Fabriculture... craftivism... addiction... and knitting in public!

This article from Psychology Today, titled “Excessive Knitting and Addiction” (2017) presents several inter-related aspects of the “sociology of knitting” from various academic papers.

Thoughts range from happy and supportive (therapeutic benefits, contributing productively to society, coping with stress, and positive addiction), to chilling (a possible “dark side of knitting” with true addiction).

Concepts of ‘fabriculture’ or craft culture are introduced, along with the craftivist movement & craftivism.

The article explores why knitting in public can make some some people feel uneasy and lead to denigration of the knitter(s).

… women who knit in public (such as during a lecture or a conference) are often castigated and/or ridiculed for their behaviour.

They even cited Sigmund Freud in relation to why knitting in public causes discomfort for onlookers: [INDENT]Freud institutionalized a concept denoting the jarring and disorienting effect of being spatially out of phase: unheimlich. The queasiness of the unheimlich occurs also when interiors become exteriorized (especially the home, as it also means unhomely).

Knitting in public turns the interiority of the domestic outward, exposing that which exists within enclosures, through invisibility and through unpaid labor: the production of home life.

Knitting in public also inevitably makes this question of space an explicitly gendered one. One commentator observes that knitting in public today is analogous to the outcry against breast-feeding in public twenty years ago (Higgins 2005). Both acts rip open the enclosure of the domestic space to public consumption. Both acts are also intensely productive and have generally contributed to women’s heretofore invisible and unpaid labor.

But could such an innocuous activity as knitting have such social ramifications? How disruptive can fabriculture be when crafting women are more in the public eye than ever before? Many of us may know that Julia Roberts, Gwyneth Paltrow, Madonna, and other celebs knit.[/INDENT]

Who knew…?!

Very interesting article indeed. I am one of those that always has to have my knitting (or crochet) with me. Including in trainings / seminars. If I don’t I can’t concentrate on the presenter as I am wishing I was knitting. I think it also keeps me awake. :slight_smile:

I do try to sit in the outskirts of the room, though, so I don’t distract others with my knitting. One of the trainers that I am with most often also crochets, so she gets it. She has told me she wished she could crochet while she talked as well.

Ok - time to stop typing and get to knitting again! :fk:

I knit often in doctors’ waiting rooms, and I have found that people really enjoy watching me. The funniest comments are from men, who say random things like, “Knit one, purl two,” which shows that they know the difference between knitting and crocheting! :yarn:

Wow–not sure what to think of that article, except to say that any activity could probably become addictive, including someone who is a compulsive house-cleaner or any other good activity. Obviously addictions are a sign of a deeper issue, but then, being on the internet can also definitely be addictive, even when it is used for learning and reading about good things…such as how to knit or spin or crochet…

And yes, buying yarn or fiber can also be an addiction; but so can any other form of consumer buying. I was awakened to that fact when we went through my parent-in-laws’ home last year, which prompted me to go through our house as well–while I didn’t have as much stuff stashed away as my mother-in-law did (she was an extreme collector with the hopes that everything she collected would be “worth something some day”)-- I realized how much money I had spent on things that I was now hauling out the door that I now wondered WHY I had bought. Again, some of it was probably a deeper issue; I grew up in a dairy farmer’s home and money was always tight and I think even though my husband and I still always have had to watch our pennies (he is also a farmer!), I have never lacked and always wanted to buy things, so I was confronted with this when I did all this decluttering last year. It has made me stop and question my spending, even with yarn, so you know that was a eye-opener!

But yes, I definitely take my knitting with me in the car and enjoy knitting or spinning while watching TV or listening to a podcast. I do like something to do with my hands. I even knit sometimes in the restaurant sometimes while waiting for food. (mostly in casual restaurants and when it’s just me and my hubby–it allows us to still talk instead of both of us being on our phones (which can also be another addiction, right?) I have no problem with people who knit or crochet in public, for sure.

So now I need to get off the internet and start my day! :)[IMG2=JSON]{“data-align”:“none”,“data-size”:“full”,“src”:“http://fiberkind.com/image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAPABAP///wAAACH5BAEKAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAICRAEAOw==”}[/IMG2]​ :yarn:[IMG2=JSON]{“data-align”:“none”,“data-size”:“full”,“src”:“http://fiberkind.com/image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAPABAP///wAAACH5BAEKAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAICRAEAOw==”}[/IMG2]​:yarn:[IMG2=JSON]{“data-align”:“none”,“data-size”:“full”,“src”:“http://fiberkind.com/image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAPABAP///wAAACH5BAEKAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAICRAEAOw==”}[/IMG2]​

“Knit one, purl two,”
When people tease knitters by counting…!
:slight_smile: :slight_smile:

Love the decluttering… important to do that on a regular basis. Have you seen the KonMari method (by Marie Kondo)?
Fascinating approach. She has authored books, too.

I have seen some episodes on TV… she is such a gentle creature. She says something like, “If it sparks joy in you, keep it… if it no longer brings you joy, thank it and let it go.”

Yes–I used her method for most of what I did. I am not one to “thank” something for “letting me use it or enjoy it” (maybe thanking God for letting me use it instead), but for the most part, I found that if I didn’t like an item enough to want to store it or provide upkeep for it, I sent it out the door. I didn’t actually read her book, but I read a “Cliff notes” version of it and also watched some of her Netflix episodes.

Another book I really liked is Joshua Becker’s book, The Minimalist Home. I didn’t follow his plan for room-to-room cleaning as much as I did Marie Kondo’s, but I loved a lot of his tips. I now keep our toaster, blender, etc, all in cupboards or in our pantry since I have now have room to do this after decluttering my cupboards and I love the extra space on my countertops. I felt his book dove into not just the “how” of decluttering but also the “why” of decluttering, which helps keep you from going back to your old habits and undoing all the work you did in the first place.

I am learning to love the extra spaces and some actual empty drawers/shelves that sort of actually bothered me for some reason at first after I did the cleaning and took some getting used to, but there’s something about knowing there is empty space here and there now gives me a sense of peace and calm, of feeling less cluttered. My poor husband kindly wailed “why couldn’t you have done this years ago?” He likes things neat and uncluttered and is thrilled that I took this step. I think it’s just that it was the right time, partly also because we’re now empty nesters. Joshua Becker says that often there is something that triggers people to go this route and for me, it was going through first my husband’s (single) aunt’s home after she passed a couple of years ago and then again this past year after his parents passed away and it took the 4 siblings and spouses (and some help from grandkids) at least 3 or 4 months of meeting weekly to get it their house sorted out and now my husband is still selling things on Ebay that his mom collected. It just made us realize we didn’t want our kids to have to do this after we are gone some day!

I think it makes me think twice about spending money for more things. I’ve started making myself wait at least a day or 2 before making a decision to buy something online and I often stop and ask if I want to fill up the shelves where they are not full. It does affect how I buy clothes as well, but I tend to send things out the door quicker to donate elsewhere if I do buy a new outfit. But then I also feel better about buying better quality items that will last longer, so all these methods save money in the long run.

I still have some tough areas to declutter yet in our basement–where some of my hobby supplies are stored as well as my photo album stuff; I used to sell Creative Memories and we have a lot of pictures that need to be still put in albums, so going through sentimental items is always hard to sort and Marie Kondo recommends doing those last, for good reason–you get a little tougher with yourself as time goes on. It’s also my area for our canning, extra storage for larger items, etc. So it’s still a work in progress and I also want to do our garage this summer, but that’s probably not as big of a project, thankfully.

Thanks @rkennell ! I looked up Joshua Becker and see there are a few YouTube videos, so that may be my “Cliff’s Notes” quick-study lesson.

LOL, I have a drawer filled with special gifts, as I often purchase an “extra” of something great, in order to get free shipping. I just may need to re-think that strategy… or develop a plan for what to do with my “free shipping” treasures.

Love the “Cliff notes” versions of things, esp. YT! Yes, I actually have a drawer of smaller things I keep on hand for gifts as well and I’ve slowly been trying to weed it out since some of the giftees I usually give to have changed in age or lifestyle and some that just are probably too old, like decorative pens that prob have dried up ink, etc. It’s not a bad idea to have a few last-minute gift ideas; you just have to go through and declutter it now and then! You just have to tell yourself you can have no guilt when getting rid of perfectly good things; I just use it as a reminder in the future when I’m tempted to get that one extra thing.

Thanks for sharing @qfknit !

I read this and thought, “Oh, good grief!” I see soooo many (sexual) behaviors in public that should be left at home, and no one cares!!!

​(Also, Freud was a mess, just sayin’.)