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 Is knitting losing its hipness?
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chris
Permanent Resident

USA
2463 Posts

Posted - 10/28/2002 :  09:47:44 AM  Show Profile Send chris a Private Message
Flangum, I'm not so sure that the "dumbing down" is a bad thing...if it sparks an interest that remains as the years go by. For most of us, the first thing we knitted was a scarf...probably on large needles with a fairly chunky yarn. The fact remains, we learned to knit, then went on to other creations...smaller needles, thinner yarn, more creative stitches. But to have tried to knit a pair of socks or a cable sweater to start out with, we might have become frustrated and given up completely before we really got going. You've got to walk before you can run...

I guess I'm part of the fad knitter numbers. I started knitting just a year ago. (A year ago, I was in Mexico City, knitting up a storm as our tour bus went from location to location...sigh...what a great trip!) However, I didn't start knitting because I thought it would be a cool thing to do. I thought it would be a wonderful way to have a creative, portable "hobby" that I could start simple and grow with as time went by. My knitting is nothing to write home about. So far, I've make a few scarves, a couple hats (one of which was chewed up by a motorcycle just a couple weeks after it was complete arrrrugh), 33 (so I lost count!!) placemats, and one simple sweater, given to a very forgiving niece. But the big thing is that my skills are increasing...I can see my mistakes now and fix them if I think they need fixing. I can look at a stitch pattern and see how it would come together. I can stop knitting and "read" it when I come back to it so I no longer have to stop at just this certain place in order to continue. So, from that first simple garter stitch scarf on size 10 needles, I've come a long way. The wonderful thing is that I have even further to go and that's really exciting.

I've done a lot of creative things in my life...but none was as portable and as gratifying as knitting is. I'm glad for the interest in knitting for the same reasons others have mentioned: it has made beautiful yarns more available (if not more affordable). Those of us who began knitting as a creative outlet, not as part of the hip wave, will probably stick with it. The others will move on to the next new thing and tire of it just as quickly.

chris (who vividly remembers selling her mother's decorated candles door to door as a child)

Keep on knittin', mama, knittin' those blues away!
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Luvtoknit
New Pal

23 Posts

Posted - 10/28/2002 :  10:57:19 AM  Show Profile Send Luvtoknit a Private Message
I think people that are creative & love to use their hands will always be one-step ahead of the curve. Its like being an artist only with yarn.
I think the Gen X generation could learn volumes by using their hands and working diligently to learn a craft. I think the message out there is instant success-stars overnight, instant millionaire.

I have always wanted to be different not hip.

I am also like a kid in a candy store when I go into a yarn shop.
I can't get enough classes & learn enough new techniques.
I am addicted & obessed and I will be knitting for life,God willing.
I agree lets support our wonderful LYS and keep the awesome selections of yarns available.
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s_tache@yahoo.com
New Pal

1 Posts

Posted - 10/28/2002 :  11:23:18 AM  Show Profile Send s_tache@yahoo.com a Private Message
I don't think the media buzz is entirely a bad thing. It brought to my attention that there are wonderful yarns and designs that don't look frumpy and old fashioned. I stopped in at a LYS and was bowled over by the yarns available now, even acrylics are softer than I remember.

I sewed and did crochet when I was in high school but have recently come back to the satisfaction of making things by hand - knitting included.
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RoseByAny
Permanent Resident

USA
12598 Posts

Posted - 10/28/2002 :  11:43:31 AM  Show Profile  Visit RoseByAny's Homepage Send RoseByAny a Private Message
Yeah, lets not bash the media (says the radio woman) - and I even agree with "dumbing down" - IN THIS CASE. That is, if dumbing down is SIMPLIFYING I have no problem with it. If it's done in a condescending manner, that's something else.

But I think of all the "closet knitters" out there - people stop and start, or don't do it publicly but do privately (we're still talking knitting here) and that's all that matters - that they're doing it! It's creation, it's artistic, it's NOT destructive.

And take a look at Clara's stats about people signing on to this website! You gentlepeople are the coolest I know - knitting is here to stay!

"Choose your friends by their character and your socks by their color. Choosing your socks by their character makes no sense, and choosing your friends by their color is unthinkable."
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PattiG
Permanent Resident

1119 Posts

Posted - 10/28/2002 :  12:05:45 PM  Show Profile Send PattiG a Private Message
Fads will come and go, but as long as sweaters are the most lightweight way to stay warm and baby showers are a rite of passage for new mothers, I think knitting will have an audience. It's portable, affordable, versatile and can be challenging or simple. Also, it appeals to a wide range of tastes. Macrame and crocheting just don't have quite as much going for them, but that macrame is actually staging a comeback is testament to how we crave the creative process no matter how strapped we are for time. I've benefitted tremendously from knitting's popularity: so many new books and patterns, so many sources of yarns and last but not least knittersreview.com!

Knitting's trend status can be funny though. In the paper today there is an ad for a furniture store called "Rooms to Go." The model, seated on a sofa, is holding knitting needles, awkwardly, with some yarn wrapped around them. And her fella is gamely holding out his arms with the yarn tightly wound around them. Gotta laugh!

Patti G.
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AlexH
Chatty Knitter

286 Posts

Posted - 10/28/2002 :  12:41:51 PM  Show Profile Send AlexH a Private Message
I do love to share the craft, but I guess I haven't been "hip" enough to notice the increase in knitters (or really proficient ones, or yarn shops). Does anyone know if this trend was started by Ms. Lewinsky who knitted during stressful times? How was the trend first marked by the media? Is the trend in the east and in Hollywood? (I'm in San Francisco.)

Maybe the "hip" knitters will rise to an intermediate level and then quit. Or maybe, as with most fads, the true artists and perfectionists, will be the ones to pioneer new techniques and pass on their skills.

My assistant is pregnant and asked me if I would teach her to knit and/or crochet. Now her 7-yr-old daughter wants to learn. I've got my hands full!

My great grandmother first taught me to crochet and then to knit. I've always felt blessed by her gift to me, and want to pass it along to others. (Btw, I'm Alexandra, and this is my first time here.) :)

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Pookie
Chatty Knitter

255 Posts

Posted - 10/28/2002 :  2:08:17 PM  Show Profile Send Pookie a Private Message
Isn't it a little funny to talk about a craft that has been around for hundreds of years (or thousands of years, depending on what you read) as being "hip" or a "flash-in-the-pan?" It's not as if it was invented a generation ago, and now has become really popular, and soon will just fade away. Regardless, I just think it's awe-inspiring to be part of the current generation in such a wonderfully looooooooong chain of knitting artists. I get such a feeling of "connectedness" knowing that perhaps my hands are performing the same movements as those of one of my ancestors of, say, ten generations ago.

Although, I have to agree with the many people who say that the popularity of knitting may be connected to how many wonderful LYS's we have. I'd hate to lose my LYS!!

Pookie in Seattle

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Marjorie
Seriously Hooked

New Zealand
605 Posts

Posted - 10/28/2002 :  2:11:10 PM  Show Profile Send Marjorie a Private Message
I have never been hip and never really wanted to be.I have knitted for over forty years because I love creating something different to what everyone else has and for the relaxation.My eighteen year old daughter is the same and has been under a lot of demand to knit for her friends.Most of my friends knit but she is the only one in her group that does.Her friends are definetly interested but more so in getting others to knit for them.
I wonder sometimes with the knitting trend whether some of it could be also because people are getting a bit tired with the fast pace of their lives and to go back to something that takes you off that merry go round for a while is very attractive.I've noticed it especially in people in my age brackett rather than the young.
Just a thought.
Marjorie

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mokumegane
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
558 Posts

Posted - 10/28/2002 :  5:00:58 PM  Show Profile Send mokumegane a Private Message
Yay!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Amanda

quote:

For my 2-cents - I will be teaching Beginning Knitting at a local community college starting next week and I have 25 students signed up!!! This sure feels like there was some pent-up demand for knitting instruction in this area (Northern California).

Knit & be happy,
Terry



Laugh- it keeps you sane!
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mokumegane
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
558 Posts

Posted - 10/28/2002 :  5:16:12 PM  Show Profile Send mokumegane a Private Message
Wow, I'd love to meet this lady! I also do many homemade things and next year, when my stepdad's plum tree is ripe (August/September) I'm going to pick them all and make jam and jelly again! Those plums make the best homemade jam! I also had a friend who gave me homemade grape juice, which I promptly made into jelly. That stuff made the clearest jelly I've seen in my life! I wish I had more of it! Anyway, gotta make breakfast and food for work... hopefully, on wednesday and thursday I can make more homemade bread (that goes so quick)! Oh- and I hate McDonald's because of their Disney happy meals! I'd rather go to Burgerville any day because they only buy stuff from local companies and their happy meals have things in them like safety awareness toys! Right now, they're doing 'American Heroes', which consists of firemen, policemen, etc. Anyway, the food is fresher and better and you can literally get what you want! Mmm... maybe I'll go there again sometime soon for a Chai Tea Milkshake!

Amanda

quote:

<snip>
My great-grandmother inspired me to start knitting, and my mom to restart, and Mom taught me. But my most influential knitting teacher has been a friend who was also my landlady and professor in college. She's in her mid-sixties and loves everything handmade-- in addition to being a veteran knitter, she cans, bakes, sews, makes soap and candles, composts, you name it. She rents rooms in her big old Victorian to us impoverished college girls, anywhere from two to six at a time. All of us who live with her are new to this way of life-- and most of us are thrilled and fascinated. I had never tasted fresh-off-the-farm vegetables until I lived with her. With her as my knitting coach, I made hats, socks, scarves, and a shirt this summer-- and of the five other young women in the house, all of them saw them and said, "Teach me how!"

So I'm hoping that knitting will be part of a revival of a less plastic way of life. This could be wishful thinking, but I think there are a lot of young people who are sick of choosing from the same three sweaters at the Gap, and who want an outlet for their creativity and style. Hip or not hip, I'll do my part by teaching anyone who asks! :-)

sarah

"If you want to own the means of production, grab a set of 8's and get to work."



Laugh- it keeps you sane!
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mokumegane
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
558 Posts

Posted - 10/28/2002 :  5:33:57 PM  Show Profile Send mokumegane a Private Message
Lol, well the macrame I do, you at least need eagle eyes to see what you're doing! Heh- I was born much later than you but I'll have to say I still like knitting better than macrame and always have. I don't know... maybe because my mom taught me, her mom was so good at it (I've always practically worshipped her though I never met her) or the memory of this really soft, green and white dress that my mom knit for me when I was little. That was the only dress I would wear without a fight! Anyway, I've always tried to make things more difficult than they should be.... I mean, just think, instead of making this sweater for my baby, I altered the pattern (on the seat of my pants, too) into a dress with crossed straps in the back- sleeveless! Maybe I'll put cap sleeves- ruffled- not sure yet because I'm not done (and those can be added at any time) but I do know the crossed straps won't be in ribbing like the rest- I want it smooth!

Amanda

quote:

<snip>
I dunno, macrame may make a comeback yet, it's one of those fairly isntant gratification, no huge amount of skill required things and the 70s are nostalgic (aaak! I graduated in '75! I'm part of the Happy Days of this era!), macrame is probably due for a rebirth.




Laugh- it keeps you sane!
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Groda
New Pal

USA
2 Posts

Posted - 10/28/2002 :  9:46:58 PM  Show Profile Send Groda a Private Message
You know, I've been crocheting for about 3 years. I am 26 years old, and have been laughed at, called "granny", and made fun of for my hobby. So, I don't care whether or not people think knitting and crochet is "hip". I'd actually rather it not be- because "hip" usually means "out" pretty soon. I say to heck with conformity, and we just do what we like!! Power to the knitters and crocheters;)!!!!

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pcknits@cox.net
New Pal

8 Posts

Posted - 10/28/2002 :  10:40:38 PM  Show Profile Send pcknits@cox.net a Private Message
There is no way that knitting is on the way out. Those of us who have been knitting for years and years will not quit until they bury me with my knitting needles for my next life.
It is my pleasure and my passion, I do love to do it. I do love to brag about what I have made
pcknits
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lacylaine
Seriously Hooked

USA
989 Posts

Posted - 10/29/2002 :  10:41:45 AM  Show Profile Send lacylaine a Private Message
Amanda,

Where can I get a Chai Tea Milkshake in Indiana? Of course, this should be on the coffee/tea thread, but isn't it wonderful how we all come back to knitting, even on the computer?

As soon as I read that sentence of Amanda's, I got a picture of sunny summertime, knitting on the porch, with this luscious milkshake at my side.

Instead, I have blustery fall and a cup of hot chai in my armchair with my knitting to look forward to. Come to think of it, not bad either!

Melanie

"Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might." Ecclesiastes 9:10
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Kristin
Seriously Hooked

USA
606 Posts

Posted - 10/29/2002 :  10:58:19 AM  Show Profile Send Kristin a Private Message
I've been knitting since I was 8 years old. I remember in high school wearing a sweater I had made out of pink mohair. I got a lot of compliments on it but as soon as I said that I made it, then it was "oh Kristin's a little old lady sitting in her rocking chair". I could never understand this mentality. So, it's OK if my sweater is from a store but not OK if I made it myself? PUH-LEASE!

Flash-foward to 2002 and now when I'm knitting on the train on the way to work, I get so many people asking me if I could teach them how to knit. Most of the women who are younger than me invariably say "I wish I would have learned this years ago". So, I guess I was just "hip" before my time...LOL

Frankly, I could care less if knitting is considered hip or if it's "on it's way out". I LOVE to knit and I'll keep on doing it regardless of what other people think. I love how creative I feel when I'm making something and I love touching the lovely yarns & pouring through knitting books and daydreaming about what I want to make next.

Knitting fufills something in me that I just can't describe. I think I'd be a very tense & irritable person if I couldn't knit. Just my

--Kristin
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Atavistic
Permanent Resident

6604 Posts

Posted - 10/30/2002 :  5:28:00 PM  Show Profile  Visit Atavistic's Homepage Send Atavistic a Private Message
quote:

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).


This made me laugh. I'm in a graduate program for teaching. I OBVIOUSLY knit in class. I mean, I've been working on a sweater and the other students in the cohort (we all take the same classes at the same time) ask, "OK, so what part is this....?"

Today I was weaving in ends.

My profs know I knit, but because I am such an auditory learner and can still pay attention and answer all of their questions they don't care. In fact, one of the profs said that knitting in class is cool because "it's a very grounding thing to do." And she's not even a knitter!

I have taught one other classmate to knit--she's picking it up really fast. Mostly, the other students want to know if a) I COULD knit a sweater like their's--as if they're testing my skills and b) if I WOULD knit them something. (I say no, cause they can't pay me enough.)

Amanda

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djfleesh
Chatty Knitter

USA
144 Posts

Posted - 10/31/2002 :  1:37:54 PM  Show Profile Send djfleesh a Private Message
very interesting topic.

i have been knitting for the past 20 of my 37 years, and endured the stares, pointing, and "oohs and ahs" as well. i am glad for the shop owners that knitting is in, but was a little sad when the likes of hollywood made it cool to knit. only because it made me think "it's too bad that you need a famous face to say something is cool." i never really thought of it as hip or cool, and now, it makes me a little sick to hear about who in tinsel town is working the needles. now, in all fairness, i am an afternoon radio personality in philadelphia, and have always proudly talked about my knitting, but not in a "hey look at me, i am so hip cause i knit" kind of way. it's just what i do. i also sing, i also cook. and i don't think that either of those things are particularly hip either. i do think that, as with everything, the undulations of time will do it's magic on our shared passion, but in the end, knitting will remain.

thanks for letting me vent a bit,

fleesh

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fillyjonk
Permanent Resident

1127 Posts

Posted - 10/31/2002 :  1:39:56 PM  Show Profile  Visit fillyjonk's Homepage Send fillyjonk a Private Message
I don't generally care too much about being hip.

My main worry is that if knitting becomes "unpopular" again, that it will become harder to find good yarns, interesting patterns, and the necessary tools of the trade.

I am enjoying the "flowering of diversity" I've seen in knitting - I may not like superbulky yarns knit doubled on size 35 needles, but someone does, and more power to her. Likewise, there are lots of people who gasp at the thought of knitting sockyarn on 1's, but that's my passion.

Like I said, I'm generally pretty "unhip" and I don't care too much about hip:

but one thing that bothers me is a trend in our culture towards what I call "ahistoricality", that is, wrenching something out of its context and holding it up as something NEW! and AMAZING! and TRENDY! even though there are people who have been doing it for umpteen years.

because anything that is NEW! and AMAZING! and TRENDY! eventually becomes not-so, and then people tend to make fun of it - not realizing, of course, that they are the silly ones.

It's sad to me to see people jump from one thing to another, seeking the "holy grail" of being up to the minute. I guess some people enjoy that, but it seems kind of empty to me.

I do hope that some who hopped on the knitting bandwagon have found a fulfilling and meaningful art for themselves to do, and they will continue.
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fmarrs
Guardian angel

USA
9776 Posts

Posted - 10/31/2002 :  7:01:31 PM  Show Profile Send fmarrs a Private Message
I for one am glad to see knitting is hip again. The only way it will affect me is that there will be more yarn available and more outlets coming up to sell it. The next year or two should be fun. After all, hip is whatever the media is interested in for the time being, and something new will be coming around in a few months. Only on the groundroots level can we really inflence anything, so let's take advantage of it and make our choices with our purchases. Purhaps out of all this hype we can get a few more yarn shops and sources of good supplies. After all we were here before it started and we will be here long after.

fran

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ikamouse
Warming Up

USA
50 Posts

Posted - 11/01/2002 :  10:55:11 AM  Show Profile Send ikamouse a Private Message
I too am a newcomer to knitting (about two months), and only after telling friends about my new hobby did I find out that it was considered "cool." Doing something trendy is definitely new for me! Like most people here, I only hope whatever decline there may be isn't so sharp it forces yarn shops to close. I'm not doing anything so fancy yet that I need to order order specific yarns off the internet, and I love going into yarn stores and exploring their wares by touch as well as by sight!

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