This week I’m pleased as punch that I got to Interview Rohn Strong for his new book “The Heritage Collection: WWI & WWII”!
MissViciousKnits: How did you come up with the concept for the book?
Rohn Strong: It was really a bunch of circumstances that played together in my favor and the book just came out! I have always loved history, especially WWI and WWII history. There is just something about looking at the nation and the time where so many people came together (whether it was forced or by free will) to support the boys fighting across the world. When I tied knitting into that and was able to see the role knitting played in the war effort, it all just kind of made sense. So I decided to put the book together and go forward with it!
MissViciousKnits: When did you first start knitting/crocheting?
Rohn Strong: I began crocheting when I was about 6 or 7. My mother was working on an afghan for my dad, who at the time was over 450 pounds and 6′ 5″ tall, needless to say she gave up. I picked up her hooks and began trying it all on my own. Now, knitting didn’t happen until much later! I was late teens when I took some classes to learn how to knit, and haven’t stopped yet!
MissViciousKnits: What’s your favorite piece from the collection?
Rohn Strong: My favorite piece is definitely Cordelia. The piece is a v-neck pullover with a gorgeous pleated sleeve. I knit it out of madelinetosh tosh merino in Grove and Thunderstorm…I just adore that piece.
MissViciousKnits: How long, from start to finish, did all of this take?
Rohn Strong: In total the whole process took 10 months. It was about 3 months of writing, 3 months of knitting, 3 months of editing and waiting, and one month of finalization! It was a blast…but I am definitely feeling the snap back of my exhaustion!
MissViciousKnits: Was there any point during the process that you got discouraged?
Rohn Strong: Yes! A healthy amount of discouragement is needed every now and then! However I kept going. There were days where I would knit with a migraine to the point of barely being able to see the stitches in front of me. I wrote until my fingers were numb from typing. However, I just kept my head down and finished what I came to accomplish. We all have bad days and good days. Encouraging days and discouraging days. However, as I have said before, Giving up just because you have one bad day is like throwing out a whole batch of cookies because one is burnt.
MissViciousKnits: Are any of the designs available in plus sizes?
Rohn Strong: That depends on anyone’s opinion of plus sized. In the fashion world, anything over a size 12 is considered “plus sized”. When it comes to my designs I tried to offer a nice range of patterns for people to choose from. Most patterns offer a Small, Medium, Large, and Extra Large, option.
MissViciousKnits: What are some of the unusual techniques used in the knits?
Rohn Strong: Most of the techniques used are simple, to be honest. Stockinette and Garter are king. However, the unusual-ness of it has to do with construction. Almost all the sweaters in the book are actually knitted with no shaping, and in one large piece, so there is literally only two seams! Also the last sweater in the book, Clara, has a lace pattern that is to die for! I LOVE IT!!
MissViciousKnits: How did you do all of the research for the book?
Rohn Strong: Thank God for the internet first of all! It was a long process and took lots of time but through digging, interviews, phone calls, library runs, and way too much money spent of books, everything came together. Other than that it was just a lot of reading and late nights, I am blessed to have a rich family history which lent itself to the book so simply!
MissViciousKnits: If you had to describe the book in three words, what would you say?
Rohn Strong: Historical. Modern. Beautiful.
You can pick up a copy of Rohn’s Book at the following links! Check it out!