During my recent podcast, Episode 6, I was telling Benjamin Levisay, CEO of XRX, Inc, that my neighbors think it's amusing that I knit. It's like a novelty that someone under 80 knits. But this is not the only stereotype that we creative types have to put up with. When people who do not craft hear the term, "crafter," they envision a woman, middle aged, with big hair, a Bedazzle kit, a jean jacket, and mom jeans. When people hear "knitter" or "crocheter" or any of the needle arts, really - they think late-in-life, retirees.
OMG, if they only knew.. If they only knew of the Stitch 'n Bitches, the naughty knitters, the huge wave of 20-somethings using yarn as an art medium. If they only knew of the 30, 40, 50+ ers who create marvelous, artsy, unique, original, and amazing designs. If they only knew of the tattooed, pink-haired creatives that bring spark, couture, and life into our chosen medium of expression.
If they only knew of the miles traveled to commune with others like ourselves. Which I guess I find particularly amusing because many people assume that middle aged women or retirees just put on their mom jeans, head to their community church, bitch about their boring, suburban lives, pass a box of bon-bons, and knit or crochet doilies. Like there is some cosmic bat-signal that calls all boring housewives to one area. If they only knew the hipster Londoners who sip ale at their local pub and knit. If they only knew the women who sit at their local coffee shops, sip lattes, and talk about life, politics, and art whilst happily click-click-clicking. If they only knew the community of amazing people who will actually get on a plane and fly to an event in the hopes of meeting the rockstars of the knitting and crochet worlds. If they only knew how unifying our craft, our art, is. If they only knew how in one room, there can be 20 yr olds, 30 yr olds, 40 yr olds, 50, 60, 70 yr olds, and we all have something in common. And it ain't mom jeans.
That's okay. Perhaps it's better that they don't know. Perhaps having a smaller sect of the population engaging in our craft makes it special and wonderful. And perhaps, as Benjamin said, "They're just jealous." Jealous of the self expression it allows us and the peace it brings us. :)
Knit on! (Mom jeans or not!)