Follow The Herring

  The Craftimation Factory were commissioned by Customs House, South Shields and Hastings Borough Council to carry out a community knitting project as part of the touring 'Follow The Herring' play and exhibition.   The project honoured the story of the herring lassies who used to migrate down the East Coast in order to gain work gutting herring.  Around their long hours working with the fish, they knit all their own clothes and those of the fishermen. 


To accompany the existing travelling 'Coat with a Boat' we decided to create a knitted fish and chip shop.  Sessions were held inviting the community to learn new skills such as spinning yarn out of newspaper, finger knitting with unwanted materials such as video tape (which would otherwise end up in landfill), and knitting on broom handles with unusual materials such as plastic bags, torn up sheeting and rubber yarn made out of inner tubing from old bicycle tyres.  Many groups took part including local knitting groups and Women's Institutes, and we were delighted to work with local machine knitting artist Lorna Hamilton-Brown MBE who created a beautiful panel commenting on the rising cost of fish and chips.


We were also delighted to deliver the Arts Award in Castledown School where 60 year 3 children learned to finger knit, make pom poms, have a turn at knitting on giant needles and using all their work to create sea creatures such as jellyfish that later were included in the final exhibition.