I'll spend this week coming catching up on the work I should have been doing this past week. That'll also give me some time to think about what I want to knit next. Right now I don't have any idea!
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I remember a conversation I had with my father when I was about 13 or 14 about how equal (or not) women were. He said that there was still a lot of work to be done. I said something along the idiotic lines of "well, everyone I know is really strong and independent and unshackled by misogyny" (that's the gist of it, though "unshackled" and "misogyny" were probably not my words of choice at the time). And he said: "How many people do you know?"
That stopped me in my tracks. I had made the presumption that "normal" for me was representative of the world at large.
I started thinking about this again after listening to Hoxton Handmade's podcast about her grandmothers - and grannies in general - the other day (by the way, you should check out her podcast!). She makes the point that older generations of women tended to be crafty, usually because of necessity. Whether they enjoyed it or not was a different matter. Now, I imagine, we only knit if we enjoy it.*
As you might have guessed, I'm making another presumption: I presume that everyone finds knitting normal - there are those who knit and those who don't, but no lack of understanding between the two. I rarely, if ever, encounter people who think it's just for grannies (one of the joys of being freelance, I think, as most of the tales of knit-resistance come from friends who work in offices). I would say that about 90% of the women I know knit. I can, right now, think of only three exceptions (J in New Mexico, Rog's sister and my own sister). Admittedly, I don't know any men who knit.
And, I think most of the women whom I know who knit have parents and grandparents who knit and/or sew and/or crochet. As a kid, my mother taught me how to crochet and sew (by hand and machine). She says she taught me to knit, and I believe her, just that memory never made it into the long-term memory bank. I spent a lot of time during my childhood sewing things. My grandmothers both sewed, and my mother's mother knit amazing things - not necessarily my colours or style at the time, but still beautiful pieces of work.
In other words, in my world, it is completely normal to be crafty. But are the people I know representative of the world at large? According to wikipedia, ravelry has 27,000 members; a lot of people, but in the scheme of things, it's a small percentage. How many knitters are there who aren't on ravelry? I imagine there are quite a lot, but still... And if we're not representative and being crafty is a luxury hobby, what does that mean for future generations?
* She also compared knitting to the Tardis, and I have to say, I am absolutely loving the prevalence of the tardis as a major cultural reference - G mentioning the Tardis-like qualities of the Christmas pudding is the other example that comes to mind.