I knit because...

I enjoy it.  As Margene is so fond of writing, "it's the process."  I also enjoy the finished objects and the oohs and ahhs from friends and family, but more importantly the act of knitting is rewarding for me.

In yesterday's New York Times Carol Lee wrote a brief survey of knitting from the late 19th century to today (the piece is here, but registration--it's free--is required).  Not a surprise: over time knitting's popularity has experienced many peaks and valleys.

We're at one of those peaks right now.  As you might know, quite a few Hollywood stars are knitting and purling until the their fingers turn blue (and that's not from the bad Kool-Aid dye job).  Apparently, when Hollywood does something, that something becomes very cool.  (Guess what, kids?!  I'm cool!  Who knew?) 

In fact the author of this editorial is so impressed by all of us knitters that she's thinking of taking up knitting, just to keep up with the trends.  How, um, trendy.

I wonder how long a knitter will last if he or she is doing it only to keep up with a style.  Where will the breaking point be?  When will the needles be thrown down in disgust, never to be picked up again?  Mine would have been the first time that I needed to change yarns.  And yours?

Although, perhaps Ms. Lee will discover that it is, indeed, all about the process.


Exactly! It's still far more popular over there than here though. We're doing our best, but we still have a long way to go. I don't think I've ever seen anybody knitting in public here in Dorset. I take my sock sightseeing everywhere, but so far not a glimpse.

It's all about the novelty yarns and scarves. And ponchos. Once they go out of style, the trend will die down. Or the knitter will very quickly go beyond garter stitch with fur and then it won't be trendy anymore.

I'll go look for the article. It's in the house somewhere. Probably under a pile of yarn.

I'd have probably lost it at the purling stitch. If I would have somehow survived that, it would definitely have been at sewing up/blocking.

I have to say, novelty yarns were cute when they first came out, but if I never see another furry scarf, I'm sure I'll survive. Give me a cardigan made from great wool on tiny needles and my heart practically races. Not trendy, but oh-so-cool. And don't even get me started on the beauty of socks.... Much cooler than any crazy, weird furry stuff.

I agree with Joan, above. Put all that time and therapy into something that you can wear, proudly, forever, or that will make someone else feel spoiled beyond their wildest dreams! My daughter (10) knitted scarves that were so tedious for her that they usually turned into doll bed covers, but now that she's making that Newsboy Cap from Stitch n Bitch Nation, she is going great guns and will definitely keep knitting for a very long time. She discovered The Process. The Zen of Knitting is what my friend Kaye calls it.

The interesting thing to me about knitting's popularity is that for years I knit in obscurity, wore my finished objects and passed through the world at large unnoticed. Now, when I am in line at the supermarket or filling the tanl in my car, women--and sometimes men--ask me if the sweater I am wearing is something I made myself. I guess popularity makes people much more inclined to notice handiwork when they see it.


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