How knitting became the new normal between shows on the BBC

We were very excited when the BBC introduced their new social distancing “idents” for BBC1 – that’s the little videos that pop up before programmes – a group of knitters started appearing regularly on our screens.

We decided to find out more about the knitters involved. We asked Sicgmone Kludje and Vea Koranteng from Black Girl Knit Club to tell us more.

How did you end up in the BBC ident?

The BBC researchers and producers got in contact with us after seeing our online presence such as our social media accounts and website. At the time we were sharing content on how we were staying creative to induce wellness during the lockdown as well as organise online zoom sessions for our attendees. They then updated us about the Oneness ident project and its focus on showing people getting creative during UK lockdown and we were excited to get involved.

The idea of the ‘Oneness’ came from a series of idents created by artist/photographer Martin Parr in 2017 showing people coming together around mutual interests around the country. According to the BBC’S media scheduling lead, these idents were seen by 34 million viewers a week. So it was an amazing experience for us to have this kind of representation, especially on one of the leading channels in the UK.

Who are the five knitters (left to right)? Tell us a little about yourselves and how long you have been knitting.

The five knitters left to right include Sheree, Sofia, Sicgmone (co-founder) Vea (co- founder) and Lois.

The group are all regular members of the knit club and have attended our workshops over the past year, so it was really great they could be involved in our collaborative project.

Sheree Robinson is a knitwear designer, who graduated from Central St Martins and is a regular member of our sessions. Sicgmone (co- founder) of the knit club is also a knitwear designer and a lecturer of textiles at UAL. She has been knitting for the past 10 years and mostly leads on the workshops for the club

Vea (co- founder) has a creative background in architecture and construction and is also an interior stylist. She is the social media manager of the club and has been knitting for the past 2 years now.  As founders of the club we often like to work on knit projects together and discuss what members might enjoy working on next

 Was it difficult to record?

We had to record everything on our phones at home and these were then edited together by a separate creative team at the BBC before the final edits were brought together for the campaign.

It was slightly difficult as each of our members had to make sure they recorded their knitting at the same points and also that there were no distractions in the background. Each participant was sent a list of instructions and we had several Zoom meetings with the BBC producers to clear up any confusion.

Thankfully this all worked and we even accidently ended up color-coordinating our clothes in different shades of pink as a group. Looks so great on screen!

 You all have bright colourful chunky knitting on the go in the video. How did you decide on the project?

We were working on our online knitting class projects that Sicgmone usually plans our practical knit workshops for, whilst Vea is head of marketing and social media content online. We liked the idea of creating a knitted desk mat as everyone was currently working from home and it’s a fun project for knitters of all levels especially beginners.

Since we were aware the idents would be watched by millions of people from their homes we decided to go for bright bold yarn colours. that could be captured clearly on camera against the tones of our skin.

Why did you start Black Girl Knit Club?  

Our motivation for starting Black Girl Knit Club (BGKC), came from following the social media hashtag #diversknitty. Where different knitwear designers and makers were calling for more diversity, within the craft community. The reason why was due to visibility. We as friends wanted to create a safe space for Black women and female creatives like ourselves, to gather, share their story and inspire each other through craft skills and more importantly develop their creativity whilst equipping the next generation with a new skill. We started in January 2019 and we’ve built an amazing community of members that attend our monthly workshops and online tutorials.



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