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Making love with needles: knitted objects as signs of love?

Making love with needles: knitted objects as signs of love?
Making love with needles: knitted objects as signs of love?
This article investigates the relationship between people and their things when the consumer or owner is also, potentially, the maker. By analyzing the ways in which people construct personal narratives and/or identities through the construction of specific items intended for themselves or others, this article aims to uncover intimate forms of object relations. Knitting is a relatively simple activity and is frequently done by hand. Stigmatized as old-fashioned, ugly, thrifty, domestic, and inherently feminine, both knitting and the objects resulting from its practice seemingly occupy a space that is neither craft nor design, yet the practice of knitting remains widespread and its objects, coveted, loved, accepted, rejected, and so on, as any object would be. Knitting has historically been associated with both familial and romantic love: of time spent thinking of someone whilst making, with the made object an expression of the sacrifice of time, of thoughtfulness, and the embodiment of feminine “virtues” of caring and nurturing. Equally, one can see the knitted object, when it is a garment or a toy, as close to the body, touching and being touched by the body, further extending its potential for intimacy. Yet, the communication of these values are only recognized if the object is received and used as the maker intended, and this article aims to highlight, through example, the ways in which such objects do not solely represent “love,” but also signify possessiveness, control, and domination. Referencing literature, magazine articles, objects, and makers’ testimony, this article utilizes a design history and material culture methodology, which enables the discussion of both object and practice, as well as creating a model from which the object's biography can be evaluated.
1475-9756
302-311
Turney, Joanne
7693d7d8-fa70-42ef-bd6e-a7fd02d272ab
Turney, Joanne
7693d7d8-fa70-42ef-bd6e-a7fd02d272ab

Turney, Joanne (2012) Making love with needles: knitted objects as signs of love? Textile: The Journal of Cloth and Culture, 10 (3), 302-311. (doi:10.2752/175183512X13505526963949).

Record type: Article

Abstract

This article investigates the relationship between people and their things when the consumer or owner is also, potentially, the maker. By analyzing the ways in which people construct personal narratives and/or identities through the construction of specific items intended for themselves or others, this article aims to uncover intimate forms of object relations. Knitting is a relatively simple activity and is frequently done by hand. Stigmatized as old-fashioned, ugly, thrifty, domestic, and inherently feminine, both knitting and the objects resulting from its practice seemingly occupy a space that is neither craft nor design, yet the practice of knitting remains widespread and its objects, coveted, loved, accepted, rejected, and so on, as any object would be. Knitting has historically been associated with both familial and romantic love: of time spent thinking of someone whilst making, with the made object an expression of the sacrifice of time, of thoughtfulness, and the embodiment of feminine “virtues” of caring and nurturing. Equally, one can see the knitted object, when it is a garment or a toy, as close to the body, touching and being touched by the body, further extending its potential for intimacy. Yet, the communication of these values are only recognized if the object is received and used as the maker intended, and this article aims to highlight, through example, the ways in which such objects do not solely represent “love,” but also signify possessiveness, control, and domination. Referencing literature, magazine articles, objects, and makers’ testimony, this article utilizes a design history and material culture methodology, which enables the discussion of both object and practice, as well as creating a model from which the object's biography can be evaluated.

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More information

Published date: 2012
Organisations: Winchester School of Art

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 404471
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/404471
ISSN: 1475-9756
PURE UUID: bb7fadc8-9fa6-47ac-a882-d7d238403203

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 09 Jan 2017 14:54
Last modified: 15 Jul 2019 19:46

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