Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Is spinning the new knitting? And other short musings on fiber arts

Is everyone spinning but me? I see spinning everywhere lately. Cosy is teaching classes. Every time I go into Natural Stitches, they have more new drop spindles and roving. Knitty Gritty has aired multiple episodes about it.

Is this the trendy new thing, or the natural evolution of the knitting craze, as knitters and crocheters take a greater interest in where their materials come from and want more control over the final product?

The irony in this is that I have no strong interest in spinning, and yet I have access to a plethora of materials. My mother has an art degree and her minor concentration was fiber arts. She mainly focused on weaving and felt work, but she has a spinning wheel, a few drop spindles, a hand carder, a carding machine, huge rubbermaid storage containers of roving, plus many more containers of yarn that she spun herself and never used. She went back to ceramics, so all this stuff is just sitting in storage and I could borrow it at the drop of a hat. The question is, do I want to go down that road and get into what I would consider an entirely new hobby?

In semi-related fiber musings, have I been living under a rock in terms of the level of vitriol and hate towards crochet? I've always been aware of the subtle (or perhaps not so subtle) bias against it: I worked at the Knit and Bead, not the Knit and Crochet and Bead, and we had only one employee who could crochet worth a darn. One day, a regular knitting customer came in to select a project for her daughter-in-law. The customer announced "She crochets but I love her dearly anyway" and we all laughed and then looked at some beautiful hand-carved crochet hooks. So I was aware of the red-headed stepchild thing, but my goodness, have you all ever seen anything at the level of this outburst when Knitting Daily dared to feature one blog entry about crochet? Sweet merciful crap, people. And I'm told that this is tame in comparison to other boards!


Sarah said...

Wow, I had not seen all the comments to that KD post. Sheesh. I know there are some knitters who don't care about crochet, but would you seriously post such a nasty comment for all the world to see? Sometimes I really wonder about people.

I'm not sure what's up with the sudden popularity of spinning, but I will admit that I've been sucked in. I think first came all the rage with indie dyers; now people want to make their own yarn. If you ever feel an interest, it must be nice to know that you have the materials available to you!

LisaBe said...

i don't think i want to learn to spin, at least for a while. i'd like to try dyeing first, and that's a while off yet, i think. i think that's a natural evolution--use yarn, customize yarn, make yarn (and then, eventually, raise the animals from which to get the stuff to make yarn...).

i've avoided the thread on ravelry about crochet haters. i don't like the way it looks (like in garments and most afghans), but i do like amigurumi and that babette blanket something fierce. plus, learning a new craft is fun. i bought a book about how to make pop-ups (cards, books) last year just to learn how they're made. fun!

Jenn said...

I have absolutely no interest in spinning. Dyeing...well, that's another story, it looks so tempting!

cosymakes said...

if you don't want to spin, don't spin :) it's no biggie. then again, i'd say it's no biggie to crochet either, but YIKES!

personally, i'm in up to my ears in fiber arts - but it seemed natural evolution. i've an art degree from undergrad and wool just fit. i ran with it. but that's me, not you.

it is highly ironic that you have access to all those amazing supplies though! wish my mom was a fiber artist... (jealous)

cosymakes said...

i don't know if you've seen this, but it's a mockumentary about the knitting vs crocheting and it is hilarious!

Amy said...

I don't get all of the crochet hatred. They are both valid ways to use yarn and they don't threaten each other at all. No one is forcing crocheters to knit or knitters to crochet, what's the big deal? It seems like half the KD messages are just sales pitches anyway...just delete them.

I don't have any interest in spinning either. There isn't enough time to knit as it is! Besides, spinning isn't portable and I rarely get to knit at home anymore.