Be Thankful (We've come a long way, baby)

As you pause and consider that for which you are thankful tomorrow, I hope you'll think of me. Well, not ME exactly, but me as in, knitting instructors, knitbloggers, and knitting enthusiasts, who make knitting content available to you for free everyday.

Once upon a time, not so very long ago, if you were curious about knitting, you had to find someone in your circle of acquaintance (and we're talking, actual acquaintance, not virtual) and ask them to show you how to knit. Unless there were a war on, knitting classes were not really a thing in this country. (I can't speak for the ancient Nordic peoples, whose descendants require knitting instruction in schools today.) It was your grandmother or aunt or the nice lady next door.

Knitting content was available, and I have a couple of older books that showcase the best of mid-century printed knitting instruction and patterns. Grainy black and white photos with very short patterns, all written with the assumption that you know A LOT about what you are doing.

We are so fortunate today to have so many ways to learn to knit, to learn about knitting, to find and share patterns and ideas and yarn. At any hour of the day we can turn to another knitter and say, "What in the WORLD is wrong with this row??" We can find inspiration, motivation, instruction and commiseration. It's a beautiful thing.

So I ask you again, be thankful for me and (others like me) who help make the knitting world a little smaller and more friendly, because we really have come a long way. And please know that we are thankful for YOU!

Happy Thanksgiving!

This lovely Three-Piece Cape Suit comes with 14 paragraphs of instruction, which covers  almost  2 pages, for all three pieces. Good luck!  As found in "Complete Guide to Modern Knitting and Crocheting" (1942)

This lovely Three-Piece Cape Suit comes with 14 paragraphs of instruction, which covers almost 2 pages, for all three pieces. Good luck!

As found in "Complete Guide to Modern Knitting and Crocheting" (1942)



Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Benefits of Knitting

There are some articles floating around the internet again about the benefits of knitting. On the one hand, it's nice when the media has something nice to say about your hobby. On the other hand, do we really need to defend what we do?

Knitting has gone in and out of favor over the years, including a solid block of time as a Men Only Club (think Medieval craft guilds--no girls allowed). In my lifetime (which does NOT include the aforementioned Medieval era, no matter how old my kids think I am) there has been a resurgence, as young crafters have discovered how much fun it is to knit, and yarn and needle producers have discovered that the more yarn and needles they produce, the more money they make and the happier we knitters are to have choices.

As it so happens, I already  have  a rocking chair. So there.

As it so happens, I already have a rocking chair. So there.

Along with the resurgence has come more than a few dismissive observations:

  • Scorn:  "My grandmother used to knit"--this implies that not even decrepit old ladies still do such a dumb thing.
  • Ridicule:  "You do know you can BUY a pair of socks for $2 from Wal-Mart, right? You don't HAVE to make them yourself."--this implies that I shop at Wal-Mart, but am also so stupid that I am totally ignorant of mass production.
  • Profiling:  "All you need now is a rocking chair!" -this implies that either I am prematurely gray under my Clairol or worse still, old at heart.

 

Negative comments have made us a bit defensive, and so we tout studies about the therapeutic benefits to arthritic hands and aging brains as excellent reasons why we knit.

All hobbies that involve working with one's hands have physically beneficial side effects--wood working, fly fishing, sewing, painting, and ceramics are only a few examples, because there are so many. Any hobby that engages your mind will have mental benefits. Any hobby that can be social in nature will improve your happiness through relationships with fellow enthusiasts. Why must knitting be singled out to be defended for its helpful merits?

I read somewhere (Yarn Harlot, I think) that worldwide, there are more knitters than golfers. When was the last time you heard someone brag on the benefits of golf to justify greens fees? (I am not dissing golf in any way, I promise.)

The next time another "helpful" article about the benefits of knitting comes across your path, think about it from this perspective. Is knitting something that needs to be justified? Or can we all just agree it is something we enjoy and leave it at that? One day, non-knitters will be the ones who feel as though they must explain why they don't knit. Until that newsworthy day, I plan to keep knitting, happily secure in the thought that I needn't defend it to anyone.

 

Follow my blog with Bloglovin