General Ginger Knits

random thoughts on knitting and the universe

Thursday, August 25, 2005

knitting in history

Wow, what a crackup this is! Back in the good ole days knitting wasn't just a craft, a vice, or a hobby but rather a necessity. I ran across Erica Lee's knitting website that had some really neat historical knitting photos and knitting artwork.

What happened over the past sixty years that changed the need for hand knitting into a want? Industrialization, mass production, cheap, foreign labor have all combined to produce usable goods that obliterated the need to hand create a lot of products including hand knitted socks. Our desire to knit has been transformed into a hobby that we yearn to spend time on rather than a requirement that we must fit into our day. This transformation is sort of mind boggling if you sit and think about it because this change has come about in really only one generation. Technology preserves our observations and recordings of these social changes, allowing us, no doubt, the ability to look back another sixty years from now and see what other changes have occurred. I sure hope those changes are for the better.

17 Comments:

Blogger Lauren said...

I love your knitting in history installments. Two things I love SO much!

I think that your hunch is right... mass production, and cheap foreign labor have really changed all manufacturing, but especially textiles.

Hope you are well~ what are you knitting these days? ;)

8:47 AM  
Blogger doubleknot said...

While it is true that countries that have mass prodution and cheap labor have stopped knitting for neccessity but the third world countries are learning the art of knitting now not just for money but for family knitting. I don't think that knitting or crocheting is going to go away anytime soon. Weaving is still around but for most countries it also has become an art not a need.

Thanks for all the info on knitting and the art work - didn't know all that information was out there - it makes it very interesting.

I have started my first felted project but had knee surgery and the pain pills wouldn't let me concentrate so I have had to put it off for now but I did get about seven rows done! Now I have to increase evenly and I have to be clear headed for that.

6:42 AM  
Blogger sturdygirl said...

Hi! I loved your last post. Interesting that knitting was seen as so important, in an emotional sense. I'm curious about your state fair project - how did it turn out? Cheers-

4:37 PM  
Blogger doubleknot said...

Hey - where did you go? We need a picture of your latest project. Know you are busy - just a teeny tiny word or two?

6:35 AM  
Anonymous Sharon said...

It's more than not knitting out of necessity. Factor in the incredible profusion of color and texture into yarn production today, as well as the desire for creative expression. And in a society where things often feel out of one's control, knitting and other handwork are very much within our control. (Even though it often seems that my yarn stash controls me!!)

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Come on spend a few minuets letting all of us who read your blog how well your purses and scarves went at your fun raiser.
Very proud of you.

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