‘Her knitting became a metaphor for multi-layered ideas, certainly the hand-crafted nature of women’s work of this kind, but also the fact that knitting has often been associated with hard labour in Victorian prisons and workhouses. Female inmates were forced to spend the majority of their waking hours making functional objects such as blankets and clothing, or if none were required they were often kept knitting, just for the sake of being given something to do. Phelps needed to fully understand her self-imposed task, and her desire to experience long periods of silence as she tried to work with history.’

Extract from Knit One Purl One by Ann Elliott, Independent Curator