Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Knitting Stereotypes

Since I've been venturing out more and more lately and getting in touch with other knitters, I've seen my attitudes changing. I don't know exactly how long I've been knitting, but I know it has been at least 5 or 6 years--somewhere around there. I wasn't as interested in the finished product as the therapeutic effects of knitting in the beginning, and I believe that that is why I keep several projects around, just so that when I need some knitting therapy I can grab something that I don't have to think about...it is more like meditative knitting. Everyone knows that there are two long standing stereotypes in knitting. 1-That all knitters are women or gay men. We all know that just isn't true. 2-All knitters are either Grandmothers or Expectant Mothers. Equally ridiculous. Since I've been getting out and actually being around other knitters, I've found far more stereotypes and attitudes that are really grating on my nerves.

1. Either people think I am perpetually lost, or they believe that I just am too young to know anything about knitting. I guess I'm just getting sick of the "Are you getting brave enough to venture from scarves" thing, which has happened on many, many occasions, and without knowing anything about me whatsoever. I don't think I'm doing too badly. I haven't had a single class, I've taught myself from books. The only things I haven't tried is: Mosaic knitting, Entrelac, smocking, and sweaters. You know, I really don't care what a few people think, it is just that it keeps coming up, and I'm wondering what is behind it all.

2. People criticize my knitting projects. I've had a few people comment to me about my projects I've done. No, they aren't grand projects, but it is because right now, I want to keep with things that are simple. I don't have enough confidence to branch out to bigger things, but I'm getting there.

3. Natural vs acrylic. I don't quite understand what the whole issue is. I admit, I love the feel of some of the natural fibers I've felt lately, but you just can't beat acrylic for value, durability, and washability. I might make my Mom socks in something exotic, because I know she'd take care of them, but I'd probably do something in Acrylic for a family member/friend who has a bunch of kids and a hectic career. I guess I just see pros and cons to each, when others seem either blinded or biased. To each their own I guess, but I just don't understand the whole debate. Then, there are the people who detest novelty yarns, and some people won't even shop in places that have them. My feeling is, if you don't like them, then don't buy them. I guess I just love yarn....no matter what it is made of.

Some of these things have really made me rethink the whole idea of getting out with the knitting community. The biggest issue is my age. It seems to be so important for some people to find out who the youngest person in the room is. I just don't understand it, and I really don't like it. I haven't decided what to do yet. If I can separate myself from the people who seem to only want to push their own ideas (mine are all incorrect) then things can work just fine. But...It just isn't fun when I feel so isolated in a crowded room.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ignore them. I saw this bumpersticker the other day. "Don't worry about what other people think. They don't do it very often." I've been knitting for 18 yrs. and do my own thing. Sometimes I get on a kick for socks, felted bags. I can knit the complicated stuff, too, like many of my friends, but don't always want to. Just took a class from a woman who said she knits with cheaper yarns a lot even though she can afford the other. She said she likes to make the cheap stuff look good. And it did. Knit on.

6:40 PM  
Anonymous La said...

The one thing that I have found in my oh-so-long (yes, you can roll your eyes at that) knitting career is that there is no one sure-fire, right as rain way to knit except for the following: Knit what you want, when you want, where you want, how you want and out of what you want. The only wrong way to knit is if it's making you unhappy.

Rock on!

9:56 PM  
Blogger JennyRaye said...

Just ignore them. Knitting is about creativity and expressing yourself. What's creative about being (knitting) like everyone else?!? You're right....and they just aren't.

4:59 AM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Amen sister!

I'm a taught-myself-online knitter, 23-years-old and asked "is supposed to look like that?" so many times on the bus, by observers at home, etc., I've thought my head would explode. Or, I've gone to a yarn shop and been stared at by all the ladies there when I didn't want the scarf pattern book they offered.

But, psh, it's not for them anyway, right?

8:02 AM  

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