Knitting Preservation
Knitting Preservation

Almost 40 years since its launch, the Knitting & Crochet Guild has joined forces with KnitPro. We find out what it means for the future of a unique resource.

Judy Darley
Since 1990, the Knitting & Crochet Guild has been ardently gathering, documenting and preserving items relating to knitting and crochet in the UK. It’s an extraordinary resource, including some artefacts dating from before 1900.

“It is perhaps the largest collection of knitted and crocheted textiles and related material in the UK,” says Angharad Thomas, Textile Archivist at the Knitting & Crochet Guild (KCG) Collection. It’s even more impressive when you consider that everyone working for the Guild does so voluntarily. “Even the board members are unpaid,” Angharad says. “We do it for the love of knitting and crochet, and the traditions they uphold.” The charity launched in 1978 and have three pertinent aims which they continue to work towards: preservation, innovation and education. “The collection covers the preservation side, while exhibitions and workshops offer education, and innovation is covered through our work with young people, to equip the new generation with the skills to explore their own knitting and crochet interests and talents.”

The Guild currently has more than 800 members, who benefit from regular meetings, free pattern downloads from the archives, talks, workshops and a quarterly journal, Slipknot. “We hold ‘handling days’ when the extensive collection of knitted and crocheted items, tools and more, is open to the general public for a fee of £10, which goes towards the upkeep of the collection. The fee is waived for Guild members.”

BUILDING CONNECTIONS

The annual convention is a hotly anticipated event, with three days of workshops and a keynote speaker at dinner on the first night. "It's such a treat for most people to get together and think of nothing but their favourite craft for a whole weekend.” There’s always the chance, too, of patron Kaffe Fassett turning up. No wonder tickets sell out fast!

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September 2017