Thursday, October 26, 2006

Why Do You Knit?

I'm sure many of you guys listen to podcast, particularly ones about knitting. One of my favorite podcast is Brenda Dayne's Cast On.

I love the show because she just has a soothing voice. I usually fast foward thru the music, but I love the stories and ideas that she shares with thousands of people (in one episode she said she got over 7000 downloads. Now whether those are all unique, we may never know). Usually I agree with her on a lot of issues when it comes to the fiber arts but there is just one thing that I and Brenda do not agree on.

Brenda sees knitting as a form of fighting mass production, a component of post-modern western civilization that shuns creativity and supports conformity. In Brenda's mind, all knitters are saying "Fuck You" to clothing manufacturers when they pick up their needles and create something unique with their hands. The only problem is, though, is that I don't think all knitters like to knit for this reason. If anything, a substantial amount of knitters knit in order to create items that they saw in a store.

Let's think about it. Would you waste your time knitting this and then actually wear it, or would you want to dedicate your free time to something more tasteful like this? For me, knitting isn't about being off the wall. It's about making stuff that me and my loved ones would actually wear. Besides, in my opinion, true creativity is a delicate balance between novelty and usefulness. Something is not creative if it is useless and this new "surprise" from Knitty is just that -- useless.


Lately, I've been enjoying the process in knitting more than the actual stuff. I had to say that because when I started to knit, I was a full fledged product knitter. I knitted because I wanted sweaters that fit me, cool accesories and the handmade gifts for my friends. Now, however, school and work really stress me out, to the point where I was breaking down in the shower crying this past Tuesday (wow, I just got very personal with you guys). Knitting means so much more to me now that I don't have much time to do it anymore. And because my knitting time is very limited nowadays, I appreciate knitting so much more than I did when I first entered the craft 2 years ago. If I wasn't a knitter, I don't know what I'd do with myself nor my free time. What I do know is that if I were not a knitter, my life would be something not like it is right now. That scares me. Thankfully, knitting has helped me create the life that I want to live. And that's a good thing.

1 comment:

gray la gran said...

i knit because i like it. i like the process, love the yarns, usually like the finished product, and i have to keep my hands busy. i do not knit to save money or to be totally off the charts unusual or creative.
there are a few crocheters and no living knitters in my family. i didn't have sweaters, hats and mittens made for me as a child. i love knitting these things now, especially socks! it amazes me what goes into shaping a fabric to be what you want it to be. it also amazes me when a non-knitter has the gall to "place their order" with me as if my time isn't precious.
and, by the way, the shower is a great place to sit and have a good cry.