Sunday, 23 February 2014

Follow the Herring coming to Hull

Check out and (arts development/current projects) It has all sorts of interesting links AND the knitting pattern for the herrings.....
Its a project that takes in 13 venues along the original route of the herring lassies who followed the fishing fleet gutting and packing herrings, salting them in barrels....At each venue the local community is called upon to craft items for the event, a choir to sing in the "choral narrative" theatrical performance and make props for the stage. It's tells of the 1881 Eyemouth  fishing disaster when 189 men were lost. It also celebrates the lives of the lassies and the fishing community as a whole....Hull of course is a port and was a great fishing port at one time and the herring girls would have come here.
In crafting the items it bring people from all walks of life in the local community together creating a new bonds as did the fisher lassies who came from far and wide every year to follow the " little silver darlings" as they called the herrings. Knitting because they knitted in their spare time and when they were not following the shoal of herrings....the men needed their ganseys...(see the post on them)
On  Friday and Saturday workshops were held in a local shopping precinct and at Artlink....a purpose built gallery, workshop rooms and theatre space.
the herring to be knittings

items for the "sea installation"

a man with a fishing background made this net
the herrings can be knitted (to a set pattern) or made in fabrics and stuffed or flat one sided collaged there are several venues for them to be exhibited. There are workshops for adults and for children.
Seaweed...from plastic garden waste bags....on the left knitted.....6 stitches...plain knit..increase one stitch at beginning of the row and decrease 1 stitch at the end of the row. R1 ( m1,k4,k2tog) R2 k6) this gives a twist
to the knitting...the bag handles were cut up to make the fronds that were knotted on. The next two were made from a different bag, the darker plastic is lighter on the inside giving a two tone effect. The flash has bleached them out a bit.
1,000 knitted herrings are needed ! clam shells,seahorses, starfish, to be knitted, the sea needs knitting, pebbles and rocks to knitted, felted or out of papier mache.....there's a big list...A replica fishing cobble has been made to tour and it is also covered in knitting....a coat for a boat....!!! the inspiration of of Ingrid Wager..check her out...and...please check out the websites on this project and read about the lives of the fisher lasses.....could you gut 40 herrings in a minute? Would you carry your man out to his fishing boat so he didn't get wet? They did....


  1. really interesting wish Id remembered to go along!
    Did you make the fishes shown here or were they samples?
    The seaweed is ace!
    That button scaled fish was how I was thinking one might be made if theyd allow fabric fishes lol

    1. Fabric fishes are allowed....single sided or stuffed. Got the pattern for excuses! The fishes were samples.