With the onset of winter I bet you’re all grateful for the knitters out there. Pulling on your jumpers, socks, scarves and gloves you’re blessing the skill behind the sticks aren’t you? Aren’t you? Well, you should be. These days knitting is theoretically regarded as a good skill to have, yet many (most recently Jane Garvey on Woman’s Hour who frankly should known better) still see it as still dominated by grannies. Well, those people should get themselves down to Bonington Gallery’s new exhibition Knitting Nottingham.
Staged to celebrate 170 years of education in knit at Nottingham Trent University and the massive role Nottingham played in the growth of the knitting industry, the exhibition displays the wide range of uses and appearances knitting can have in today’s world.
The exhibition concentrates on machine knitting, as well as the technology behind the machines. It talks about ‘cosy vs cool’ though I’m not sure there needs to be one or the other. But it’s part of the perception of knitting, that much is done by hand, and that it’s a bit naff. So despite wearing some hand-knitted garments that are anything but naff, I packed my sticks away for the afternoon and had a look at just what can be achieved with a machine made, finely woven, well draped material. There are bold, colourful, innovative designs, there are technological advances (check out the one-piece knitted upper developed for Nike) and there are demonstrations about re-purposing old garments to make new.
And if all that sounds boring then you just aren’t paying attention.
In short, knitting is bold, innovative, at the cutting edge of garment technology and damn funky too. We’ve been telling you for ages, but here’s actual scientific proof.
The Knitting Nottingham exhibition runs until 28 November at Bonington Gallery, Dryden Street, Nottingham
open from 10am-5pm. For more details have a look at the gallery website.