The Knitting Map was knitted by an open community of knitters every day during Cork’s year as European Capital of Culture in 2005. This extraordinary group of people were made up of a core cohort of older, mostly working class women from Cork’s North Side, where the project was housed. These included Marian O’Sullivan (who knitted one entire border of The Knitting Map in a complex cable), Mel Murphy, Betty Flynn, Mary Norris, Lesley Stothers, Elsie O’Connell and Helle Krammer. Other local groups / communities / schools knitted regularly. These included L’Arche, Blarney Girls School, Cois Tine, Coláiste Choilm, Cope Foundation, ICA (Irish Countrywomen’s Association), Mná Feasa (Domestic Violence Project), NCIB (National Council for the Blind of Ireland), National Learning Network, Niche (Northside Community Health Initiative), St Luke’s National School and St Luke’s Women’s Group.
Additionally, many national and international visitors in Cork for its year as European Capital of Culture also came to knit with us, including the entire crew of a Brazilian naval ship, journalists, academics, artists and the President of Ireland (Mary McAleese). The sensibility of the project was one of openness and welcome – anyone could join us to knit – for five minutes or five hours, and if you didn’t know how to knit, we’d teach you. By the year’s end more than 2000 people contributed to the knitting of The Knitting Map.