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 Is knitting losing its hipness?
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Clara
queen bee

USA
4404 Posts

Posted - 10/26/2002 :  7:32:13 PM  Show Profile  Visit Clara's Homepage Send Clara a Private Message
After having been uncool (in a pleasantly independent and obscure sort of way) for so long, I must confess it's felt a little weird to be a part of something considered hip and cool.

How long do you think our trendy status will last? I've heard some people say that knitting is already "out" and macrame is in. Others have said crochet is the thing, yet elsewhere I've even heard mention of sewing as the next media darling.

Will we suddenly be discarded by the media and left to languish, like a discarded pair of Gloria Vanderbuilt jeans?

What do you think?

Clara
Your friendly Knitter's Review publisher

pritty
Chatty Knitter

217 Posts

Posted - 10/26/2002 :  7:43:00 PM  Show Profile  Visit pritty's Homepage Send pritty a Private Message
I think it's already passing too. For a while in the last 2 years, everyone that saw me knitting wanted to learn. But now, not so much. Or if they go so far as to learn, it's quickly given up.

It's alright with me. I was tired of being thought of as a wanna-be, and I can now knit to my hearts content.


Kathy, knitting Mama to Madeline
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CCR
Gabber Extraordinaire

375 Posts

Posted - 10/26/2002 :  8:12:34 PM  Show Profile Send CCR a Private Message
There was an article in a recent Publishers Weekly saying that knitting books are the hottest in the crafts genre and many more are being published in the next few months than usual. So at least the publishing industry is banking on this not fading away.

I just want my local yarn stores to stay in business. Knitting should stay just hip enough for that! I don't care at all if people think I'm cool or not. In fact, having never been cool in my life, I prefer to stay unhip!

Carin

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BLN3320
Permanent Resident

USA
3808 Posts

Posted - 10/26/2002 :  8:39:33 PM  Show Profile Send BLN3320 a Private Message
Hi, Clara: I know that it takes the West years to catch up on almost anything and when you consider that I believe anything beyond Oakland is East I think that knitting is here to stay--in the West that is. Crocheting is fine although I am not too proficient my sister is (hates to knit--makes her nervous) I have no problem with knitting and crocheting being on the same plane. Now when it comes to macrame all I can think of is the "Summer or Love" with hippies in the Haight, which a lot of people don't know was a rather afluent neighborhood before they took over. Perhaps because of that and the fact that I have seen some unbelieveable samples of macrame my thoughts on the subject could be--what shall I say, turned off? Anyway, for what its worth, that's my two bits on macrame. Beverley

PS: If you lived here at the time you know what I mean; if you didn't you can't imagine.
Bev
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marfa
Permanent Resident

USA
2046 Posts

Posted - 10/26/2002 :  8:57:16 PM  Show Profile  Visit marfa's Homepage Send marfa a Private Message
How do.
There are good things to be said for things to be hip - it exposes new folks to something that might not have seemed attractive before. Some of them will move on & some will stay, love it, flourish & be hooked. People are somewhat fad conscious & in a time when we expect things to occur in a New York second, things will move on quickly.
Knitting will always, in my humble opinion, be hip, cool, wonderful, challenging, engaging, soothing, fun & creative.


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inkimd@yahoo.com
New Pal

12 Posts

Posted - 10/26/2002 :  9:21:23 PM  Show Profile Send inkimd@yahoo.com a Private Message
Knitting is back in because it is still fun. When I was in high school and college, years and years ago, we were all knitting argyles for our boy friends, and our professors were trying to ban us from class when knitting. (That's when I took up tatting -- I don't like it much, but it's invisible from the front of the lecture hall). the generation that was knitting argyles is now the grandmothers who knit for their grandkids.

My mother's generation didn't knit much; it was my grandmother's generation that was into handicrafts, including knitting. My kids don't knit, but I bet my grandkids will. These things seem to skip a generation, and then suddenly come back.

Incidentally, one of the fun things about the current renaissance of knitting is how many guys are doing it, not just us girls. I first noticed this at the last medical convention I attended, not only were there more people who brought their knitting, but half of them were men. This is a bunch of doctors, mind you, who are not the most far-out people in the world. Admittedly they were young men, no man my age was knitting, but I think it's kind of interesting.
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knitter2568
Chatty Knitter

Germany
146 Posts

Posted - 10/26/2002 :  10:54:06 PM  Show Profile  Visit knitter2568's Homepage Send knitter2568 a Private Message
Hi there,

I think the reason why knitting is "in" is because it was "in" in the 70's and the 70's fashion is "in" right now. It will change just as the fashion changes. Personally, I don't mind being "uncool". I don't wear things because they're in, I wear them because I like them. The same goes for knitting.

Happy Knitting,
DREA who fininshed scarf #4, #5 to be started, 7 more to go)
knitter@newsguy.com
http://love2knit.8m.com/
http://www.picturetrail.com/gallery/view?username=knitter2568
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knitdad
New Pal

USA
5 Posts

Posted - 10/27/2002 :  12:04:15 AM  Show Profile Send knitdad a Private Message
It's hard to say if knitting is waning or not. The shop where I work is still very busy and I teach two or more new knitters every week. And I still have a lot of people coming back to knitting after a hiatus of 15 years or more. I think most of our sales are for simple, fairly quick items such as scarves and hats. At least for the new knitters. Of the knitters I've taught in the last year I think less than 10 are really hooked. And I think that's a pretty good percentage. These are the people who will carry the craft forward.

Media hype probably brought a lot of new knitters just as it will turn them away. Stories that state something is unhip will influence the same people that picked something up because it was cool.

I have watched knitting come and go for the past 30 years so I expect even if there is a decline knitting will survive and have a resurgence in another 10 years. We'll be ready.

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Jenanne
Chatty Knitter

154 Posts

Posted - 10/27/2002 :  04:21:43 AM  Show Profile  Visit Jenanne's Homepage Send Jenanne a Private Message
My teen - who has never been a sweater fan - is only just coming around to it. She won't learn to knit but she's finally seeing sweaters as the fashion item they are. This convinces me that at least our our neck of the back-of-the-woods, knitting (and knitted things) are still coming into their own.

--
Jenanne
http://www.jenanne.com/blogger.htm
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Bflexner
New Pal

USA
12 Posts

Posted - 10/27/2002 :  04:49:09 AM  Show Profile Send Bflexner a Private Message
Does it matter whether knotting is in or out?? Hip or not? I don't think so. If you have studied women's history you know that the skill has been continuous. Some women will knit for personal satisfaction or relaxation or whatever as long as others will cook!!

I never knew knitting to be hip! or in!! I learned to knit as a child. I made sure my daughters learned to knit and I hope that they in turn (when the time comes) will make sure that their daughters and sons learn to knit as well. I consider it a life enhancing skill like, say, cooking or breathing or sewing a button and a hem.

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CatherineM
Permanent Resident

USA
3363 Posts

Posted - 10/27/2002 :  04:55:19 AM  Show Profile  Visit CatherineM's Homepage Send CatherineM a Private Message
I'm thinking the publication of book called "Hip to Knit," is probably a sign that the hipness is about to wane. Isn't that the kiss of death for hipness? That's fine with me, I don't much care if it's hip or not.

But it IS nice to see younger people taking up the hobby, simply because I am sick unto death of people my own age (mid-40s) saying, "My grandma used to do that!" when they see me knitting, or even more often, the smile and condescending, "Gee, I just don't have time to do things like that," (particularly amusing from women who spend endless hours and bucks sitting around various salons getting their hair colored and regular manicures, pedicures and leg waxes while thumbing through six month old fashion magazines and talking about shopping, but gosh, they're way "too busy" to knit).

I suspect that those who are doing it because they think it's the cool thing to do these days will move on to the next hot trend as soon as it emerges, but others will become knitters for life, and that's how it should be.

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smkolberg@earthlink.net
New Pal

1 Posts

Posted - 10/27/2002 :  04:57:20 AM  Show Profile Send smkolberg@earthlink.net a Private Message
I think that knitting like anything "new" will stay popular with a few. Others who jumped on the bandwagon to be cool will drop it. But it will always be there, like riding a bike. I learned to knit from my mom when I was 10-12 and have always knit alittle, never obsessed. I think that it is like the current trend with gardening, Yoga, canning,etc. None of it is new, just new to them. Some of us will knit forever. Plus that's what keeps it passed on. One or two. I love the availability of great yarns now tho!!
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BessH
Permanent Resident

3095 Posts

Posted - 10/27/2002 :  06:14:25 AM  Show Profile  Visit BessH's Homepage Send BessH a Private Message
Wow what a topic. I feel so many threads leading from it I’m not sure I can comment coherently but I also feel compelled to write. Is knitting losing its hipness? Why should I care? Why do people want to be hip? Who determines what is hip? How hard is the media trying to manipulate us? How susceptible are we? Really, Clara - this could be a doctoral dissertation should someone want to travel down all its many paths.

But a few things float to the top of my consciousness. Since I am knitting and I want lots of options, I hope knitting stays hip enough to keep good yarn shops open, be they on-line or en-bricks&mortar. I am so darn glad I can buy real wool, gloriously colored, soft to the touch in all thicknesses. Not just from typed descriptions on newsprint paper, but from glossy catalogs or high definition .jpg files. And I can order over the phone and expect delivery in less than a week. Both of the large cities I shop in have lovely yarn shops. Good books are being published, but video technology has also come into its own and we now have that option as well. If this is the result of being hip then I am glad of it.

But the very nature of being “hip” is that one is part of a huge movement, a crowd, with dress codes, rules, behavioral expectations, rigidity, and conformity. To be hip is to be with the “in crowd”. Human nature leads us to yearn for community, but crowd is a tough word for the creative. Being creative means stepping outside the box, trying new, exotic, foreign, ... different. It means looking at the rules of conformity and saying “what if I break this one here, twist that one a bit...? What if?” I wonder if creative types instinctively resist being categorized as “hip” because they are always going to be different. If they are gregarious or extroverted, they may be in the vanguard of some movement, but once their creativity becomes someone else’s rules, they are likely to wander off on a new path. And think of the more quiet creative types you’ve known who gambol in their magical world completely oblivious to the rest of us.

Being hip is a media designation. It is an appellation given to some cluster of activities and products that will sell goods and services and thus cause money to flow. Flowing money is good because it produces wealth for society, but as in any human activity, it can be warped into something bad by misuse. The course of media designations roughly follows this circuit - Media claims something is hip. If they are successful, people clamor for the goods and services needed to be part of the in crowd. More of said g&s are produced and media gets paid to advertise them. Who can blame the media? Whence comes that wonderful motto Caveat Emptor.

Do you remember the day you realized you were wearing something because Glamour Magazine or Vogue or some other glossy publication told you that was the "Hip, New" look? How did you feel? What was your reaction? Were you angry? Did you just shrug your shoulders? Pick the best from the selections offered and leave the rest? I was just leaving my teens when I realized how much I had been manipulated and rather swore off fashion for a few years. Later I was a 'pick and choose' type, although I must admit that the year Vogue magazine ran fashion layouts of women in threatened poses (think here, rape victims), I swore off that publication for good. Now and then bad decisions have permanent effects and the editors of that rag really blew it for me.

So, is the gloss fading on knitting? Long ago I decided that if everybody liked something it was time to be suspicious. There was probably a manipulator lurking in the background. So for the most part I don’t care. People will always wear sweaters, hats, mittens, socks and gloves. Some people will like making them. Where I care is if lack of interest causes the wonderful selections we now have to diminish. That would be a tragedy.


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harrietandgene@verizon.net
New Pal

4 Posts

Posted - 10/27/2002 :  06:39:36 AM  Show Profile Send harrietandgene@verizon.net a Private Message
As someone who has knitted for 30 years and am obsessed. i only hope knitting stays hip so the great yarn shops can stay in business and the =great yarns keep rolling in.
I have taught and helped 4 young people in my office learn to knit. 2 seem serious and will probably go forward. I am now teaching my 30 year old daughter to knit as her maternal instincts are coming out as she is pregnant with her first child.
As for me I just want to keep knitting for my grandchildren. I love it and don't care whether it is hip.
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jcavin
New Pal

USA
30 Posts

Posted - 10/27/2002 :  06:48:33 AM  Show Profile Send jcavin a Private Message
Since retiring three years ago, I have found that knitted sweaters are more suitable our wardrobes than suit jackets and blazers. So, as long as I can get the yarns I want, knitting will not fade away for me. Besides, now that our offspring are raising their own families, there's a whole new generation of kids to knit for.

Joan Cavin
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EdieC
New Pal

USA
22 Posts

Posted - 10/27/2002 :  09:05:42 AM  Show Profile Send EdieC a Private Message
I think knitting like any other craft will always be around. I learned to knit as a little girl, gave it up for number years & recently took it up again knitting things for my new baby grandson. I think the problem with the new generation is they want instant gratification. That's why the bulky yarns are so popular. For instance my daughter-in-law saw the sweaters I made & she was so thrilled she wanted me to teach her how to knit. She made scarf & hat using bulky yarn which came out fairly well. They when she went to a thinner yarn saw it was not that easy & I think she has given up by now. Knitting should be relaxing not a race to finish. In my opinion it will always be around. The problem is the local yarn stores near me are few & far between and very expensive.. They cant seem to keep up with the discount craft stores where the personal attention is missing.

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tygger
New Pal

18 Posts

Posted - 10/27/2002 :  09:19:29 AM  Show Profile Send tygger a Private Message
All things, knitting included, have their "seasons in the sun". Right now, knitting is trendy thanks to celebrity knitters like Julia Roberts. I don't really follow trends. In fact, I was intrigued by knitting by quite some time before I finally bit the bullet and tried it. I have crocheted for about 30 years, but for some reason, knitting looked too "complicated". Now that I knit, I am seriously addicted to it, and crochet only sporadically.
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sparkle
New Pal

Canada
5 Posts

Posted - 10/27/2002 :  10:24:30 AM  Show Profile Send sparkle a Private Message
Knitting is like sewing: There will always be a group – young and old, trendy and traditional – who will knit because they relish in the process of creating their own garb. I am a new comer to knitting, a young person that seemed to slip in before the craze reached its height. But even if it looses its mainstream appeal, I know I will always knit.

And funny someone should mention macrame. I was digging in my folks' basement and found an old book on handicrafts that my ex-hippie mom bought in the early 70s. The macrame section caught my eye. Perhaps this possible trend towards macrame or crochet is an extenuation of a general interest in handicrafts and a neo-return to back-to-basics. I think so. People have become more interested in organic food, not only because it doesn't use carcinogenic inputs but because it employs more sustainable and environmentally-responsible practices. What does that have to do with knitting? It is this return to simplicity and basics that has prompted many to search for soothing, industrious hobbies.

I, too, hope that the knitting/yarn shop owners can fare well during a possible dip in interest. If they suffer, I partially blame the industry - including retailers. In most businesses, you must grow your own market. That means more advertising, marketing, co-oping resources with industry partners to find ways to expand the scope of who will buy the yarn – whether it be in your neighbourhood, city, or across the nation.
That means educating the public and aggressively enticing them by showing them the incredible items they can create with their own hands. Researching trends and filling the gaps where other clothing manufacturers, hobby and craft supply makers fall short. It won't take much, as knitting will always have its loyal followers, but it must reinvent itself ( like it did two years ago when it began to create more patterns for younger people) on a regular basis.


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carols
Permanent Resident

USA
1681 Posts

Posted - 10/27/2002 :  10:54:38 AM  Show Profile Send carols a Private Message
In my less-than-40-years, I can recall hearing the following from the trend-meisters:
Basic black will never go out of style
Navy is the new black
Charcoal grey is the new black
Brown is the new black
Pink is the new black
Basic black will never go out of style

So who cares what they say about knitting?!

I do agree, though, that enough of an interest in knitting must be sustained in order to continue the amazing influx of new yarns, patterns and books, as well as shops, that we've seen in the past few years.
Carol
p.s. as ever, well-said BessH!!!




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pqpatch
Seriously Hooked

USA
617 Posts

Posted - 10/27/2002 :  11:31:47 AM  Show Profile  Visit pqpatch's Homepage Send pqpatch a Private Message
After a ten year hiatus from my knitting needles and crochet hooks, I have returned. I am like a kid in a candy store. There is so much out there that wasn't available years ago. Whether it is hip or not, I am glad I have started to knit again. I don't know why I stopped really. I guess busy life just took over. A daughter in college and working full-time to keep her there and running a household took up most of my time. Now I have slowed down and can enjoy all that knitting shops have to offer. As for macrame, been there... done that don't care to make one more plant hanger!!!!!!!!!

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Patience
Permanent Resident

USA
1080 Posts

Posted - 10/27/2002 :  11:54:01 AM  Show Profile Send Patience a Private Message
How sad that some are so easily led by the "latest, hippest things" that are "in". I like to think for myself and we knitters already know that knitting will always be "in", whether others agree or not-----knitters are leaders, not followers!!

Regards, Patience


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