Knitting History News

A Gripping Yarn

Celebrate St George’s Day with a BBC radio documentary exploring knitting! Jane Garvey will present a lively programme on knitting past and present, from the American Revolution through to the current knitting renaissance, touching on various subjects such as ‘guerilla’ knitting, the work of composer Hafdís Bjarnadótti and chitin yarns. Among those taking part are design historian Dr Joanne Turney, Christine Kingdom of the UK Hand Knitting Association and artist, writer and designer, Rachael Matthews of ‘Prick Your Finger’. With a running time of 28 minutes this will not be an in-depth investigation but any positive representation of knitting will surely be a good thing.

‘A Gripping Yarn’ is due for broadcast on BBC Radio 4, this Wednesday 23 April at 11 AM. Listen live online at the Radio 4 website and for seven days after transmission

‘Fashionable Encounters: Perspectives and trends in textile and dress in the Early Modern Nordic World’

Dr Maj Ringgaard, an expert in textiles and conservation from the Centre for Textile Research at the University of Copenhagen, has researched early knitted waistcoats or vests. At the Knitting History Forum Conference in 2011 she delivered a paper on 17th and 18th Century star-patterned, knitted waistcoats in Scandinavia. Some of her findings will be published later this month in an exciting anthology which she has also co-edited.

Fashionable Encounters: Perspectives and trends in textile and dress in the Early Modern Nordic World
Fashionable Encounters: Perspectives and trends in textile and dress in the Early Modern Nordic World

‘Silk Knitted Waistcoats – a 17th-century fashion item’ will be available in ‘Fashionable Encounters: Perspectives and trends in textile and dress in the Early Modern Nordic World’, together with 15 other papers on dress, fashion and consumption in Denmark, Norway, Sweden Finland, Iceland, the Faroe Isles and Greenland. ‘Early Modern’ is defined here as 1500 to 1850, though the majority of papers are 17th or 18th century. Topics are both object-based and theoretical in their analysis and include merchant and shop inventories, the whaling industry, sumptuary laws, christening garments, taste and consumption, clothing construction, liturgical textiles and an English fashion doll, among others.

‘Fashionable Encounters: Perspectives and trends in textile and dress in the Early Modern Nordic World’ is jointly edited by Tove Engelhardt Mathiasen, Marie-Louise Nosch, Maj Ringgaard, Kirsten Toftegaard, and Mikkel Venborg Pedersen. It will be published by Oxbow Books on 30 May 2014 as Volume 14 of their Ancient Textile Series.

Further details and a full list of articles are on the publisher’s website:

Sixteenth Century Spinning and Knitting

Steve Kennett, The Sussex Spinner, will be giving two talks on Tudor knitting and spinning this April. The West Surrey Guild of Spinners Weavers & Dyers are hosting Steve’s talk on Tudor knitting on Tuesday 8 April 2014 at 10:30 AM. The Dorset Guild of Weavers, Spinners & Dyers are hosting Steve’s talk on the history of Tudor hose on Saturday 19 April 2014 at 13:30 PM. Steve researched Tudor knitted hose and spun yarn for the Weald and Downland Open Air Museum, near Chichester in West Sussex. He is also a trustee of the Textile Conservation Centre Foundation.

KAFFE 2014 – The Colourful World of Kaffe Fassett

Kaffe Fassett celebrates 50 years of art and design with “KAFFE 2014 – The Colourful World of Kaffe Fassett” at the American Museum in Britain, the decorative arts museum in Bath. This exhibition showcases the work of the artist and designer best known for his use of colour. Exhibits include a variety of textiles, including quilts, needlepoint and beadwork as well as knitting, in addition to visual artworks by Fassett.

The exhibition runs until 2 November 2014. More information, including a video and preview, is available from the museum website

Tudor Merchant’s Cap Workshop

Emma Vining, a Knitting History Forum member and one of the attendees at our Tudor Merchant’s Cap workshop, has posted about the day on her blog

Many thanks to our tutor Gary Hayton for leading the workshop and to everyone involved in organising, publicising and making the day so enjoyable.

Knitting 1914-2014

There’s still time to catch the exhibition ‘Knitting 1914-2014’.

Celebrating knitting in the 100 years since the First World War, the exhibition features historical items from the Knitting Reference Library and Knitting Collections held by the University of Southampton Library, together with new work by knitwear students at Winchester School of Art.

Two co-ordinating study days will be held on 2-3 April, the first at the Highfield Campus, the second in the Gallery at Winchester School of Art. Speakers include Jonathan Faiers, Gill Clarke, Victoria Walters, Alex Pengelly, Martin Polley, Tom Van Deijnen, Linda Newington and many others. Download a programme here

‘Knitting 1914-2014’ runs until 4 April 2014 in the Special Collections Gallery at the Hartley Library on the Highfield Campus, University of Southampton