theorycast.15 :: The Knitting Blogs Phenomenon


For someone like me, never would I have known about the knitting blogs phenomenon. Simply put, it’s HUGE. I met Mary-Helen (the Witty Knitter) at the AoIR conference in Brisbane and she told me all about it. You get to hear about celebrity knitting bloggers, about the various groups who knit (e.g. Men Who Knit, MIT Knitters, Gay & Lesbian Knitters, Political Knitters, etc), knitting events (e.g. Knitters without Borders, Knitting Olympics), as well as the knitting industry which has blown up because of this new knitting craze. Get your knitting patterns ready and watch the Witty Knitter tell you the wonderful story.

Update: Larskflem found a knitting flickr group called The Knitting Project, while Mary-Helen points out a group of hip NYC knitters called the Knitta Crew.

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6 Comments

  1. Posted September 30, 2006 at 1:03 am | Permalink

    Enjoyed your post. I really don’t think there is a knitting “craze.” I am 45 and learned to knit when I was six years old. My explanation for the explosion of knitting blogs and groups is quite simple:

    1. about one-fourth of people are taught to knit by a parent, grandparent, teacher or friend at some point during their lives. Many who learn, keep it as a lifetime hobby

    2. for generations, many people knitted with only library books, a very few craft magazines, and a few friends or neighbors as resources and inspiration for this time-honored craft. But often, when we wished to master a complex technique, we did not have access to people with an adequate
    skill level to teach us

    3. the internet allowed knitters to discover that We Are Not Alone.

    4. the internet allowed people in places with no local yarn shop (and therefore no decent quality yarn) to buy any kind of yarn they wanted

    5. Knitters, like all craftspeople, like to show one anoher what they are working on, and the Internet allows us to do that thorugh blogging, craft groups online, and online meetings.

    I don’t think there has been a spectacular accummulation of brand-new knitters. I think that all the existing kntters have become inspired by opportunities for new resources and to meet new people, and the new knitters out there now have resources that we did not have, back when we bought simple needles and poor quality yarn at the dime store.

    Just my two cents.

    .

  2. Posted September 30, 2006 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    On the contary, Dez, I think there is a knitting craze, just that it’s happening on the quiet. My wife is one prime example. Now I have one pair of knitted socks and probably one sweater in production. And my wife’s knitting craze doesn’t seem to be abating. She recently ordered knitting needles and there’s bags of yarn in the home. Oh yes, I’d say there’s a craze! : )

  3. Posted September 30, 2006 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    Dez: Thanks for your two cents, which is really worth a hundred dollars at least! Speaking to the Witty Knitter, she did mention the same thing that knitting has been popular. It’s just that it’s been rediscovered through blogs. It’s interesting since craftwork generally fits the blogging medium. Part of the “how-to” phenomena.

    Ivan: I think we are beginning to see a trend… the “craze” should start hitting more people soon. I should really start tracking the growth of knitting blogs just to see where we are in the innovation adoption curve.

  4. Posted September 30, 2006 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    cool story, here is another refernce: the knitting project at flickr.com

    http://www.flickr.com/groups/theknittingproject/

  5. Posted September 30, 2006 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

    I’m afraid I can’t agree with dez. Any knitting shop will tell you that many of their customers are new knitters, and the explosion of demand for classes in basic knitting would bear this out. However, many of us have been knitting constantly since we were children (including me), and I agree with there are a lot of born again knitters out there too. I also think that knitting has moved from being housework in my mother’s genreation to a lesuire activity now. My mother and her friends would never pull the knitting out when they were visiting each other, but we do it as a matter of course.

  6. Rose
    Posted October 1, 2006 at 3:49 am | Permalink

    Interesting interview Kevin, thanks. I read Mary Helen’s blog and a number of others.