Celebrating 10th Knitting History Forum Conference

Celebrating our 10th Annual Knitting History Forum Conference!Thank you to everyone, KHF members and delegates, for contributing to making our 10th Knitting History conference such a success! Special thanks to our Chair Sandy Black for arranging an excellent programme and venue, and to our Membership Secretary and Treasurer Tricia Basham for all her hard work. It was a wonderful day with outstanding speakers, interesting discussion and good friends, old and new!

Chair Sandy Black and Co-founder and former Co-ordinator Kirstie Buckland at Knitting History Forum Conference 10th Anniversary CelebrationThe day ended with a champagne reception for everyone to celebrate our achievements so far and look forward to the future. Here’s to the next ten years of Knitting History Forum!

Knitting History Conference 2017 Reminder

Reconstruction Knitted Sanquhar Glove courtesy of Kirstie Buckland. PLEASE DO NOT USE WITHOUT PERMISSION!A quick reminder to book your tickets for the Knitting History Conference on Saturday 18th November 2017 at the London College of Fashion. The presentations will cover a variety of subjects on knitting and crochet history, from surviving sixteenth and seventeenth century knitting, to crochet practices and twentieth century knitting yarn, from Huddersfield and London, via Denmark, Sweden and Italy to Egypt. It’s an interesting line-up for KHF’s tenth anniversary year! Further information and tickets available from the Knitting History Forum website. We look forward to seeing you!

10th Knitting History Conference 2017

Knitting History Forum the international society for the history of knitting and crochet. Eight-pointed star, a common motif in knitting across many cultures.
Knitting History Forum, the international society for the history of knitting and crochet.

Join us on Saturday 18th November 2017 as we celebrate 10 years of the renamed Knitting History Forum and our pioneering annual Knitting History Conference!

Once again the venue is the London College of Fashion, 20 Princes St, just off Oxford Street in central London. The programme for 2017 is full and includes the following speakers:

  • Maj Ringgaard on The development of stockings 1600-1800: evidence from the Copenhagen excavations
  • Helena Lundin on Shipwrecked knitting: Fragments from the Swedish Seventeenth Century Flagship Kronan
  • Lesley O-Connell Edwards on Of stockings and sleeves: insights from some 16th century knitted items in the Museum of London
  • Matteo Molinari on Crocheting Cultures: traditional Italian crochet practice in private and public spaces in Veneto
  • Barbara Smith on “Wools for the World” – Wakefield Greenwood of Huddersfield and
  • Ruth Gilbert on A complex knitting technique from Egypt: the evidence and some ideas
  • There will also be a display of British Wools by Zoe Fletcher

Registration starts from 10.30am and the KHF AGM runs from 11.00am to 12.30pm. The Knitting History Conference starts promptly in the afternoon at 1.45pm and closes at 5.30pm. Lunch is not provided so please bring your own or buy locally. Further details are available in the KHF AGM & Conference programme.

Please bring items for discussion during the morning’s Show and Tell. There will be more time for questions and general discussion from 5.15pm, after all the speakers have delivered their papers.

We welcome members and non-members alike! Conference tickets cost £35 to non-members and are available in advance or on the door, but please contact us or email ‘KHF Events & Bookings’ beforehand to let us know if you are coming. Admission is also included in Knitting History Forum membership, currently £25. If you have not joined KHF as a member, you can use the PayPal button below to buy your ticket. See payment methods page for alternative ways to pay.


Knitting History Forum Conference 2017 Non-members’ Ticket



Knitting History Forum AGM & Conference 2016

Knitting History Forum is pleased to announce that Dr Roslyn Chapman will be speaking at the Knitting History Conference on Saturday 19th November 2016, at the London College of Fashion. Her presentation, Cultural Sensitivities: Debunking the myths of Shetland lace, uses case studies to illustrate how traditional narratives of knitting history can be altered in retelling, and that even “detailed provenance cannot always be accepted as fact.”

The final programme of speakers and sessions for the Knitting History Conference , is now confirmed as:

  • 2.00-2.45 Gieneke Arnolli – Curator of Textiles & Fashion, Fries Museum, The Netherlands
    Typically Frisian lace knitting, between fact and fiction and Curating the Knitting exhibition ‘Breien!’
  • 2.45-3.25 Hanna Bäckström – PhD Candidate in Textile Studies, Uppsala University, Sweden
    The publication of knitting and crochet patterns in Northern Europe 1790-1870 and Brief remarks on recent knitting history research in Sweden
  • 3.35-4.00 Michelle Hanks – PhD Candidate London College of Fashion
    The Hand-Knitted Gift: using knitting as a research tool
  • 4.05-4.35 Roslyn Chapman – PhD, University of Glasgow
    Cultural Sensitivities: Debunking the myths of Shetland lace
  • 4.05-4.35 Discussion: Reflections on knitting in the media – how would we represent the history of knitting?
    With Joyce Meader, Jane Malcolm-Davies and Sandy Black, following their contributions to a documentary, The Secret History of Knitting. All contributions are welcome – please follow the link to watch the documentary online before this session [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bJiN9GNrDpA].
  • 4.45-5.00 General discussion and close.

Further details are available on this downloadable Knitting History Forum AGM & Conference programme: Knitting History Forum Conference 2016 Final Programme. A downloadable agenda is also available for KHF members attending the AGM in the morning: Knitting History Forum AGM 2016 Agenda.

We welcome non-members and new members! Tickets cost £35 to non-members and can be booked in advance or on the door. If you have not joined KHF as a member, you can use the PayPal button below to buy your ticket. See payment methods page for alternative ways to pay.

Knitting History Forum Conference 2016 Non-members’ Ticket



Textile Society Annual Conference 2016

The Textile Society have sent us notice of their annual conference next month : ‘Textile Futures: Technology, Materials and Preservation’. Saturday 5th November, Wellcome Trust, 215 Euston Road, London.

This conference will examine recent advances in textile design, materials and technology, considering emerging ideas and approaches that may change the way we design, make, use and preserve textiles in the future.

Our keynote speaker is Janis Jefferies, Professor of Visual Arts and Research at Goldsmiths, University of London. Janis will be speaking on her research that examines the relationship between culture and technology, including wearable devices as ‘intelligent textiles’. Dr Kate Lloyd from the industry organisation ‘Textile Intelligence’, will be speaking on thermochromics and advances in textile print technology, and Dr Celina Jones from the University of Manchester, will be discussing her research on textile printing and sustainability, looking at low impact techniques, reducing the use of colorants, and new ways of distressing denim. We will also be joined by Anne French, Textile Conservator and Collections Care Manager at the Whitworth Art Gallery, speaking on the challenges of conserving increasingly complex textile materials for the future, and Professor Carole Collet from Central Saint Martins, speaking about her work with the design & living systems lab, biotextiles and the advantages of biological tools for a more sustainable textile future.

We hope you can join us at the Wellcome Trust for a day of thought provoking presentations and discussion on ‘Textile Futures, Technology, Materials and Preservation’. The conference begins at 11.15am and finishes at 5.15pm. Lunch and refreshments are included. Booking is via Eventbrite.

Euston is the closest train/underground station to the Wellcome Trust. Just walk from Euston to the main road, cross over and the Wellcome Trust building is on the right hand side.

If you have any queries please email Sonja Andrew at: s.andrew@manchester.ac.uk

Knitting History Conference 2016

Join us for the Knitting History Forum 2016 Conference and AGM on Saturday 19th November, at the London College of Fashion, 20 Princes St.

Registration opens in room 418 at 10:30AM, with the first session an informal Show and Tell. Please bring items for discussion! The AGM for KHF members runs from 11.00AM to 12:45, followed by a break for lunch. Lunch is not provided so please bring your own or buy locally. The London College of Fashion is just off Oxford Street and there are many places to eat nearby.

The Knitting History Conference starts promptly at 2.00PM. Speakers and sessions for 2016 include:

  • 2.00-2.45 Gieneke Arnolli – Curator of Textiles & Fashion, Fries Museum, The Netherlands
    Typically Frisian lace knitting, between fact and fiction and Curating the Knitting! exhibition.
  • 2.45-3.30 Hanna Bäckström – PhD Candidate in Textile Studies, Uppsala University, Sweden
    The publication of knitting and crochet patterns in Northern Europe 1790-1870 and Brief remarks on recent knitting history research in Sweden 
  • 3.30-4.00 Michelle Hanks – PhD Candidate London College of Fashion
    The Hand-Knitted Gift: using knitting as a research tool
  • 4.00-4.45 Discussion: The Media Representation Of Knitting
    Reflections on knitting in the media – how would we represent the history of knitting? With Joyce Meader, Jane Malcolm-Davies and Sandy Black. Delegates wishing to participate will find it helpful to watch the documentary, ‘The Secret History of Knitting’, before this session https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B63vxlRIcfrOcDY0OWF1Nm4yZm8/view?usp=sharing.

There will be time for questions and general discussion from 4.45PM, after all the speakers have delivered their papers.

We welcome non-members and new members! Tickets cost £35 to non-members and can be booked in advance or on the door. If you have not joined KHF as a member, you can use the PayPal button below to buy your ticket. See payment methods page for alternative ways to pay.

Knitting History Forum Conference 2016 Non-members’ Ticket



The Secret History Of Knitting

Fourth on the provisional programme for this year’s Knitting History Forum Conference is a group discussion, “The Media Representation Of Knitting – reflections on knitting in the media and how would we represent the history of knitting?”

In order to participate fully in the conversation, before the session conference delegates will find it useful to prepare by watching the documentary ‘The Secret History of Knitting’, made by Blue Ant Media. Joyce Meader, Jane Malcolm-Davies and Sandy Black were all interviewed for the documentary and will be leading discussion. ‘The Secret History of Knitting’ can be viewed at https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B63vxlRIcfrOcDY0OWF1Nm4yZm8/view?usp=sharing

New Date! Knitting History Conference 2016

Save the date! Knitting History Forum Conference & AGM 2016 is on Saturday 19th November, at the London College of Fashion. The AGM begins in the morning and the Knitting History symposium in the afternoon. For more details, download a provisional conference programme, but full programme and details are to follow. For now here is a taste of the event from last year.

Click on Membership to renew your KHF subscription for this year. Tickets cost £35 to non-members and can be booked on the door or in advance.

Knitting History Forum Conference 2016 Non-members’ Ticket



Dumfries House Wool Conference 2016

The Prince of Wales has called it the “Davos of Wool”. September 9th sees the first ever Dumfries House Wool Conference, described as a “gathering of key members of the fashion, interiors and wool industry organised by The Campaign for Wool” and “the largest and most prestigious international gathering of wool experts ever held in the United Kingdom. Animal welfare, sustainability and quality, environmental issues and slowing down fast-fashion turnover will be discussed during the conference.”

Campaign for Wool : a flammability test compared a wool duvet, jacket and carpet with their synthetic counterparts
A flammability test compared a wool duvet, jacket and carpet with their synthetic counterparts

More details at The Campaign for Wool. Read Prince Charles’ own view as published in the Telegraph Magazine. It’s more measured and less sensational than the majority of ‘I set fire to / I buried my jumpers at Clarence House’ headlines in newsfeeds.

Study Day : Authenticity in Culturally-Based Knitting

Shetland Museum and Archives are hosting a free study day on Saturday 5 March 2016, from 10:00am – 4:00pm. “Authenticity in Culturally-Based Knitting” will be the last event from the programme “Knitting in the Round: Hand-Knitted Textiles and the Economy of Craft in Scotland”.

The event aims to explore the promotion, branding and marketing of so-called ‘authentic’ Shetland knitwear, and how a strong basis in heritage affects designers and industry alike. Speakers include Professor Lynn Abrams, Roslyn Chapman, Dr Carol Christiansen, Frances Lennard, Rhoda Hughson, Kathy Coull and Helen Robertson. For more details and a programme, visit http://www.shetlandmuseumandarchives.org.uk/events/study-day-authenticity-in-culturally-based-knitting.

Booking is essential. Tickets are still available via https://thelittleboxoffice.com/smaa/event/view/39600 or by phoning Shetland Museum and Archives on 01595 741562.

Info - Shetland Museum Study Day : Authenticity in Culturally-Based Knitting
Info – Shetland Museum Study Day : Authenticity in Culturally-Based Knitting

If you are unable to attend, you can watch a live broadcast which can be viewed online for free. Check http://www.shetlandmuseumandarchives.org.uk/collections/museum/textiles – a link to the live feed will be added there when available. You can also participate by joining the Q&A session by tweeting questions directly to the Museum, prefixed by @ShetlandM&A.

KHF AGM and Conference 2015

The day began with our AGM, showcasing KHF successes of the past year, as well as suggestions for improvements going forward. Positive feedback highlighted the growing need for the network for knitting history, which we hope KHF events, our discussion group, the website and social media presence provide. The Show and Tell was, as always, an eclectic mix of early to modern knitting, with contributions from members’ collections and historical reproductions from members’ needles.

Sandy Black introduces Carol Christiansen at the Knitting History Forum Conference in November 2015
Sandy Black introduces Carol Christiansen at the Knitting History Forum Conference in November 2015

Carol Christiansen’s much-anticipated presentation explained the process of creating historically accurate reproductions for the Shetland Museum, of late seventeenth century knitted items found with the Gunnister Man find. Exhaustive testing of the originals and experimentation with modern fibres was necessary to accurately recreate or simulate the variety of textiles, not all of which had come from Shetland. The different colours were due primarily to peat-staining and the original shades of the natural, undyed wool.

Kirstie Buckland brought her considerable knowledge and experience to bear on early Spanish knitting, particularly the finely-knitted silk cushions recovered from thirteenth-century tombs at the monastery at Las Huelgas. Kirstie also shared a medieval image she tracked down from a reference, showing the Virgin and Christ, accompanied by industrious saints. One of the saints knits a patterned sock on five needles, but no stitches in the painting connect the sock with the knitting needles – how miraculous!

Chatting at the Knitting History Forum Conference in November 2015
Members at the Knitting History Forum Conference in November 2015

Lesley O’Connell Edwards presented her research into the work and identities of the Hope family of Ramsgate, early Victorian knitting pattern designers or compilers, and publishers of several books on knitting, including patterns for essential items such as Magic Penwipers and Magic Puzzle Kettle Holders. Lesley recounted her trawl through reviews, advertisements and census records as well as hunting for clues in the knitting books themselves. A fascinating, ongoing investigation with as many twists and turns as a detective novel.

 

An innovative representation of Swaledale sheep and wool by Zoe Fletcher at the Knitting History Forum Conference in November 2015
An innovative representation of a Swaledale sheep and its wool by Zoe Fletcher at the Knitting History Forum Conference in November 2015

Zoe Fletcher presented a summary of her recent work into the possibilities of British wool, researching the properties of wool from different British breeds of sheep and how these properties could be exploited in knitwear design. She also demonstrated how this could be applied using Shima Seiki CAD and design systems, a marriage of traditional and modern technology. The project focussed on the 72 British breeds promoted by the British Wool Marketing Board and Zoe surprised and delighted all with her innovative approach to presenting the information in a way that is accurate, accessible and beautiful.

Jane Malcolm-Davies presents a paper at the Knitting History Forum Conference in November 2015
The Revolution Will Be Knitted: Jane Malcolm-Davies presents a paper at the Knitting History Forum Conference in November 2015

Finally, Jane Malcolm-Davies introduced the research project Knitting in the Early Modern Era, or KEME. As we related last month, KEME is based around detailed examination of surviving sixteenth century knitted caps, the wider aim of the project is interdisciplinary research, creating an economic map of early knitting and laying a foundation of terminology information on which further scholarship on knitting in Early Modern Europe may be built. In an informative and amusing presentation, Jane discussed the work so far, the methodology they would establish and invited contributions and assistance.

All in all, it was another interesting event. The Knitting History Forum thanks our speakers for their engaging and informative presentations. Thank you also to everyone involved in organising the event and to all the delegates, members and non-members. This year’s symposium proved once again that the study of knitting history, while deeply interesting and often highly entertaining, is also vital both to our understanding of the past and our development of future textile technologies.

The speakers and their papers are listed in Knitting History Forum Conferences.

KHF Conference 2015

KHF Chair, Prof Sandy Black, introduces speaker Dr Amy Twigger Holroyd, at the 2014 Knitting History Conference
KHF Chair, Prof Sandy Black, introduces speaker Dr Amy Twigger Holroyd, at the 2014 Knitting History Conference

It’s not too late to join us for the KHF Conference 2015, on Saturday 14th November 2015, at the London College of Fashion. Tickets available at the door or reserve in advance via the website. See Knitting History Forum Conference 2015 all the details and to book your ticket.

European Textile Forum 2015

The European Textile Forum is being held again in Germany this November. The theme for 2015 is “Non-Woven Textile Structures”, a topic covering a broad range of textile techniques such as braiding, netting, nalbinding and of course, knitting. This year’s speakers include Jane Malcolm-Davies and Ruth Gilbert.

The European Textile Forumallows textile professionals, historians and textile workers with no academic background to explore and discuss early textiles. The programme usually includes a mixture of academic and practical presentations – in 2009 they ran a practical experiment testing the influence of spindle whorl, fibre and spinner on spinning. In 2015 the following presentations will be included (in no particular order):

  • Ruth Gilbert: On the terminology of non-woven textile structures and techniques, and why it matters
  •  Anne Reichert: A lime bast textile find from Lake Constance in a singular technique
  • Ruth MacGregor: Demonstration and hands-on session on working with silk cocoons
  • Micky Schoelzke: Silk reeling demonstration/workshop
  • Heather Hopkins: Lightening talk presentations of unpublished findings from Pompeii, and a round-table discussion of these subjects
  • Rachel Case and Beatrix Nutz: Reconstruction project of extant garments from Lengberg Castle, focusing on the non-woven parts (paper and workshop)
  • Jane Malcolm-Davies: Knitted caps and knitting as a key innovation of the Early Modern era (paper and round-table discussion)

The conference runs from 2-8 November 2015 at the Laboratory for Experimental Archaeology in Mayen, Germany, the experimental archaeology research center of the Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum (RGZM). On-site accomodation at the Laboratory is restricted and the conference can only accomodate a few more delegates but spaces are available. Please visit the European Textile Forum website for more information and to register for a place.

In the Loop 4: Call for Papers

In the Loop 4 will be held 26-28 August 2015 at the University of Glasgow, in association with the School of Humanities and the ‘Knitting in the Round’ project. It is intended to reflect the place of Scotland in the history of knitting and the city of Glasgow in the world of fashion.

In the Loop is a series of interdisciplinary and international conferences on knitting and crochet. 2015 sees the fifth to be held so far (the numbering is correct, the fourth conference in 2013 was In the Loop 3.5). Professor Sandy Black, Knitting History Forum’s Chair, was keynote speaker at the first conference and the following events have featured an impressive array of speakers and topics.

The Call for Papers for next year invites proposals for papers and poster presentations on the theme “From Craft to Couture”,  encompassing the range of applications of knitting (and crochet) in the past, present and future and in a variety of contexts. Applications are encouraged from all “practitioners, academics and researchers, designers, makers, artists, technicians, those working at home, in business and industry, education, archives, libraries and museums.” The deadline is 15 January 2015.

See more at the University of Glasgow site.

The Look of Austerity – 2015 Conference on Post-war Dress

A Call for Papers has been issued for a two-day conference hosted by The Museum of London in September next year. ‘The Look of Austerity’ will “explore the effect of post-war austerity on the appearance of people and cities… ‘The Look of Austerity aims to re-examine the post-war period, looking at the changing meaning and the face of austerity and exploring the real implications of austerity policies and culture on sartorial aesthetics. Focusing on the immediate post-war period, specifically the years 1945-1951, we invite papers that examine the popular experience of obtaining and wearing clothes throughout the western world during these turbulent and changing times, exploring the often overlooked areas of ready-to-wear innovation, international dialogues, and approaches that look beyond some of the popular myths of post-war fashion.”

The conference will take place at the Museum of London, on Friday 11 and Saturday 12 September 2015. Presentations are invited of 20 to 25 minutes’ duration – material culture and interdisciplinary contributions are particularly encouraged. Topics for discussion may include:

  • fashion consumption and austerity, particularly popular and everyday experiences of obtaining and wearing clothes
  • the production and distribution of ready-to-wear
  • the role of couture after the war
  • dialogues across Western nations and fashion capitals, particularly Paris, New York, Berlin and Rome
  • visual and written representations of fashion in newspapers, magazines, advertisements, cinema and amateur film
  • biographic approaches, for example diaries, novels and short stories
  • the designer in a culture of austerity
  • the connection between austerity and glamour
  • re-emergence of the austerity look in later periods, for example in the 1970s/1990s
  • the legacy of the look of austerity

The effects of war did not end immediately in 1945. In Britain clothes rationing lasted until 1949 while rationing only ended altogether in 1954. The ‘Make Do And Mend’ mentality of the war years continued long after, as Europe began the slow process of rebuilding. Knitting played vital part in the budgets of many households and really should be represented appropriately by a paper at this conference. So put on your [knitted] thinking caps!

The deadline for submission of proposals is Monday 27 October 2014. Further information is on the Museum of London website, where you can also download a copy of the Call For Papers.