post number three – the trib – why knit?

third post of the day!! i think this newspaper might be a bit behind :) but there i am at knit one last thursday.


it always surprises me when some new media outlet notices. i’ve been knitting 5 years and back when i started articles like this existed and now they still exist. not very observant are they? quoting the Craft Yarn Council of America 2002, 2004 stats doesn’t really make them look any more with it…

this particular article claims that we ‘youthful’ ones (24-35 year olds) knit because (second paragraph of the piece) celebrities do it. i don’t know about you all, but i only do what celebrities do)…  there were more reasons, but that was their up front one.

they interviewed maybe two people who was actually in the focus age group… otherwise, it’s just people talking about ‘us’ and although we at knit one got our pics in the paper, we were not interviewed at all (and many of us were target age group). we are being observed, not talked to y’all.

my husband is considering writing a letter to the editor about this one – not all angry or anything. mostly playfully pointing out their incongruities and such. we are mightily amused.

so, all you hip young knitters – do tell! why do you knit? wait, better yet – whoever you are because i hate the false dichotomy between the ages that is so prevalent in the craft world, if you’re a knitter, why do you knit? maybe we’ll use your answers in our letter to the editor.

at least they spelled my name right :)

27 thoughts on “post number three – the trib – why knit?

  1. How funny! Last year our local paper did the same thing — only quoted 2 people (and not even ones who often come to meetings). It was a really odd article.

    Cool question! Maybe I’m on the edge of the ‘young’ spectrum, but I knit-crochet-spin because I love fiber, have been doing fiber things ever since I was a kid.

    Don’t know if a letter to the editor would do much — as with most things in the media these days, there is a perception about knitting that may not totally match the reality.

  2. from 50-something me:

    1. To make, from my spare pockets of time, something beautiful, tangible, and comforting

    2. As an antidote to my overly technocentric worklife, and to a world that is pushing too many poorly made, mass-produced garments in my direction.

    3. At times, I have knit purely to keep my hands from shaking when life throws a major challenge at me.

    4. Because I am so totally out of synch with fashion trends, I use knitting and sewing as ways to make garments that I like.

  3. i can’t believe that they still publish this stuff either. HELLO. that’s like, so 2001… duh! (that was my best 20 year old valley girl)…

    so, in that vein: i totally knit because, like, i saw charlotte in sex and the city knitting these totally cute baby booties – i know! cute huh?! – and so i just thought, ohmygod, i really need to do that. i mean, it’s *cool* now.

  4. The real reason I started knitting? Well, we had no money, and decided to do a handmade Christmas. When I asked my brother what he could possibly want that I could make, he told me a knitted scarf, with particular traits. A few books from the library and a skein of acrylic yarn later (yes, acrylic–but I’ve since found ways of getting natural fibers more cheaply–some thanks to you, Cosy!), I had a presentable Christmas gift and a new fixation. This has really helped me cut down my budget for gifts–it seems like everyone and their dog is having babies right now, and knitted hats or socks seem to be both appreciated and fun to make. As far as continuing to knit (and being a little obsessed, now), I’m in the same camp as dailystitches, and it’s phrased so well that I don’t think I can add anything more.

  5. Fabulous question!

    I began knitting when someone in a play dropped a copy of S&B Handbook into my lap about five years ago, I’ve never stopped since. I knit to give my hands something to do when I’m bored. I knit to give my imagination flesh and structure outside of my head. I knit because I love seeing the joy in the faces of those who receive my knitting. It’s my love, my stitches, my handmade something keeping them warm.

  6. Man, articles like that piss me off, so i try to ignore them.

    But I knit because my mother knits (sometimes). And my grandmother knit. And her mother and grandmother knit. I love continuing the tradition. I love creating something beautiful with my hands. I love participating in a craft that has clothed and warmed people for generations. I knit because I love color (and what better way to play with it). I knit because it’s fun!

  7. I agree. I am 25. When I started knitting on lunch breaks in grad school I would laugh at the passers-by who would say “old ladies knit.” It’s definitely not perceived by the general public in the correct light, and it probablly never will be. I don’t even laugh now. I just keep knitting.
    I started because I loved the idea of making something, being able to gift handmade things, and that knitting itself was relaxing to me. THAT is what the paper should have reported… maybe it would relax a few uptight and overstressed people, instead of saying it’s “hip.”
    p.s. Did you read the headline below: “Specially trained dogs go beyond the call of man’s best friend.”
    Surprise? I think not, they do what they do because they love their jobs, 24 hours a day. Need I say more?

  8. I’m 23 and I knit so I don’t go crazy. I can take my projects with me to school in my bag, on airplanes, and long car rides. It’s cheap entertainment and, hey, I produce something pretty (okay, sometimes pretty). I used to cross stitch but the needles were sharp and projects took forever. That and the fact it’s popular makes it easy to find tutorials, yarn shops, and others who knit.

  9. Oh no, I’m not in the hip young knitter demographic any more…

    Yay! It never fit me anyway :P

    Too bad it won’t stop people assuming I learnt to knit last week (I’ve been a knitter since I was 5, that’s 32 years!)

  10. Ye gods -certainly not because celebrities do it! (Do they? I didn’t even know!)

    I knit because my mother did, and because I find it soothing, and because I have a yarn addiction so it makes sense to do something with the yarn if I’m going to collect it, and because I love the sight of my sons wearing hats and scarves and jerseys that came from my needles!

    Also, of all the arts and crafts I play at, it’s the one that can be done whilst watching a DVD or listening to the radio AND feels like I am relaxing. (i.e. I can also do needlework in front of a movie, but I don’t find it relaxing – I have to concentrate it a whole different way – needlework is not as rhythmic as knitting.)

    (And yikes – I only have nine more months of fitting in the ‘young and hip’ demographic – I guess I’ll be old and crusty by 2008. Heh.)

  11. One of the many reasons I don’t read many newspaper articles.

    I knit because I like to create, pure & simple. I have been sewing since I was 8 years old and have just learned how to knit & crochet about a year ago. I like the challenge of learning new things and being proud when I’ve accomplished a piece of work that is unique to me and I’m sure no one else has one exactly like it.
    Another reason, I moved from a warm climate to a very cold climate and thought it would be fun to make hats, scarfs & sweaters to wear myself (although I’ve made mostly gifts since I started).
    I also enjoy the social aspect of knitting. There is a local yarn co. here that has an open kit. You just go when you want, take your knitting, knit as long as you want and if you have questions while you are knitting or need help, they are willing to help you and super nice and there’s always some good conversations going on.
    And like someone else said, I love knitting because it is the one thing I can do while watching the tv or a dvd and be productive at the same time. Good times.


  12. I don’t usually comment but this post just tickled me so. I think that it’s hilarious that apparently the only reason anyone does anything anymore is to follow suit with celebrities. What the hell is that?? Since when is it not okay to do something because YOU like it. Not to be cool or popular or trendy. I’m 23 and I knit because I love fiber. It’s my artistic expression. It’s warmer and comfier than paint or porcelain. I enjoy being nerdy and involved in knitting!
    Your art is always amazing! Your hats and recycled yarn are inspired and inspiring! :) So thanks!

  13. What? Talk to the strange, scary people with the sharpened stakes?!? ;)

    I knit because of the internet. I really wanted to make a Knitty Coronet hat, and kept finding other wonderful patterns on the net. I’m quite far behind at this point. Plus it’s fun and relaxing. I also crochet, so I guess I also knit because I crochet… it’s what got me started searching for online patterns, etc. Why do I crochet? I was having trouble staying awake for class, so my advisor suggested it (knitting actually, but crochet is better suited to a classroom) when I discovered that doing something with my hands helped keep me awake.

    I couldn’t care less that celebrities knit and/or crochet. Unless they’re talking about the Yarn Harlot and similar? ;)

  14. When I’m not knitting I play with my hair, fidget and wriggle like a little kid; my boyfriend complains that I can’t sit still. Knitting is a relaxing and creative outlet for all that energy and I love being part of a craft with such a rich history.
    Keep up the good work, Cosette!

  15. Sounds like a VERY informative article (complete with photos of knitters in their natural habitat)! Just from your summary I learned that not only am I “hip,” but I can spend a few more years in the “youthful” age bracket! :)

    I knit because I can’t NOT make stuff!

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  17. why did i start knitting? do you really want to know? because on a trip to england when i was 15, i fell into deep infatuated love with the english countryside and its wooly sheep-filled hedgerowed fields. i decided then and there that i wanted to retire to a sheep farm in the english countryside. that dream never faded (just shifted slightly–to scotland), and i started knitting several years ago because it made sense that i should probably learn to knit and eventually spin if i planned to be surrounded by wool in my old age. =] (i’m only 30 now, retirement is still unfortunately years away)

    (it wasn’t a far leap, though. i’ve been sewing since i was 5 and have always been crafty in one form or another.)

  18. I begged my mum to teach me to knit when I first entered art school 7 years ago. I found the critiques horribly rude and sometimes boring, so I needed something to focus upon in a means of not letting a snarky one fly.
    Since I graduated I began a public knitting group that meets at a Beer Pub. Knitting in public allowed me to teach quite a few other ladies the craft, and to make a connection with each other that we wouldn’t otherwise have. We used to get oodles of odd looks and the boys were at first put off a bit by it, but now they expect to see us there every Thursday with our needles in hand. It’s been nearly 2 years now.
    Personally I like feeling as though I’m doing something with my time that is constructive, and well, not wasteful. Like many others have said here, the outcome is generally something rather pretty, or useful. I certainly couldn’t tell you the number of fingerless mitts I’ve made, but I do know they’re appreciated.
    I suppose I knit because I’ve always wanted to be one of the cool kids…

  19. I knit because I can’t imagine not knitting. I’d probably wither away and die if I couldn’t knit anymore. I’m not in the target age group )but I have a friend who is ;-)) But I started knitting 22 years ago at 22 when my mother-in-law taught me and I’ve been knitting ever since. I tried painting for a different kind of artistic expression but let’s face it — it’s hard to paint in a car, in a restaurant, on a train, standing in line… my question is, “why isn’t everyone knitting?” think about it… if everyone was knitting, there would be no wars — can’t fire a gun and knit at the same time.

  20. Because it’s hip! That means I’m cool, right?

    I started knitting after a big loss. I knitted to soothe myself. I needed something productive to occupy my brain and my hands, to give me something to focus on other than the sadness, to give me time to escape, and to heal. It started as just an activity (it could have been anything as long as it fit the purpose); but I continue to knit, because when I went home next, my father put in my hands the needles of my mother, of her mother, and of his own mother and grandmother. Because it brought back memories of these women knitting over the years. Because I never knit with them while they were here, I knit with their needles and I knit with them now in spirit. Because I want to finish the sweater that my mother left unfinished, when I’m ready.

    I continue to knit for a slew of other common reasons as well, but really, this is the heart of it for me. I’m so happy that I have this skill, this creative outlet, and this connection.

  21. I learned to knit because I wanted socks. That is all, I wanted socks.

    Today, I knit socks, blankets, mittens and mitts, hats and scarfs.

  22. i’m 23 and i knit because i love the challenge knitting can offer and at other times it can be a relaxing way to unwind (hee hee, unwind). i also get such a satisfaction when i finish a project. and besides, it’s just fun! i often knit at school on days i have large gaps of time between classes and it’s funny how many people are amazed by it.

    i started knitting because my grandma taught me, i can’t even name a celebrity who knits.

  23. I knit so I don’t smoke. I’m not young anymore, but I think I’m sort of hip. I picked up crocheting again when I stopped smoking almost two years ago, went from that into spinning, then figured I ought to learn to knit while I was at it. Knitting sort of took over, especially in the colder months, and I always have a sock in progress in my purse. I spin more in the summer. For some reason the process of knitting is fascinating to me, as are the results. I don’t watch much television so what celebrities are doing has little to no impact on me.

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  25. I knit because it makes a more comfortable sweater than crochet. -and because I like math.
    Since I learned to crochet when I was 7, it definitely had nothing to do with famous people.

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