So. It’s World Wide Knit in Public Day. Have I been out of the house today? No. Have I been reading the papers? Yup. And guess what? WWKIPD is mentioned in the Guardian newspaper. Yay for the Guardian, right? Umm, no, not really.
You see, Steven Wells, the fluently persuasive journalist man from the Guardian has very intelligently conflated (that’s merged together, in case he’s reading) alternative culture and knitting in public day, and concluded that:
Today, all over the world, thousands of punks, goths, emos and other ferociously tattooed, face-pierced miscreant bastard folk-devil scum will take to the streets to protest their disgust with war, oppression and bourgeois conformity by crocheting hideous green twat-hats with stupid ear flaps.
Funny that. The WWKIPD website just says the day:
Began as a way for knitters to come together and enjoy each other’s company
And that now it has become a way of:
Showing the general public that knitting can be a community activity
Hmm. Nothing there about anti-war protests, or anything alternative at all in fact. But that would be really too boring to report in a highbrow newspaper such as the Guardian, right?
And the cleverest bit of all? The eloquent journalist man has brilliantly anticipated that some knitters may not like what he says, so he very astutely pre-empts any criticism said knitters may make by implying that what he’s saying is all a bit of a joke. And if we don’t laugh?
Well, then this is what he has to say in that eventuality:
Scratch a knitter – discover a Knit Nazi. Like the Nazis, alternative knitters have no sense of humour
What a very scholarly man he must truly be, to make such astonishing and insightful comparisons.
Furthermore, Mr Wells claims that the last time he expounded such a sophisticated attack on our craft he:
received hysterical and barely literate death threats from the ferocious, fanatical, froth-gobbed and swivel-eyed knit Nazi massive.
Mr Wells proclaims that the current knitting ‘craze’ represents the death of feminism. Mr Wells clearly has not heard of feminist critic Lucy Lippard. Which maybe is not surprising, she’s just a little lady after all, and what more she is in her sixties now, so in terms of age would probably fit in his category of ‘senile old grannies’, even if she doesn’t actually have any grandchildren of her own.
Lippard was among the first writers to recognise the dematerialisation of conceptual art and was an early champion of feminist art. In her 1973 essay, ‘Household Images in Art’, she discussed how some feminist artists at the time had begun to appropriate traditional female techniques such as sewing, knitting and weaving into their artmaking practices. They saw these as a viable artistic means to express female experience, thereby pointing to their political and subversive potential.
But oh, silly me. I was starting to go all froth-gobbed there for a minute. Must go now, I’ve got some knitting to do. Behind locked doors and drawn curtains, you understand. It is a disgusting practice after all.