Stories in Stitches

Knitty designer and columnist Donna Druchunas has always been interested in knitting history and stories, and she and her friend Ava Coleman have recently launched a project that’s about just that.

Stories In Stitches is a book series featuring stories about knitters and their lives, traditions, history, and travel, all tied together with knitting patterns and projects. Each volume includes projects from a far-away time or place. In the words of Donna and Ava: “It is our desire to inspire and empower knitters of all skill levels to move beyond the line-by-line pattern into the realm of creating their own modern folk-art designs.”

The third volume is launching this week, and the focus in on knitting around the world during World Wars I and II. You can order it online.

The first was all about the knitted counterpane – bringing to life stitch delicate and decorative stitch patterns, including some originally used in a bedspread knitted by US First Lady Grace Coolidge. The second was all about knitted samplers, and featured an interview with Meg Swansen. The projects included some truly stunning lace designs.

Full disclosure: I’ve been working on the project as a technical editor, and it’s wonderful and fascinating stuff. I love that Donna and Ava aren’t just focused on North America and Western Europe – they have a truly global perspective. The articles provide a lovely intimate view into the lives of knitters in other times and other countries. The projects are sometimes charmingly retro, and sometimes perfectly modern – but always beautiful and interesting.

Because we love this project so much, we want to share it with you! Leave a comment on the post to be entered to win a set of all three volumes.

The usual contest rules apply: leave a comment on this post between now and midnight eastern time, Monday May 5th. One comment will be chosen at random to answer a skill testing question. If the commenter answers correctly they will win the books. If you have already won a prize from us in the past year, please do give other knitters a chance. Thanks!

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171 thoughts on “Stories in Stitches

  1. Patty

    I love reading about the history of knitting and look forward to reading the new book!

  2. Samina

    I didn’t realize that there were 3 books in the series. I’m going to have to check them out.

  3. Sarah

    I’m a history teacher AND a knitter (or is that knitter AND a history teacher). So love the idea of the history of knitting! Thanks!

  4. Sharon

    I love learning about how things came to be, especially how techniques and methods are nuanced with the culture and customs of the people who developed them.

  5. Sarah

    Thank you for this wonderful contest. The books look fascinating, and I am eager to read them.

  6. Candi

    Wow! I love KnitLit! I’ll definitely be ordering these if I don’t win. bren7na on Rav

  7. sailingby

    Thank you for highlighting Stories in Stitches series of books. A great concept: I haven’t come across them before, and they sound just my sort of thing.

  8. Susie in Minnesota

    What is it about the World Wars that makes them both endlessly intriguing time periods and yet completely horrific? Still, I can’t stop watching any TV shows set during those times and I am sure I wouldn’t be able to stop reading this either!

  9. Jackie

    I love reading about different countries, cultures and people to see the differences as well as the similarities. Add knitting to the mix what could be more perfect. The books sound amazing.

  10. Dot

    I love vintage knitting patterns and history. Thanks for the chance to win these books.

  11. Pilaar

    These sound so amazing! Really appreciate all the wonderful information always found on this blog, the contests are a lovely added bonus to the content.

  12. Ina G

    This is the first I’ve heard of this series. This one is of particular interest to me. Can’t wait to take a look.

  13. Gwen Gotsch

    I love vintage knitting–skinny, skinny needles, amazing craftsmanship. Must be what the women who liked math did before they could go to engineering school

  14. Dari Trout

    What a fabulous giveaway!! Combining knitting with historical information is a brilliant idea! I will likely purchase all three volumes! (If I don’t win, of course) πŸ™‚

  15. Suzanne

    I won V.2 of this set in a raffle. It’s such an interesting mix of history, commentary, technique, and patterns. Looking forward to seeing the other volumes, especially WWI & II.

  16. Lise

    I am so interested in the history of knitting, and I would be so keen to win these books. Here’s hoping!

  17. Kara

    These sound fascinating! I’m particularly interested in the second volume, about knitted samplers, since that’s a special interest of mine. I’ll have to check them out!

  18. Teresa Knittingdancer

    These books would make a great addition to any knitter’s library.

  19. Julianna

    What a fun project and giveaway. Stories linking past and present like this are so important. Thanks!

  20. Katie Verna

    I love the chance to participate in this interesting give-away! Thanks so much. Katie V in NC

  21. Julie M

    Volume III will be so very interesting. I love this idea for knitting readers! (reading knitters?) I can’t decide which I prefer so they rotate in my world. Thanks for the chance to win ‘Stories in Stitches’ triology!

  22. kelliinkc

    Well, this concept is very intriguing! I would love to win this. I might even be able to get my history loving daughter to get motivated to knit again. πŸ™‚

  23. Heather

    I love to hear the stories and reasons behind things, whether they are everyday items or something heirloom worthy. Sounds like great reads.

  24. Alix

    I’m sorry that I’m just now reading about these books! I would love to have them and read them and I’d even share them with the world’s best daughter-in-law who is a terrific knitter.

  25. Carol

    I hadn’t heard of this series but it looks fascinating. Will this time be the charm???

  26. Meredith MC

    We are so lucky to have these scholar/knitters in our midst to bring us our own history.

  27. Sarah

    WWII is my favorite era to learn about, and I’d love to learn about how knitting played a role in it!

  28. Margot Hayes

    There is few better ways to show the history and common stories of and between people than through fiber. I would love to win these books.

  29. Beth Rudo

    I love reading about the history of knitting and seeing history carried forward to the present in vintage patterns. I’d certainly like to add these three to my bookshelf.

  30. Alison

    This looks like an interesting set of books. I’d be very interested in reading them.

  31. Elizabeth Rodriguiz

    Thank you for continuing to remind us of the bigger craft world beyond our immediate projects. This series sounds like something I should read whether or not I win it.

  32. Carrie Richard

    I’m always interested in learning more about the history of knitting.

  33. Kristen

    That looks so interesting! I always enjoy knitting history; I’d love to read this set.

  34. Harriet

    Sounds like a great read. Would love to win these books. Knitting and reading – wonderful.

  35. molly nichol

    beautiful books! i love the feeling of being connected to the past when i knit!

  36. Sansarya

    This looks like it was an amazing collaboration. I’m looking forward to buying the books and knitting the projects.

  37. Kendra T

    Love the stories behind everything! The world is driven by story! What a great way to combine two things I love: knitting and story!

  38. Kay

    Knitting always connects me to a different place and time. How wonderful that this collection does the same. The craft of knitting has such a wonderful and varied history that one can’t help but be inspired.

  39. Linda

    This would be an awesome gift to win. I would cross my fingers for luck but it would be very difficult to knit that way πŸ™‚

  40. Melissa

    This is so wonderful. I think I may have to buy this if I don’t win. Super cool!

  41. Pingback: » Giveaways – May 2, 2014

  42. Josiane

    That book series sounds very interesting! I have a feeling those stories would be fascinating, and would totally captivate the anthropologist in me…

  43. Lorinda

    Wow! What a great idea. So many of the old, old patterns and their history are lost in time because some of the terminology has changed leaving them difficult for the modern knitter to read. Most of the books I have seen do not have pictures and few people want to use their time and yarn making an item sight un-seen.

  44. shelley kent

    reading about other knitters from the past and around the world makes the knitting world connected…

  45. Dorothy

    These books look so incredibly interesting! I love reading personal stories, especially from times before. I love that these stories are all about knitting!

  46. Teri Crane

    My husband’s cousin and I are always looking for modern WWII patterns, so these would be a fun set of books to have. Thank you

  47. Rose Kelly

    Great reading and great patterns, sounds like a great prize! Thank you for the chance!

  48. bernice

    I love reading stories about actual knitters (and other crafters). The stitches we do have very real meaning in our lives, even though we no longer knit as a necessity to clothe ourselves and our families.

  49. Rolene

    I love history and I love to knit. What could be better than the history of knitting. Thank you.

  50. Nancy Gossett

    I love this! I buy old, sometimes even mildewed, knitting magazines and pamphlets whenever I see them, just to mull over — and try to knit — the old patterns. I love that these books are preserving the old and faraway patterns in crisp, new pages!

  51. Marfisa

    I love learning about knitting traditions all over the world! I always find something I want try.

  52. Wendy

    So much of the history of knitting has been an oral history, it’s fantastic to find some history is recorded for the future.

  53. Ginny

    I love the concept of this series. The what, the why, the who, and the how we knit over the centuries has always interested me.

  54. Jane Fields

    The history of knitting makes it all seem so worthwhile! I’d love to read and knit these books.

  55. S

    Books and stories, fiction and non, have become one of my favorite reading subjects. I will be getting these whether I win or not!

  56. Josee

    What an interesting project! I’ll definitely have to look that up and add it to my library if I don’t win it here.

  57. susan

    Donna’s writings are always fascinating and I hope to read these soon. What a great giveaway and I really hope I win! Thanks for the opportunity!

  58. SarahCM

    What a wonderful project! I am definitely putting these volumes on my wish list!

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