School of Education

Making time: Knitting as temporal-material entanglement

This article is written by Dr Susan Jones and published in the Journal of Material Culture. It is based on research from the Leverhulme Trust funded project - Crafting Literacy: Amateur Fibre Craft and Everyday Meaning-Making, which ran in 2021/22.


This article presents data from interviews with amateur knitters to explore the temporal-material entanglements which constitute meaning-making in everyday life, and the potential of thinking with knitting to better understand these entanglements. It follows three strands which reflect different aspects of the temporal-material in how knitting comes to matter for amateur makers. Firstly, knitters discuss the threads to and from the past which recursively shape their ongoing thinking and feeling about their craft. Secondly, temporal dimensions entwine with the material as participants describe the process of turning threads into a knitted surface. Thirdly, participants’ experiences of un-making and re-making, and the role of ‘stash’, challenge unilinear models of both time and meaning. Thinking with knitting not only re-opens ways of understanding it as a significant meaning-making practice in the present, it also dynamically re-connects us to the past and offers ways of re-imagining the future and how we make this together.

The full article can be viewed on the publisher's website.


Posted on Monday 16th October 2023

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