Blog by artist/printmaker Dawn Cole
On Mon 11th Nov at 11am people will be joining together in a common task, that of knitting in silence a piece of shamrock lace using white wool. In Margate, Ticehurst, Newark, Liverpool, Calais and Sydney – silent knitting
The pattern for the lace comes from the archive of WW1 VAD Nurse Clarice Spratling. This pattern, handwritten in her notebook dated 1908 is one amongst several others but seemed the most appropriate to use.
The symbol of a four leaf clover has been seen a symbol of good luck for centuries. My research revealed that according to Irish legend each leaf is symbolic
One leaf for Faith
Two for Hope
Three for Love
Four for Luck
these wishes all represented in each stitch knitted.
I also liked the fact that the pattern was for Lace; a recurring motif in my work and the subject of an entire body of work entitled ‘Reading Between the Lines’ and resulting essay on the V&A website and also in Resting Place (see the beginnings of this blog) where the devore technique is used to etch words into pillowcases – Devore was also referred to as ‘poor man’s lace’
The origins of the word Lace are in the latin laqueus, meaning a noose or snare and lacere; to entice and I can’t help feeling that is exactly how many must have felt during war.
Clarice’s Shamrock Lace
Cast on 7 stitches
1st row: Knit 2, make 1, knit 2 together, knit 1, make 2, knit 2
2nd row: knit 3, purl 1, knit 2, purl 1, knit 2
3rd row: knit 2, make 1, knit 2 together, knit 3, make 2, knit 2
4th row: knit 3, purl 1, knit 4, purl 1, knit 2
5th row: knit 2, make 1, knit 2 together, knit 3, make 2, knit 4
6th row: knit 5, purl 1, knit 4, purl 1, knit 2
7th row: knit 2, make 1, knit 2 together, knit 9
8th row: cast off 6, knit 3, purl 1, knit 2
Repeat from row 1
Please feel free to use this pattern but I would love to hear from if you do and what you use it for.
The Silence of knitting is just one of many events taking place as part of Silent Cacophony. This thought provoking and sensitive project explores the silence perceived during war and conflict. More details on the website