LouBug sent me a great link on Friday from the BBC Granny skills help revival of wool industry. The article is about the recent popularity increase of hand knitting and the subsequent revival of the British wool industry.
The article was interesting because it kind of defied logic. Buying wool and spending hours making a garment is actually quite expensive compared to the alternative of nipping to the High Street and spending a few quid on a jumper. Yet, apparently, it is in times of austerity that knitting has a revival and the sale of wool increases.
The popularity of hand knitting takes a massive nose-dive during wealthier time and the article gives several reasons for this, which do make sense when you think about it. In times of financial hardship people veer towards items that will last, rather than throw-away. This does ring true – the chance of me throwing away the hats I’ve slaved over is pretty remote. Plus the time I took to make them kept me busy and entertained, time that I might have otherwise have spent squandering money.
The second point the article made was also interesting. Plenty of people (and in the past, myself included) have been quite a small cog in quite a big machine. Being cooped up in a small corner of an open-plan office and doing small parts of a big job doesn’t always bring much job satisfaction. Knitting has a beginning and an end and problem solving in the middle, which brings a great feeling of pride.
Read the article if you get a chance.