Monday, February 09, 2009

The Rebirth of Knitting Cool


This little news story came to my attention via Ravelry this morning. There was some mildly indignant discussion attached to it, with many knitters pointing out that knitting has been growing in popularity since long before the economy tanked and not as a response to the current economic woes. Or that not all knitters are grannies. The biggest beef, though, seems to be with the closing comment that "this is one hobby that doesn't take a lot of dough". Many of the forum posters point to this statement as clear evidence of the reporter's ignorance of our craft. Speaking as someone who is currently knitting with a yarn that cost me $25 a skein, I would have to concur!

There are a great many of us fibre lover types who seem to get quite agitated when non-crafters misrepresent our beloved techniques. (Don't get me started on the whole spinning wheel thing in Disney's Sleeping Beauty! ) The stereotypes of knitting grannies and frilly little toilet paper cozies abound out there. But this weekend, I had the pleasure of seeing two movies that countered those stereotypes. Two movies about "cool" fiberistas! I was blown away!

We have been working hard to get caught up on our movie viewing around here. We're usually big movie fans and see lots of great and not-so-great flicks, and now we have about a dozen movie channels on cable, but we've fallen woefully behind. We have, however, accumulated all of the summer blockbusters on DVD and have been chipping away at the pile.

Friday night, we watched Wanted, starring James McAvoy, Morgan Freeman, and Angelina Jolie. I'm a bit of an action movie fan anyway, but everyone told me that I had to see this one. Now I know why--it's about the most kick-ass gang of weavers ever! I will not give away the plot details, but suffice it to say that there is a little preface that tells us that 1,000 years ago a group of weavers established this elite assassination squad. I actually had to skip back and check the DVD because I thought I had misread. But, no, it said weavers. And, let me tell you, if more weavers acted like the characters in this movie, nobody would ever mess with us again!

So, that was pretty cool.

The next night we watched Zach and Miri Make a Porno. (WARNING! Not for the faint of heart! Pretty damn raunchy, actually.) I am also a Kevin Smith fan, though I totally understand that not everyone appreciates his sensibility. But, as we are watching away (and laughing our asses off), I commented that there were a lot of conspicuously handknit scarves and hats (some of which, frankly, were pretty bad). Then Miri says that she got to try some clothes because she gave a sales clerk a deal on wool. SHE WORKS IN A YARN SHOP! The movie is crass, but hilarious, and remarkably sweet. I loved it a lot. So we're watching the deleted scenes, and there is a scene where Miri is getting dressed while Zach starts the car. She runs into her room, and there, right beside her bed, is her stash!

I think I actually squealed a little.

I've also heard rumors of knitting content in Lars and the Real Girl, but I'm having trouble getting my hands on a copy.

And, lest we forget, Marge Simpson is a knitter. As is Emerson Cod on Pushing Daisies.

So, for every Ford truck commercial that tells us that you can settle for a lesser vehicle "if all you're hauling is yarn" (Clearly, the folks at Ford have never seen my stash!), there is Angelina Jolie catching a flying shuttle with her bare hand. And for every knitting granny, there is Seth Rogan wearing a chunky blue scarf and talking about pornography. The cool is beginning to balance those stereotypes.

And, for those who still wish to cling to the image of knitting or spinning or weaving as the domain of little old ladies, may I remind you that we are little old ladies with pointy sticks. And we know how to use them!


  1. Anonymous7:24 AM

    well said Michelle. If you see the "other" Ford commercial, same guy comments on his own IQ.... ''

  2. Ahh, I noticed the awesome hand knits (and not) in Zack and Miri too. I might have been to shell socked by contents to notice the stash, have to rent it again!!!

    And the Jolie movie, gonna see that one this weekend for sure.

    Very cool to know Knitters and the like get some positive rep. Oh and on my son's favorite show "the doodlebops" the cat named Audio Murphy loves to knit:)