No doubt many a Londoner has seen these billboards around town. Knitting has hit the mainstream. The other day I was in a pub wearing a scarf I’d made and this beefy punter actually turned his attention away from the footie long enough to admire it and say, “Why, that’s a lovely scarf.” and then with a knowing, conspiratorial wink, “I wonder who made that.” When big rugby-player looking guys knit-flirt with you, you know knitting has reached some kind of pop-culture pinnacle.
I am an avid knitter– I knit while on the tube and while watching telly or having tea. If I don’t have a project going to keep my hands busy I often feel bereft. I am one of these “new knitters” who picked up needles again as a social activity. Even though my mother taught me how to do it thirty years ago, I didn’t actually start knitting until I saw it as a community building endeavor.
In five short years knitting has taken off– if you blog your knitting you might get a book deal– you might become famous just for casting on. I’ll be glad when all this knitting-related ambition passes and we can just make cozy things in peace without wondering who is the next big knitting star to rise from our rows.
The trade off is that more people are learning about the craft from this resurgence, and in turn they are appreciating labor of this kind. If it can get more football fans to turn away from the game for a moment to admire something handmade– why, that’s a very good reason to wink back at the punters.