Reflecting on Sojourner Truth in Honor of Black History Month 2021:
Suzann Thompson, CKC’s Social Media Coordinator, often shares objects and images from CKC’s Library and Museum Collections, that highlight the lives and achievements of Black makers. Some of these archival treasures, like the one above, are well known; others uncover individuals and events that will help us document the intertwined histories of Black people and handwork more fully. They all bear renewed attention during this time of reckoning.
While looking through CKC’s social media archives for some examples to share with you, I found this “carte de visite” portrait of Sojourner Truth, a former slave turned abolitionist, evangelist, and women’s rights activist, which Suzann had posted on Twitter in 2019. Researching this portrait, the original of which is housed in the New York Public Library, and three similar ones at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American Art and Culture, The Library Company of Philadelphia, and the Bentley Historical Library at the University of Michigan reacquainted me with Sojourner Truth’s inspiring life story, led me on a journey of discovery about why she is shown knitting in all of these photos. Please join me by reading more about this portrait in my new Blog post.
You may recall that any of the historical photos you see in our social media feed come to CKC from the Digital Public Library of America, https://dp.la/, which offers access to objects and archival materials freely shared by hundreds of participating US cultural organizations – libraries, museums, historic houses, and archives. At CKC, we run and periodically update a customized search that pulls all the items related to knitting and crochet from DPLA’s much larger database, and host them in CKC’s Library and Museum Collections where it is easy for you to access them for research and enjoyment, and to communicate with the original collections where these items are housed. Click on any image in CKC’s archive to be taken to the original collection and object record.
CKC Board and Member News
Opportunity to Serve on Center for Knit and Crochet’s Board
Would you like to help us move the CKC forward and get to know a dynamic group of fiber enthusiasts along the way? We have an opening on the CKC’s Board of Directors. Please consider whether you or someone you know can help CKC realize its mission by serving on our Board. We are currently in need of directors who can work in the areas of fundraising/development and membership but we welcome all other applicable experience and talents.
Our nine-member Board meets at least once each month via conference call. Time devoted to the CKC will vary depending upon whether the director also serves as an officer, leads or supports specific projects, or performs other services for the CKC. We hope that new directors will be willing to contribute actively to CKC’s growth and development. CKC director terms are three years and begin immediately upon election to the board at the Annual Meeting on May 5, 2021.
If you are interested in CKC Board service or have any questions about it, please contact CKC’s Nominating Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please also share this opening with anyone you think might be interested. Potential nominees are invited to submit a letter of interest, with a resume or summary of pertinent experience. We hope to hear from you by no later than March 15, 2021.
Knitting and Crochet in the News …
- The Danish chef-turned-crochet designer you need to know now. Crochet seems to be having a moment, particularly as a hand craft that still hasn’t been automated.
- Spring trends: Crocheted net bags and bucket hats.
- Find over 19,000 patterns for crocheted bags of every type imaginable on Ravelry: https://ravel.me/f8jnwq
- Ella Emhoff, Vice President Kamala Harris’s step-daughter, makes all kinds of waves in knit and crochet.
- The Art of the Reverse Knit. It might just be that after a year stuck at home, people are more willing to try to DIY anything.
Looking Ahead…to March
In Bulgaria, spring is welcomed in the month of March by wearing Martenitsi. A Martenitsa is an ornament made of red and white yarn that is worn from March 1 until the wearer first sees a sign of spring, such as a blooming tree.
- Make a Martenitsa inspired bracelet with this free pattern by “Pingo the Pink Penguin” on Ravelry: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/martenitsa-bracelet
- Watch a YouTube video by “Be Kind” on how to make Martenitsa dolls: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eNhBtO3-VX0
March is Criminal Justice Month, and we want to bring attention to knitting or crochet programs in prisons.
- Can you tell us about any such knitting/crochet programs that you know of?
- Have you taught knitting or crochet to people in prison or jail?
- If you have donated yarn to such programs, why, and which jails or prisons have you donated to?
Please reach out to Suzann Thompson with your stories and information, at email@example.com.
Show & Share
Have you considered adding photos of people to CKC’s Crowdsourced Collection? Sure, we love to have pictures of knitted and crocheted items, but pictures of people knitting or wearing crocheted items are part of our needlework history, too. When you write the history behind a photo, cover the five Ws: who, what, when, where, and why.
- A family gathering with a handmade afghan draped across the back of the sofa—who is in the picture, what and when is the occasion, and who made the afghan?
- Friends crocheting together at a coffee shop—who are the people, how did they meet, is this a regular meeting, when and where was the photo taken?
- A baby wearing a knitted layette—who is the baby, when was the photo taken, who knitted the garments and accessories, how are the baby and knitter related?
Contact us at collections@centerforknitandcrochet if you have questions or need assistance.
Your voice matters!
All CKC Members are welcome and encouraged to contribute to this publication. Our hope is that it will help us get to know each other and build a more vibrant community. All issues will be archived after 3 months on our website to make them easily accessible to CKC Members, followers, and the public.
Please email your inquiries, ideas and stories to firstname.lastname@example.org. We hope to hear from you.
Contributors to this issue:
Marilyn Huset, Callie Lasch, Rebecca Keyel, Ann Lies, Jennifer Lindsay, Suzann Thompson.