The Knitting Circle is the knitting activity that I run at the Keep & Share Knitting Tent each summer.
People drop in and knit for a while, with volunteers on hand to teach those who want to learn. All of the contributions add onto a communal knitted web, and I provide tags for people to write a comment and attach to the knitting. The comments include reflections on the experience of learning or remembering to knit, messages to other knitters, memories of knitting in the past and stories about memorable knitted items, plus many dedications to loved ones - often female family members who passed on their textile making skills.
I documented and analysed every single one of these comments for my PhD research, using them to deepen my understanding of the experience of making, and of wearing homemade clothes.
In 2014 I decided to combine the previous three years' Knitting Circle output into one great web, and used this web as foundation for the Knitting Circle at Latitude that summer. In preparation, we removed all of the tags and formed them into this new piece of work.
The Knitting Circle has always been an exploration of the experience of making, and of the conversations and thoughts that emerge from that process. By creating a piece from the tags alone, I am condensing these conversations into a concentrated burst of memories, messages and emotions.
It reminds us that the stories remain, even when the knitting is long gone.