Archive for the ‘Knitwear’ Category

Image courtesy University of Southampton Library

Image courtesy University of Southampton Library

A small selection of menswear knitting patterns, copyright cleared with the yarn company Sirdar, from the Knitting Reference Library are now available via a link on our website at http://www.soton.ac.uk/intheloop
The patterns are all from the Richard Rutt Collection which is especially strong on menswear. I have included a few of my favourites all images Courtesy of the University of Southampton Library.

This has been a “pilot-project” to explore digitising a selection of the knitting patterns. Sirdar have been very supportive in allowing us to digitise the covers which will help us profile and promote the collection as both a research and educational resource.

The project has been quite complex involving much investigation and research into company histories, cataloguing and indexing, and copyright clearance for open access licences. This has all been quite complicated in relation to making the patterns digitally available. The primary intention is to improve access and profile the collection around different themes starting with menswear.

Users need to remember that knitting patterns are an important aspect of a company’s archive and heritage so having permission regarding copyright clearance has been a key factor for us as an institution.

Here are just a few of my personal favourites which reveal the interesting imagery of knitting patterns. In my view they are an aspect of our national heritage, relating not only to knitting but also to business and textile history, the aspirations of knitters through the 20th century and how knitting patterns relate to fashion and everyday clothing.

Our collection commences around the 1920s through the decades of the twentieth century into the present day. It includes menswear, womenswear and childrenswear, the knitting campaigns of World War 1 and World War 11, knitting for the home, patterns for dolls clothes and novelties.



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With thanks to the Knitmas Party students Lucy, Mikey, Lora & Alex

Lucy 2MikeyLora2Alex

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With thanks to Sarah, Caroline and Anne

Sarah Elwick


CarolineAnne 2

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Marie 3

The first group of my daily knits spotted at Winchester School of Art in winter 2012 leading up to Christmas. Lots of style and variety, male and female, students and staff, hand knits, car boot finds and originals. Who says knitting’s boring and beige? Here at the Knitting Reference Library we know it’s warm, colourful, interesting, eclectic and stylish. The daily knits include Marie Wallin, Head Designer at Rowan, who was visiting to work with the knitwear students.

With thanks to Maija, Andy, Kjetil and Marie

lMaijaAndyKjetil Berge 1

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