Knit Crit

I thought it was interesting to note that while many Australians sat around their Sunday morning breakfast tables reading in the Sunday Life Magazine that knitting was a fad that had bombed (“Gone in 60 seconds” by Steve Dow which I guess has been reworked and renamed from his “Oxygen bars, fondue and other fads that fizzled“) there was a huge amount of us knitters all crammed into the Brunswick Town Hall pawing over delicious yarns, discussing car pools up to the Bendigo Wool Show and yacking about our latest projects. Perhaps, as the article says, the Cricketer’s Arms in Sydney has lost it’s strong Stitch n Bitch numbers but I have heard you can barely move at the official Melbourne meet ups at Gloria Jeans in South Yarra, and now there are quite healthy spin-offs in Melbourne’s North, East and a new one on Thursday nights in the city… not to mention the rest of the world. I have been to one recent evening meet at the now sadly defunct Swings and Slides where there were at least 30 women of all ages knitting and chatting up a storm. Our email list is incredibly active and healthy, Stitch ‘n Bitch book sales were wild with a sequel in the works. I dunno, perhaps there are also Segway fan boys who are berating Steve Dow on their tech weblogs at this very moment and maybe there are some fondue fanatics being just as outraged on their food blogs but honestly… is knitting dead? Maybe it’s just not particularly quirky and media sexy any more.
And speaking of knitting, the boot camp cardigan pieces are all knitted and tonight I will put it together and block it (if I have time, though Angels in America is on TV and will be a major distraction). I knitted up one of the little Rowan Junior flowers in the same yarn (below right) with another contrasting colour from the Bendigo Rustic range which will look pretty cute stitched on. The other flower (below left) I am thinking of sticking a brooch pin on the back and pinning on to a cardigan of my own.

Today my grandma looked through my Rowan Junior book and decided that she too is going to take up the needles after a very long break from anything craft related and knit Amelia a little jumper. I showed her the lovely little Evie pattern and she thought it looked like a good one to try. I am so pleased that she is going to give this a go as patchwork and embroidery and many of the other gentle arts were such a huge part of her life which all disappeared and got too hard when she had a stroke. I really hope she will find great joy in the act of creating something beautiful again.

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16 Responses

  1. says:

    I love those little flowers!

  2. It’s nice to see how you and your beautiful little family are doing.I am also OBSESSED with knitting (my hobby since April) these days-also for my sweet and crazy 18mth old toddler, Miranda.
    You must check out the book “Hip to Knit”. I LOVE this book. Cheers, Barbara

  3. Although I don’t knit yet, I’ve always wanted to learn how. And I see people knitting or wearing their own creations who knows what that guy is on about!
    Love those flowers! And the colours are just great!

    That’s really sweet about your grandmother. I hope she enjoys it as well. I think it’s wonderful that your creativity has inspired her!

  4. says:

    I don’t think that knitting is dead either. I travel on the train to Uni in Sydney each day (a two hour trip) and regularly notice people knitting – of all ages. It seems like a popular thing to do on those long trips.
    I always find myself staring at them working their needles, the different types of yarn, and the creations that result (often without looking, or dropping a stitch!!!). It looks like something that could be very satisfying.

    If only I could do some woodwork on the train. Where would I put a lathe??

  5. says:

    Try and try as I might, I’ve never been able to learn how to knit (from books, unfortunately no one I know knows either). So I’ve taken up crochet…for some reason I visualise the stitches better and am having a ball. Think I’d be welcome to Stich n Bitch meets?

  6. says:

    I asked below, but now I think I see: I want to knit those adorable flowers. Is the pattern available in the Rowan Junior book? They’re just so sweet!

  7. Hi Claire…I actually used to own a (quite large, i.e. 1300 square foot, 12 employees) knitting store here in Portland ,Oregon. I had it for five and a half years. The area where my shop was, the Pearl District, was just about to start it’s development phase when we moved in. By the time my lease was up, they wanted to double the rent. Knitting as a ‘hot’ trend was still around the corner. We couldn’t afford the jump in rent because the margins in the knitting business are just not that large. So, sadly, I closed my shop…this has been nearly 8 years ago. People still talk about my store with nostalgia, which can be quite satisfying.But, the really silly thing was that, because I owned a yarn store, I had almost no time to knit. Since then, I have taken up many artish pursuits, and have only gone back to knitting the odd hat, here and there.We did sell quite a bit of Rowan yarn in my store, and we had Kaffe Fassett there about 3 times for wonderful knitting ‘events’. It was a fun time. I hope you are having as much fun with your knitting events.

  8. says:

    knitting is a fad that’s bombed? tell that to my stitch n bitch group who regularly enjoy sunday afternoon gatherings on the back porch in newtown, complete with home made cakes and pots of tea. oh, ok, i admit, wine and cheese…

  9. says:

    The reason the knitting group at the Cricketers in Sydney failed is because it was a PR exercise in the first place, rather than a spontaneous gathering of dedicated knitters. One only has to walk into somewhere like Spotlight or Lincraft and see the massive amount of yarn available compared to only a couple of years ago to know that it is NOT a dead fad! I think that was an article about nothing by someone who knows very little about anything …

  10. says:

    We had a fondue at my parents place last week. One persons fad …..

  11. I read that article with the same amount of shock and immediately shouted my favorite umpire-like phrase: “BAD journalism!” (Yes, I say this a lot because I am a journalist.) I think the writer in question was trying to do research on the web or maybe viewing past articles on the topic instead of talking to real people. Very bad.
    Mollysusie, we just had a crochet-only gal join the SnB group, and, by all accounts, she’s loving it. You would most definitely be welcome, but beware of knitters wanting crochet lessons from you!

  12. Ummm … so if it’s not done at the Cricketer’s Arms it’s a fad not a trend. Me thinks the CA has a rather inflated opinion of their importance in the world! Maybe knitters prefer the comfort of a coffee shop to the ruckus of a pub?

  13. damn that ignorant sydney journo! If s/he is going to frame knitting as a ‘fad’ then it surely must have a lowpoint. It’s a self-fulfilling signifier.
    If one was instead to consider it a ‘lifestyle’ (like so many of us knitters do!) then it would be harder to dismiss it so easily.

    And *damn* those Rowan flowers are cute! I’d like to make a bunch for brooches as well. There goes another wad of cash on a Rowan book…

  14. Hi Stephanie… yes, sorry I didn’t answer before – the flowers are from the Rowan Junior book which is a great book full of beautiful patterns for kids from 0 – 12. The flowers are really cute and once you work out the instructions really quick and easy.

  15. says:

    You sometimes have to wonder about what gets put into print. That guy obviously has no idea about the stampedes that occur at the yarn shelves in my local Lincraft and Spotlight stores when they have their big sales or the amount of cyber-space spending that is happening out there. I could hardly move in the Brunswick Town Hall and Master 5 yo had a tough time being jostled by all the crazed yarn-fossickers but he did enjoy having a go at the ball-winder and swift and was fascinated by the knitting machine.
    Rowan Junior book – can’t recommend it enough, it is the most borrowed book in my collection by knitty friends with young kids. Also great for the tweens as the designs go up to a size 12 and are classically fashionable in that Rowan style

  16. You are such a nice grand daughter