University showcases 100 years of knitting

University showcases 100 years of knitting

Knitting enthusiasts may want to get themselves to Southampton over the coming days in order to check out a fascinating exhibition showcasing 100 years of the craft.

The city's university has put an array of items on display at the Special Collections Gallery within the Hartley Library, dating from 1914 right the way up until this year, Bitterne Park Info reports.

There is everything from woolly garments and knitting patterns to pamphlets, posters and magazines, offering a fascinating glimpse into this country's social history.

As you walk through, you'll be able to see how knitting was a utility hobby in the early part of last century, something that became especially apparent during the First World War. Indeed, citizens keen to do their bit were recruited to knit all kinds of things, including balaclavas and even bandages from patterns issued by a desperate Red Cross.

This continued in the Second World War, when troops received regular woolly packages from home and children were tasked with knitting shawls for use in air raid shelters across the country.

Once war and rationing were over and Britain moved into the sixties and beyond, the exhibition shows how there was an "explosion of fashion and style", explained curator Linda Newington.

This is the stage of the show in which visitors can take a look at a pattern for the iconic Starsky and Hutch jacket too, in case you're in need of a cool project this spring.

Finally, at the end of the walk-through is a showcase of projects by students of fashion design to bring the history up to date - this includes a sweater by Lucy Jones that was completed for Rowan last year.

You can catch the event until April 4th, so be quick if you want to go and check it out. It could certainly give you plenty of inspiration to pick up your needles and colourful yarn and see if you can create something that captures the Zeitgeist.

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