DIY

7 Times Knitting Was Mocked In Popular Culture

It’s used as shorthand for something that’s boring, old-fashioned, or stereotypically “domestic” all too often. Luckily, knitters are the ones carrying the extremely sharp sticks.

1. In this PBS ad campaign.

Because LOOOOOL: WHO in their RIGHT MIND would deign to watch a show about PEOPLE ACTUALLY MAKING SOMETHING WITH THEIR HANDS AND CONTRIBUTING TO SOCIETY IN A MARGINALLY MEANINGFUL WAY INSTEAD OF TEARING OFF ALL THEIR CLOTHES AND YELLING AT EACH OTHER (NOT NECESSARILY IN THAT ORDER) LIKE LITERALLY ALL OTHER TV???

I would watch the heck out of this show. I would invent a machine that allowed me to travel to alternate realities where this show existed, instead of being a mere prop trotted out for cheap laughs by a traditionally well-meaning and -informed network that should know better, in order to watch this show. Oh, and by the by: KNITTING IS NOT EVEN SEWING.

2. In this New York Times op-ed about National Novel Writing Month.

The November 2010 piece extols the fact that (unlike ~craft supplies~) words are endlessly recyclable, and so no harm can come from amateur writers trying their hand at using them.

As Sarah E. White points out, there is in fact such a month dedicated to sweater-knitting, and the world doesn’t come to an end because less experienced crafters are out there frittering away yarn. In fact, the world becomes a whole lot cozier, unless you are among a handful of certain NYT editors who are too busy criticizing the noble attempts of others to deserve handknit sweaters.

3. In The Parent Trap (LiLo version).

Food for thought: maybe if she-devil Meredith Blake had channeled her considerable amount of horrible uptight energy into crafting an afghan or a pair of socks, she would have been invited on the Parker-James family camping trip in the first place, and Hallie and Annie wouldn’t have loathed her so much they made her suck on a lizard and nearly drown on a waterborne air mattress in the service of reuniting their estranged parents. But yeah, just a thought.

4. When Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard knitted the royal baby a stuffed kangaroo.

She posed with her knitting supplies in The Australian Women’s Weekly and promptly came under fire for everything from her seeming acceptance of the British monarchy to the accusation that she “is giving encouragement to young female politicians by plying a hobby now synonymous with mad old aunts.” Regardless of criticism concerning party politics and PR stunts, haven’t we moved past the tired trope of the old lonely woman knitting? Hasn’t anyone heard of Ravelry, or Williamsburg, or a reality that exists outside of a picture book from the 1890s? And would we throw quite so many tantrums over a photograph of a male politician, like, golfing?

5. …and when one Nova Scotian politician told another to “stick to her knitting.”

Conservative Peter MacKay told New Democrat Alexa McDonough to “stick to her knitting and win [her] own riding” during a 2006 radio interview. He later apologized for the comment (although not before she wryly replied that she’d love to have time to knit, after the election was over).

6. In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

Et tu, Fred and/or George?

7. In this July 2010 Bloomberg Businessweek article about niche romance novels.

Again, knitting =/= quilting, sewing, bridge, mundanity, staunch anti-feminism, nor anything other than what it does =, which is to say, knitting. And one thing’s for sure: it’s mos def not the same as crocheting.

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