Sort of final note about the Sock Summit

I don’t have a lot of time to blog about this now. I will probably return to some of the witty and insightful comments I heard yesterday. Even though I had a ripping headache for most of the afternoon, the Luminary Panel was well worth it.  I have a very fuzzy picture of the panel, but I figure with all the photo snapping that went on yesterday… someone has a better photo than me.

I especially liked Anna Zilboorg’s dry wit. I need to read more of her books.

Also, one person had a very thoughtful comment about how mono-chromatic (in terms of racial and cultural diversity) the knitting culture is. Even though, as one panel member pointed out knitting is not part of all ethnic and minority groups cultural background, many ethnic peoples have taken up knitting because it is a practical way to clothe their families. All this talk made me want to belong to an outreach group that teaches all people how to knit, and how accessible and affordable it can be with some creative wrangling and selections of yarns. I started a list of yarns by price for making a plain raglan sweater in  previous post. (By the way the final installments for the raglan sweater instructions are on their way). On another note, when I teach my classes I try to include all price ranges for suggested yarns because I do want people to be able to afford to knit the objects in the class.

Also, the notion that knitting should be available to groups rural areas as well reinforced my thought that online shops are good for people who do not live withing close proximity to a local yarn store.  Here I am living in a city that has one of the highest number of yarn stores per capita and I forget that someone in a smaller town or rural area may not have access. Also, there is the comfort-zone factor or that that the yarn store in a city may not be in a neighborhood where some ethnic minorities feel welcome or comfortable.

Knitting should be universal - Photo from the morguefile

Knitting should be universal - Photo from the morguefile

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Sort of final note about the Sock Summit

  1. Your feeling about getting a picture of the panel parallels my feeling about getting a picture of the cake. Not doing it.

    I thought that was an interesting discussion about people of color and knitting. The questioner said that there weren’t people of color at the conference, but that wasn’t true. I’m a person of color, just a different color (Asian-American), and I did see many other Asian-Americans there. I don’t think every culture has to knit or value knitting the way I do. If you want to knit, knit! I just want to make it available to whoever wants it, but I don’t think everyone has to want it because we knitters like it.

    And it’s not just a socio-economic question, either. I ran into an acquaintance (caucasian) right after that, and she said to me, “It doesn’t take a lot of money to knit! I don’t have a lot of money.”

    An interesting question, and food for thought.

  2. No it doesn’t take that much money to knit. If you purchase wisely you can knit a sweater for under $30-$50 dollars.

    Perhaps she was referring to the fact that the ratio of non-ethnic individuals to minorities was high. I too am a person of color though I cannot be considered a disadvantaged minority. Also, I hope I didn’t come across as being too ‘missionary’ or evangelical about knitting. Though I am but in a different way. I think it’s important to share information with people who are interested regardless of their background.

    Forgot to add… yes, I didn’t even get to see the cake but I figured I could probably do a google image search the next day and see what it looked like then 🙂

    • No, you’re not too evangelical about knitting! I may be; I’ve turned my crafty friends away from paper crafts to yarn.

      It’s funny; there’s not a lot of knitting in my family of origin; I came to knitting because it was a Little House on the Prairie kind of thing. Sticks and string. I always wanted to be a pioneer girl when I was growing up, even though my family was from China. So I think of knitting as something we choose, not something that everyone has to do. I think it would be paternalistic (maternalistic?!) to assume that just because I like it and choose it, all people of color should do it, too.

      And I’ve met you! We were in Janet Szabo’s class at TKGA in May. Hi again!

      • How strange! I bought the Little House Cookbook when I was a kid and cherished it for years. I also used to check out books from the library about historical handicrafts and recipes. I was a bit nerdy that way. I taught myself to knit from a Norwegian magazine when I was on a trip with my parents to Scandinavia when I was in high school… because I was bored. This may sound like I’m a product of my environment, but I often forget what race I am or that it matters at all. Maybe that’s a good thing. I definitely remember being reminded of it when I was younger but I grew up in an environment where we were basically the only non-white family in our area for a while (or at least it seemed that way).

        Yes, I remember you. Hello Again!

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