Centenary Stitches WW1 project focuses on the knitted and crocheted textiles created at home by women during WW1. This project evolved spontaneously out of a wider venture, ‘Tell Them of Us’, a community film based on the names on Thimbleby war memorial, being made to commemorate the outbreak of the First World War. The film’s costumier, Pauline Loven, felt that they would not accurately reflect the clothing of the period if they did not include a large proportion of hand-knits.
As there was neither knitting nor crochet expertise within the wardrobe team Pauline tweeted, speculatively, for a volunteer knitter.This was met with an extraordinary response and within a day she had over one hundred volunteers ranging from Orkney to Omaha!
A Facebook group was immediately created followed by a group on Ravelry so that they could co-ordinate and share their experiences, knowledge and skill. We also received wool donations from Rowan, Texere, Jamiesons of Shetland, Frangipani (aka Guernseywool.co.uk) Blacker, Kraemer and Swan’s Island. Original patterns were sourced from many places and some supplied by the Knitting and Crochet Guild. We now have more than 300 volunteers.
Here is an interview with some of the wonderful knitters who contributed to this project, recorded at the opening of the exhibition at The Collection, Lincoln in November 2014.
The Centenary Stitches exhibition was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund ‘First World War, Then and Now’ programme.