I was thinking this morning while I was browsing through the Harlot's new(ish) book that when I started knitting almost 10 years ago, I was 16 and unique for someone my age. I got made fun of and I got asked a lot of interesting questions about my habit. One teacher in high school even took me aside one day and congratulated me on keeping a "dying art" alive and said he hoped I kept knitting for a long time to come.
I'm now turning 26 this week and will hit my 10 year knittiversary in March 2008. I started with a simple cotton dishcloth, which people still go nuts over, and have graduated to many other things like mittens, hats, cables, lace panels, socks, double knitting, stranded knitting, and yet, there's still so much to be done, to be learned.
One of the thoughts that came to me this morning was that I'm kind of sad that I'm not as unique as I once was; part of the my reason for learning to knit was because it was something no one else my age was doing, along with learning how to make sweaters with my own hands. However, the popularity of the craft has more than made up for that loss. The number of great books on the subject, the visibility of the craft, not to mention the availability of so many wonderful and new yarns (bamboo, soy silk, microfibre) is amazing. There is a huge market for knitters. Stephanie Pearl-MacPhee has proven this over and over again with the Knitting Olympics and most recently, her Knitter's Meet-up in New York. The Internet is filled with blogs of people from all over the world who knit. You can literally never run out of reading material if you follow blog links from each current blog you're reading.
It's that amazing sense of community that really draws me in and makes me happy to be a part of something bigger than all of us. Our knitting wraps us together, binds us together as knitters. We share our favourite yarns, yarn stores, patterns on these blogs, as well as our failures and accomplishments. To me, it's amazing that something as simple as knitting has been so facilitiated by something as technologically advanced as the Internet. That instead of having these tiny little pockets of knitters all over the world, disconnected from each other, we connect, we login and instantly we have the majority of the knitting world at our fingers. The knitting magazines, designers, yarn stores all have websites where we can find out what's coming up, what's going on and what's new.
The bottom line is, I'm happy to give up the uniqueness and aloneness I felt when I first started knitting, to be a part of this bigger community and to have all this knowledge and humour at the tips of my fingers.