Monday, October 19, 2015

The Politics of Knitting and Mothering

I've always been fascinated by what psychologists call "leveling" in psychology. Leveling is when someone has feelings of inferiority or inadequacy, and they try to level themselves with the other people. They either do this by inflating their own ego to the level where they want to be, or they try to criticize another person and bring them down to what they perceive to be their level.

In the knitting world we see this with the crochet haters and yarn snobs if they use these topics to put others down in some way. We knitters hear it from non-knitters who tell us we are wasting our time. Knitting has brought many wonderful things to my life and I'm pretty good at ignoring all the negative commentary since it gives me so much pleasure.

I recently followed a link from Knitcliks to this thought provoking post about knitting. Vanessa says it so much better than I would. I wanted to share her words with you.

From the post:

"And I have realized just how challenging something like this is to our modern perception of what is worthwhile activity for a woman. It is pretty much on par with confessing that one uses doilies for the plate of biscuits, lavender pomade, warms one’s husband’s slippers before he arrives home from the office, and flounces around in an apron and with feather duster all day.

Why is it more shocking for a woman in her late 30s to decide that she wants to knit some stuff for her family than, say, get a tattoo? Why is it considered throwback and retrograde for a woman to embrace doing something really quite simple, meditative, creative and generous?
Vanessa Olorenshaw

While I know knit bashing is often about the speaker rather than the knitter I find it fascinating when knitting becomes an issue of feminism and personal freedom. What do you think?


  1. The knit bashers are outnumbered by those who wistfully watch me knit socks for others' feet. There is too much joy to be had with my yarn and needles to leave any room for bash pain.

    1. So true, I've had lots of non-knitters beg me to knit for them. I always say "no but I'll happily teach you how".