WWW: The Muggles Get it Wrong; Indie Untangled; Knitting for the War Effort

There’s been a rash of articles (well, ok, two)  in the mainstream press of late, about the recent “resurgence” of knitting.  It’s always nice to see knitting talked about, but both of these pieces landed badly.

The Guardian in the UK thinks that we might like knitting because the famous people do it. Also, apparently, we do it to fill time.

Toronto’s Globe and Mail tells us that despite its “fusty” image, knitting has managed to “get its groove back”.  

Once again, we see mention of the “granny” stereotypes, our motivations misunderstood, and the work of our hands tragically undervalued.

Feisty knitter Kay Gardiner, (lawyer, author, mother and all-around smart person) decided that we should show the world what else we do. She kicked off the “ANDknitting” hashtag. The idea was to educate the Guardian and the world at large about the wide range of people who knit, and what else we do to “fill our time”. Much wonderful stuff ensued – I know I learned an awful lot about the varied and smart and interesting people in our knitting community.

Louise on the “KnitBritish” blog wrote a wonderful piece about the articles, about the ANDknitting hashtag, and the frustrations we feel in response to these ongoing use of stereotypes in the press.

We’re intrigued by the launch of Indie Untangled. This is a website dedicated to helping crafters discover hand-dyed yarn and fiber. It’s a combination of marketplace and information resource, allowing indie dyers to provide information about their yarns and fibers and where to find them. Dyers will post on the website when they are updating their stores, and with news about their products, and the Indie Untangled team will be writing a newsletter and blog post about products they’ve discovered and news and goings-on in the indie yarn world.

Helping however they could.

Although the heading of this blog post worried me (“Current crafts craze”? Oh no, here we go again…) I enjoyed this overview of the role knitting played in World War 1.

You don’t need to go to school to knit this… (booo!)

As part of the “Follow the Herring” program at Customs House, a group in Hastings UK has set up a series of workshops on maritime-themed knitting. The larger program is celebrating and explored maritime and social history, and is touring the east coast of the UK. The workshops, on everything from knitting your own fish & chip shop, to perhaps more practical gansey knitting, will be held at Stade Hall in Hastings through May and June. And even if you can’t participate in the workshops, you might enjoy knitting yourself this rather wonderful herring.

(524 Posts)

10 thoughts on “WWW: The Muggles Get it Wrong; Indie Untangled; Knitting for the War Effort

  1. trish

    Honestly, I have trouble getting upset at the media for relying on tired tropes, because that’s all they do on any topic anymore. Knitter, introverts, parents, you name it.

    1. Dianne

      Including political issues, accidents, crimes. No one does in depth reporting on anything. One of the morning news shows sent a non-crafter to a recent needlework expo in New York. She didn’t recognize the famous people there or the unique exhibits on display. Is is maddening.

  2. florapie

    I don’t know, neither of those articles are as annoying as the one you mentioned last week about hipster knitter dude, which you know only got written because he was a dude, and you didn’t seem to have a problem with that one!

  3. Mary Ellen

    At this point, I’m actually more annoyed with the use of the word “muggles” to refer to people who don’t knit than I am by any knitting stereotype. It smacks of “we’re so much more special than you” and it’s irritatingly precious.

    1. Linda

      YES!!! I was beginning to think I was the only one that found calling “non-knitters “muggles” very irritating.

  4. Kate

    I always love reading the comments on my posts, and I read the comments about the use of the word “muggles” with great interest.

    I’ve been using it for two reasons: the first is that in a blog post about knitting, I end up using the words “knitter” and “knitting” an awful lot, and I like to find a synonym or alternative word where I can. In addition, I use “muggle” in particular because it’s a word that amuses me. It’s a bit less dry than “non-knitters”.

    I can see how it could be read as precious or twee. But it wasn’t intended that way, honestly!

  5. Mary Ellen

    It irks me because it feels very exclusionary — like “Oooh, there’s no way you could possibly understand knitting!” Nothing would put me off a new hobby faster than someone who does said hobby calling me a muggle — it’s so condescending. That’s the exact opposite of what you want, right?

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