A little bit of politics there...

Winter morning in Seatoller, Cumbria

Winter morning in Seatoller, Cumbria

The photo has nothing to do with today's blog post but I was in need of calming thoughts this week and reflecting on my peaceful start to the New Year in Cumbria is always a good way to calm myself.

I'd like to share an anecdote with you prior to this mornings mini rant. A few days ago I posted a link to a newspaper piece about the Pussyhat initiative in the USA and the fact that some yarn shops there had run out of pink yarn.

Lighthearted, humorous and fun - I thought.

I was a little taken aback to receive several comments from readers of my Facebook page asking me to remove the link as it was, and I quote "Too political".

One helpful commenter went on to explain to me that my FB Page should be "All About the Knitting" and that there was no place for politics on the page of a knitter and designer. I followed my usual tried and tested method of dealing with unhelpful advice be it from relatives, readers or health visitors: Smile, Ignore, Repeat (and in the case of online advice - delete).

But the comments continued to niggle me and I couldn't let it go. I also saw others on social media having such comments made on pieces they had shared and it got me thinking.

I am the first to admit that I am pretty single minded (some less kind souls may say obssessed) about my knitting. I won't say that it consumes my every waking thought - but my needles are never far from my person and I frequently dream about knitting (is that just me?). But since when is a knitter only allowed to express an opinion as it relates to knitting.

As knitters we are a diverse bunch.  We are a diverse bunch with diverse opinions on a whole range of topics. Some of us feel passionately about the environment, about parenting, about the Great British Bake Off. It's what makes knitters such a great group of people to hang out with and to interact with, whether it be online or in person.

Now I for one, am thrilled when I see any piece about knitting in the mainstream press that doesn't conform to the usual patronising knitting stereotypes. The tone of this particularly piece was light hearted, funny and talked about the way that a variety of communities had come together over the 'Hat Which Must Not Be Named' project - getting people knitting and talking together who may otherwise have never met. It talked about local yarn stores and the importance they can have in local communities and was pretty well researched as far as I could tell. The link to the article is here - just so you can read it for yourself. 

It was upbeat and it showed knitting (and knitters) in a positive light and I think that is something to be celebrated and shared whatever your beliefs and opinions on politics, climate change or Battenburg cake.

*The title is a reference to the glitter-suited 1980s stand up comedian Ben Elton (now well known author too) who used to finish some of his slightly edgier jokes - it was the Thatcher years - in his set with the words... "a little bit of politics there".

**Since I drafted this article yesterday I listened to Jo Milmine of the Shinybees podcast whose latest episode (104) touches on this very thing - Knitting as more than just craft. It's a fabulous and thought provoking episode and I really recommend you give it a listen.