In the Loop : Knitting Past, Present and Future
In the Loop (15 - 17 July 2008) Winchester School of Art, University of Southampton
With knitting once again enjoying a huge surge in popularity, the relevance of this craft was celebrated by the launch of a significant collection of knitting resources and a three-day international conference exploring the vitality of knitting today.
‘In the Loop: knitting past, present and future’ took place at the University of Southampton’s Winchester School of Art from the 15th to 17th of July, 2008. Aimed at all who are interested in knitting, from both a practical and conceptual perspective, this conference covered a breadth of approaches including digital versus handcraft, fashion and technology and ‘new wave’ knitting.
Subjects as varied as sportsmen and their sweaters, chick knit lit, inspiring collectors and their collections and knitting as performance were explored by twenty-eight speakers from the UK, Australia, Europe and North America. The conference theme is inspired by of the acquisition of specific collections focused on knitting history, practice and technique compiled by Montse Stanley, Richard Rutt and Jane Waller. These collections include objects, patterns, postcards and photographs, fiction and non-fiction, magazines and journals all related to knitting.
During the conference the University formally launched the Knitting Reference Library based at the Winchester School of Art. This unique and significant body of resources provides historical and contextual information intended to inspire hobbiests and professional makers, students and researchers both at the School of Art and within the wider community.
A Knitting Lounge, open to delegates throughout the conference, provided a space to converse and enjoy complimentary wool and knitting needles. A solo exhibition of work exploring the relationship between knitting and technology by American artist Rachel Beth Egenhoefer will also be on show in The Winchester Gallery throughout the conference.
Keynote speakers include Professor Sandy Black of the London College of Fashion, Barbara Burman, Honorary Visiting Research Fellow Textile Conservation Centre, knitwear designer Liz Collins, Assistant Professor at the Rhode Island School of Design and New York-based artist and author of KnitKnit, Sabrina Gschwandtner.
In the Loop was a collaborative event involving the University’s Library, School of Art and Textile Conservation Centre.