School of Education

Knitting and everyday meaning-making

This new article from Dr Susan Jones has been published in Textile: Cloth and CultureDr Jones is an Associate Professor in English Education and a member of the Centre for Research in Arts, Creativity and Literacy.


Knitting has long established meanings in everyday life. As popular and academic interest in yarncraft has surged, these meanings are being re-made. Recent times have also seen a proliferation of ways to make and share meanings, and recognition of the interaction of modes and materials, and affective and aesthetic engagements involved. This article draws on interdisciplinary approaches to meaning-making to present three strands, each offering a different way of looking at the relationship between knitting and meaning-making in contemporary everyday lives. The first explores the deep-rooted connections between knitting and meaning-making activities conventionally understood as literacy. The second strand draws on Ingold’s taxonomy of lines to explore knitting as correspondence between maker and the material world. The third draws on Saito’s work on everyday aesthetics to examine how long-established meanings of knitting, in particular its associations with the “ordinary,” are entwined with newer meanings across the private and public faces of contemporary knitting practice. Entwined together, these strands demonstrate that knitting is a powerful metaphor for exploring everyday meaning-making. In addition, and significant to the recognition of previously undervalued voices and experiences, this also (re)opens ways of understanding the value of knitting as a meaning-making practice in its own right.

Visit the publisher's website to read the article

Posted on Tuesday 2nd August 2022

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