Thursday, June 17, 2010

Knitting

I graduated from college in summer of 2008 and got married later that year to the man of my dreams. We moved to California, then Wyoming and I completed writing my thesis. Soon there after we moved back to Oregon where I grew up. When we first moved back, I wasn't working yet, and I wasn't doing school, and we don't have any children, so naturally I had to find other ways to entertain myself. Many different hobbies were born out of this boredom, one being this blog, the second and probably my favorite has been knitting.
I love knitting. I taught myself how to knit off of a youtube video over several frustrating days. My fingers ached and I didn't know how to cast off until I got to the end of my third project, but I didn't give up. Now, my husband has knit everything: hats, socks, towels, computer case, you name it. I feel like I have discovered a new underground world that I never knew existed. I see knitting stores everywhere we go, like I used to seek out bookstores or coffee shops! Oh and the sale! I can't even tell you how intense people get about their sales. Every hobby really does have its own culture. I even had a lady offer to sell me yarn out of the trunk of her car, she informed it was, "the special stuff, for real cheap." Who sells yarn to a complete stranger out of the trunk of their car?!? No, I didn't give in to the special, cheap, stealth yarn lady.
In looking at the history of knitting, I am surprised to find that it is not as old as the dawn of time. The first true reference to knitting came in the 14th century in Europe and Egypt for socks and gloves. People began simply with the knit stitch not the purl and knit only on circular needles in the round and had to cut the finished piece if they wanted it flat to sew together. Elizabethian
All this being said, I think that me having to teach myself to knit sort of birthed this blog. I had time to do whatever I wanted and I don't like being idle, so I found something constructive to do that yielded results. Yet, I had to teach myself an art that every girl would've known how to do if she'd grown up fifty, sixty, seventy years ago! Now don't take me wrong. I love my momma more than most, but she never learned how to knit and so I never learned how to knit. Why? WHY? Who knows why, but I conjecture that maybe the feminist movement did touch conservative christian households during the 1960s, therefore leading women like my mother to decide not to learn womanish things, or traditions of womanhood, and almost blotting out the art for a future generation.
Now, yes, I know that knitting is not lost, but not many girls my age actually learned this from a mother, it was a grandmother or a friend or a youtube video that kept this tradition going. I love my mother and I pray she is not offended by this post, because she has taught me more than most girls can do (see my post about apple pie and sewing mom). But I just do not understand where the breakdown in knowledge occurred? Why did I grow up with the notions that I do not want children, or do not talk to my neighbors because they might be creepy, or that knitting is for weak girls and you are a strong woman? Trust me, my parents didn't directly preach these things into my life, well maybe they did with the creepy neighbor thing, but that's a different story, so how did I decide these things myself. How did the moral or maybe gender code of my generation take a turn to be something that looses traditions as old as knitting? Maybe I am just ranting, but I think I'm onto something here, I think that if women of my generation took a stand and reestablished the lost traditions of womanhood, our world would become a softer place. I don't think you have to give up your position as a CEO, just bring your knitting needles to work with you.