Sedate or seditious?

What does this say about me?

What does this say about me?

I’ve just come across a recent story from The Guardian with a very promising headline:

Knitting and needlework: relaxing hobbies or seditious activities?

But, on reading the article, you find quotes such as:

Wool shops now are places of luxury offering cappuccino while you browse designer, hand-dyed yarns. Knitting not as necessity, but art – for women who have just too much time on their hands.

and

In recent years, there has been a revival of interest in crafts, partly fuelled by celebrity knitters such as the Duchess of Cambridge and Kate Moss

Ah, so much complete nonsense in one place! Although I have to say that the article is worth looking at for the comments at the end… us knitters are certainly capable of ‘prodding buttock’ with our pointy sticks! I was not aware particularly of ‘celebrity knitters’, unless you count people like Kaffe Fassett or Debbie Bliss, and our local knitting yarn shops would throw you out if you arrived with a coffee and they certainly wouldn’t offer you so much as a mug of instant!

I’m disappointed that our media continue to stereotype in the sort of way this article does – apparently in the past all knitters were grannies and now we are all idle middle-class women, probably knitting whilst reading Hello magazine. The only “seditious” knitters that the author could summon up were Mahatma Gandhi (who described himself as a weaver) and a few goddesses. No mention of Knit the City… or any of the other yarnstorming groups. No mention of Betsy Greer and the craftivism movement. Not even any reference to knitting for charity… not exactly seditious, but certainly generous. Nor was there a hint that many people earn a living from this ‘relaxing hobby’.

Ah well, that’s me getting wound up about the media again. I really should stop reading it… I know I’ll just toddle off and drive my Chelsea tractor to the local yarn shop, to sip designer coffee and fondle all the hand-dyed yarn…

… actually, no, I think I’ll write a blog post about yarn crafts and sedition… watch this space!

 

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29 Comments

  1. was the writer of the article a man, by any chance? 🙂

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    • No, a woman and someone who claims to be a knitter… I suspect she just did no research.
      She did end by saying that when knitting we are ‘engaging in a life affirming and subversive activity’… but it just felt condescending by then!

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  2. OO-er, I didn’t realise I was reading things from such a hotbed of sedition. I hadn’t for one moment heard you mention your steaming cappuccino as you went to fondle the yarn before you bought it. No doubt at a stonking great price too.
    I’d suggest the writer of this piece probably lives in Chelsea and only goes to the one Wool shop that’s based around a specialist coffee house and probably wouldn’t be seen dead anywhere else……probably just as well for you or you might find her suggesting changes to your own Emporiums you might not like.
    xxx Massive Hugs xxx
    ps Two sweeteners in mine please.

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  3. Gosh, what a load of twaddle the Guardian is coming up with these day! I used to enjoy that paper and considered them to be in touch with ordinary folk like you and I.
    I really think you should write to them.

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    • I am quite taken aback by it… I wasn’t intending to write a blog post this morning, but couldn’t restrain myself having read this.
      The more contact I have with the mass media the less I value it.

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  4. I agree, I hate the stereotypical image. I also think its sad that crafts and passed on skills through families are only making a revival due to ‘celebrity’ knitters 😦

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  5. That’s a really special article. I did not take up crochet because of some celebrity. If that was the reason, I probably would not have stuck with it. *shakes head*

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    • I’m yet to meet anyone who knits or crochets (or quilts or sews or felts) who was inspired to start by a celebrity endorsement!
      Ho hum… what will they write next?

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  6. I actually like to tear up dollar bills and then spin them into yarn to knit items with…it’s how I like to spend all of my excess time and money in this luxurious, decadent life I’m living. Of course, I only do it because famous people do…goodness knows I could never enjoy a hobby/skill that wasn’t sanctioned by the rich and famous. *wonders if knitting needles can be set afire and shot like arrows* 😉

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  7. I can just see my Granny, and Great-Gran shaking their heads with laughter at such utter nonsense, and can see why you shared this with all of us who do craft! 🙂

    Almost every crafter I know either comes from a generations-long line of crafting women, which I did, even though I ignored it all until the last few years, or they have learned through the urging of friends 🙂

    Can you imagine slugging on a Latte at our only, very tiny, craft shop in Aberaeron! Lol

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  8. We actually have both kinds of yarn shops in this town… the kind that serve the hoity-toity coffees with $30 a ball hand-dyed wools and the down to Earth yarn shops. I’ve only been in the former once. I walked around, picked up a few balls a yarn, pretended indifference at the price, turned around and walked right out the door to never return.

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  9. I’m with you on this. Utter tosh, piffle, flimflam and bollocks. She’s obviously never met someone like my mother, who was able to unpick jumpers, wash the wool and knit it again, giving each one two or three different lifetimes, albeit in increasingly smaller sizes due to wear and tear. I don’t make things because I’ve got too much time on my hands. I make things because I have a creative imperative, because it’s satisfying, and because I love having a ‘thing’ to show for my labour.

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  10. Nia Russell

     /  April 17, 2014

    I usually don’t have time to sit down an knit something as I’m too busy at work, out in the garden or, perish the thought, doing the ironing!! However, even just a little bit of publicity for our craft is better than nothing. At least I know have a wool shop I can walk to without having to drive 8 miles!!

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  11. Waiting…waiting…waiting…er…methinks I have just been april fooled 😉 I am with you 100% of the way when it comes to the media using it’s influence to try to get (foolish) wanabe trendies to part with their hard earned cash to try to elevate themselves up the hipster gradient to trending Nirvana…sad and pathetic and fickle and I wish they would just find some other trending thing to take up as I am tired of falling over them when I just want to nip in and out of the yarn store to pick up some 2 for a dollar yarn to feed my addiction

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  12. Ah ! the BBCs and the Guardians live off their celebrity news bites ;D Gone are the days when their news stories were credible and we had something to learn from. I don’t visit their sites anymore except occasionally to check on weather 😀
    And as for Gandhi, it annoys me to see him being tagged ‘religious leader’, and the like in text books and university walls. This is just plain falsehood. He was fundamentally a political leader, known the world over, as the architect of non-violent satyagraha , a powerful means to fight for political ends; a concept alien to the western world then and now. He lived a simple, almost saint like personal life, but nobody lived like him except himself 🙂 He had nothing to do with religion or being a seditious weaver !!! Weaving Khadi was again a form of protest – a concept of self governance called ‘Swadeshi’.
    Sorry, for this rather strong rant. Media and falsehood does wind me up too sometimes 🙂

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