Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Before Knitting Was Cool

This weekend on my Facebook Fan page I posted this meme. I love posts like this, they always spark great conversation. There was a reoccurring theme in the conversation,  "is knitting considered cool?"

I've been thinking about that question ever since...

Is knitting considered cool? From where I'm sitting that is a great big hell yes! If knitting wasn't considered cool, I would not be typing these words, ontheround would not exist and I probably would have thrown in the towel with knitting many years ago.

Apart from those reasons, I know that knitting is cool, because I was a knitter when knitting wasn't cool.

I learned to knit from my grandmother, she was a fantastic knitter, like so many others in her generation. Knitting wasn't about being cool for that era, it was just what you did. I love that. When she past away, I was left with nothing but some red heart yarn, metal dpn's and the knit stitch. My mom never had any interest in knitting, so she was of no help to me.

When I picked up knitting again in college (you can read more about that, here), I remember going to a knitting shop in my town (I don't remember them being called LYS at that time), with several questions and problems I had been having. The shop owner told me that I needed to go home and learn more before she would be willing to help me.

Yeah, that happened.

I got myself going again using a book my Nana bought me when I was little, called Sunny's Mittens. I had to resort to a children's book to be able to knit again, alone in my dorm room. 

But I wanted more. Since I am a child of the internet, I thought, I'll use the internet to figure this stuff out. There was nothing on the internet.


Well, that's not true, I think there were a few old stitch patterns, but I had no idea what the abbreviations meant or really even how to purl. In fact, at this point, I didn't know that purling existed because I was taught to knit in the round! I was completely stumped why my scarves turned out so differently from my mittens!

So I just knit. I decided not to worry about it, and I just knit. I knit sweaters, hats, mittens, leg warmers, scarves-really really long scarves. I was doing short rows when I had NO idea what  a short row was. I was making up decreasing methods and patterns. I was just knitting because I wanted to knit.

Screw that lady who told me I needed to know more before I could knit. I was knitting.

I'd love to show you some of those things, but none of them are in my possession any more-such a shame! Everything was ripped out and turned into something new, donated, or thrown away in my transitional life.

So that's what knitting was like for me, when knitting wasn't cool.

When did knitting get cool? In my opinion, knitting  got cool when Ravlery made knitting accessible for everyone. Knitting got cool when the Etsy marketplace opened up and incredibly creative and inspiring yarns and knitwear became available to the public. Knitting got cool when people started publicly doing it, posting it to their Facebook pages, and meeting up to knit together. Knitting got cool when the Local Yarn Store got a facelift and started teaching and encouraging people of every age to knit.

So yes, knitting is cool and it doesn't matter if you knit when it wasn't, you knit now, or you plan to knit in the future.

Just keep knitting.

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