Am I the last person to learn that the V&A Museum’s website has an entire section on knitting? I suspect yes, considering I found the work of several familiar names (including some of the bloggers on my own blogroll) when I was going through the “share your own work/story” sections. I’m particularly abashed at not knowing this, considering I’m a web programmer with an art institution in Los Angeles. D’oh!
Fortunately, one of my own colleagues set me straight this afternoon, and I spent awhile (i.e. probably more time than I should have) going through all the sparkly, shiny pictures and information. I mean, seriously, check out some of their subsections:
- Knitting Items from the Collections
Knitted items that have survived hundreds of years–how freaking cool is that? Just imagine something from your own stash of completed projects surviving that long and being preserved in a museum.
- Share your Knitting
An excellent tool for sharing your own work and having it displayed on a museum’s website–good idea on their part!
- Your Stories of Learning to Knit
Another excellent idea from the V&A staff, helping to build community, and creating a living history of today’s knitters.
- Regional Knitting in the British Isles & Ireland
I admit, I skimmed a lot of this. History has never been my strong suit (unless it involved battles and tragic dramas where people had names like Perikles and places had names like Peloponnese).
- Knitting Designers
Blah blah blah, art and color and design. But, check out Freddie Robins’ website (go read his Q&A to get the URL, I’m not gonna give it away) to see his knitted houses. Yeah, ok, they’re houses where women have committed murder (odd topic, that), but it made me wonder how hard it would be to craft my own pattern based on my grandparents’ home, where my mother grew up. Probably too hard, but man, how sweet that would be!
- Knit a Work of Art
This is a free pattern for one of Freddie Robins’ pieces.
- 1940s Patterns to Knit
Just what it says–I’m particulary enamored of the lion and the tiger, but then, I’m just a kid at heart anyway.
- Knitting Patterns for Children
So cute! Includes the cover of an old-fashioned knitting primer for children, a darling poem from the book, and three patterns for items for a doll.
And there’s more than that, even–lots of reference materials, bibliographies, links, etc. If you have a couple of hours to kill, it’s a wonderful site to soak up the history of our chosen craft, and maybe find some inspiration for your next project.