Last night saw the 10 year anniversary party of Amy Twigger Holroyd’s Keep and Share at Prick Your Finger in Bethnal Green.
I’m a big fan of knitwear, (as are the moths that have invaded my house), and I’ve long harboured a romantic fantasy that one day I will do my late Grandma proud and learn how to knit properly beyond a slightly wonky scarf. It feels like the ultimate stereotype of a Grandmother is one that sits in an armchair with a cup of tea and a ball of beautiful yarn tap tapping away with the needles to produce a knitted gift whilst relaying stories of past. The reality for me is that those memories are real and as warm and homely as the purple knitted cardigan I still have in my wardrobe that my grandmother knitted me all those years ago. These items of knitted clothes lovingly made often outlive the maker and the emotional attachment and bond with said items is hard to break.
Amy Twigger Holroyd’s research and practices provide that same warmth of familiarity and slowness. From her exploration into versatile knitwear for ultimate satisfaction and longevity for the wearer, to her experimental hacking and remaking knitwear to challenge our thirsty desire for the new and to give longer life to our clothes. This is at the very core of our education programme. During Amy’s talk were stories and tales that for me, is what makes clothes special. Her interactive workshops at festivals are a knitted version of the game Consequences. To pick up the knitting needles and continue the work of someone else with a note of reflection from the previous maker, provides a deeper connection than buying ever could.
Confessions of an ex-textile student: ‘I wore a hat I made in textiles once and was socially shunned from there on after’ was one of the tales attached to the knitted ribbon of consequence revealing something of one of the makers. ‘I learnt there are no mistakes in the knitting tent’ said another. To see more tales visit Amy’s website here.
The talk and exhibition was a true celebration of Amy’s ‘Keep and Share‘ work, an inspiration for those with an interest in slow fashion, in sustainability, in the handmade and the art of knitting. The highlight was her ‘Backbone of Britain’ piece – an installation of acrylic jumpers her grandmother had made, a homage to all the grandmothers out there who have shared their stories and their creations to younger generations to Keep and Share.
The exhibition will be at Prick Your Finger, 260 Globe Road, E2 0JD until the end of September.