knitting for me

20 Mar 2013


I don't know about you but my life would have a big empty hole if I couldn't knit or sew.

When I was a physio  at Caulfield Hospital in the mid 1980s working with people who had suffered strokes, the occupational therapists often went to great lengths to help people find a way to carry on with their handcraft hobbies even though the patient  often had lost the full function of one side of their body and many times their planning abilities had been affected.

Finding a way for people to knit was often very successful though slow.
 At the start of their new knitting journey many of the women were frustrated by the time it took to produce something that was nowhere near the quality or complexity of their past work
 but those who persevered did improve.

When I was physio at that same hospital, happily knitting away in my lunch hour joined by most of the other 20 and 30 somethings, a 50 something social worker said  women tied their troubles into every stitch they knitted rather than speak out or try to change things. 
I got the impression she was rather disappointed in us for not waving the Women's Lib flag  and discarding all those things that were associated with women in the home.
  How wrong she was though she did confuse me for a while, made me feel at 25 that I was somehow doing the wrong thing by enjoying knitting.

Few women on the wonderful Ravelry would think of themselves as being subordinated and quietened by their knitting. I am so glad we have moved on from the need to distance ourselves from the handcrafts that have given so much joy and purpose to women over many centuries as well as provide much needed warmth and comfort to the recipients.

( and yes I do know that men knit as well but that I think has a different story)

3 Responses to “knitting for me”

  1. I think there should be more celebration of handcrafts and he domestic arts. I just read 'The Red Tent'. Have you read it! Sometimes I think feminists threw the babies out with the bath water. There is such enormous joy in a well run household and in expressing your skill and creating beautiful and/or useful things with your own hands. It should be celebrated.

  2. My mum was in a car accident in the 80's, she broke her back and sternum. It was many weeks flat on her back in hospital healing, during that time with the help of the therapists and the nurses she managed to continue knitting. It was so helpful to her whole healing journey.

    cheers Kate

  3. Poppy is lovely. Must say that I love her eyes and prefer this style to the other; but I work at a Steiner school so I may be just too biased.


Thanks so much for taking the time to chat. I don't always have time to reply but I do read every message you leave.