This has to be the most annoying thing anyone can say to a knitter. I can actually feel the knitting community puffing up like a cat in a fight at the very idea of hearing such a sentence.
Some of this is about context. Most of us have heard this – usually seconds after a turned down offer to teach someone to knit. Offering to teach someone is by far the most fun way for me to diffuse the “want that one” fever when showing new knitty goodies off, as teaching generally takes less time than knitting a dozen scarves for people.
But what is it about knitting that most people equate with both being a waste of time and, conversely, a large commitment of time?
Many commentators have speculated on this (often ranting about how “normal” people have no issue with spending time watching TV or playing on their phones). It is quite odd though that someone who grows an allotment (or even tomatoes in a growbag) is often treated differently to someone who makes clothes or knits. I’m not even sure that it is a gender thing (a lot of commentators get het up with the idea that “man” hobbies are often seen more worthy than “woman” hobbies), I think it is more about tv.
No one questions spending hours on making nice food, as there are whole cable channels dedicated to celebrity chefs. Garden or home improvements are also given reasonably screen time. But other than Kirsty Allsop’s shows and the Great British Sewing Bee, there is little out there for fibre crafters, and it is easy to think that we are a small minority.
So I say, it is time to educate the world on our fantastic hobby! Let’s get everyone behind the world wide “knitting in public week” this year (8th-16th June) and let’s flex our woolly power and show the world that they may not be allowed to play with our stash but they are welcome to bring their own!