For most of human history, living life simply meant performing the necessary tasks to survive another day. We cultivated a collection of "survival skills" so that we could literally survive the elements and not get ourselves killed. We learned to make fires, build shelter, and we learned to knit. The development of these skills evolved over hundreds of years and the inability to master them could mean that you die.
Over the past few generations, these age old survival skills have slowly diminished in importance as new technological skill sets have replaced them as modern day "survival skills." These new skills include being internet savvy and knowledgeable about "smart technology." It isn't necessary anymore to build your own shelter, light a fire to keep you warm through the night, or knit your own clothes.
According to Ordnance Survey, knitting is one of the top 20 forgotten skills in danger of dying out. Among the other skills are map reading, knot tying, and identifying trees in nature. How can we work together to keep the historically important art of knitting alive and thriving for generations to come?
Here are some of our ideas:
The knitting community has done a fabulous job of keeping knitting accessible through technology. Not only has this encouraged younger people to knit over the past decade, but also during the recent pandemic. Brick and mortar knitting supply stores are now offering knitting related products in online stores. One quick search in YouTube will product thousands of knitting tutorials enabling a knitting newbie to grow and learn online. Digital patterns are offered for free on Ravelry and other similar platforms. One great way to encourage younger generations to learn to knit is to meet them where they are- their smart devices.
Learning communities provide structure for people to align around a common goal. Research tells us that human learning is a social process that works best in a community setting. Here, the goal is learning to knit. Communities enable knitters to share results, receive feedback, and learn from each other. Friendships are built and memories are made. Knitting communities quickly become much more than simply the skill of knitting.
If you understand the butterfly effect, you get how teaching just one child to knit can have a lasting and profound ripple. Not only does the act of knitting have a positive developmental impact on children, it also teaches them a useful and fun skill. Make memories, bond with your favorite child, and cultivate the next generation of avid knitters.
Knitting is a craft that is highly mobile. The same way that readers grab their book on the way out the door, knitters grab their current project. Whereas knitting in public used to be considered to be rude, it is now widely accepted. Exposing non-knitters to the world of knitting helps to cast aside the notion that knitting is an antiquated hobby for grannies. People who knit in public spaces transform mundane into creative.
Do you have another inspiring way to keep knitting alive? If so, share it wit’s us on Facebook or Instagram!