Friday, 7 February 2014

Knitting Is Good For you

Make things you can wear!
My grandmother taught me how to knit when I was young, although not as young as she was when she learned. In England at the time they taught all girls how to knit when they were five years old, and it was a lifetime passion for her. I like how knitting (among other crafts) links me to my mother and my grandmother, and other women through the ages. Over the years my love affair with knitting has waxed and waned, depending on the ages of my kids and the time I could devote to it, but I always end up coming back to it. I am by no means an expert; I would call myself an advanced beginner as I have never made myself a substantial piece of clothing like a sweater.

Over the past decade knitting has gone through a bit of a surge in popularity, with young people, including men, and even celebrities openly engaging in the fibre arts. It goes along with the resurgence of homespun pursuits of do-it-yourselfers and hipsters. Everything old is new again.

Knitting isn't just for girls anymore.
As my grandmother did with me, I am attempting to pass along my love of knitting to the next generation. I gave my daughters yarn and needles for presents two Christmases ago, and every so often they will sit down with me and knit a few rows. I am also sponsoring a knitting club at my school, teaching interested grade five, six and seven students how to knit basic projects like scarves and soft toys. I am pleased that there are even a handful of boys in the club.

So why bother teaching people how to knit when cheap clothing is everywhere? Yarn is expensive and knitting is time consuming. It is easier, and less expensive to just go and buy something machine made.

I believe that knitting is healthy for people, the community and the environment for the following reasons:

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