Knitta Please!

Not Like Grandma Did It!
Not Like Grandma Did It!
(Knitta what?) Make you think you can stitch with me?
(Knitta who?) Recognize the loom, Jay to the Z!
(Knitta what?) Make you think you can crochet with me?
(Knitta who?) Recognize yarn, Jay to your mommy’s scrunchy Z!

With my sincerest, heartfelt, apologies to Jay Z.

Relax everyone, I linked to the Safe for Work version.

Okay, now to the important stuff. I’d like to thank my friend, Sandra Trevino, for turning me on to this new phenomenon.

It seems that there’s a growing sub-cult of urban guerrilla knitters springing up crocheting cozies for parking meters and knitting bikinis for those long winter nights. Probably not the kind of stuff your granny had in mind when she busted out a new skein of yarn.

Although I’ll bet Grandpa might have endorsed the knit bikini.

MSN takes a look at the dark side of knit one, pearl two.

Not that long ago, crafting was strictly for fluffy old ladies with too many doilies, cats and cotton balls. No more. Modern crafters drink booze while they knit bikinis. They crochet, but aren’t crotchety. They wrap parking meters in knitted cozies like crusading street artists. And they stitch and really bitch, then sell their adorable wares on Etsy instead of at church bazaars.

It’s a crafting revolution out there. If you’re not with us, well, then you’re missing out.

Why, those crafty devils are popping up everywhere. On page 2 of the article, they take a look at Chicago.

Of course the Chicago contingent is the weird one, who would expect otherwise?

Blogger and knitter Allyson Dykhuizen crafts for the Sweatshop of Love, which includes tons of rad knitting projects. Dykhuizen, too, crafts in reaction to our harsh contemporary world: “I think young people are crafting because our generation is more computer-oriented than ever, so it’s even more important to us to break away from that while we aren’t at work and create.” Well, that, and “with the super modern, young and fun patterns out there being written by young knitters and knitwear designers, knitting doesn’t have to mean old.” Dykhuizen’s own ebook of lively patterns for summer knitwear offers some inspired sunny looks.

A lot of crafters are women, but certainly not all. Another Chicago-based knitter and blogger (photographer, cartoonist and incredibly funny guy) is Franklin Habit, who writes the Panopticon. His mischievous chatter on knitting and life is a hoot, and puts to rest any granny knitter stereotypes you may still hold. It’s worth a read for the continuing adventures of Dolores, a delightful cocktail-drinking sheep, alone. Habit’s book “It Itches: A Stash of Knitting Cartoons” reflects all too accurately the humor that can arise from a true knitting passion.

Not all awesome crafters must be young things trapped in cubicles by day and on pins and needles by night. This fall, intrepid seamstress Ruth Ratke of St. Charles, Ill., pledged to sew 1000 Dresses by Thanksgiving. The dresses will be made out of new and used pillowcases. Her community is getting in on the project, too, with local fashion design classes, cheerleading troupes and others helping collect donated pillowcases and even sewing. The finished dresses will go to children in Africa and the Philippines.

Sure, that’s nice and all, but let’s get back to Dolores the Cocktail Drinking Sheep. Dolores is what happens to people who order wool online. She arrives, unbidden, at the nice man’s home and demands booze. Much as I would do were I a sheep.

Kind of like a ‘to the point’ version of wassailing.

In fairness, I should note that Franklin Habit is a very good writer. If you do end up wandering through his adventures with Dolores, you will end up laughing.

And, to the dear people at MSN, Illinois is always abbreviated IL., not Ill. We aren’t a sick state.

Well, except for our sick, phat, beats and illin cozies.

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