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Why Knitters Are Nicer


I was so so so cheered by all the lovely messages, newsletter replies, tweets, and of course blog comments I received yesterday. And a mention on the Electric Sheep Podcast was just the icing on the birthday cake. Thank you, thank you, thank you, lovely knitters! Replies are on their way.

I’m usually a pretty upbeat, positive person, and I adore doing this here, with you. I still find this a little hard to define, because as you know I do a lot of random, silly things, and knitwear design sometimes seems like a small part of it. I love ideas more than anything, and design more than most, and knitting as much as, well… you, and all together they make me very happy indeed. But every day I meet people who scoff at my work, who ask me snidely how much I make, and inevitably wonder when I will get a proper job (& my own place). Luckily for me, none of these people are in my family. I don’t get hurt by these comments (that would be ridiculous), but I certainly get cross. There was a time when they made me doubt myself, and I sat in a dark office and did work that made no one on earth happy, least of all me. But now I brush them aside and try to use my crossness to fuel me in my work. Still, if it wasn’t for the positive feedback I get from you, I don’t know how long I’d be able to sustain this.

So THANK YOU! & if you’re just heading out on your own path and working for yourself, please don’t listen to the naysayers. Listen to your own true, brave voice and no other. Trust your own confident, capable hands. Don’t let anyone come between you and the joy of steering your craft.

You might be interested to note that my cynics all share one common factor (apart from cynicism, that is): they’re inevitably non-knitters. Which leads me to believe that there is a higher preponderance of nice people among knitters than in the general public. I have some theories about this:

  • Knitting is a calming occupation. Because knitters relieve stress through knitting, they’re less likely to lash out at others.
  • Knitting is a creative act, and it’s my belief that creating something makes people feel more fulfilled, so that they don’t have the urge to belittle the work of other people to make themselves feel better.
  • Knitting is contemplative, and anyone who takes the time to slow down and listen to their thoughts is better able to assess their relationships with others.
  • Knitting teaches you patience.
  • The devil makes work for idle hands. A knitter’s hands are always busy.

Of course we all have a long way to go, but I do believe that knitting can help us get there. Don’t you agree? :)

21st June, 2011  // Inspiration, Life // tags: , , .


  1. Erin Kate says:

    Love the first photo! And so true. Knitters are a kind people. :)

  2. Audry says:

    I’m relieved to here that there is another person out there battling the ,”So have you found a job yet” kind of questions. It upsets me a bit because it disregards all the work I’ve put into my own little business. The message seems to be that if you don’t work for someone, it isn’t real work.

    Thank you for sharing such inspirational words. And it is true, non-knitters aren’t nearly as nice as knitters.

  3. Maggie says:

    Yes! rings bells with me too. I have been freelance for some time now – albeit in another (artistic!) field – and there is no way I would swap back. Hang in there, all you freelancers! The creative spirit is alive and well.

  4. seeherknit says:

    I’m thinking about starting my own little thing. I’ve still got a day job and am not really sure where I’m going with this germ of an idea. Thank you for the encouragement. Thank you also for the warning about the “got a real job yet” question. I’m sure I’ll get it once I eventually get this off the ground.

    • laylock says:

      It does seem unavoidable, unfortunately. Perhaps we should compile a list of rejoinders for our cynics?

      All the best with your work!

  5. Toni says:

    I think you’re right! I love knitting, and know many people (including some of my closest friends) who like to make a joke of what I do. I’m still at Uni, but have set up a small business selling knitted things, and so many people mock my ideas, or when I explain them, look at me like there’s a chance I’m crazy.

    I find more than anything, that non-knitters, or more generally non-creative people are a lot less friendly. I think they often feel, as you said, unfulfilled by what they are doing, but don’t understand art and craft the way we do, so instead of taking an interest, they mock, as a method of making themselves feel better about themselves! If only they could open up to the concept of art and beauty, maybe they would feel more tranquil.

    I think it’s just lucky we are as calm a bunch as we are, and can rise above this behavior, otherwise I think there may be a lot less beauty in this world!

    • laylock says:

      So eloquently said, thank you! I absolutely agree; we must persevere in doing what brings us joy to our very core, or all beauty will drain out of the world.

      I hope you keep going with your business & work through every perceived “failure”. Then the flowers bear fruit.

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