I am very lucky to live in a city that has embraced knitting and knitters. There is almost nothing that I can’t find in this city, and if I am really stuck on something, it’s pretty much a guarantee that there is someone who will be able to help me. I see people knitting on transit, in parks, coffee shops and pubs. I myself have knit in lines for movies and more than once have seen other people doing the same. There are new knitters just starting to test out the waters and veterans doing lace. There are about ½ dozen knitting stores that I can choose from, and while I have my favourites all of them serve the community and it increases our opportunity for knitting diversity. We can connect online with knitters from all over the world thanks to Ravelry and we can order yarns from all over the world thanks to the internet. There are tons of ways to learn how to knit or learn a new technique out there, both in book and online format, and it’s increasingly common to hear a knitter say “there’s an app for that”. All over the place in my city and others, stitch and bitch groups pop up with stunning regularity. The Yarn Harlot is an internationally known knitter whose books and wit make her a favourite among knitters, (and their partners and family members).
So my question is this; Why does the media treat knitting like it’s the new exciting fad? I just don’t get it. One of my LYSs has been featured on T.V. a couple of times. Though there was a gap of well over a year between the two airings, the report still made them sound like they were pioneers in a completely new thing. Magazines both paper and online seem unable to report about stores and knitting without being in awe that it actually happens and that there is an entire knitting community out there. (Just for the record, everything I’ve ever read or watched has always been positive, it just stuns me that the general media still seems to think that knitting is “new.”) It’s almost like knitting has been this well kept secret tucked away behind closed doors and finally, us knitters are brave enough to step out and show our not so dirty little secret to the world. Uh-huh.
While I have to admit that the new embrace of the pastime has certainly made knitting a lot more interesting, knitting has been around for hundreds of years. It’s not new. It’s not always been the “fashionable” thing to do, but it’s always been there and it always will be. I am glad that the media has helped to fuel a knitting-friendly environment and that they always seem to be nice to both individual knitters and the community as a whole, but we are not a novelty! The same number of people taking up naked swimming with the sharks as there are knitters, now that might be something to report on. As for knitters, we are happy to be the “feel good story” when it’s needed, just please, get over your shock. We really aren’t new.