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A knitting and listening workshop with Felicity Ford AKA KNITSONIK
April 7, 2018 @ 10:30 am - 1:30 pm

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April 7, 2018
10:30 am - 1:30 pm
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The Museum of English Rural Life
The Museum of English Rural Life, Redlands Road
Reading, Berkshire RG1 5EX United Kingdom
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A hand-written object label for a sheep bell from Devon

What to expect: This workshop speaks to the sheep bells in the collection at the MERL. Participants will create a set of jingly stitch markers and knit a small sheep bell based on one from the collection. The stitch markers will be recorded in action, along with participants’ thoughts on sheep bells and knitting bells. A half-hour long podcast about (and including) the sounds of sheep bells will play during the workshop.

Skill level: participants must know how to follow a pattern and be comfortable with knitting in the round. This workshop is unsuitable for beginners.

Materials: 100% wool fingering-weight yarns will be supplied along with bamboo double-pointed needles; if you prefer to work with different yarns or needle types, please feel free to bring your own. Materials for making stitch markers and ringers for knitted bells will be supplied as part of the workshop.

Number of places: 8


This workshop and the other Knit a Song of… workshops have been devised by local knitwear designer and sound artist Felicity Ford. Come to all four, or just to one; in each session, you are warmly invited to explore the dual creative processes of knitting and listening that underpin Felicity’s KNITSONIK (knitting + sounds) practice. In each workshop, a specially selected yarn and a related set of sound recordings are used together. Small knitting projects materially engage with textiles produced by working agricultural landscapes, while sounds foreground the textures, animals, people and places that lie behind those textiles. Through interconnected practices of knitting and listening, objects from the MERL collection will be contemplated: sheep bells, shepherd smocks, Shetland knitting and UK silk production. Short recordings made at the end of each session will document thoughts and experiences so that the sounds of the knitters who participate in these workshops can be woven into a final sound piece, Knit A Song of Stitches.

The workshops and their accompanying audio are part of a larger endeavour by Felicity Ford entitled ‘Exploring Yarns and Sheep-Related Artefacts through Knitting and Sound’. This has been commissioned by the MERL for the project Making, Using and Enjoying: The Museum of the Intangible. The project is funded by the Arts Council England (ACE) Designation Development Fund.