Search is on for finger knitters to create new exhibit at Harrogate’s Pump Room Museum

Harrogate’s Royal Pump Room Museum is looking for people who can finger knit – or are willing to learn – to come along on Saturday 26 November and help create a new display as part of the museum’s contribution to the Yorkshire Year of the Textile.

Knitters and would-be knitters are invited to come along between 10.30am –1pm on Saturday to a Knit/Lit workshop to help create a community canopy, with Elizabeth Gaston, a textile artist from the School of Design at the University of .  Once finished, the knitted lengths of fabric will be looped together to make and the canopy put on display at the museum for all to see.

Following the workshop, poet Rommi Smith who was commissioned to create a new work to mark Harrogate’s celebrations of the Yorkshire Year of the Textile, will perform her new work ‘Song of Crimplene, Sung in Kingfisher Blue’.


Pump Room Harrogate
Pump Room Harrogate


Rommi took as her inspiration a 1970s Crimplene dress worn by a member of the Harrogate Choral Society – and a group from the society will also be on hand on Saturday to perform a rousing rendition of ‘Swing Low, Sweet Chariot.’

Meanwhile artist Charlotte Cullen has been busy making a ceramic installation on which to display the Harrogate Choral Society dress in the museum throughout December.

The Yorkshire Year of the Textile, initiated by the Cultural Institute at the University of Leeds, is inspired by Yorkshire’s rich textile heritage and focuses on creativity, innovation and new research.  Funded by Arts Council England, events are taking place all over Yorkshire aimed at all ages and open to everyone.


The 1970s Crimplene dress held in the Royal Pump Museum’s collection originally worn by a Harrogate Choral Society member that inspired poet Rommi Smith
The 1970s Crimplene dress held in the Royal Pump Museum’s collection originally worn by a Harrogate Choral Society member that inspired poet Rommi Smith



Karen Southworth is an Access and Learning Manger with Harrogate Borough Council’s Museums and Arts service.  She said:

Anyone can come along to have a go – the Knitting and Stitching Show is on at the Harrogate International Centre this weekend, so we’re hoping to entice some of their visitors to join us as well!

All the materials are provided, so people can just turn up and we’ll get them knitting.

We’re delighted to be part of the Yorkshire Year of the Textile, and it’s going to be wonderful to see a piece of work made by many hands go on display in the museum – and with the Harrogate Choral Society along to raise the roof with ‘Swing Low, Sweet Chariot’, we’re looking forward to a very special day.


People can drop in at any point during the workshop, which runs from 10.30am – 1pm, and the afternoon performances are from 2.30pm – 3.15pm.

For more information about the Knit/Lit Workshop at the Royal Pump Room Museum on Crown Place in Harrogate, telephone 01423 556188 or e-mail

To find out more about the Yorkshire Year of the Textile, visit

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