Conference 2022 – Registration and Programme

Creativity, Authenticity and Sustainability in Knitted Textiles

Thursday 8th to Friday 9th September, University of Glasgow

This conference brings together academics and creatives to present and discuss historical and contemporary knitwear processes and practices.

We have 2 fabulous keynote speakers:

Stana Nenadic, Professor of Social and Cultural History, University of Edinburgh (Thursday 8th September)

Natalie Warner, Designer/Teacher/Writer (Friday 9th September)

Running in tandem with the conference will be a markethall offering yarns, knitted accessories, knitting kits, hand dyed yarns, and knitting sundries.

All are welcome!

Hybrid Event – Free Registration

To register for in-person participation, please follow this link.

To register for online participation, please follow this link.

Conference Programme

Please be aware, this programme may be subject to last minute change.

The full Conference Programme, which will only be available digitally and for download, is available here.

The conference organisers will endeavour to make attendees aware of any changes to panels and/or programme running order. Please check here for updates.

Day 1

09.00 – 09.15 Welcome and Introduction

09.15 – 10.55 Panel 1: Business, Production and Retail

“Some person possessed of an enterprising spirit”: James Porteous & Co. and the rise and fall of Clackmannanshire wool manufacture 1854-1963
(Alison Mayne, Researcher)

Knitting a New Future: Patterns and design embracing nature, indigenous breeds and artisanal processed yarns
(Tone Skårdal Tobiasson – Journalist and Author; Ingun Grimstad Klepp – Professor in Clothing and Sustainability, Oslo Metropolitan University; and Hanne Torjusen – Researcher, Oslo Metropolitan University)

Twomax: A Glasgow knitwear company
(Isabella Wagner, Post-Graduate Student, University of Glasgow)

On the Beach or on Bond Street: Knitwear and early wholesale couture 1920-1935
(Liz Tregenza, Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, Victoria and Albert Museum)

10.55 – 11.15Break

11.15 – 12.30Panel 2: Heritage

Icelandic Lopapeysa, A Protected Designation of Origin
(Ásdís Jóelsdóttir, University of Iceland)

Developing a Brand Identity for an Irish Knitwear SME
(Alison Gault, Belfast School of Art)

Where are the Lace Knitters: A comparative study on heritage lace-knitting in education system in contemporary Shetland and Haapsalu
(Sophie/Qiaoyun Peng, Doctoral Candidate, University of Glasgow)

12.30 – 13.30Lunch

13.30 – 14.15Keynote – Stana Nenadic

Knitting in the Landscape: Tourists and traveller accounts in image and text

Knitters, female and occasionally male, in ‘traditional’ or national costume set against rural backgrounds (real and contrived) featured in tourist and traveller accounts from the early nineteenth century to the interwar years, in Britain and Europe. They were described in text and painted or photographed for published guides, antiquarian accounts and tourist postcards. They also featured in the working craft displays and peasant villages that were mounted at international exhibitions. This paper offers a survey of some of the key moments in the cultural representation of knitters within idealised rural landscapes. It seeks to explain the interest in these craftworkers as complex and shifting embodied ideals of simplicity, gender, eroticism, handwork and community framed by landscapes of nostalgia and escape.


Stana Nenadic is Professor of Social and Cultural History at the University of Edinburgh.  Her latest book is Craftworkers in Nineteenth Century Scotland: Making and Adapting in an Industrial Age (EUP, 2021) and she is editor of vol 5, ‘Craft in the Age of Industry’ for the Bloomsbury Cultural History of Craft series, due in 2023/4.  SN is Director of the Pasold Research Fund for the History of Textiles, Dress and Fashion and currently holds a Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship, 2020-22, for a project titled ‘The Business of Art in Scotland, 1700-1900’ (which is the title of her next book).

14.15 – 15.30 Panel 3: Wool, Landscape and Sustainability

100% Wool – PLEED’s Campaign for the Reappraisal of Local Wool
(Gieneke Arnolli and Johanna Van Benthem, Pleed)

The Sheep Saver: A transatlantic yarn creation story
(Nora Howley, Educator and Researcher)

‘Irish wool’s too hard’?: The influence of place-based knitting cultures on sheep rearing and wool production in Ireland and Shetland
(Siun Carden, Research Fellow, University of the Highlands and Islands)

15.30 – 15.50Break

15.50 – 17.30Panel 4: Curation and Collections

The Collection of the Knitting & Crochet Guild: Authentic, but how sustainable?
(Angharad Thomas, Designer/Maker and Researcher)

Eagles, Lions, Bears and a Coats of Arms – a knitted carpet from 1768
(Adelheid Rasche, Germanisches National Museum Germany)

Knitting London: Forming narratives of city knitting through the Museum of London collections
(Lucie Whitmore, Museum of London)

A Survey of the Heritage and Tradition of Knitting in Botswana: Local, Regional and Global Influences
(Winani Thebele, Botswana National Museum)

Day 2

09.00 – 09.15 Welcome

09.15 – 10.55 Panel 1: Design and Creativity

Teaching Contemporary Knitwear to Undergraduates
(Buddy Penfold, De Montfort University)

Foy & Gibson: The search for Australian style
(Lorinda Cramer, Redmond Barry Fellow at the State Library of Victoria)

Attention to Details: Rejuvenating knitwear using industrial trimming methods
(Claire Adholla and Martha Glazzard, University of Dundee)

An Investigation into the Aesthetic Bonds that Underline the Design Qualities of Fair Isle and Shetland Tweed.
(Sara Dearlove, University of the Highlands and Islands)

10.55 – 11.40Break (extended due to shorter Panel 2)

11.40 – 12.30Panel 2: Learning and Teaching Craft

[Unfortunately, Valerie Wilson has had to withdraw from the panel]

Yarn Over?
(Margaret Sutherland, University of Glasgow: and Catherine Reid, Doctoral Candidate, University of Glasgow)

Knitting Without Mother: Learning, Re-learning, and Moving On
(Anna Konig, Arts University Bournemouth)

12.30 – 13.30Lunch

13.30 – 14.15Keynote – Natalie Warner

Creative and Community Practices 

This paper explores the evolving economic relationship between small businesses and the crafting communities they serve.  It is partly a follow-on from the author’s From Needle to Needle series, particularly the final two posts, ‘Economies of Knitting Pattern Production’ and ‘Towards a Caring Economy of Knitting’, and partly a discussion of the ways in which value propositions are changing.  Examples will be drawn from independent sewing and knitting pattern designers, and opportunities for problem solving and future directions will be highlighted. 


Natalie Warner is a knitwear designer and fashion lecturer specialising in garment construction and pattern cutting.  Through her writing, she explores how local and personal spaces can be sources of emotional nourishment and wellbeing; how the clothes we wear and spaces we inhabit support and root us.  Natalie posts updates from her garden on Instagram on her dedicated account, @_nataliebynature, and you can keep up with her knitwear designs @natalieinstitches

14.15 – 15.30 Panel 3: Loops, Needles and Knitters

Scottish Knitting and Other Ways to Pull Loops Through Loops
(Cary Karp, Museologist)

Identifying Loops and Other Ingredients in the Early Archaeological Evidence for Knitting
(Jane Malcom-Davies, University of Copenhagen)

Identifying the Ingredients for Knitted Items in 16th century English Sources
(Lesley O’Connell Edwards, Independent Scholar)

15.30 – 15.50Break

15.50 – 17.30Panel 4: Expression and Well-Being

Knitwits: Knitting the Bluestockings
(Nicole Pohl, Oxford Brookes University)

Knitting for Margaret Klein: Design, Creativity and Two Armies of Homeworkers
(Freya Bently, University of Glasgow graduate)

Knitwell: The importance of colour choice when recording emotions through creative, open-ended knitting practice
(Emily Joy Rickard, Doctoral Candidate, Nottingham Trent University)

Material Meaning and Making: Amateur knitting in Everyday Lives
(Susan Jones, University of Nottingham)

17.30 – 17.45Closing Remarks