Party time! A festive celebration of knitting from the collections at WSA Library.

Its Christmas time again and this year in the Library we are celebrating all things knit.  Our current exhibition curated by Harriet Harvey and Carolyn Wing celebrates this festive season by bringing together an assortment of Christmas themed items from our knitting collections at WSA Library.  Here they talk more about the items displayed.

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Dolls patterns, Knitting Reference Library

We kicked off the Christmas celebrations with Sindy and Ken. These dolls patterns form part of a small collection of patterns for knitted toys and dolls.  Knitted by Carolyn, Sindy and Ken wear a knitted jumpsuit and mini dress respectively and Ken wears a Norwegian Lopi style jumper knitted by Harriet’s mum in the 1980’s.

Our pattern collection spans over a century and features patterns from the late 1800’s as well as many modern patterns.  The period 1950-1980 is a particular highlight when domestic hand knitting was in its heyday.

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Knitted hat and finger-less gloves from Shetland, 2009. Donated by Linda Newington

These knitted items, taken from our small handling collection within the WSA Library, were designed and knitted on Shetland.  The handling collection has been built up to support our teaching at WSA and includes items such as a hand knitted fairisle beret, knitted in 4ply from an original 1940’s pattern and in keeping with our Christmas and Winter theme, a range of knitted gloves and hats.

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Pins and Needles magazines, November and December 1958

Our exhibition features some examples of the many women’s magazines we hold in the Knitting Reference Library. These Christmas editions of Pins and Needles and Stitchcraft contain patterns for fun gift ideas and Christmas knits.  These magazines are great examples of needlework magazines of this era, packed full of great knitting patterns but also interesting magazine layouts, graphics and illustration.

Please pop into the Library during this festive season at look at our Christmassy highlights!

If you would like to explore our knitting collection further please come in and ask or email wsaenqs@soton.ac.uk