Early Knitting History Group Meetings

Meetings 1994-1999

The Early Knitting History Group first met in 1993 and held its official inaugural meeting at University College London, by invitation of Dr. Negley Harte, on 20th April, 1994. The speakers and subjects were:-

Inaugural Seminar
20 April, 1994 – UCL, London

Joan Thirsk: “Early Knitting History – the Agenda.” This explored knitting’s original sources and progress to Europe and how research into the complexities of the subject might be considered.
Montse Stanley: “Spanish Medieval Knitting.” Analysis of the evidence for knitting in medieval Spain, detailing motifs shown in fine liturgical silk patterned knitting from the 13th century and contemporary woven silks from Hispano-Moresque workshops.
Kirstie Buckland: “The Mystery of Capping.” The history and activities of British guilds of cappers who are documented as knitters, from whom many examples survive.

Second Seminar
26 April, 1995 – UCL, London

Janet Arnold: “Knitted stockings in the 16th century, with special reference to those worn by Eleanora of Toledo and Queen Elizabeth of England”.
Richard Rutt: “When is knitting not knitting?” Trichinopolis chain, 3rd century B.C. braids from Jiangling.
Lise Warburg (Denmark): “Identification of knitted fragments from c. 980 A.D. and other examples of knitting in Scandinavia”.

“Knitting and Networking”
Two day seminar, 24-25 March, 1996 – Manchester

Gale Owen Crocker and team: “The Manchester Medieval Textiles Project.” The aims and database.
Eulalia Morral, Silvia Carbonnell (Spain): “The Terrassa Textile Museum’s Database, and the Spanish E.K.H.B.”. Archis Documentation system.
Discussion: “Strategies for setting up a database of early knitting” (Chaired by Dr. Rutt).
Montse Stanley: “Word by Word, The Terminology of Confusion”.
Richard Rutt: “Jewellers’ Knitting?” A puzzle from the Viking Age.
Noemi Speiser (Switzerland): “Crucial Cross-Category Coptic Socks”.
Followed by Practical Demonstrations, with the assistance of Peter Collingwood.
Kirstie Buckland: “Tools Trials and Twist” Some problems of reproduction.
Karen Finch: “Needle Knitting” Scandinavian Studies on Single-needle knitting.
Lise Warburg (Denmark): “Knitting with both ends of the yarn” Notes on the geography of twined knitting.
Discussion: “Towards clarity in terminology” (Chaired by Dr. Thirsk).

“The Way Ahead”
23 October, 1996 – UCL, London

Ruth Green: “People and Knitting”. How people wore and used knitting.
Progress Reports: Bibliography; Structure & Terminology; Database; Leaflet.
Discussion: Guidelines for Future Action.

“Unravelling the Evidence”
Joint Meeting with Medieval Dress and Textile Society
8 March, 1997 – Courtauld Institute of Art, London

Janet Arnold: “Knitted stockings in the 16th century.” (See above, 1995.)
Jutta Baumel (Germany): “The Silk Trunk Hose of Elector Augustus of Saxony (1586-1591)”.
Kirstie Buckland: “The Mistery of Capping”. (See above, 1994.)
Dominique Cardon: “French Liturgical Gloves”.
Bill Cooke: “Identification of archaeological fragments of knitting”.
Richard Rutt: “Definitions and confusions.”
Montse Stanley: “Two 13th century knitted cushions from royal tombs at Las Huelgas, Spain”.

Meetings 2000-2006

Early Textile Study Group
Manchester 2004

Jennifer Scarce, University of Dundee: Summary of paper on Medieval Middle Eastern Knitting.

The Early Knitting History Group was subsequently re-founded as the Knitting History Forum. See Knitting History Forum Conferences for a list of conferences, speakers and papers presented since 2006.