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Knitting and Everyday Meaning-Making

Jones, Susan


Associate Professor


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.


Jones, S. (2022). Knitting and Everyday Meaning-Making. Textile,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 19, 2022
Online Publication Date Jul 29, 2022
Publication Date Jul 29, 2022
Deposit Date Oct 4, 2022
Publicly Available Date Oct 5, 2022
Journal Textile: The Journal of Cloth and Culture
Print ISSN 1475-9756
Electronic ISSN 1751-8350
Publisher Informa UK Limited
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Keywords knitting; amateur yarncraft; everyday; meaning-making; literacy
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