Units of Possibility: The Reknit Revolution

Rugby Art Gallery & Museum, 24 June–2 September 2017 / The Knitting & Stitching Show London, 11–15 October 2017 / The Knitting & Stitching Show Harrogate, 23–26 November 2017

Find out more about reknitting and the exhibition at reknitrevolution.org

    

Through the exhibition, I aim to share and promote techniques for reknitting: using knitting skills and knowledge to repair and rework existing items of knitwear. Ultimately, I aim to encourage knitters to see the pieces in their wardrobes as ripe for reinvention.

New work includes a large-scale diagram showcasing a comprehensive range of ‘treatments’ that could be used to transform an existing item of knitwear. These processes draw on instructions and examples from the past but also inventively respond to the mass-produced items in our wardrobes today. Each treatment is highly flexible in terms of scale, aesthetic and finish. 

A film, created in collaboration with filmmaker Jonathan Hamilton, communicates the intricacies of the reknitting process and the tacit knowledge involved. A series of works created by local knitters provide evidence of the accessibility and versatility of the techniques, while instructional materials support knitters inspired to have a go themselves.

The exhibition will also see the unveiling of Cathedral Cardigans, a series of five reknitted cast-offs that interpret the construction details of gothic cathedrals in diverse ways. For me, these architectural icons share ornamental flourishes with traditional crochet and knitting. The buildings also offer great inspiration in terms of remaking, with physical breakdown and the whims of fashion having created patchworks of repair, rebuilding and extension.