Vintage knitting party is a celebration of an intersection of values very close to my heart: creativity, sustainability, individuality, companionship and taking things slowly. It is for so many people. It is for myself five years ago, burnt out working full time in jobs while also studying; it is for my grandmother, who took so much care in everything she did and inspired my style and craftsmanship; it is for my nanna who first taught me to knit and showed me that you can be a crafter and be fierce and tough at the same time; it is for my partner and the little life we have built together with secondhand furniture, love and consideration in the energy we let into this sanctuary; and it is for all the wonderful friends I have met on trains, through social media, through yarn shops, and for anyone who lights up when they see that someone else enjoying the same craft as them.
The first time I stumbled across a vintage knitting pattern was in the Paddington Antique Centre (Empire Revival) here in Brisbane. I was out with my mum and my partner for the day, and having loved knitting and sewing for a long time I drifted over to the craft section and found a Sun-Glo book for ‘summer knitteds’. I had long adored vintage inspired fashion, rummaging through op shops, and if I bought anything new it was rare and often made by brands inspired by eras like the 1940s and 50s. So when I found this gem I audibly gasped, because every item in the book felt like something I had been searching for, like it represented me, like I had come home. And thus the obsession began, and let me tell you I went down a rabbit hole. That was in 2020, and in 2021 I began the Vintage Knitting Party Instagram page and Etsy store.
I felt quickly that even though I was loving being able to share vintage knitting resources I found with a fabulous community online, that there was a lack of intersection between vintage knitting and the aforementioned values I endeavour to bring into my day to day. I felt as though VKP needed to be more, and include values around sustainability, slowing down, valuing our mental health and individuality, and connecting with others in a genuine way. I feel as though VKP is different because I want to make vintage knitting accessible to others. This means inclusivity around low vision people by eliminating watermarks and making the text easy and clean to read, including a free resource around resizing vintage patterns with every purchase, and offering affordable digital downloads with information around using secondhand yarn so your valuable financial resources can be better used elsewhere.
Aside from these points, accessibility to me also means being able to appreciate these crafts even if you don’t dress in ‘full vintage’ every day. Whether your current gender presentation doesn’t allow you to dress in a way that feels right, you are financially limited, new to this world and feeling left out, VKP can be a home for you. I personally prefer a more minimal, individual style and make vintage knitting more approachable by taking components from many different eras. This allows me to bring small elements of vintage dressing and my values around being a creative human into my outfits for work, and allows them to be worn every day. The concept of having well loved clothing and knits aligns so well with my values around sustainability and appreciation for our garments, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
This mission is something I hope to bring to VKP and into your lives and homes, both through the items you find in this curation of patterns and supplies, and through the content that we share and the important conversations that are held around the history of people and their crafts. Thank you for allowing these words to have a little space in your mind. I hope that when you’re done reading this, that you feel free to run off and have a search through this little store with the excitement of rummaging through your grandma’s yarn stash.