Knitting History Forum AGM & Conference 2020

This has been an extraordinary year. Many have been affected by the events of the past ten months and it seemed in poor taste to continue posting. Indeed, mentions of the date of the next conference here and on social media received some objections and though made last year, were removed to avoid giving offence. Now as we return slowly to the new ‘normal’, it seems appropriate to resume. KHF is pleased once again to confirm Saturday 7th November 2020 as the date of this year’s Knitting History Forum Conference. We are working towards an event that is safe and accessible. Further information about the conference will be released in due course and we will post additional details here on the Knitting History website and on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook when they are available. We hope you will feel able to join in and look forward to seeing you in November.

Knitting History Forum Conference 2019 Reminder

Join us in beautiful Leiden for a weekend of Knitting History! We welcome scholars, knitters and everyone with an interest in knitting.

The Knitting History Forum Conference 2019 with the culmination of the TRC Leiden Texel Stockings Project is on Saturday 2 November at De Tuinzaal (The Garden Room) at the Grand Café de Burcht in the historic city centre (at Burgsteeg 14). On Sunday 3 November Prof Sandy Black will chair our AGM for KHF members and we have a special visit to Het Leids Wevershuis (a textile workers’ house built circa 1560). The knitting exhibition ‘Socks & Stockings: A world full of surprises’ at the Textile Research Centre will open especially for conference delegates on Friday 1 November from 12.30pm to 2pm and again on Sunday 3rd November 10am to 12.30pm.

You can register for the conference and pay on the door (€25 or €15 for KHF members).

If you prefer you can pay in advance via PayPal using the “Donate” button on the home page of the Textile Research Centre – scroll down the right-hand column) or via PayPal directly to the TRC’s email address ( Please visit our membership page for more information about Knitting History Forum and apply to join if you wish. You can also register for the conference online using this form if you are a KHF member or use this form if you are not. The conference hotel is Hotel Nieuw Minerva and a discount is available – email mentioning KHF2019.

The full conference programme is available here. Speakers and papers for the Knitting History Conference will include

Keynote speaker Chrystel Brandenburgh: ‘Knitting for science. The reconstruction of the 17th century Texel Stockings by a citizen science community’
Lesley O’Connell Edwards: ‘A hidden workforce: hand knitters in 17thcentury England’
Sylvie Odstrčilová: ‘Early modern stockings from the Czech Republic and neighbouring countries’
Hannah Bäckström: ‘The earliest printed knitting patterns’
Art Ness Proaño Gaibor: ‘Dye-experiments on the Texel Stocking’
Geeske Kruseman: ‘Wearing 17th century knitted silk stockings’
Sally Pointer: ‘Clues from the deep: Reconstructing for the re-enactment-market -silk stockings based on the Texel project’
Susan North: ‘How not to Knit: Sourcing silk, research and reconstructions reviewed’
Jane Malcolm-Davies: ‘Modern Slavery and the early modern work ethic: Lessons learned from volunteer participation in knitting in early modern Europe’
Panel discussion with Katrin Kania, Heleen van Londen and Roeland Paardenkoper: ‘Knitting leads the way! The perils and potential of citizen science in textile research’

It is not too late to register for the conference and book last minute flights, Eurostar tickets or even drive to Leiden to enjoy a knitting history event which, in a way, is itself historic. We look forward to seeing you this weekend.

Socks & Stockings Knitting Exhibition

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 Sundbø’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.

The text boards accompanying the exhibits are also available to read in PDF format, English language and Dutch language formats. More information and images of some of the items are available on the TRC Leiden website.

Knitting History Forum & TRC Leiden Conference & KHF AGM 2019

The weekend of the KHF Conference & AGM 2019 approaches quickly : Saturday 2nd & Sunday 3rd November 2019. For those who still might be considering joining us for the weekend here is a reminder of the registration details.

The Knitting History Forum Conference is on Saturday 2nd November and a copy of the conference programme is available here

Conference delegates are also encouraged to support the Knitting History Forum. The annual fee is £25 and you can join via the Membership page.

Please register for the conference (Sat 2 Nov) and/or participation in the AGM (Sun 3 Nov) using this link:

Then, pay for your ticket for the conference via PayPal using the “Donate” button on the home page of the Textile Research Centre ( – scroll down the right-hand column) or via PayPal directly to the TRC’s email address (

Normal entrance fee is €25, but for KHF members this is reduced to €15. This is the link for members of KHF to register:

If you have any problems registering via the google form or payment to the TRC Leiden, please email the TRC directly (

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

On Sunday 3rd November, Gillian Vogelsang-Eastwood, Director of the Textile Research Centre in Leiden, will host us at the TRC, for the Knitting History Forum Annual General Meeting, followed by a visit to the Wevershuis Museum.

You are welcome to arrive from 10am and we will start the AGM promptly at 10.30am, dealing with KHF business and planning for the year ahead. The meeting will close by 12 noon and we recommend everyone finds their own lunch in the old town centre (minutes of AGM 2018, more info and suggestions of places to eat will follow a fortnight before the event).

Reconstruction Knitted Sanquhar Glove courtesy of Kirstie Buckland. PLEASE DO NOT USE WITHOUT PERMISSION!

In the afternoon there will be the opportunity to visit the Wevershuis Museum (The Weaver’s House), Middelstegracht 143, 2312 TV Leiden.

Geeske Kruseman has kindly offered to give tours; the museum is very small and has an interesting collection showing the “other side of Leiden”, located in the old town centre and less than one kilometre from the Textile Research Centre.

The tours will last 45 minutes and cover Leiden textile history, the building’s history, and some social history. The first tour will be at 1.45pm and the second at 3pm and we will meet outside the museum 10 minutes before the start of the tour so that we can all go in as a group. (i.e. 1.35pm and 2.50pm).

If you are with us on Sunday please email KHF Membership Secretary Tricia Basham ( as soon as possible to let her know which tour you’d like to attend so that we can finalise arrangements.

The conference hotel is Hotel Nieuw Minerva and a discount is available – please email mentioning KHF2019 to book your room.

We look forward to seeing you all in Leiden.

KHF TRC Leiden Conference 2019

This year’s Knitting History Forum will be venturing out to picturesque Leiden in The Netherlands for a special event focused around seventeenth century knitted stockings. Please join us!

Knitting History Forum Invitation to Leiden 2019

Held jointly with the Textile Research Centre Leiden, the conference will include a full day of lectures about the Texel shipwreck reproduction silk stockings project, stocking production, studying historical knitting and textile research. The date of the knitting history conference is Saturday 2nd November 2019, with the KHF AGM held on Sunday at the TRC. Click on the images or download the PDF to learn more. Further information will be available on the Knitting History Forum website once details are confirmed.

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

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


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, by 11 January 2019.

Registration and booking will open in early 2019 and further details will be posted on the ETSG website:

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

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

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

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

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

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.