Some might say, right? I know before blogging and being active in my local stitch n bitch, I certainly had my stereotypes about knitting and knitters. I remember it was my sister who told my boyfriend that I knit. I had left that out for a good month or so. I didn't know what he would think. Now I can't even imagine not proclaiming that I am a knitter. Knitting is not just a hobby for me. Hobbies come and go, but knitting, I can't imagine not doing it. It is also the community of knitters that I can't imagine my life without.
Back to that image problem. That is the title of one of the essays in Jessica Hemmings' new book, In the Loop: Knitting Now.
In the Loop: Knitting Now explores the progression of knitting, a craft which has come a long way from its fuzzy image of thick socks, long shawls and embarrassing motifs on Christmas jumpers. The book maps knitting’s journey from solitary hobby for old maids to mainstream, contemporary trend.
When I was offered a chance to receive a preview copy of the book, I jumped at it. This isn't your typical knitting book filled with patterns. The book is a collection of essays written by a variety of voices: artist, academic, historian, librarian, and more. Essays that explore topics such as rethinking knitting and its image, activist knitting, narrative knits, and how knitting has progressed.
One thing I realized last year at both sock camp and Sock Summit, it was how much I did not know about the craft of knitting. But I do have an idea of where knitting is going. This book discusses this and so much more. Although I haven't read all of the essays, the ones I have read have been interesting and thought-provoking. This collection is informative and explores the diversity of knitting's current endeavors.
The images alone make this book worthwhile. It is a beautiful book, and the knits are beautiful, inspiring, creative. I could go on. I particularly enjoyed the artwork from the social activism essay. Here are just a few examples of the artwork contained within this book.
AMY TWIGGER HOLROYD OF KEEP & SHARE. Eugenia Dress, 2006. Cotton. Photograph by Meg Hodson.
AMY TWIGGER HOLROYD OF KEEP & SHARE. Gladys Cardi, 2007. 100 percent organic colour grown cotton. Photograph by
AMY TWIGGER HOLROYD OF KEEP & SHARE. Who made this? Cardi, 2009. Found cardigan. Photograph by Meg Hodson.
LOUISE BOURGEOIS, Red Room (Child), 1994. Mixed media. Collection Musee d'Art Contemporain de Montreal. Photograph by Marcus Schneider.
If you are interested in learning more about the craft of knitting and how it is evolving, this is the book for you. I could see this being on the recommended reading list of a fashion institute type course.
Here's the best part. The publishers of the book, Black Dog Publishing, would like to offer all of my readers a 40% discount on all orders of this book! It retails for US $39.95. If you are interested, contact Jessica at firstname.lastname@example.org and quote "We Do Not Have a Knitting Problem Offer" in the subject line and she will take care of your orders.
Something to think about....one of the essays details the Knitting Collection held by the University of Southampton Library. Immediately I thought of my sock stash. If something should ever happen, my sister knows who to contact. However, can you imagine it being a collection on display......