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Knitting after Making: what we do with what we make

Chapter in book
Authors Jessica Hemmings
Published in Textiles, community and controversy : the knitting map / edited by Jools Gilson and Nicola Moffat.
Pages 77-94
ISBN 978-1-3500-2752-7
Publisher Bloomsbury Visual Arts, Bloomsbury Publishing
Place of publication London
Publication year 2019
Published at School of Design and Crafts
Pages 77-94
Language en
Keywords knitting, community, textiles and women's work, performance
Subject categories Arts


The identity of The Knitting Map (2005) today raises questions about the potential difference in value between the act of making and its physical outcome. In an effort to understand these differences, I take as a starting point an interest in knitting as a verb, rather than a noun; knitting as an action and activity, rather than an object. Anthropologist Tim Ingold’s advocacy for a way of thinking ‘that assigns primacy to processes of formation as against their final products’ (2010: 2-3) may be useful to consider in this context. Ingold coins the acronym EWO or environment without objects (2010: 6) which he posits ‘not [as] a material world but a world of materials, of matter in flux.’ (2010: 8) While I do not fully share in Ingold’s anxiety over the object (2010: 3), his emphasis of change (2010: 7) in contrast to stasis seems particularly useful when considering the examples of public durational knitting discussed in this chapter. In an attempt to contribute to an understanding of the current identity of The Knitting Map, this chapter considers a number of knitting projects over the past decade that share either in a commitment to create knitting in a public setting or to create knitted fabric with multiple hands.

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