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Framework Knitting

Framework knitting was once one of the most important industries in the East Midlands. It started in Nottinghamshire where William Lee of Calverton invented the stocking frame in 1589. After a patent was refused by Elizabeth I, Lee took his invention to France in 1608 where he later died. His brother brought the machines back to London but the industry gradually moved back to Nottinghamshire and spread to Leicestershire and Derbyshire until by the end of the 18th century, these three counties contained over 85% of all the frames in the UK. The industry began to decline after 1810 and in the second half of the 19th century, steam powered knitting machines allowed the industry to progress to a proper factory based phase. Framework knitting all but disappeared with just a few knitters carrying on producing specialist work for niche markets. Today, very few people remain who know how to operate the knitting frame. This film, made in 2010, shows one of them, Martin Green, who still produces beautiful scarves, shawls and snoods on his entirely hand operated machines. The film also attempts to expain how the machine works.


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Film Credits:
Camera: Wendy Freer
Editing: Wendy Freer
Narration: Wendy Freer
Framework knitter: Martin Green