One of the Guild’s key aims is to protect this heritage, and if you are a member of the guild, then you can see some of the most exciting treasures at one of their regular open days.
We were lucky enough to be invited to view some of the collection recently as part of a joint project we are working on. But more of that later. It was incredible to see the shelves of boxes full of patterns which have come from all over the world. Some of the vintage examples from the 1930s and 1940s were a real treat to look over – a snapshot of another time, with elegant styling and interesting stitch details.
The archive has many pieces of knitted and crocheted items including garments and accessories but also umbrellas, toys, blankets and many tea cosies! One particular box intrigued us. It contained an original Bohus jumper and hat and gloves set. Bohus designs are instantly recognisable with their exquisite colours and mixture of stocking and garter stitches. Most poignant was the crocheted tablecloth, made by a girl in 1915 to welcome her father home from the First World War – no one expected the war to go on as long as it did.
The collection has an example of every kind of knitting needle and crochet hook as well as glove blockers, ball winders and holders – everywhere you look there is an even more intriguing set of tools. Amanda Crawford, our Head of Design enjoyed the visit so much and definitely wants to go back soon: “The Archive is more comprehensive than I could have imagined and the volunteers that work here cataloguing and caring for it are amazingly knowledgeable.”
We have become quite passionate about the future of the Archive so we have come up with a design competition that we hope will support the work of the guild and the future of this national treasure.
Debbie Abrahams and Jane Crowfoot, both well known for their blanket designs, alongside Angharad Thomas from the archive and our Yarn Stories team will choose 10 squares as finalists in the competition. We will then throw the competition open to everyone to vote for their favourite before announcing the winner in September.
All the finalists’ squares will be turned in to a blanket pattern that will be available on the Yarn Stories website with 50% of the profit going directly to the guild for the maintenance of this incredibly precious archive.
So what are you waiting for? The competition is open to everyone around the world.
Simply design a knitted or crocheted square measuring 15cm in DK yarn taking inspiration from the images on our special Pinterest board. These images have all been taken from the Archive. It could be a cable in a jumper, the shape of a shawl or a sample of beading that gets your creative juices flowing.
Then all you need to do is send us your sample square to:
Yarn Stories/KCG competition, Spa Mill, New Street, Slaithwaite, Huddersfield, HD7 5BB
Or you can email a picture to firstname.lastname@example.org
The closing date for squares with a written pattern or chart is 12th June 2015
Joining the guild is a great way to get involved. You can find out more information and join here.