Our second speaker for the Knit event will be Lynn Abrams, Professor of Modern History at the University of Glasgow and lead investigator for the Fleece to Fashion: Economies and Cultures of Knitted Textiles in Scotland project. Her research ranges across modern gender, social and oral histories. Until now her textile-focused research has largely been based in Shetland, published in Myth and Materiality in a Woman’s World: Shetland 1800-2000 (2005) and in articles in Textile History, Gender & History and Signs. With Marina Moskowitz she was responsible for two knit-focused projects including Knitting-in-the-Round which employed a knitter-in-residence and a project on authenticity in knitted lace which recruited amateur knitters to undertake practice-based research.
Image: fair isle knitted jumper using a mix of natural/undyed and dyed wool yarn, as in this c.1910 wool jersey. Image courtesy of National Museums Scotland
Histories of knitted textiles tend to treat hand knitting and machine knitting as separate. Studies of hand knitting focus on the techniques and motifs of the hand knitter whilst studies of machine and factory production tend to subordinate hand knitting as an outmoded and non-economic practice superseded by mechanisation.
Image: Image: knitted Jacket detail 17th century. Image courtesy of Germanisches Nationalmuseum.
The Fleece to Fashion research project at the University of Glasgow looks at the production of knitted textiles in the round and questions the bi-polarity of that framework. In this talk, Lynn Abrams will discuss the interconnections between hand and machine knitting in the context of 19th and 20th century Scotland and argue for the mutual dependence of both modes of production, challenging interpretations which assume craft production for the market was automatically replaced by the machine.
Our next online talk, Knit, will take place on Wednesday 14 September 2022 at 18:00 BST.
Find out more about the event and book your tickets on our Online Talks page.