Part one of Knitting for Good by Betsy Greer is all about knitting for yourself.
Her first chapter is called Reclaiming the Craft.
She writes about how there is a generational gap in knitting.
Typically, our grandmothers knit and in most cases they learned from generations before them. However, their daughters (our mothers) either never learned to knit or learned and never continued to knit. This was partly due to the feminism movement. Women working outside the home was becoming okay and that meant traditional skills were left behind. However, those women had daughters. Daughters, that like me, who grew up thinking the world was ours and that we really could do anything. My generation is now taking an approach that can only be summed up as hybrid between my moms independence and my grandmothers crafting know how.
Betsy sums It up best when she says “We can feel free to openly embrace the domestic for the first time in decades. Now that it’s okay to like spending time in the kitchen or learning how to knit. We can be increasingly proud of ourselves for knowing how to wield a drill and a pair of knitting needles.” – pg. 18-19
It’s interesting because this is sort of exactly how this played out for me.
Various members of my family knit, including my maternal grandmother, her mother, a few great aunts etc. but my mother did not. She’s not a crafty domestic person. And by her going against the grain, I have learned that I can also go against the grain.
My mom decided when I was a teenager to go back to school and become a criminologist and university professor. She went it with the goal of getting one degree and came out a few years later with a full PHD.
I am far too sensitive in nature to follow a career path in criminology. I cry at CSI episodes because it’s just so sad that someone died. My mom however, can spot a criminal a mile away. Give her a set of knitting needles and she can’t knit a stitch to save her life. Trust me, I’ve tried to teach her numerous times.
That’s not to say I didn’t learn a lot of lesson from my mom that have carried on in my knitting. For starters, she taught me independence and to be a strong women. She showed me how to go after my goals with determination and will power. Both my parents have always stressed since I was “knee high to a grasshopper” that I can be whatever I wanted to be. Turns out, I want to be a knitter.
The first chapter of Knitting For Good gives you so much to think about in terms of where knitting comes from and what paths it’s paving for future generations of young women (and men).
My favourite quotes from this chapter have to do with learning and being anything you want.
“Instead of pitting myself against others, I began to comprehend that if I wanted to make a magazine, I could write it and publish it myself; if I wanted to start a record company, I could start one in my bedroom.” – Pg. 10
And from page 17, crafter, Cinnamon Cooper writes “I hear so many aspiring crafters say I could never (fill in the blank) like you can. But, they haven’t tried. It is possible to teach yourself to sew, knit, fuse glass, throw pottery, quilt, make jewelry and much more.”
Isn’t that the truth? It is my life philosophy that we can learn and achieve anything we set our minds to.
As Betsy closes out the chapter she “challenges” her readers to think about where and when they started to knit.
Next week, I will be telling my story of how I stumbled upon the knitting and how my journey with crafting has been so far. Also, fingers crossed that my yarn will have arrived so I can show off the accompanying scarf pattern from this chapter.
To find out more about Betsy please visit her website
Thanks so much for reading!