Float in the wind, flicker in the breeze

Hello! It’s Michelle here. Today I’d like to share some words and images about suffrage spectacle and visual identity, a topic that recently came back to my mind through Kate’s writing in her Wheesht essay ‘Elevate’ on Ann Macbeth’s collaborative suffrage quilt. Anne Macbeth’s suffrage quilt as a suffrage banner. © Museum of London The…

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Crafting Futures: at Braemar

This is the second in my series of posts about the Applied Arts Scotland / British Council residency I took part in last September, and the collaborative work I’m now developing as a result. After leaving Lewis, and returning to the mainland, our group met up with superlatively creative and enabling Lynne Hocking-Mennie, and with…

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Women Who Would Not Sit Still

The Five Sisters window in York Minster is dedicated to all 1,513 women of the British Empire who lost their lives serving in the First World War. The existing 13th century window was restored and rededicated with funds raised by public appeal, and unveiled on 24 June 1925. Image: © John Scurr (WMR-30648), Imperial War…

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In search of Miss Lenton

(1. Suffragette, chained to railings.) What a feast of images and words today! As you know, I’m a writer with a background in archival research and women’s history, and today I’ve persuaded fellow writer, and friend of KDD, Michelle Payne, to share some of her own historical research about the British women’s suffrage movement. I’m…

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Omnia Feminae Aequissimae

You may remember that last year at KDD, we celebrated International Women’s Day by designing and knitting a commemorative blanket together with our good friend, Felicity Ford. Celebrating 30 diverse creative women, our blanket was created with the central aim of using our crafty skills to educate each other about the many different ways in…

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Jenny Jones

Over the years I’ve gathered a small collection of knitting ephemera. This includes a few different styles of the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century sticks, wisps and sheaths (used throughout Britain for supported knitting) and different kinds of representations–largely photographs or prints–of knitting all over Britain. Such representations do not afford some sort of transparent window onto…

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Helen Robertson

If you’ve read my introduction to The Book of Haps then you’ll already have come across Helen Robertson – a Shetland artist and craftswoman whose work I deeply admire. Working with silver wire and other precious materials, Helen has developed a uniquely thoughtful aesthetic which celebrates, commemorates and reflects upon Shetland’s history and heritage –…

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excellent women

Apart from marrying Tom, the other highlight of 2015 for me was the Seven Skeins Club, and the feedback we’ve since had from many members suggest that they really enjoyed it too. Through the club, I was able to launch our newly-developed yarn (a completely new venture for me), create a new book, and have…

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on woman’s hour!

(over the bridge to the BBC at Pacific Quay . . . ) I am about to take a much-needed break, but just had to pop in and tell you about my forthcoming interview for BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour. I’ve been listening to Woman’s Hour since I was a teenager, and the voices of…

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In the steps of Jane Gaugain

Wow, everyone! Thankyou so very much for your comments and emails in response to my last post. I’ve been really overwhelmed (and very moved) to read the diverse experiences of so many people who have knit that pattern, or had it knitted for them. Reading all your messages reminds me just how much I love…

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Brilliant women

Hello! I’m back again after a fantastic (and productive) couple of weeks research. I’ve had an amazing time in Sweden and Shetland, but what has really stood out to me about this past fortnight is the number of brilliant women whose company and conversation I’ve enjoyed. It has been a very long time since I’ve…

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A conversation with Hélène Magnusson

(Hélène, Hiking and Knitting between Fire and Ice, against the spectacular backdrop of Eyjafjallajökull.) When I visited Iceland I had the very great pleasure of finally meeting Hélène Magnusson, whose research and designs I have admired for many years. I visited Hélène in her lovely home in Reykjavik, where we drank tea, ate some delicious…

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