Does knitting have a future?

I don’t usually re blog – and certainly not my own stuff. But this post from last year seems too apposite not to remind people of. Cheers, Marion

Historians are Past Caring

It was brave of the PM to say recently that she knits as a relaxation – even if it was a soft interview for the Australian Women’s Weekly.  Not just because powerful women tend to be wary of revealing a more girly side, but because it was such a gift to the cartoonists: a red-haired Madame Defarge, knitting in a blood-soaked Place, as the tumbrils roll by, loaded with the finest flower of carbon-emitting mining aristocrats.  If there was such a cartoon, I missed it.  Maybe nobody reads A Tale of Two Cities anymore.

Public figures tend to go for blokey hobbies, even the women, with a heavy emphasis on sport: jogging or cycling, following cricket or the AFL.  It’s not long ago that politicians would have run a mile (or in the case of Anna Bligh, a marathon) from such overt signs of domestic behaviour.  And not…

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6 responses to “Does knitting have a future?

  1. Timely indeed and almost to the day as well!
    Perhaps not brave but a cynical move to counter the image of the barren spinster in a sparse kitchen that the AWW created in an earlier interview.
    Poor Julia, she seems damned if she does and damned if she doesn’t.

    • Yes, it struck me that a year ago, I could say ‘brave’ (in the Yes Minister sense), whereas now her photoshoot seems utterly foolhardy. But it has always been a problem for women. I remember in the 1970s, we feminists came down like a ton of bricks on one woman who wanted to knit during staff meetings. Yet why? It’s not as if we had better things to do with our hands. Doodling (the default in these situations) is seen as okay, whereas making a decent sock is not.

  2. I don’t know what it’s like down under, but in America, knitting is HOT, and has been for a couple of years now – “Stitch ‘N Bitch” groups are everywhere, and most of the members are in their 20s and 30s. Maybe things are changing.

    • Thanks Eve. I don’t think knitting is hot here (maybe the weather’s too hot!) but dressmaking is enjoying a great revival, and again, a lot of young women are involved. The old craft skills seem to be coming back.

  3. R A (Beck) Hurst

    Knitting was also “hotting up” in England when I left, and you could occasionally see groups of people knitting together on the Tube. No doubt climate does have something to do with it.

    • I wonder whether YouTube plays a role too? Once little girls (and maybe boys) learned from their grandmothers. It’s hard to learn from an instruction manual when Grandma is out in the workforce. But now it’s possible to learn how to knit (or other craft skills) from a video.

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