I am so amazed at the jump the knitting world has taken in recent years. Instead of a few big companies owning everything there is a large amount of dyers, spinners and retailers doing their own thing. It feels like this community has grown into a proportion that can afford to take itself seriously, not just as an awesome craft but as an industri.
Usually I dont really think of industries as a positive thing, to me it mostly connotes thoughts of accelerated consumption, pollution and people working under bad conditions. But this new knitting industry is seems based on ideas such as sustainable slow fashion, ethical practices and empowering people to make their own stuff. So exciting!
As a Photographer it is really interesting to see how this bigger and stronger community is evolving aesthetically as well. The larger support base is giving us better quality and more thought out content which can only be a good thing.
One of my favourite examples of this is the beautiful publication Knit Wit Magazine, exploring textile arts as a whole instead of focusing solely on knitting. In this interview (definitely recommended reading) Zinzi Edmundson, Editor and Co-founder, describe their visual choices like this
… We aimed for a more graphic and fashion forward aesthetic than is probably expected from a magazine primarily dealing in handmade/craft. One of the reasons is definitely to do just that: To stray from some preconceived notions of what the community might be like. It’s not all deep dark shadows, greyed out photography and introspective girls with low pony tails living in remote snowy cabins.
This kind of willingness to explore and push the boundaries a bit is one of the things that sets this magazine apart. Another is the lack of pattern descriptions, this is more of a lifestyle read. Instead the new issue has recounts of a weaving workshop at Ghost Ranch, numerous studio visits, one of them with Lauren Manoogian a major lady crush of mine(thats her threading a knitting machine below) and of course numerous beautifully executed fashion stories. After reading about all these amazing Jewellery makers, Natural Dyers, Weavers and Knitting Designers, I find myself continually inspired and happy that a place exists where all of these awesome people are combined. I look forward to see what Zinzi and her partner Gigi Jack come up with next.
all images are copyright Knit Wit and shown here with permission
I agree with your thoughts about knitting industry. It’s been lovely to see the growth! And it means I’m not a weirdo knitter girl anymore but one of the cool kids with skills. Whaat!
Question. I see you’re from Sweden. Do they teach knitting basics (and other craft-skills) in school? Here in Finland they do and I used to find it so weird seeing people abroad learning knitting as adults. I thought everyone knows how knitting is done though not everyone can do it (well).
Actually I grew up in Denmark but have since moved to Sweden. I can’t speak for every school but mine focused mainly on sewing skills and very little at that! We had some woodworking too, but that was pretty much it for crafts. My Swedish boyfriend informs me that it was the same where he went to school! I’d like to think a 9 year old me would have loved to learn to knit but who knows :) At least now I can teach my nieces how fibres work.