The Silence of Knitting

The Silence of Knitting took place on 11th Nov 2013 at 11am in a shelter overlooking the sea where on March 31st 1916 Zeppelin L16 crashed into the sea off, Kent. Simultaneously, others took part in Ticehurst, East Sussex, Liverpool, Newark, Nottinghamshire and Sydney, Australia, each responding to their own locations.

This performance and spoken word event was conceived in response to the silence perceived during war and conflict and formed part of a bigger project entitled Silent Cacophony that took place in London and beyond.

Click on each of the photographs below to see images and information about each individual Silence of Knitting event

About this project

Silence of Knitting: Margate               Photograph by Kim Conway

Silence of Knitting: Margate Photograph by Kim Conway 

 

Silence of Knitting: Ticehurst. Image by Richard Shipp

Silence of Knitting: Ticehurst. Photograph by Richard Shipp

Silence of Knitting: Newark.  Photograph courtesy of Elaine Winter

Silence of Knitting: Newark. Photograph courtesy of Elaine Winter

Silence of Knitting: Liverpool. Photograph courtesy of Liz Hide

Silence of Knitting: Liverpool. Photograph courtesy of Liz Hide

 

During both wars women assisted the war effort in numerous ways, one of these being knitting for the troops. During WW1 socks were particularly sought after and for a soldier to receive a new,dry pair was not only a welcome and comforting reminder of home but also essential to lessening the possibility of trench foot. War poets often mentioned knitting and one particular poet – Jesse Pope – often wrote about the silent messages that each stitch represented – of love and luck, a message to a son, husband, brother, fiancée. The silence of longing for their safe return knotted and weaved in every stitch, unseen and unspoken.

Amongst the archive of WW1 VAD Nurse Clarice Spratlingis a pattern for Shamrock Lace. The words representing each stitch, each thought, each message. We begin to knit:

Cast cast  cast cast cast cast cast

Knit knit make together together knit make  make knit knit

Knit knit knit purl knit knit purl knit knit

Knit knit make together together knit knit knit make make knit knit

Knit knit knit purl knit knit knit knit purl knit knit

Knit knit make together together knit knit knit make make knit knit knit knit

 Knit knit knit knit knit purl knit knit knit knit purl knit knit

Knit knit make together together knit knit knit knit knit knit knit knit knit

 Cast cast cast cast cast cast knit knit knit purl knit knit

 

The silence of this pattern made audible by the words, a cacophony in my head.

 

The Silence of Knitting was developed as part of Silent Cacophony that took place across London and beyond.

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