Monday, June 16, 2008

A scoop: Vintage Baby Knits

One of the extremely fun things about TNNA is getting a sneak preview of some of the wonderful yarns, books, fibers and other knitting/crochet accoutrements that will be introduced this coming fall. I'll be giving you some previews of what's coming for fall in the next few weeks, beginning today, with my first real-live, GKIYH scoop: a preview of a knitting book that is coming next spring.

At TNNA, I happened to run into Kristen Rengren (known to many of you as “Retroknit” on Ravelry). I’ve been corresponding with her a while but this was our first face-to-face meeting. You know how when you have an on-line acquaintance with someone, and you think you’d get along wonderfully in person, but you aren’t 100% positive because, well, sometimes people sound normal on teh Interwebs and then when you meet them in real life, they’re a little cuckoo?

That is NOT what happened with Kristen. She is every bit as charming and funny in real life as she is on-line. (Phew.) I cannot vouch for whether she thought I was a little cuckoo, however.

When I first saw Kristen, she was walking around TNNA with a suitcase. She was at the Mission Falls booth, and she opened up her suitcase and it was filled with some truly gorgeous baby stuff. I knew Kristen was working on a book and I figured it'd be good, since Melanie Falick is her editor, but I had no idea how adorable her designs were until she showed me some of the sample garments. With the permission of her editor, she was able to share a few photographs with me:

I was especially intrigued by the fact that Kristen's designs were inspired by vintage baby patterns from the twenties through the fifties. Here's how Kristen describes them:

The book is 42 all original vintage patterns, retooled to varying degrees for gauge, size, fit - a few I basically just reknit and called it a day, but most required serious re-working in some form or another (and a couple patterns were so bad that we just threw the original pattern out and reverse engineered the garment from scratch.) The book has tons of sweaters, plus booties, caps, soakers, bonnets, toys, etc -- enough to keep any new mom more than occupied for the first year or two. The size range is 0 to 24, although most patterns come in 3 or 4 sizes only - so some garments go 0-12 and others go 6-18 or 12-24.

I love vintage patterns and I love that Kristen has done all the work for us: instead of being instructed to find a skein of “Glossila” or 12 oz. of a fine cotton and some small whalebone knitting pins, you will find yarns that you know, and modern lingo, gauge instruction, etc.

And since Melanie Falick is editing it, you know it’s going to be a gorgeous book.

I don’t think the book is on Amazon for pre-orders yet, but rest assured that as soon as it is, and as soon as I have pre-ordered my own personal copy, I will post the link.

Oh yeah, did you notice that Kristen is putting the ridiculously large number of forty-two (42!) patterns in the book? And fine yarn fans: many of the designs use the skinny yarns that we know and love. This is definitely one to look for next spring.


Anonymous said...

Now finding her on ravelry...

Rooie said...

God, I need a grandchild. I keep knitting new things for the two new babies in the office. People are starting to look at me oddly.

I'm going to have to give that book a good looks adorable judging by the two pictures.

turtlegirl76 said...

I was wondering how her book was coming along! Thanks for the update.

Anonymous said...

Mary and I came across Kristen at TNNA with her suitcase of tiny, perfect sweaters too. Her book is going to be lovely, lovely, lovely.

Nice to see you there, next time maybe we'll have time to hang out a bit more!

Molly Ann