The Knitting Lesson, 1869
By Jean Francois Millet
Oil on canvas
I have a wool sweater with a sizable breach in the sleeve, it’s been there for about 10 years. I don’t knit or crochet. If my mother was still alive, I’m fairly certain it would’ve been repaired by now. She would crochet a blanket in the course of you saying that you like crocheted blankets. I’m also pretty sure crocheting and knitting are two different things. None the less, it’s been that long that my favorite sweater has had an 8 inch blowout in the seam of one sleeve. It’s just that I don’t run in those circles. I don’t know anyone in my immediate everyday contact that knits, in fact, does anyone? If you do, please forward my contact information. Thinking about it, does anybody knit under the age of 40? I’m sure there is, I’m just not aware of anybody. Do Hipsters have knitting circles?
Portrait of Mademoiselle Boissier, 1877
By Gustave Caillebotte
Oil on canvas
A couple posts back I referenced how meaningful making gifts instead of buying them. Think of the possibilities; hats, scarves, mittens, sweaters (even more fashionable ugly sweaters), puffy cozy socks, blankets, potholders, and trivets, I could keep going but I’m not.
With all the things we learn or are passed down from our parents or grandparents, crocheting and knitting (and to some degree sewing), are disappearing from the lexicon of popular hobbies. It is time consuming and somewhat costly and hard to master. So is painting or taking ballroom dancing, or anything arts related. It seems that the preferred time suck is shrinking into our phones or finding something to stream on Netflix or Hulu.
Knitting Party, 1942
By William H Johnson
Mixed media on paper, 12" x 18"
Again, I know I’m making a broad characterization but just think about how many people you know that take a dance class, art class, ceramics class or knit? Cooking is the caveat. Recipes are passed down and integrated into our diets and holiday routines. Free time and down time are at such a premium these days. When you’re tired and overworked sometimes you just want to sit and “do” nothing. I fall into that habit too. With paintings to finish (and start), a business to run, a family to cook for and social media to manage include writing a blog, sometimes I just want to loaf. I get out my handheld shrink ray and get lost in Madden Football or World Series of Poker and don’t surface for a while.
The Artist's Wife Knitting, 1920
By William James Glackens
Pastel on Paper
I always look at the deeper meaning of things, sensibilities I’ve picked up studying art for 3 decades. If I really wanted my sweater fixed, I could have it fixed. Maybe it’s not fixed because it’s not meant to be fixed, until I learn to fix it myself. I think about these things when its been 30 minutes and I can’t find anything to watch on Netflix. I dream how much more rewarding the prospect of putting on Miles Davis pouring a snuff of 12 yr. old single malt and filling my lap with purple yarn and repairing my sweater.