Looking forward, looking back

Monday, December 31, 2012

Tomorrow is a big day. I'm going to start writing my PhD thesis, and I am aiming to finish by 1st July - giving me six months. Parts of the thesis are already written in draft, but there's lots of editing and reworking to do, as well as writing large swathes of it from scratch. Those will be the most fun, as they're based on the data from my research knitting workshops that I've been running since September.

To help give me a sense of progress as I write, I'm going to knit a cardi at the same time. Each section of the cardi will link to a chapter - so I'll be starting with the welt, aka the introduction! The cardi I'm knitting is testing/illustrating one of my re-knitting treatments: copy. I'm copying one of my very favourite cardis, a vintage handknit that I bought at the Rose Bowl flea market in Pasadena in 2005. It's a lovely shape - partly, I think, because it has no side seams. In preparation for knitting the cardi, I have copied the stitch pattern and knitted a number of samples to get the tension just right. I just need to wind my yarn (from cones into balls) and I'll be ready to start tomorrow.

Along with writing my thesis, I've got plenty of other exciting stuff planned for 2013 - mostly PhD-related. I'm organising an AHRC-funded skills development project on Creative Research Methods, in collaboration with David Gauntlett at University of Westminster. I'm giving papers at two conferences: Futurescan and Crafting the Future. And I'm writing a chapter for the Routledge Handbook of Sustainability and Fashion, edited by Kate Fletcher and Mathilda Tham.

In between all that, I'll be knitting orders, running workshops and blogging more often!

Looking back, 2012 has been a really good year. I've had work exhibited in WOW: Wonder of Wool and the Art of Knit and Stitch, and Made in the Middle, an exhibition of contemporary craft from across the Midlands. We had a successful summer tour with the Knitting Tent, I launched the new Keep & Share website (a long time in the planning), ran a great project with over-60s craft group Young at Heart with mac in Birmingham... and travelled across Europe by train to Moscow!