A new exhibition, ‘Socks & Stockings: A world full of surprises’, has opened at the Textile Research Centre in Leiden , tying in with the Texel Stockings Project and our 2019 Knitting History Forum conference. On display are the original seventeenth century Texel silk stockings, the hand-knitted reconstructions made by the team of volunteers for the project as well as many socks from around the world in knitting and nalbinding, including some from Annemor SundbĂ¸’s “Ragpile-collection”, in an informative and fascinating array of techniques, patterns and colours as inspirational to knitters as scholars and students of knitting history. The exhibition runs until 19 December 2019 but is also opening especially for us on Friday 1 November from 12.30pm to 2pm and again on Sunday 3 November from 10pm to 12.30pm, so Knitting History conference delegates may enjoy viewing at leisure.
This knitted item, found in a crypt in a Danish manor church, was photographed on the day it was recognised as an Early Modern cap by Jane Malcolm-Davies during examination at the National Museum of Denmarkâ€™s store in Brede in May 2014. It is recorded in detail in the forthcoming Archaeological Textiles Review issue no. 60 by Maj Ringgaard, together with another cap found in Copenhagen. Click on the image for a larger view.
Available by subscription, the 2018 volume of Archaeological Textiles Review will focus on knitting in the Early Modern period, with 99 pages devoted to knitted fragments and garments with many colour photographs and detailed specifications. Collaborating authors and articles are as follows:
Ruth Gilbert â€“ reviews published evidence for Early Modern knitting Susanne Lervad â€“ contributes to terminology for studying knitwork Helena Lundin â€“ reports knitted items from the c17th Kronan shipwreck Jane Malcolm-Davies â€“ introduces the issue and proposes a protocol for reporting Early Modern knitwork Rosalind Mearns â€“ discusses crowdsourcing for experimental archaeology to reconstruct knitted items Lesley Oâ€™Connell Edwards â€“ discusses c16th stockings in the Museum of London Sylvie OdstrÄŤilovĂˇ â€“ surveys c17th silk stockings in the Czech Republic Maj Ringgaard â€“ reveals the remains of two Early Modern knitted caps found in Denmark Annemarieke Willemsen â€“ reports mittens found in a c17th Dutch shipwreck There will also be an article on Karen Finch, our late Honorary President, by her colleague, Rosalind Janssen.
Emmy Sale won the undergraduate student Design History Society Essay Prize with an essay based on her BA dissertation examining hand-knitted bathing suits in the 1930s, particularly how they were made and worn by young working women. She wrote a shorter essay, ‘The 1930s Hand-Knitted Bathing Suit: Cost, originality and adaptation’, based on the collection of Worthing Art Gallery and Museum, as part of their joint Objects Unwrapped research project with University of Brighton. A downloadable PDF is available on the Objects Unwrapped website https://blogs.brighton.ac.uk/objectsunwrapped/essays/.
The Center for Knit and Crochet (CKC) is a non-profit organisation whose aim is to preserve and promote the art, craft, and scholarship of knitting, crochet, and related arts. One result of this aim is the establishment of a digital repository of knitting and crochet. The new CKC Collections Resource is an online-only collection bringing together items from different sources such as museums, galleries, libraries, archives and other public and private entities.
More than 5000 items relating to knitting and crochet may now be browsed in the Library and Museum Collections. Currently in an experimental phase, the database is drawn from the Digital Public Library of America. Other contributions are to be found in the Crowdsourced Collection, which is being used to refine the design, features and functionality of the online interface before continuing expansion. The CKC are in search of further partner organisations willing to share their collections of knitting and crochet.
Please mark your diaries for Wednesday 29th March 2017. Joyce Meader of The Historic Knit is holding another open house event at her home in Hampshire, UK.
Joyce is an expert on historical knitting and an historical and vintage hand knitter for film, television, museums and re-enactors. Her collection of original knitting patterns, books and knitted items from the nineteenth to twenty-first centuries is wide-ranging and full of interest. Joyce is also an entertaining and engaging speaker with a talent for making the past come alive. Last year saw the publication of her book ‘Knitskrieg! A Call To Yarns’, a history of military knitting drawing on Joyce’s collection and extensive expertise.
We will post an update with further information when we know more. The chance to hear Joyce Meader and see her extraordinary knitting collection close-up is a wonderful opportunity and well worth the trip to Hampshire!
A date for your diary: Propagansey 2016 will run from 10th to 18th September, 10 AM to 4PM at Old St Stephen’s Church, Robin Hood’s Bay. Propagansey is an annual exhibition of ganseys from various traditions throughout the British Isles and the Netherlands. Some have notes from the donors attached, explaining how or why they were made, giving the ganseys context and meaning beyond their beauty, utility or the skill required to make them. Deb Gillander, gansey collector and expert, shows items from her collection as well as others sourced locally. The jumpers ‘connect’ to the church, arranged over the backs of the pews, a perfect example of relating an exhibit to the space. The concept is brilliant, both supporting the garments and displaying them to full advantage, as well as evoking the sense of their former wearers seated in rows.
Joyce Meader is holding another open house event at her home in Hampshire on Tuesday 19th April 2016. Once again she has graciously invited Knitting History Forum. Joyce, of The Historic Knit, is an expert on historical knitting whose amusing but instructive lectures, on knitting for the military and on the history of commercially-printed knitting patterns from 1800, are always very popular. Her wonderful, extensive collection of knitting patterns and knitted items ranges in date from the 1817 to the present day. This is a rare opportunity to see these historical survivals close-to! For details please contact Joyce via the KHF Yahoo group, via her post on Facebook or email us via the Contact Form and we will pass on your enquiry.
Meanwhile, here is a taste of Joyce’s collection from 2014
The unusual 1968 sleeveless jumper or jumper shown above, from the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, was knitted in wool by American designer, writer and political activist, Elizabeth Hawes (1903-1971). Despite working in the fashion industry, Hawes was a vocal critic, publishing a semi-autobiographical commentary “Fashion Is Spinach” in 1938 and championing dress reform. The seemingly innocent telephone number knitted into the jumper is in fact the numerical representation of an obscenity. This jumper seems strongly proto-punk in spirit, a reminder that the later subculture was influenced by earlier twentieth-century movements.
The Fries Museum in Leeuwarden, The Netherlands, has opened major new exhibition on the art of knitting. ‘Breien!’ or ‘Knitting!’ celebrates knitting in all its forms. Historical and contemporary work are placed in ‘conversation’ with each other. Items of traditional dress, fishermen’s jumpers, twentieth century knitting patterns, finely-knitted eighteenth century mitts and later caps or the oldest knitting sheath, for example, can be seen alongside the knitwear of Starsky and Hutch and contributions from artists and designers including ZoĂ« Landau Konson, Christien Meindertsma, and Bas Kosters. Sarah Lund’s jumper makes a notable appearance! The setting is fresh, modern and intentionally quirky, with pieces mounted on mannequins with animal heads; installations such as ‘City of Stitches’, by Isabel Berglund, which enfolds the visitor in a knitted structure; dioramas of historical and modern knitting; touch trail routes and other methods of display invite engagement with the exhibits at all levels of interest: this is a child-friendly exhibition. This short video offers a taste of the exhibition:
Knitting! opened in October and runs until 28 August 2016. For more information, visit the Fries Museum website.
The underlying theme of all the museum’s exhibitions is “ĂžrĂˇĂ°urâ€ť or the “thread” connecting all textile techniques, past and present. Traditional knitting is featured, beyond the ubiquitous Lopapeysa or Icelandic jumper popular since the 1950s, including mitts, shawls and the patterned insoles used in traditional fish skin shoes.
The museum also has a space called “HalldĂłrustofa” or HalldĂłraÂ´s Room, devoted to the textile collections and work of HalldĂłra BjarnadĂłttir, a twentieth-century champion of women’s rights, home crafts, textile education and traditional Icelandic textiles. See Gudrun Helgadottir’s 1991 paper, ‘HalldĂłra BjarnadĂłttir And The Development of Textiles As A School Subject in Iceland’, from the Proceedings of the 3rd Nordic Research Conference in SlĂ¶jd, GĂ¶teborg, Sweden.
Joyce Meader of The Historic Knit has confirmed more information ahead of the open house at her Hampshire home next month. The date is Wednesday 29 April from 10:00am to 16:00pm. Joyce says there is ample parking and she will kindly be providing bread, soup and homemade cake.
Please email or message Joyce ahead of the visit and let her know you are coming. Her personal details will not be posted here for obvious reasons. For more info log into the KHF Yahoo group to read Joyce’s latest post and respond to Joyce directly.
See our earlier post for photos from Joyce’s presentation at the Knitting History Forum Conference in November 2014. You can also see more of Joyce’s historical knitting and knitting pattern collection at her website.
For those of you who do not know her, Joyce, a long-standing KHF member and supporter, is an expert on historical knitting who owns an extensive collection of knitting patterns from 1817 to the present day. She also recreates historical knitting for re-enactment, film and museums. Below is a sampling of Joyce’s reproduction hand knitting and her collection of nineteenth and twentieth century patterns, from those accompanying her presentation at the Knitting History Forum Conference in November 2014.
Joyce Meader’s presentation at the Knitting History Forum Conference 2014
Detail of a reproduction by Joyce Meader
Detail of Joyce Meader’s reproduction of a Crimean War era jumper from her presentation at the 2014 Knitting History Forum Conference
Detail of a 1910s knitting pattern for a Belgian soldier’s kepi, collection of Joyce Meader
Detail of a 1910s magazine with patterns, collection of Joyce Meader
Early knitting patterns and historical reproductions by Joyce Meader
More details will be confirmed nearer to the time. If you are able to attend, please let Joyce know you are coming by logging into the KHF Yahoo group and replying to her post.