Helen Brownett, our Textile Artist & Technical Demonstrator, has designed her own version of a Covid-19 virus – and knitted it in 3D on one of the museum’s antique circular knitting machines. Helen put the finishing touches to the blue coronavirus by hand, adding pink pompoms on stalks to make her creation instantly recognisable.
Explaining her motivation to design and knit a coronavirus, Helen says: ‘I’ve always had an interest in knitting unusual things. Past projects have included the knitted bike you can see in the museum garden, an octopus and even a shed! Like so many people around the country, I’m staying at home right now and thought I’d use some of my newfound spare time to knit something that captures the spirit of the times we’re living in.’
A photo of Helen’s creation, posted on Facebook by Museum Assistant, Jan Perrett, has already reached over 3,200 people, with the museum hoping that the post will ultimately ‘go viral’! Says Jan: ‘It (Covid-19) is currently a symbol of fear, but I love the fact that Helen has created something beautiful out of something so horrendous.’
Like all museums and attractions, the Framework Knitters Museum is currently closed to visitors. But the museum’s team of dedicated staff and volunteers are still busily working away from home, doing what they can to promote the museum and keep its army of fans entertained and engaged via social media. Current initiatives include regular Facebook posts with fun facts about exhibits, staff and volunteers talking about their favourite objects, and ‘Name that Plant’ posts to help people enjoy the museum’s beautiful garden from afar.
Jim Grevatte, Museum Manager & Curator, adds: ‘Our staff and volunteers are doing a great job of keeping in touch on social media. In the coming weeks, we’re looking to create opportunities for people to join us remotely for video workshops, knitting sessions and other activities. We’re keen to help people stay connected to the museum whilst we’re closed, so they can still enjoy the therapeutic benefits of knitting and other craft activities.’