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Friday, August 12, 2005

The Banned Post

Our intrepid list moms are at it again. I think I may unsubscribe after this. There has been a polite, but high traffic thread going on about whether or not knitting has been dumbed down by all of the trendy, garter st, projects and yarns out there. So far, nobody has been rude, called names or insulted anyone, and it has been an enjoyable debate. It took less than a day for the list mommies to moderate the whole list (over a polite debate). I had this post rejected because it wasn't about knitting. I thought that the time directed toward, or set aside for knitting was knitting content, but what do I know? I'm not a list mom. I will leave out the name and email of the person to whom I was responding to preserve privacy.

"I think with today's pace and the hours we work, anyone who wants to get
into the knitting craze will have more opportunity of getting lured by
something fast, easy, and trendy."

People keep saying this (not just about knitting), but I'm not so sure this is the case. Technology has enabled cooking, cleaning, farming, production, etc. to go much more quickly and easily than it did in the past. Our work days are shorter by about 4-5 hours than they used to be, people spend less than half the time they did at cooking and cleaning, children go to school earlier than they used to, and we have leisure time in abundance, we take far more vacations, go to health clubs, go out to eat, movies, etc with much larger blocks of time than people in days gone by. We simply do not allocate the time to crafts such as knitting or sewing as people did in the past. We don't _have_ to do it to wear something, so we don't spend the time on it. Those women who used to sew by hand and knit suits at 8 or 9 sts to the inch did so while rising early in the morning to do chores, cooking over unreliable stoves, making everything from scratch (including some butchering and cleaning of animals), teaching children to read and caring for their needs, doing laundry in vats, washed dishes by hand, etc. They also helped on the farm, milked cows and such, raised a family vegetable garden, made clothes for the whole family, decorated their homes, and many other activities.

I once commented to my husband that women of the olden days would likely get so much more done than we do now, because of all of the conveniences we have now. He replied that they would probably fritter away their time just as much as modern people, since their work could be done in a rush and they could put it off as much as we do. If the work isn't absolutely, critically necessary, it tends to get pushed aside.


How long until this renegade gets booted off the knitlist, do you think? I may simply unsubscribe to save them the trouble.

Have you considered joining Jeanie's group at the Townsend sock knitalong? Much more than socks, knitting and friendship and Jeanie has some lovely sock patterns too.

(more general blog)
While I agree that people today do fritter away a lot of their time, and the "I don't have time" is rarely as true as people think it is, technology has changed standards.

As tasks have become easier, we expect to do more of them.

For example, in the days where laundry took all day, people only had one or two outfits, and wore them repeatedly. Not so today--the easy of laundry along with cheap clothing means that someone with only two outfits is unusual, and so people have spend more time doing laundry. And while washers and dryers do make it easier to do laundry, with the increase in the number of clothes and the frequency with which people change them, it can still take up large chunks of time if you have to go to a laundry mat to do it.

-- Kris
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