‘Connected’ by Becky Chilcott and Sarah Chilcott
“Growing up with a Mum who is constantly knitting, I developed an aversion to having a go myself early on. When you’re a teenager who likes their sleep, it’s not the best sound to wake up to at 7.30am every Saturday morning… she doesn’t use quiet knitting needles as you’d imagine but a knitting machine that is around 1 metre long and is blooming noisy (although I was always attired in custom knits that were often made on demand).”
“However, when I received my word from Sarah for the Type Tasting exhibition at the V&A, it seemed it was time to put things to rights and get ‘connected’ with my Mum and her passion.”
“To create my word, I decided that the best way would be to collaborate with Mum and knit the word on her machine, letting the medium simply convey the message.”
“To do this, you have to make a punch card of the pattern you’d like to create using something akin to a hole punch on special plastic paper that feeds through the machine. The punch card doesn’t translate exactly to the knitted product at the end which was hard to get my head around so it went through a few variations – I’d initially created the letters far too thin so we had to beef them up a lot to make them legible.”
“The punch card is then fed into the machine; there is a carriage that you feed the strands of wool into and then you move it repeatedly from left to right along the machine bed to create the knitting. The actual process to create the final word took around two minutes, setting it up and to get it working properly took much longer which is where Mum’s years of expertise came in – I did the easy bit!”
Becky Chilcott is a graphic designer and the St Bride Library’s event curator who can be followed on Twitter as @alphabeckles. Her mum, Sarah Chilcott, is a member of the Sherborne and District Machine Knitting Club the All Knit Sherberts.