This ain't no knitting circle.
May I start by saying how much I love each and every one of our customers. I honestly do - you make every day wonderful.
But, please, for the love of dog, DO NOT call Thursday knit night a 'knitting circle'.
I'm not quite sure what has prompted it, but over the past week knit night has been referred to, mainly by people that don't attend, as a knitting circle.
As soon as that little phrase is spoken, there is a pause, where you can clearly hear the unspoken 'awww, aren't you cute! A little knitting circle!'
Just quietly, it makes me feel sick.
Those two words in combination conjure up images of women sitting (in a circle) and labouring over socks for men at war, or darning holes in their children's jerseys, kettle on the fire and coal range baking bread. It was a necessity, women coming together to make hard work a little more bearable. It wasn't cute, or sweet, or terribly homely. When I first vocalised wanting to knit socks, my boyfriend of the time's mother turned up her nose. 'Ugh, socks are AWFUL.' Why did she think they were so awful? Because they were a chore, and an unpleasant, boring one at that. Knit with awful scratchy yarn and associated with the absence of loved family members.
Knitting socks these days is a joy: we have access to beautiful yarn in amazing colours, textures and fibres. Many of the knitters that join us on Thursday night craft because they love it - rarely because they have to. With ready access to all the machine knit in China socks we could possibly want, why knit them if not for the love?
I mean absolutely no disrespect at all to the women who worked so hard keeping their families clothed. There has been the odd request for children to be brought along - again, the image of family-oriented industry doesn't really sit with knit night. Some of the conversation topics we wander into are certainly not for the ears of babes.
My thoughtful mother has considered the topic a little more deeply than I in an article she wrote for the last issue of Entangled magazine. A copy of 'The Culture of Knitting' by Joanne Turney has just been added to my bedtime reading pile and is well worth a look. In fact, with the exception of quotes, Turney avoids the term 'knitting circle' when referring to modern knitting groups.
Knit night at Holland Road has become an escape - from work and life stress. An evening of chatting, knitting, tea, the odd glass of wine, and new friends. Everyone (sans kiddies) is welcome - but please, please don't call it a knitting circle.
P.S. We are hoping to start a kids knit group on weekends and/or after school - because kids love to knit too. Flick us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you're interested.