announce the winner soon afterwards on an updated version of this post.

Good luck!


And the winner is...........Kate-Em 
Congratulations Kate-Em! If you could please email (my email is on my 'Contact' page above) me your address and I'll post the book out to you a.s.a.p.

Also a big Thank You to all of you who commented on this post and for the encouraging comments about Vintage Knitting - your kind support is really appreciated. 




57 comments :

  1. What an absolutely fantastic achievement to have the book re-published in its abbreviated form. You must have sweated buckets over it and the 'finished object' is stunning. All good luck with it - I'm sure it'll be a roaring success.

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    1. Thanks Nana and I hope it will be! ;-)

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  2. How exciting! I just placed an order for your book thru Amazon.com here in the U.S. It is getting great reviews. I can't wait to get this this weekend. Congratulations!!

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    1. Thanks for ordering my book, Diana. I hope you enjoy it and its great to know that there's a copy winging its way to the U.S!!!

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  3. This is so wonderful, congratulations to you! It looks lovely. I particularly like that you were a stickler about those great end papers! :)

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    1. The book just wouldn't have been right without those papers, Tasha, so I'm chuffed that they're included!

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  4. That's just so fantastic, I'm excited to have a friend in print. Love the endpapers.
    Much as I'd love to own a copy of your book I'm absolutely hopeless at knitting so I'd rather someone who could actually follow a pattern won so they could use the patterns and make something fantastic.xxx

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  5. How exciting! I love your idea, the book looks fantastic. Count me in for the giveaway! :)

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  6. Congrats! The book looks amazing. I'm sure it'll be a great addition to any knitter's library.

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    1. Thanks, Mariela and I'm really happy how well the book's turned out :-)

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  7. Oh my - it looks fabulous! Congratulations! And you are so right - those endpapers are so wonderful. What a great giveaway (but I will be purchasing this anyway, as I just LOVE vintage patterns!)

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    1. Hi Jayne, thanks for buying the book and feel free to let me know what you think of it and especiallly if you knit something from it too!

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  8. Well done, it looks fabulous. It's been on my Amazon wish list for some time :) x

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    1. Thanks for taking the time to comment, Josie-Mary :-)

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  9. Fantastic book, I love bringing the best of the past back to life. Please put me in for a chance to win one.

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    1. Thanks for entering the giveaway, Tina :-)

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  10. Wow, what a fabulous book - many many congratulations on getting a publishing deal. Those end papers are wonderful - so evocative of the era.

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    1. Thanks, Elizabeth - yes you're right about those endpapers

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  11. Your book looks gorgeous, I absolutely adore vintage knitting patterns. I love that this is part of a vintage book brought back to life. Beautiful

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    1. Awww, thanks - such a lovely comment. The original book deserved to be brought back to life and shown to a new audience.

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  12. Congratulations - it looks beautifully vintage and incredibly inspirational just to look at, before you even get started with the patterns.

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    1. Thank you fr your lovely comment - much appreciated :-)

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  13. Looks like a really great book. Glad you decided to include the end papers

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    1. Thanks for entering the giveaway, Yvonne :-)

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  14. Oooh, I'd love to be included in the draw. And good on you for sticking to your guns about the endpapers, they really are distinctive.

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    1. Thanks Mim. I'm just lucky that my Editor was receptive to the idea of keeping the endpages in.

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  15. Congratulations on publishing your book, what an achievement!! It looks fantastic and even if I'm not the lucky winner of the giveaway, I'll be sure to buy a copy! I'm sure there's lots of wonderful patterns that my wool is longing to become! Best of luck for the success of your book xxx

    Www.pearlsandpurlsvintage.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks for your lovely comment, Hayley Ann.

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  16. Oh, clever you on following your dream and ambition to publish a book and what satisfaction you must have. Congratulations.
    xx

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    1. Thanks Mum. Yes, its amazing really and I still can't believe that I have a book out - even now!

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  17. I am very glad that you kept the endpapers. It must have been really hard to choose which patterns to leave out. Congratulations on the publishing of your book. It looks great.

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    1. You're the winner!!! Happy knitting Kate-Em and do let me know if you knit anything from the book!

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  18. Love the topic. Dilemma- which pattern to start first!!
    Well done - awesome book.

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    1. Thanks for commenting and entering the giveaway, Karen

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  19. I follow you on blog lovin. Congratulations on your book. Would love to win this for my mum x
    Iain.ross30 at gmail dot com

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    1. Thanks for your comment Claire and for entering the giveaway

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  20. Oh, this book popped up in my Ebay search yesterday, I had no idea it was yours! Congrats! I love that you kept the endpapers, you're right, they are so lovely! I would love to win a copy, but if I don't I will buy one!

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    1. Thanks for your lovely comment, Renée - much appreciated :-)

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  21. How exciting - many congratulations! The book looks wonderful, and those endpapers are indeed perfect.
    Since I can't knit, I won't enter the draw, but someone else with knitting skills is going to be very happy! xxx

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  22. What an achievement - congratulations. I would love to win your book, and the endpapers are fantastic!!

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    1. Thanks Deb - glad you're another one who likes those endpapers!

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  23. Wow this looks fantastic. Can't wait to have a look at it! I follow you on bloglovin.

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    1. Thanks for entering the giveaway, Emilia-Jayne :-)

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  24. How fabulous, congratulations! I can't knit so I won't enter the draw, but someone has a treat in store x

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    1. Thanks for your comment, Melanie, much appreciated :-)

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  25. Oooooh please may I enter........?
    Julie xxxxxxxx

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  26. I have it already! Really beautifully done, even the size, and of course, the endpapers. I didn't realise you had written the other chapters, your 'voice' is very vintage - will have to go back and read it properly. Congratulations.

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    1. Thanks for buying it already and also for your positive feedback. I'm glad that I managed to get a vintage effect 'voice' across - mind you, reading all those magazines to get the feel for it was very enjoyable! P.S. Let me know if you knit anything from it :-D

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  27. Yes! Think I'm still within the time to enter. Please count me in for your lovely book :-)

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    1. Thanks for the email earlier and also for entering the giveway :-)

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  28. I love the look of the book, what a great way to use up all those ends of 4ply I have

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    1. Thanks Esther and yes, patterns that use up oddments of 4ply are always welcome!

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  29. I'm sure you're a great knitter. I'm trying to be better.

    www.yarnformore.com

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Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment on my blog; I do enjoy reading each one.

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