Saturday, January 31, 2009

Knitting for Good

This is a bit off topic, and I was going to post it on my personal blog, but I don't think many people actually read it and thought this might interest some of you. If not, you can always just skip this post! 

Recently I picked up a copy of Knitting for Good by Betsy Greer. I've never actually met Betsy Greer, but I hear that she lives in the same town as I do! The idea behind the book is that knitting (and other crafting) can be good for individuals and for society, and can even be a form of political and social activism. What I love is that at the end of each chapter there are a couple of questions for reflection. After reading the first chapter, mainly about how we come to crafting in our lives, I used those questions in a post on my personal blog (if you'd like to read it, click here). 

Chapter two mainly focused on knitting clothing/accessories as a way to develop your personal style without being dictated to by fashion trends and without supporting clothing companies that have unethical business practicies. I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand I always try to avoid buying from companies with irresponsible or unethical business practices. But its important to remember that a) not all clothing companies are corrupt and b) not all yarn companies or fabric companies are ethical. I think what is most important is that you are a responsible consumer. This means making sure that the money that you spend-- whether its for yarn, fabric or finished clothing--goes to support a company that you can get behind.  

Do you make much of your clothing (or the clothes for your family)? If so, why do you do it? Is it just that you love to knit and the side effect is lots of finished objects that you stick on whomever is closest? Do you knit in order to cloth yourself/family? Has the way that you think about clothing changed since you learned how to knit?

I'll be back soon with reflections on Chapter 3: Craft as Therapy. 


Turtle said...

I made most of my clothing growing up and almost all of daughters until she was 4. Mostly due to cost and style. I do try to shop ethiclly though, sometimes it is hard to find out about certain products!

Polly Hoover said...

I think this book is great and I'm assigning the first chapter in a women's studies class I'm teaching this semester. Very thought-provoking and insightful.

Laura said...

Polly, I didn't know you were a women's studies teacher. I was a women's studies minor in college. Where do you teach?

kangath said...

My mother made most of my clothes when I was growing up. It started when she couldn't find nice maternity clothes for her small frame. Now I make what I can for our family. I don't sew, so I do a lot of online shopping for fair trade organic boy's underwear and such. It's getting easier and easier.

I always used to let my mother dress me, even as a teenager. This was partly because I didn't have much choice and I was saving rebellious acts for bigger things. In fact, I wore many of the clothes from my high school years until I myself got pregnant and set out to look for maternity clothes.

(This is getting to be a long post, isn't it?) Well, that's when I found out that I had a fashion sense after all (quirky, but there nonetheless) and that's also (unrelatedly) when I finally learned to knit. Now I am knitting in order to clothe myself. I love the finished objects as much as the yarn and the knitting itself.

I have always loved sweaters and hats, but when I moved to the deep South (from Michigan) I was forced to rethink my wardrobe. I need different things here--no, not heavy cotton "summer" sweaters, but lace shirts to go over camisoles, that kind of thing. Yummy.

I'm going to your personal blog now.

Hope that wasn't too much answer!