Tuesday, 1 October 2013
The Golden Age of Knitting
The BBC has produced a three-part series called The Fabric of Britain, and the first installment of the series documents knitting's role in twentieth century culture (the other two parts are concerned with wallpaper and embroidery, respectively). I disagree completely with the BBC's thesis that the "golden age of knitting" began in the early twentieth century or that it was over by the 1980s. There was a slump in hand knitting in the 1970s because of the increase in the number of women working outside the home and having less leisure for crafts, but knitting began to come back in the 1980s. Then the rise of the internet in the 1990s caused a minor revolution in knitting, since there is now such an unprecedented and incredible level of access to patterns, yarns, tools, instruction and other information sharing. Innovations in knitting can go viral. There's never been a better time to be a knitter than now. However, the program makes for a very interesting and enjoyable hour of viewing nonetheless, and I particularly enjoyed the swimming in a hand-knitted bathing suit experiment.
If you are interested in any further information on twentieth century knitting, you can always check out my series of posts on twentieth century knitting patterns and my post on the evolution of knitted swimwear.