Thursday, February 24, 2011

NPR= Knitting Headquarters

Hello, all!

You can imagine my excitement when news of a new episode of On Point, focusing on my favorite fiber craft, hit the online knit-o-sphere.

I finally got a chance to listen to the podcast, which featured cameos from Franklin Habit (!) and Susan Strawn.

The podcast featured an interesting array of opinions on the craft of knitting, particularly in the modern day. Many callers were able to express their passion for the craft and the motivations which drive them to continue to practice it.

Susan Strawn mentioned the idea that knitting experiences a resurgence whenever our country is in a time of distress, and brought up various wars as catalysts for knitting resurgence, as well as the events of September 11, 2001.  I was puzzled, however, as knitting did experience extreme peaks in popularity during wars prior to 1950, however, with the Vietnam war, knitting for wartime efforts played a far smaller role in female participation in war efforts, leading up to the present day, in which knitted goods are virtually absent from discourse on military support efforts.  How did knitting go from being such an integral part of the war effort to being a nonexistent one?

Perhaps women used to engage politically from within the sidelines of the domestic sphere, supporting the war effort while still maintaining societal expectations.  After the 1950s, however, domesticity fell out of fashion, as women fought to become involved in all aspects of the 'mens' world' directly, rather than under the shadow of their skirts.  Because of this, women could effect the war effort directly, rather than falling back upon domestic activities as their only means of participation.

The good news is that women still have the freedom to knit in support of troops; in fact, in many cases the knitters are described as an army, fighting to support the Special Olympics, foster children, cancer patients, save the children, and the homeless, but they are not confined to domestic means of helping out- they have simply chosen craft as their method.

I also have to include the cutest thing ever.  My Milk Toof has long been one of my favorite blogs to follow- its short, adorable photo stories about Ickle and Lardee are heartwarming and never fail to make me smile.  Inhae, the artist behind the blog, is coming out with a book!  Below is a really fun 'making of' video.

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