Things are hopping here at studio littleskein as I prepare to release a new holiday kit: Velveteen.
Velveteen has been in the works since the summer, and it has been a wonderful and creative collaboration with two of my favorite knit and fiber artists: Susan B. Anderson, toy and knitwear designer extraordinaire, and Laura from Gynx Yarns, one of my favorite indie yarn dyers and an amazing talent with color and fiber.
Susan has designed a vintage-inspired knit rabbit that is the centerpiece of the kit, and is a creative reimagining of Margery Williams' classic holiday story, "The Velveteen Rabbit." Laura created a scrumptious self-striping DK-weight yarn for the bunny using her squishy Merino DK base in antique striping colors of satin pink, french vanilla and soft velveteen brown. Together, this is just about the cutest bunny I've ever seen. It is a fun, quick knit and my 7-year-old has quickly claimed the sample I knit, so I need to get another one on the needles for myself.
My contribution to the kit is in the accessories: project bag, stitch markers, gift enclosure card, and more treats.
But it is the project bag that thrills me the most. It is handcrafted, by me, using my very first original fabric design. I created the exterior and interior fabrics to help bring to life the story of a toy bunny who becomes real because he is loved.
The exterior fabric is a pale frosty blue background, with dancing wild rabbits encased in snowflake white circles. Amidst the wild rabbits sits a knitted rabbit, tall and proud, looking out (and, I imagine, longing for real legs so that he can dance, too). There is a Christmas wreath and the opening lines from the classic tale: Here was once a velveteen rabbit, and in the beginning he was really splendid.
The interior fabric is a coordinating holiday green and, in handwriting-style print, features my favorite quote from the book -- the conversation between the Velveteen Rabbit and the Skin Horse about how one becomes real. Does it hurt? Once you become real, can you ever become unreal again?
The Velveteen Rabbit is a public domain story, which gives designers like me the lovely ability to use bits and pieces of the story or text to create new art, like these fabrics and this kit.
It's exciting to see the concepts that were once just sketches in my notebook become an actual project bag and to see the whole kit come to life.
The kit will be available for sale in my shop beginning on Monday morning, November 25. A very few kits are ready-to-ship, and most of the listings will be pre-orders which will ship on a first-ordered basis as quickly as my sewing queue will allow. Pre-orders will remain open until mid-January, so that anyone who wants a Velveteen kit has the opportunity to get one.
Several podcasters will be showing off Velveteen, so look and listen for the kit in the coming weeks on Susan's blog, Knitting Pipeline, Stockinette Zombies, Must Stash podcast, and The Dyer's Notebook.