Wool: Cloth, Clothing and Culture – MEDATS Conference 2019

Wool: Cloth, Clothing and Culture” is the subject of the next MEDATS (Medieval Dress and Textiles Society) conference in April. Many of the papers confirmed for MEDATS this Spring will be of interest to KHF members. The history of wool and the early history of knitting are closely linked, as highlighted by the fact that three of the speakers are Kirstie Buckland, Jane Malcolm-Davies and Lesley O’Connell Edwards, members of Knitting History Forum who presented highly-regarded papers at KHF conferences. All of the MEDATS presentations look fascinating:

‘A warm house for the wits’: The craft, trade or science of capping
Kirstie Buckland, Independent scholar
‘Home or away? Woollens, worsteds and the “industrious revolution” in England
John Styles, The University of Hertfordshire
Hanging by a thread: Anticipating structural damage in Tudor Tapestries through the study of photo-oxidation in historic wool
Nanette Kissi, Independent Scholar
Turning wool into silk: How sixteenth century craftspeople created legal luxuries
Jane Malcolm-Davies, Centre for Textile Research, University of Copenhagen
The “industry” of knitting of wool stockings in later 16th century England, especially Norwich
Lesley O’Connell Edwards, MSc student in English Local Studies at the University of Oxford
The first cowl of St Francis of Assisi and the mantle of Bishop Guido
Maria Giorgi, Adjunct Professor at the Academy of Fine Arts of Brera and Independent Textiles conservator and Conservation Consultant
The St Clare intermediate tunic
Tina Anderlini, Independent scholar
Distaff spinning: a forgotten aspect of medieval wool textile production
Mary A. M. Cleaton, Jane Hunt, Alice R. Evans & Cathelina de Alessandri

“Wool: Cloth, Clothing and Culture” will be held on 6th April 2019 at Saint Stephen’s Church Hall, Knightsbridge, London, from 11:00am to 5:30pm. There is an Early Bird discount for MEDATS members and non-members if booking conference tickets before 31st January 2019. After that date, all tickets except for students will cost £45, so remember to book by the end of January.

Further information and booking enquiries should be directed to MEDATS at their website http://medats.org.uk/events/wool-cloth-clothing-and-culture/

Sewing & Stories in Leeds

Sewing & Stories is an interactive event in Leeds this Thursday 29th November. The organisers would like to gather memories of knitting, crochet and sewing, personal, domestic and industrial, from the Windrush generation and anyone from the wider community in Leeds and the surrounding area. Those can’t knit, crochet or sew are also very welcome. KHF only just received notice, but it’s a brilliant idea and looks like a lovely event. See the flyer for more information.

Sewing & Stories Event, Leeds
Sewing & Stories event, The Compton Centre, Leeds, Thursday 29th November 2018

Darning Masterclass with Tom van Deijnen FULLY BOOKED

SORRY, THIS EVENT IS SOLD OUT.

Exciting news : Knitting History Forum is pleased to announce Tom van Deijnen will be running a Darning Masterclass on the Friday before this year’s KHF Conference & AGM.

Darning Masterclass with Tom van Deijnen
Friday 16th November 2018 2-5 pm.
London College of Fashion, 20 John Princes St, London WC1 0BJ

Learn to darn with Tom van Deijnen, aka tomofholland. Best known for his Visible Mending Programme, he will teach you two darning techniques (Swiss darning and stocking darning). Tom will also bring along his darning showcase for plenty of inspiration, and talk about why darning and repairing clothes is important to him. You’ll take home a comprehensive hand-out, two darning needles, and the skills to tackle any holey sock or thinning elbow, and be able to wear a beautiful darn as a badge of honour. All practice materials provided.

Cost £40 payable in advance. Places are limited to 12 so please ensure that payment is made as soon as possible.

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

We are delighted to invite the wider craft community to join us for this absorbing afternoon masterclass.

Workshop places can be paid directly to the Knitting History Forum HSBC bank account sort code 40-39-16 account number 81487760, quoting your full name as reference. You can also pay via Paypal below.

KHF Tomofholland Darning Masterclass 2018


Read more about the 2018 Knitting History Forum Conference here. We welcome anyone with an interest in the history of knitting and crochet.

Fibres in Early Textiles from Prehistory to AD 1600

News of an event for next year, Fibres in Early Textiles from Prehistory to AD 1600. This biennial conference of the Early Textiles Studies Group will be held at the University of Glasgow, 6th to 7th June 2019. Dedicated to the memory of Karen Finch, Knitting History Forum’s inspirational and much-missed Honorary President, who sadly passed away earlier this year, the conference themes are:

– developments in the identification and analysis of early textile fibres
– contributions to the chronology of fibre use at a local or global level
– fibre procurement and use within specific historical or archaeological contexts
– the qualities of fibres and their contribution to finished textiles

Fibres in Early Textiles from Prehistory to AD 1600, Early Textiles Study Group biennial conference 2019The ETSG have issued a flyer, download here for information. Their Call for Papers invites 15-minute papers and posters and encourages submissions from early-career and experienced researchers : email abstracts to Margarita Gleba mg704@cam.ac.uk, by 11 January 2019.

Registration and booking will open in early 2019 and further details will be posted on the ETSG website: https://www.earlytextilesstudygroup.org

The Mary Rose Anniversary Lectures

Dr Jane Malcolm-Davies will present a paper on early knitted caps at The Mary Rose Anniversary Lectures, on Saturday 13th October 2018 at the University of Portsmouth. Other speakers will include Dr Sean Cunningham, Head of Medieval Records at The National Archives; Lauren Mackay, Tudor historian; Dr Dominic Fontana, Historical Geographer and Hayley Simon, a PhD student with the Mary Rose Trust’s cannonball conservation project. Tickets and further information available from the Mary Rose website.

In the Loop at 10 Conference Schedule

It’s a good month for knitting and crochet history events! Just as the KEME seminar has closed, the final two-day programme is confirmed for In the Loop at 10. The breadth and diversity of presentations at In the Loop is always remarkable and this year’s schedule includes one on British designer knitters of the 1970s and 80s by Knitting History Forum’s Chair, Professor Sandy Black, as well as many others. See the full programme here.

In the Loop will be held from 19th to 20th July 2018 at Winchester School of Art, University of Southampton. Visit the University of Southampton website for more information on this series of conferences https://www.southampton.ac.uk/intheloop/in-the-loop/index.page

Knitting in Early Modern Europe Seminar July 2018

The final programme has been published for the KEME study day in Copenhagen on Saturday 7th July. Subtitled ‘Textile and Fashion in Theory and Practice through 3,000 years’, confirmed speakers and subjects include Maj Ringgaard on Sugar Loaf hats of Copenhagen, Ruth Gilbert on ‘The Great Knitted Waistcoat Conspiracy’, Sandy Black on British designer knitters of the 1970s and 1980s, Chrystel Brandenburgh on seventeenth century silk stockings from the Texel shipwreck, Jane Malcolm-Davies on recording early modern knitwork, Hanna Bäckström on researching early German knitting and crochet manuals using bibliographies, Lesley O’Connell Edwards on reconstructing sixteenth century woollen stockings, a presentation of archaeological knitted fragments from Maersks Hovedsaede, Esplanaden(1690-1770) by SAXO summer school students and discussion of the recent article in the Oxford Journal of Archaeology regarding possible “two-needle knitting” from the early Bronze Age. There will even be time to learn or teach knitting! Definitely worth a visit to beautiful Denmark. Full details of this plentiful programme are available in the notice on the Strickersvej Facebook page https://en-gb.facebook.com/notes/strickersvej-knitters-way/knitting-in-early-modern-europe-seminar-saxo-summer-school/609379576086458/

The School of Textiles 2018 Events

The School of Textiles in Essex has announced new events for 2018. The talks, short courses, study days and workshops cover many topics including Tapestry, early Coptic and Peruvian textiles, Artist-designed Textiles 1900-1930, Orla Kiely and Images from Nature: Textile Art. Visit the School of Textile’s Events page to find out more http://www.schooloftextiles.co.uk/events-page.html.

In The Loop At 10 – Call For Papers

News just in: a Call For Papers has been issued for In the Loop. Please email submissions of abstracts and other information to Dr Jo Turney at the address below.

In the Loop at 10
Winchester School of Art, University of Southampton
19 – 20 July 2018

Keynote Speakers
Professor Jessica Hemmings
Professor Ingun Grimstad Klepp
Linda Newington, Founder of In the Loop

Call For Papers

The sixth interdisciplinary and international In the Loop conference will be held at Winchester School of Art (WSA), University of Southampton 19-20 July 2018. This year marks the tenth anniversary of In the Loop and to celebrate this WSA will be hosting In the Loop at 10, a special conference which will celebrate the outstanding contribution that the conference, its organisers, and its participants have made to knitting scholarship, while also promoting new research on all aspects of knitting.

One of the major successes of Loop has been the development of a unique archive of knitting-related material at the University of Southampton, housed both in the Knitting Reference Library at WSA, and in the University’s Special Collections. To help mark the significance of this legacy, we will particularly welcome papers this year on the theme of ‘Collections’. We will interpret this theme broadly to include archives, libraries, private collections, company papers, personal documents, and knitwear design collections.

In addition, we are interested in receiving papers on any aspect of knitting, past, present, and future, and we look forward to hosting a conference that will bring together artists, designers, practitioners, knitters, academics, theorists, curators, archivists, and librarians.

Abstracts should be no longer than 500 words and include full contact details and affiliation where appropriate. Send to J.A.Turney@soton.ac.uk

Deadline 27 April 2018.

Early Modern Stocking Study Day 2018

Ruth Gilbert MPhil is holding an Early Modern Stocking Study Day on Saturday 24th March 2018, from 10am to 4pm. In this study day at the Loft Space, Britannia Mills, Slaithwaite, Huddersfield, Ruth will cover the evidence for early knitted stockings and its interpretation as well as knitting techniques, tools and yarn.

Ruth Gilbert speaking at the Knitting History Conference, 2017
Ruth Gilbert speaking at the Knitting History Conference, 2017

Materials and equipment will be provided but please bring your own if you prefer. The day costs £50 per person including tea and coffee.

A weaver and textile historian as well as a knitter, Ruth’s background is one of both hands-on experience and wide-ranging scholarship so this is a wonderful opportunity to learn from someone with evidence-based knowledge and practical expertise. Full information will be available when you book: contact Ruth by email, by phone or in person at the Loft Space.

For more details, download the Early Modern Stocking Study Day flyer and contact Ruth directly.

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!

The Great Knitting Workshop

An interesting historical knitting workshop in Newcastle upon Tyne on Thursday 23 November 2017. PhD student Leanne Cane leads ‘The great knitting workshop: picking up dropped stitches’, part of the Being Human festival of the humanities, organised by the University of Northumbria. More details on their website https://beinghumanfestival.org/event/the-great-knitting-workshop-picking-up-dropped-stitches/

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!

History of the East Midlands Knitting Industry Lecture

Colin Moss will speak on ‘A History of the East Midlands Knitting Industry’ this Thursday, 19th October 2017. Cromford Mills near Matlock, Derbyshire are hosting the talk as part of the Discovery Days Festival, in celebration of the historic Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site. The lecture begins at 7.30pm but cheese and wine will be served from 7.00pm.

Further information and tickets available from the Cromford Mills website.

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



KEME Seminar – August 2017

Strickersvej – Knitters Way is hosting a seminar in August to discuss the KEME project and its findings. There will be speakers on topics ranging from early modern knitted stockings from burials in Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia, 3D modelling, the significance of the spin angle in knitted fabric, knitted items in the Design Museum, Eramus’s caps and comparing sheep fleece characteristics as well as workshops and broader discussions on the KEME project and citizen or crowd-sourced science.

The KEME Seminar will be held at the Centre for Textile Research in Copenhagen on Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th August 2017. Further details are available from the Strickersvej – Knitters Way seminar page on Facebook.

Knitted Gloves: KHF/KCG Joint Meeting

Angharad Thomas, Textile Archivist for the Knitting & Crochet Guild, is speaking on Knitted Gloves, their history, design and knitting. Angharad’s work was recently exhibited at the Bankfield Museum in Halifax, together with items from the KCG Collection.

This joint meeting of Knitting History Forum and Knitting & Crochet Guild Central London Branch will be held on Saturday, 18th March 2017, at the London College of Fashion, 20 John Prince’s Street, just off Oxford Street. The event is open to all and costs £15, or £10 for KHF/KCG members.

For further information and to book a place, please contact Tricia, our Membership Secretary, or email ‘KHF Events & Bookings’.

The Historic Knit: Joyce Meader Open House 2017

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.

'Knitskrieg: A Call to Yarns! A History of Military Knitting from 1800s to Present' by Joyce Meader
‘Knitskrieg: A Call to Yarns! A History of Military Knitting from 1800s to Present’ by Joyce Meader

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.

For more details, please contact Joyce directly by emailing her via The Historic Knit website, on Ravelry or via Facebook.

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!

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