Knitting History Forum 2020 โ€“ Virtual AGM and Conference

TICKET BOOKING HAS NOW CLOSED. The 2020 edition of the Knitting History Forum Conference will be brought to you online via Zoom from several different locations.ย  Last year, as part of our visit to the Netherlands in collaboration with the Texel Stocking Project, the KHF AGM was hosted by the Textile Research Centre in Leiden.ย  We start our conference Knitting History Forum/Early Knitting History Group Reconstruction Knitted Sanquhar Glove courtesy of Kirstie Buckland. PLEASE DO NOT USE IMAGE WITHOUT PERMISSIONthis year with a presentation from the TRCโ€™s director Gillian Vogelsang-Eastwood about their collection and will see some of its knitted items.

The next group of presentations focus on the experience of knitting at home with examples from research based in Scotland and elsewhere.ย  Lynn Abrams will give an overview of current research into the history of knitted textiles in Scotland, followed by Jade Halbert speaking about knitting for money as a homeworker in the 1980s.ย  Sandy Black responds to this with her personal perspective of being a knitwear designer and producer in the 1980s.

We then return to the early history of knitting with two presentations on gloves worn by religious figures.ย  The first, from Sylvie Odstrฤilovรก in the Czech Republic discusses two pairs of 18thC Abbessโ€™s gloves from Prague, and the second reports on a project by Angharad Thomas and Lesley Oโ€™Connell Edwards, mapping the existing liturgical gloves as worn by bishops from the sixteenth century. We conclude with a talk by Emily Whitted from Massachusetts USA on the stocking frame knitting industry in Germantown, near Philadelphia, including Emilyโ€™s experience of trying out frame knitting herself in Ruddington Museum.

Join us for a pre-session Show and Tell (including what did you make during lockdown?) or see and respond to the fascinating new knitwork produced by Michelle Hanks as part of her PhD research.

See the detailed schedule belowโ€ฆ

We look forward to seeing you online on 7th November via Zoom.ย  Itโ€™s free for everyone but donations to Knitting History Forum are always welcome by Paypal to

Please register via the Eventbrite link below and joining details will be sent to you.

Best wishes

Sandy Black

Chair, Knitting History Forum





Knitting History Forum 2020ย  AGM and conference โ€“ Saturday 7th November via Zoomย 


We ask for your understanding if the schedule is subject to change at short notice due to the current pandemic.

10.30 -11.00 am Welcome and AGMย  – see separate agenda (to follow)

Breakout groups

11.30 โ€“ 12.30pm Show and Tell open session โ€“ Moderator:ย  Tricia Basham

  • Bring along something to show and discussย  including โ€œWhat I made during lockdownโ€ โ€“ kicked off by Susan Northโ€™s crochet toys.


11.30 โ€“ 12.30 pm PhD research student presentations โ€“ย Moderator: Sandy Black

  • 11.30 Michelle Hanks, London College of Fashion โ€œIโ€™ll have to knit about it…โ€ย  Knitting as a thinking tool Showing her knitted pieces made whilst exploring ideas in response to interviews with knitters
  • 12.00 Emily Rickard, Nottingham Trent University Exploring the use of creative, open-ended knitting as a form of journaling to record emotions, with consideration for mental wellbeing

Break or keep chatting informally

1.20 pm conference welcome: Sandy

1.30 โ€“ 2pmย ย ย  The Collection of the Textile Research Centre Leiden, with some knitted highlights.
Gillian Vogelsang-Eastwood, Director of the TRC Leiden, The Netherlands

2 โ€“ 2.15ย ย ย ย  From Fleece to Fashion: researching the history of knitted textiles in Scotland
Lynn Abrams, University of Glasgow

2.15 โ€“ 2.45ย ย ย  Knitting for Money: homework in Glasgow and beyond in the 1980s
Jade Halbert, University of Huddersfield

2.45 โ€“ 3.15ย ย  On being a knitwear designer in the 1980s
Sandy Black,ย  London College of Fashion, UAL


3.30 โ€“ 4.00ย ย  Two pairs of 18thCย  Abbessโ€™s gloves from Prague
Sylvie Odstrฤilovรก, Independent researcher, Czech Republic

4. โ€“ 4.30ย ย ย ย ย  Holy Hands: studies of knitted liturgical gloves
Lesley Oโ€™Connell Edwards and Angharad Thomas, Independent researchers, UK

4.30 โ€“ 5ย ย ย ย ย  Made in Germantown: Analysis of an Early American Frame Knitting Industryย 
Emily Whitted, PhD candidate, University of Massachusetts, USA

5 โ€“ 5.05ย ย ย ย ย ย Closing remarks โ€“ Sandy Black