Monday, June 05, 2006

Craftivista Article

My Anuty Wendy (I think I have to call her that forever now since she picked up on an earlier typo on my blog and now signs her name Anuty!), sent me a fabulous article which was in the Guardian last week.

The article is about women reclaiming handicrafts in order to shed its associations with drudgery. The article notes that women across the UK are finding that handicrafts are not only enjoyable - sometimes more so than a trip to the pub although you can now combine the two - but that engaging in them can be a bit of a political statement too. Some people knit so that they can make a stand against mass-produced fashions and be more ethical and individual, whilst others knit so that they can recycle, or use 'knit-ins' as the new sit-in!

I too have been thinking about recycling yarn from knitwear found in charity shops. I often (but not as often as I'd like) have a bit of a trawl through charity shops hadn'tit hadn't occurred to me, until I read knitting pal Luciana's Erika Knight book New Knits, that it would be easy to frog old knits and make them shiny and new. I must keep an eye out!

The article also talks about how much fun you can find in craft-making now that it is no longer a necessity, and this too is notion close to my heart. I have really been enjoying my knitting and I've also been doing a lot more cooking and baking recently - making some absolutely amazing almond macaroons last week. And now I have been given a 1937 baking manual to hone my skills.

The article says that this resurgence in crafts is being called craftivism. I have long considered myself a feminist, but have also long battled with people (men mostly) to show that enjoying certain shall we say 'feminine' pursuits doesn't negate or contradict my politics. Debbie Stoller of course introduced me to the idea that knittingaren't feminism aren't mutually exclusive pursuits, but now I am starting to see my knitting and the burgeoning knitting community I feel a part of online as something much more political.

The article mentioned some sites where the radical and indeed retro approaches to knitting are being displayed and discussed. They include craftster and craftivism, and whilst I can't see myself knitting a hand grenade any time soon, I might be tempted to knit some kitschy draft excluders to do my bit for global warming next winter - sausage dog anyone?! I'm also looking forward to the release of House Proud by Danielle Proud later this year, which promises to help me make pretty things for my purple palace (read small flat) out of junk.

So anyway Anuty Wedny, if you are reading this, thank you very much for taking the time to send the article to me. I look forward to knitting with you again soon! xxx (oh and sorry for the typos its a blogging hazard!)

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