Monday, February 9, 2015

Knitting: Not just for grandmas

After talking with friends, I have observed an interesting dichotomy in the college gal’s conceptualization of knitting: The more artsy ladies seem to find interest in knitting and various fiber arts, but others seem to think that knitting is “something grandmas do.” I have spent some time trying to think through why this might be. Perhaps the college-aged woman thinks knitting is a hobby for older people because she learned from an older person. In fact, many of the women I have spoken with know how to knit only because their grandmothers taught them.

While it may be the case that older family members are responsible for the continuation of fiber arts practices in younger generations, it seems as if recent developments in maker culture have led to a resurgence in the crafting domain.

In a BBC News article, wire artist Charmione Lloyd states that “knitting is going through a sort of renaissance”. She says that evidence for such revival can be found in the growing number of knitting groups--so-called crafting circles--that have begun to pop up in communities worldwide.

A couple of years ago, Tom Ashbrook, a radio DJ in Boston, dedicated a radio session to knitting’s comeback in the 21st century. On Point, the name of Ashbrook’s radio show, aired a piece titled “The Resurgence Of Knitting”, which featured several north-eastern knitters who are young fiber art enthusiasts. Listen to the full piece here.

In the following weeks, I will dig deeper into the idea that knitting is an art for all ages (not just  grandmas).

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