Knitting Heritage Museum Symposium Registration Opens This Week

Tonight I am struggling to finish up the online registration system we will be using to enroll folks in the Symposium: Knitting Heritage Museum: A Work in Progress! to be held Nov. 8-10, Madison, WI

Thanks goodness for our founding sponsor: The Yarn Group of TNNA, and our generous co-hosts, the Wisconsin Historical Society.

I am stoked! What a line-up to entice people to convene and begin the process of forming a museum to honor our knitting and crochet heritage, and laying the groundwork for the future. I created the image below to be the symposium’s banner.  I could have used objects already in a museum, but the copyright issues made using the heritage items  that I have been collecting the easier course.

[okay – so the red socks, truly a work in progress, are my original design: think heritage in waiting. . . ]

Sometimes you have to make your own history: A Child’s Sweater knit by a Danish Grandma in 1960, 1930’s hand knit lace doily from Germany, original design socks, and a touch of Tunisian Crochet, a new stitch created by Sheryl Thies

Are you interested in identifying, preserving or displaying knitted or crocheted objects?

Knitted and crocheted objects, works of the hand and heart, provide snapshots of the ethnic traditions and socioeconomic status of the maker and wearer. An infant’s christening gown celebrates an intergenerational milestone. An intricate Shetland shawl or Bohus sweater knit for hire illustrates the often unsung ways women supported their families when male incomes disappeared. A sock, knit during wartime, connects the maker at home to the warrior at the front.

These often humble and utilitarian items were worn, passed down from generation to generation and sometimes donated to a local or regional museum. Many museums have these items in their collections but are unsure how to preserve, categorize and display them.

Join us to explore:
•    Engaging a segment of the population not now actively being served.
•    Using the internet to build a dynamic relationship between museums and knitters around the world
•    Harnessing skilled expertise, not necessarily available from staff or consultants, to allow passionate practitioners to share their knowledge and so elevate the status and appreciation of knit and crochet.

Symposium attendees will:
•    View a special exhibit created by the curators of the Wisconsin Historic Society’s Textiles and Costume Collection and UW-Madison’s Helen Louise Allen Textile Collection.
•    Participate in interactive forums and discussion groups to develop a vision and collection scope for an initiative to preserve, document and share knitted and crocheted objects.
•    Hear speakers including Dr. Susan Strawn, author of Knitting America: A Glorious Heritage from Warm Socks to High Art, and Melissa Leventon, principal of Curatrix Group Museum Consultants and Appraisers; Consultant to the new Queen Sirikit Museum of Textiles in Bangkok (opened May 9, 2012).

Who Should Attend
•    Textile museum curators, textile researchers and students
•    State and local history professionals
•    Yarn industry professionals
•    Knitting and Crochet designers
•    Art patrons and collectors
•    Custodians of knitted or crocheted objects
•    Women’s Studies researchers
•    Passionate practitioners
And anyone who has ever thought that Knitting and Crochet deserved a museum, but didn’t know where to start.

Our registration page with Regonline will go live in the next 48 hours.  When it does, go to http://www.regonline.com/knittingheritagemuseumaworkinprogress to sign up to join us, for an historic kick-off for creating a place to Collect Preserve Research and Share Our Knitting and Crochet Heritage! I hope you’ll join us. There is much work to be done, and no time to waste!

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