Knit history

Knitting and Textile History

Knitter-in-Residence

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Knitter-in-Residence

We are seeking to appoint a knitter in residence at the University of Glasgow as part of the ‘Knitting in the Round Project’ located in the School of Humanities (History), College of Arts and supported by the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

Duration: Fixed term appointment – flexible hours in October 2014 (to include Wool Week, 6-12 October)
Fee: £1000 (pro rata and to include expenses for materials)

Background Knitting in the Round: Hand-Knitted Textiles and the Economies of Craft in Scotland
The Knitting in the Round project is a RSE network at the University of Glasgow, led by Professor Lynn Abrams and Dr Marina Moskowitz. The aim of the network is to develop collaborations between a range of sectors: business, heritage, education, tourism and culture and arts; and to explore how historical understandings of knit as an economic, creative and cultural practice inform modern and contemporary uses of this textile practice. Knit is the pin-up craft for sustainability, creativity and authenticity. Knitting in the Round is investigating the transformation from small-scale, home-based craft production to one of Scotland’s most identifiable brands and exploring the relationships that knit facilitates: between young and old, across continents, between practitioners and researchers, producers and consumers, in the Scottish and international context. Through a series of events combining practice and theory we will interrogate the meaning of knit in the present and the past. The result will be greater public understanding of the ways in which knit contributes to the Scottish economy, to health and wellbeing and to cultural enrichment.

Project Aims

  • To offer members of the University opportunities to engage with hand knitting and to better understand its significance in Scotland’s economy and culture
  • To generate awareness of knit as a skill and of the place of hand knit in Scotland’s heritage
  • To highlight the sustainability, creativity and authenticity of hand knit

Job Description

The Knitter in residence will spend time on the Gilmorehill site of the University of Glasgow with the prime aim of engaging members of the University (including students, support staff and academics) with hand knit. S/he will have access to most areas of the campus. The knitter in residence may work with one of the University collections in order to highlight the value of knit as a creative and sustainable craft; may develop a project in dialogue with one of the University’s areas of teaching and research, or may undertake work which will inform one of the project’s Community Engagement Events. The precise undertakings will be agreed between the successful applicant and the project leaders. At the end of the residence the knitter will write a short piece for the University Newsletter.

Person Specification The successful candidate will have:

  • experience of hand knit instruction or residency work
  • the ability to talk about and demonstrate their work to groups of various sizes and backgrounds
  • some experience of delivering workshops to community groups
  • Good communication skills
  • Excellent hand knitting skills

Terms and Conditions

The post will be based at the University of Glasgow

The fee for the residency will be paid on a pro-rata basis (hourly rate) depending on experience of the appointee

The hours and duration are to be determined on appointment but the residency must be in operation during Wool Week (6-12 October 2014)

There is no allowance for accommodation.

How to Apply

Please apply in writing by post or by email to:

Roslyn Chapman (Project administrator)
‘Knitting in the Round’ Project
School of Humanities
9 University Gardens
University of Glasgow
Glasgow G12 8QQ
R.chapman.1@research.gla.ac.uk

Closing date: 13 June 2014

Applications should include:

  • A CV (including any experience of community based work)
  • A letter of application (including a proposal for a project you might undertake during the residency)
  • A sample of your work (photographs or weblinks demonstrating your knitting expertise and, if appropriate, evidence of community engagement activity)

For further details of the project see here.

For more information contact Lynn Abrams Lynn.Abrams@Glasgow.ac.uk or Marina Moskowitz Marina.moskowitz@glasgow.ac.uk

31 Comments

  1. Catdownunder

    Wow, I wish I lived in Scotland – I’d apply in a heartbeat! What an opportunity!

    Reply
    • Mary Gordon

      just what I was going to ask! I can knit but most of my work is in crochet – its quicker – more transportable. I even do it at work!

      Reply
  2. Elizabeth Robertson

    This would be my ideal job as I love to knit and cochet as shown by my granny Masterson in Dublin as a child.

    Reply
  3. Dawn

    Fantastic that you are bringing wool crafts to the forefront however it’s disappointing to see only knitting represented.

    Reply
    • Marina

      Hello all! Thanks for you comments about crochet. We don’t mean to be discriminatory among the wonderful needle arts, but this particular project (and our grant funding!) focuses on knitting and its place in Scotland’s heritage and economy. We would be delighted if others pursue parallel projects for crochet or other textile-related crafts! (Or maybe we will eventually get around to it ourselves!)

      Reply
  4. Erica Akehurst

    Is there more of a focus on knitting ability or knitting history? I am from the US so I don’t know much about the Scottish history of knitting but I knit quite a lot.

    Reply
    • lynnabrams

      Ability and experience of community engagement Erica. Might be difficult if you are in the US. We really do need someone who can spend a significant amount of time here in Glasgow.

      Reply
  5. Emily Poleson

    I wish it were possible to come down from Shetland as I am interested in hearing about this opportunity. Though my work commitments and need for accommodation in Glasgow as well as the travel costs would realistically mean this would be enviable I anticipate, sadly from Shetland. However, I will tell some islanders friends who possibly may be keen! I have a blog on WordPress called Shetlandhandknitter where a small selection of my knitting can be viewed which is all knitted in the round traditional way with pure Shetland wool.

    Reply
    • lynnabrams

      do send it round the Shetland knit community Emily. And perhaps the idea of a knitter-in-residence will catch on?

      Reply
  6. Korie Beth Brown

    Are you looking for teachers? I have 27 years of teaching experience and 17 years of knitting experience.

    Reply
    • lynnabrams

      we are looking for someone who has experience working in a community context and with sufficient knit skills. The key thing is creativity, coming up with a project that will engage some part of the University.

      Reply
  7. Hazel Tindall

    I just heard about this (thanks to Emily); no mention in Shetland media. However the need to be temporarily based in Glasgow, and having to cover cost of accommodation travel etc, probably mean it is not an opportunity for people based in Shetland. I would be very interested in following the project.

    Reply
    • lynnabrams

      Do keep an eye on our blog then Hazel as we will be providing details there. Perhaps other organisations will copy our idea?
      Lynn

      Reply
  8. Elizabeth Johnston

    I did see this before now, but from where I am not sure. As Hazel says, travel and accommodation cost would be a problem for most from Shetland. I would have thought about it but I am fully committed here with Wool Week, and commissions. A brilliant project. I will follow your blog Lynn.

    Reply
    • lynnabrams

      To everyone from outside the UK who has enquired about this job, yes you are welcome to apply but please bear in mind that we cannot pay for your travel and accommodation costs and you would need to be in Glasgow for wool week as well as some preparation time beforehand. We are looking for someone who will spend some time with the university community over a period of time, developing a project that will culminate in wool week.

      Reply
  9. Cj Haviland

    I would love to be a part of this, but sadly I live in the states! Between running a knitting blog, and the fact that I started knitting to raise money for cancer research makes me feel like I could get a community together in a college setting. Also, I would love to work with the history department and do some research on Aran knitting, and possibly make an Aran sweater with all original cabling possibly designed by the community. To dream…

    Reply
  10. Linda

    I guess I should apply even though if I’m from mainland Europe. Most people around me think that knitting is something obsolete that only people with nothing better to do keep pursuing even though we have Modern Times when clothes are made by robots in Bangladesh (or some such). And when I’m a damn art historian and a damn aspiring designer, I can give it a try anyway.
    Off to write an application letter.

    Reply
  11. Colleen Anderson

    Like most avid knitters, I was taught by my granny, and kept the love of the skill. When I was little hand knits were worn for economy, and now that it has more recognition as a life skill I feel pride. I love knitting on four and five pins, doing trendy socks and gloves nowadays. I started up a Knit and Knatter group acwhile back and enjoy the exchange of skills. I will watch what happens with interest. Ayrshire based.

    Reply

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