Wednesday, March 16, 2005

The Knitter "Look"

Henri Matisse

The other day when I gave Chris and Renee the baby blanket for Caden, Chris said, "Oh that's right, you're the Mad Knitter!" He sort of sat back in his chair appraising me and then said, "You know, I never would've thought of knitting as your hobby. You don't look like a knitter."

Now what does that mean? Of course I asked him and he said he pictured knitters to be older and, well, larger. I also suspect he meant that considering my other interests, knitting is very different. Most people know me as a pretty athletic and outdoorsy person who is a little uptight about schedules, watches Sportscenter religiously and likes things to be perfect the first time. Plus, to quote Barbara Walker, "numbers make me sleepy."

The question of "what does a knitter look like?" can't be answered easily. For example, knitting isn't limited to primarily women anymore. One of the most inspiring knitters I know is a guy at work who does the most incredible colorwork, all of his own design. The grandmother stereotype is out the window too. The woman who taught me to knit is only a few years older than me, doesn't have kids and is skinnier than a twig. I've seen teenagers at the store buying yarn and patterns. And you don't have to live in cold European climates to want to knit, either. Heck, I'm an Asian-American living on the edge of a desert climate and I still knit. When knitting became a hobby rather than a necessity, it opened itself up to new cultures and different generations of people to discover.

I like being different from what people think is a "typical" knitter. I hope it makes them pause, consider what it means and then prompt them to ask questions. I don't mind enlightening them at all.

No comments: