Part 3, Project 4 (Time and place) – Exercise 2

Knitting patterns

Mind map of what knitting means to me and what I associate it with:


Contemporary and historical examples of where and how knitting or knitted items have been represented:

Magazine illustration, 1955 (colour litho), English School, (20th century) / Bridgeman

The knitting needle (chromolitho), French School, (19th century) / Bridgeman

Good Needlework and Knitting Magazine / Bridgeman

Trop c’est trop, 1975 / Bridgeman

The Knitting Lesson, published by Currier & Ives, 1868 (colour litho), American School, (19th century) / Bridgeman

Advertisement for ‘Robinson’s Patent Barley’, c.1910 (litho), English School, (20th century) / Bridgeman

Goodrich Road School: needlework, 1906 (b/w photo), English Photographer, (20th century) / Bridgeman

Visit of the Angel, from the right wing of the Buxtehude Altar, 1400-10 (tempera on panel), Master Bertram of Minden (c.1345-c.1415) / Bridgeman

‘You Can Help, American Red Cross’, 1st World War poster (colour litho), Benda, Wladislaw Theodore (1873-1948) / Bridgeman

French patriotic postcard depicting the role of women during the First World War 1914-18, 1915 (colour litho), French School, (20th century) / Bridgeman

The Knitting Lesson (oil on canvas), Dierckx, Pierre Jacques (1855-1947) / Bridgeman


After looking around at various examples of knitting, I feel that my initial mind map is not very far off from what I found. There were indeed countless historical paintings and illustrations of mothers, wives and grandmothers knitting together in groups, alone on cosy chairs, or teaching young girls, thus reinforcing the stereotype that knitting is a female activity.

I was very pleased, however, to find that there are contemporary uses for knitting, such as high fashion and art, that are giving it a new definition. I feel that these contemporary images of knitting are elevating it to a higher level of sophistication, showing that knitted items can look expensive, beautiful and elegant. In addition, I saw some websites (such as this one) that organise Men Only knitting groups; I feel this is a great step in breaking down the stereotypes so tied to this skill.

List of Illustrations

Figure 1. Sayeg, M. (2015) Yarn bombing [Photograph / TED talk video] At: (Accessed on 23 April 2017)

Figure 2. O’Brien, C. (n.d) British Wool Chair [Photograph] At: (Accessed on 23 April 2017)

Figure 3. (n.d) Boob Beanie [Photograph] At: (Accessed on 23 April 2017)

Figure 4. Emms, S / Lion Brand Yarn Studio (1918) Employees at the General Electric Company knit socks and scarves for WWI soldiers [Photograph] At: (Accessed on 23 April 2017)

Figure 5. The ugly Christmas sweater (2013) [Photograph] At: (Accessed on 23 April 2017)

Figure 6. Camille – Ta douleur (2008) [user-generated content online] Creat. emimusic. 3 April 2008. At: (Accessed on 23 April 2017)

Figure 7. NobleKnits (2017) 13 Easy Baby Knitting Projects [Photograph] At: (Accessed on 23 April 2017)

Figure 8. Van Blaaderen, N. (n.d) dense 5/9 [Photograph] At: (Accessed on 23 April 2017)

Figure 9. Mary Jane’s Tearoom (n.d) Little Yarn Dolls: Method 2 [Photograph] At: (Accessed on 23 April 2017)



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