By Beth Casey, TNNA Yarn Group Chair
At the 2011 TNNA Winter Board Meeting in Long Beach, CA, we learned about a museum that was in the works dedicated solely to the arts of knitting and crochet. The Knitting Heritage Museum is lucky enough to have the driving force of TNNA Yarn Group member Karen Kendrick-Hands behind it.
Of course, having drive and having funds are two very different things. The Yarn Group of TNNA saw a huge opportunity here — we agree with Kendrick-Hands’ estimation that existing museums don't give knitting and crochet the care they are due. It's time for us to have a museum of our own, so we voted to provide significant funding for this project.
The months have flown by, and it’s been recently announced that the museum project will officially kick off with a symposium in Madison, WI, Nov. 8-10. Titled "Knitting Heritage Museum: A Work in Progress," the event will be co-hosted by the Wisconsin Historical Society.
As Kendrick-Hands says in her official press release, "This symposium is intended for textile curators, conservators and collectors, educators, designers, industry representatives, passionate practitioners, and anyone who has ever thought that knitting and crochet deserved a museum, but didn’t know where to start."
- Susan Strawn, author of Knitting America: A Glorious Heritage from Warm Socks to High Art
- Melissa Leventon, principal of Curatrix Group Museum Consultants and Appraisers, and Consultant to the new Queen Sirikit Museum of Textiles in Bangkok
- Trisha Malcolm, vice president and editorial director of Vogue Knitting [invited]
- Jack Blumenthal, vice president of Lion Brand Yarn
Highlights include the opening of a "Curators' Choice" exhibit of historic knitted and crocheted objects at the Wisconsin Historical Society, created in honor of the symposium, and a closing book signing with knit and crochet authors and designers.
Early registration for the symposium closes Sept. 5, 2012, after which date full registration is $195. Learn more at Regonline.com/knittingheritagemuseumaworkinprogress.
Kendrick-Hands is also always looking for volunteers for both the symposium and beyond, so please email her at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested.
We often become so enchanted with the newest yarns and patterns that it’s easy to forget the history behind them. But when we do get the chance to go back and look on the past, it seems to make us appreciate where we are today that much more. On behalf of the Yarn Group, I am thrilled to be a part of this project, and can’t wait to see it become more formally realized in the coming months.
Learn more about the museum through these online links: