The Case for Establishing a Knitting and Crochet Museum

The Vision:

  • Raising the status of knitting and crochet
  • Enhancing the visibility of the art form
  • Making knitting more attractive and relevant to current and future generations
  • Creating a space dedicated to knitting scholarship and public education.
  • In sum, we want to preserve, promote and help knitting and crochet continue to evolve.


  • To preserve and promote the wonders of the works of our hands: past, present and future
  • To restore the status of knitting and crochet to its historic levels.
  • To increase access to and the accuracy of its documentation in history, costume and textile collections.
  • To create a home for the source materials of the America’s knitting superstars, as well as exemplars from all the ethnic groups who brought their fiber traditions to America with them.
  • To foster the continued development, exploration of, and experimentation with, knitting and crochet as an expressive art form so that they remain relevant and vital elements for future artists and crafters.


  • To collect, preserve, document and share knitted and crocheted objects and related study materials.
  • To provide academic research resources and internship opportunities
  • To create display space for both permanent and traveling exhibits, as well as a home for the collections and papers of leading designers,
  • To host workshops and classes and the social interaction that promotes creativity and the expansion of our art.


  • Sadly, beautiful exemplars of vintage and historic knitting and crochet are being lost every day, as attics and trunks are “cleaned out.”
  • Existing institutions are not meeting the needs of our knitting and crochet community for access, accuracy and inspiration.
  • Whether as part of general collections held by historic museums, or more specialized costume and textile collections, knitted and crochet objects seldom get first billing.
  • Documentation of the few knitted and crochet objects in these collections can be incomplete or inaccurate.
  • Articles are seldom available for study, or exhibited to the general public.

Recent Developments
An Ad Hoc Exploratory Team of knitters nationwide is discussing forming an American institute/ museum to serve the goals and objectives outlined above.

With the support of the Wisconsin Historical Society, Dr. Ellsworth Brown, Director, we are planning a one-day symposium Spring 2012 in Madison, WI, to explore the concept, and determine next steps.

On June 8- I located the collection of Mary Walker Phillips, safely with her family.  I can say the Knitting Heritage Museum was born June 12, 2011 when TNNA’s  Yarn Group, the committee that supports knitting and crochet,  voted to give the symposium effort $5000, $2000 more than my request.
Jim Bryson, one of the Yarn Group leaders, created an endowment fund for the Museum, in memory of Bev Galaskes.

AMAZING how far we have come since April 29. There is so much more to do. For more info, contact cityknitsdiva or Knitheritagemuseum at gmail dot com