I’m sure you’re with me on this one...when I read a news article about knitting, where they either make the blanket assumption that all knitters are octogenarians, or that knitting is a hobby only practiced by elderly and/or boring people, or they mistakenly call a crochet hook a knitting needle, I cringe. Still, you know what they say: all press is good press, and these days knitting does get some pretty positive attention in the news, which is awesome! Here are just a few recent examples:
Most of us have heard rumors about a few celebrities who knit, but if you take a look at this giant list from the folks at Knit Crate, I bet you’ll find a few names on there that take you by surprise; I know I sure did (hello, Kurt Cobain!).
Of course, one of the most recent examples comes from Krysten Ritter, the star of the Netflix series Jessica Jones, who is famous for being a knitting addict, like the rest of us. She recently appeared on the cover of Vogue Knitting magazine, and even attempted to teach Stephen Colbert how to knit on his late night talk show!
Of course, these celebrities are privy to the secrets we already know—the multitude of ways that knitting can enrich your life and make you feel better on even the darkest day. Though their knitting is no more or less important than anyone else’s in the long run, the benefit of having them among our ranks is that they get more publicity than most of us. Every time a young, trendy actress takes up her needles, the world gets a visible reminder that the traditional stereotypes about our beloved craft are all wrong.
Knitting in the Olympics
Thanks to the Finnish Olympic Ski Team, knitting got some major publicity this winter in the 2018 Olympic Games! These athletes use knitting as a way to calm their nerves and hone their focus before hitting the slopes. This interview on NPR details their adventures with wool, and how knitting helps the team. I love how one skier describes the rectangle he’s knitting, which was supposed to be a square: “There's been a couple other, you know, mishaps, but I don't mind. I mean, it's a living, breathing thing kind of that goes on. I'm freestyling here.”
Whether you’re a “freestyle” knitter or a traditional one, I think we can all appreciate the way knitting helps us connect to people all over the world, somewhat like the Olympics does! It was refreshing to see our favorite pastime combined with the Olympics in a way that the whole world would see.
Knitting and Activism
The story isn’t a new one, but it’s always good to see that knitters continue to take up needles and yarn in defense of the things they care about. Recently, for instance, a group of Australian knitters decided to host a “knit-in” at the office of a local government official, in order to call for an end to the use of fossil fuels. Apparently, the official won’t make any commitments about switching to clean energy options, and according to the article, “As a consequence, the Hastings Macleay Knitting Nanas will sit and knit outside his office every second Tuesday, from 2-3 until the Australian government stops funding fossil fuels.”
How will knitting empower YOU to take up a cause that’s close to your heart? Are you feeling inspired to take your knitting to public places, and raise public awareness that this craft we love is beneficial for anyone? Imagine, if we could all get just one or two more people in this world to take up the hobby—how much more connected would we feel, as a worldwide population?
I hope you’ll find joy and inspiration in every stitch, and spread the love as you go.