I have been knitting and crocheting since I was 14 years old. How many times have I heard as I sat working on my project, “My grandmother knits/crochets.” There I was, 21 years old, working on my filet crochet project, happy as I could be, and fielding yet another assault on the assumption that only old people knit. Why is that? Certainly, it’s because there are plenty of older people who DO knit and crochet! The argument being that now they have more time to knit or have grandkids to knit for. So many of the ladies that come into the knit store where I work say, “I want to learn to knit again. My mother (or aunt) taught me to knit and I haven’t done it in 30 years.” And guess what? They take a class and they are knitting within minutes because your hands don’t forget. It’s quite fascinating and rewarding to teach this sort of student. Suddenly, it all comes flooding back and they are on their way making new projects with beautiful new yarn because, as we know, yarn is WAY better now than it was 30 years ago! Remember Monsanto? Wintuk? Of course, acrylic is still around and better than ever (keep working on it Red Heart) but as you’ll hear much older people say, “Go get me some wool.” We have way more fibers than just wool in our store. Oh, and guess what? Someone called the store the other day and asked if we had any yarn for men’s sweaters. Why, yes. Yes, we do.
Which brings me to the reason for this topic. I went to a party last night and a male guest whom I did not know asked me what I did. I answered, “I work at a knitting store. I sell yarn and I teach knitting.” To which he responded, “Knitting is kind of a dying art, isn’t it?” Well, no it isn’t and here’s why.
How sad would it be for me to be working at a store where no one ever shopped? To whom would I be teaching knitting? To whom would I be selling yarn? He hadn’t thought through his response at all. In fact, knitting is a booming art and more people than EVER are knitting. The hard truth is, I live in a knitting bubble of sorts. I think about knitting all day long. I talk about knitting most days. I write or read about knitting many days. It is my passion. And when something is your passion, it becomes the center of your world. And I forget that everyone else does not know how AMAZING knitting is. That is a fantastic reason to go to Stitches, by the way. Everyone there is as passionate as you are about knitting and you never have to explain yourself or respond to silly questions. In fact, there are plenty of grandmas at Stitches and they wouldn’t be questioning the awesomeness of knitting; they would be reveling in it.
And this is why I love my job at the knitting store. I get to talk about yarn and knitting and patterns. I get to teach people how to knit (or remind them how to!) I teach them new skills that get them excited about new projects. It’s all a wonderful yarn party every day and I have something in common with everyone who walks through the door.
So, back to you, STEVE, thou who art unfamiliar with the thriving art of knitting. I am not pursuing a dying art, but thanks for your interest.