|Vintage gloves from the collection of the Knitting & Crochet Guild (United Kingdom).|
Brought to the symposium by Angharad Thomas, Textiles Archivist.
More pictures of vintage objects can be found on the Atlanta Knitting Guild blog.
The symposium consisted of several presentations. On Thursday evening, Dr. Susan Strawn helped the group consider how the image of knitting has changed over time. I had no idea that knitting during World War I was important and that the size of your knitting bag was seen as a measure of your patriotism! Perri Klass, author of Two Sweaters for My Father, happened to drop in for the lecture. She was in town for a pediatric conference and someone had told her about the symposium.
On Saturday morning, attendees enjoyed several presentations that covered basic museum principles -- how to start a museum, pitfalls to avoid, cataloging a collection, and culminating in a panel discussion of why our knit and crochet heritage matters. Speakers on the panel discussion included Karen Kendrick-Hands, Jack Blumenthal, Dr. Susan Strawn, Melissa Leventon, and Trisha Malcolm.
|Wall of post-it notes used to organize the ideas of 50 people.|
In the afternoon, many people attended the Wisconsin Book Festival where we had the opportunity to purchase books and then have them autographed. I schlepped my copy of Principles of Knitting all the way to Madison to have June Hemmons Hiatt autograph it. I also purchased Beverly Gordon's Textiles: The Whole Story. Dr. Gordon is a delightful lady and I look forward to expanding my understanding of textile history.
So, what happens next? There is still a lot of information to consider. While the board moves forward with the nuts and bolts of establishing an entity, there will be many people behind the scenes working on other aspects. The CKC will want to start small and grow in a sustainable manner. Some of the issues are very basic: How will we communicate within our group? How will we all stay informed? How often? Will we need to meet in person again? When? Many issues are practical: How will objects be cataloged? What terms should be used to describe knit and crochet objects? What resources will the museum need to develop to support scholarship? What will the museum be able to do while it is small? Should it make permanent acquisitions? If yes, when and what criteria? While those issues are being considered and plans are being made, the Center for Knit and Crochet will be gestating. Like any expectant parents, we have many hopes and dreams for the new museum, as we wait for a "birth" in 2013.