Tuesday, June 17, 2008

A Reminder for All of Us

I've just finished downloading and sorting the photos from this weekend's 1,000 Knitters public shoot in Toronto. It has taken about six hours. The keynote of the day was joy–joy in the gentle weather, the beautiful setting, the good company, the abundant creativity.

I'll put up a full description tomorrow, but I find I can't wait until then to say something that's been increasingly on my mind for months now. The more knitters I meet, the more I want to say it. Looking over Saturday's faces and remembering the many conversations has convinced me that now is as good a time as any.

Ours is an odd hobby. As Stephanie has noted, according to trustworthy estimates we, the needleworkers, outnumber golfers in North America. We are enthusiastic–even evangelical–about what we do. Yet knitting enjoys nothing close to the media attention or popular regard given to the sport of golf. When was the last time you saw a copy of Interweave Knits at an airport newsstand? But I bet you could find a copy of Golf Digest.

It may not be fair, but it's the way of the world. Until those at the very top of the power hierarchy put down their clubs and take up needles, I won't hold my breath waiting for serious coverage of yarn issues on the nightly news.

The media–and the world that consumes it–neglects most folks. It seldom (except in a voyeuristic, often disrespectful manner) dwells on fat people, short people, quiet people, shy people, poor people, plain people, nonconformists, minorities, or those who simply work too darn hard every day to seek the spotlight.

Another Observation

Unfortunately, many of us–myself included–take this to heart. When you are bombarded each day by advertisements, television shows, billboards and books that tell you in no uncertain terms that you are not okay, it's easy to feel too flawed even to leave the house. When you never see yourself reflected accurately in the whirling collage of popular imagery, it's easy to wonder if you count for anything.

But here's what I've come to realize. The world is wrong.

The society that doesn't value handwork is wrong. The magazine article that suggests you are less than human because you prefer an evening with your cat and spinning wheel to dinner at a noisy new restaurant is wrong. The company that doesn't believe you can enjoy a knitting circle and also chair a board meeting is wrong. The husband/wife/parent/child/friend/boyfriend/girlfriend who sneers at your knitting as a dowdy little hobby for boring little people is wrong.

Observation

I've met more than 900 of you now and spent at least a few minutes talking to each of you. I haven't met a boring knitter yet. I haven't yet met a knitter with no talent or no story to tell. I haven't met the knitter who shouldn't feel proud as all hell at his or her desire to create beauty every day, when most of civilization does nothing from cradle to grave but consume, consume, consume.

The wider world is too busy chasing its own tail to understand what's worthwhile. Pity it. Attempt to educate it, if you like. But if it persists in being clueless, let it go.

Stop waiting for approval. Celebrate yourself. You are beautiful, you are talented, you do count for something. And you have a lot of interesting things left to knit before you die.

291 comments:

1 – 200 of 291   Newer›   Newest»
Michelle @ rose_will_travel@yahoo.com said...

Franklin you rock! I wish I could be one of your 1,000 knitters, actually I have a secret wish to be number 1000. Unfortunately I'm all the way over here in Oregon. Far, far away from Chicago. We are all beautiful and we all make beautiful things with our 'quaint little sticks' as I am told.

amy [Knitty] said...

i love you.

Jen said...

Bravo. Franklin it was a delight to meet you - a magical day and a wonderful night.

Oh my, that sounds just this side of tawdry.

And that just makes it more special.

Sue said...

You are amazing. Absolutely. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Write on!!!!

Emily said...

Thank you Franklin. It was a pleasure to meet you, even if only very briefly, last Saturday, and it is uplifting to read your words here today.

Rosane said...

Franklin,

Beautifully written, as always.

Thank you!

Rosane.

amy said...

This is how I feel about a lot of things--not just my knitting. None of us can let somebody else's perception of us, what we do, who we are define what is important. It is important (whatever it is) because it is Us.

Will these photos with inspirational quotes be offered for sale in some format?

And you are a true Prophet for Knitting. Thank you.

Marianne said...

I CELEBRATE myself, and sing myself,
And what I assume you shall assume,
For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.

-Walt Whitman

Linda said...

I pause respectfully at this unexpected, heartfelt message expressed in memorable photos as well as words: priceless and powerful!! Thank you, Franklin.

knittergran said...

Franklin---Thank you! This is timely because I was at my LYS Saturday for WWKIP Day. We were knitting out on the lawn during the breezy, relatively cool morning in Roswell, GA. Along came a camera crew with an interviewer who claimed to be from a knitting show that would air on TLC. He was at first convincing, but became more and more obnoxioux. He eventually told us his real name (he had been claiming to be Jay Michael Edwards-newly proclaimed knitter-of-the-year or something like that) and his real purpose. He claimed that he was filming a segment for CNN Headline News and that our segment would be on this coming weekend. Who knows.... But the shop owner had a "come to Jesus" talk with him about treating knitters disrespectfully, and that if he was going to make fun of our activity, he could not use the film. He then promised to be respectful, and his crew even came back later to apologize for the guy's rude behavior. However, I'm guessing, as you discussed, that he wouldn't have treated golfers like that.
So Thank You again!!!

Wool Enough said...

Well said. I think many (most?) people never stop to think that what we call "the media" is generally trying to sell us stuff. Therefore, they attempt to persuade us that we should be the sort of people who need, want, wear, play with, or consume their "stuff." Not true. Not at all.

Lynn said...

Right on, Franklin!

ohgivemeagnome said...

Well said! I have recently been concerned with some of the images and messages I see in mass media. I have a three year old that is an absolute sponge. I hear him sing commercials from tv and it grates me. I constantly remind him that we don't have to buy to be special/beautiful/important/wonderful. It bothers me that is the message! I am so glad to see that I am not alone and that someone more eloquent than me is talking about it!

jeandavee said...

Right on!

debsnm said...

When did we decide TV was reality? Even the 'reality' shows aren't real. I stopped watching the news years ago, because I realized that the only thing they're interested in is making me scared/paranoid of everything and everybody else. Life sucks. Except sometimes ours doesn't, and there are millions of people out here who don't give a good G*ddamn what the rest of the "experts" say. I always thought I was a hick from a hick town. But I'm not, my reality just never matched that on TV. OK, I could go on forever - my long-winded way of saying "thanks!!"

ester said...

i love that: create instead of consume.

thanks, franklin!

knitography said...

Well said! Thanks Franklin!

Jaclyn said...

Well said.

This after I sat listening to a woman in my office lament how she can't afford a tummy-tuck to get rid of her stretch marks after having 2 kids.

She's not superficial, she's simply been told over and over again that her body isn't beautiful enough. It's sad.

Mandy said...

Please make this project into a book, because I will buy it. Thank you.

Margene said...

Forever and ever...Amen!

Twelfthknit said...

A-men!
India

Kathryn said...

I don't think I've ever posted a comment here before, and probably never will again, but I just wanted to say this:

Franklin, I adore you.

I'm sending the link for this post to all the members of my fiber guild. Prepare for more adoration.

cheriwan said...

You're the best, Franklin.

Kristen said...

We need a lot more of you on this planet!

Angela said...

Thank you.

Kate said...

Rock on Franklin!

This past Saturday about 25 of us sat on the shores of the Potomac river not far form where the Father of our country called home.

Even as simple and casual as our gathering was, it was an amazing celebration of the social aspect of knitting. Many of us started the day as strangers and left as real friends.

Y said...

I only found your blog last week and you know what? I think I'm smitten :)

Anonymous said...

As a firefighter/knitter I get a lot of comments!!!! Some are negative, some are positive. But, I still keep knitting!


Linda

crazyknittinglady said...

Thank you so much for this post, you are so very spot on and in such an eloquent way.

It was so fabulous to take part in your project on Saturday and I can't wait to hear more about it as the final stages unfold. Thank you for doing what you do!

Patty said...

Thank you, Franklin, for saying out loud what many of us believe to be true, deep from the center of our hearts.

shyknitter said...

Thank you Franklin, again you have put into words what so many of us think and feel.

silverarrowknits said...

Thank you.

muoriska said...

So true, and maybe, knitting is too common hobby, and so cheap ( if you ask my DH,it isn't) that everybody can do it..
But how can we get it hot and sexy?? Can Dolores help?

:)

tricotchick said...

All hail to the wise and prescient Franklin. Thank you for the lift, it's been a weird week, and I needed your wise counsel very much. You never disappoint. Bless you!

Julie said...

Beautifully said. Thank you.

Treesa said...

Your rant is more on target than most experts expert opinion! Rock ON!!!

Rebecca said...

I heart you

pacalaga said...

I love you.

Bunny Queen said...

If I ever decide to grow up, I want to be you. :) Yep, I'm almost 38 and I have long said I won't grow up if "growing up" means ditching my imagination, conforming to rules 'just because', or getting stodgy. I intend to be childlike and full of wonder for as long as I possibly can. Hmmm. Maybe I don't need to 'grow up' to be you....

Seriously though, this message needs to be taken to heart by so many people, myself included. Thanks for saying it so well.

Lara said...

love (1000)

Ellen-Mary said...

Brilliant! Personally, I think watching a bunch of people knit would be more entertaining than watching golf.

What would business deals be like if they were made while the dealmakers were knitting instead of golfing? If our society valued handwork would there be knitting scholarships? What if heads of state sat around knitting while discussing world events? Who would be our Tiger Woods?

Harriet said...

Just when I think your blog entries can't get any better - you prove me wrong! You put into words thoughts that just don't make it out of my mouth. Certainly, not as eloquently.

You are the greatest! I'm so glad to have met you at Threadbear in Lansing, even though it was so brief.

Keep on knitting!

Rebecca said...

This was such a beautiful entry. I was trying to explain this to my boyfriend a while back, not necessarily the knitting thing (he knows better) but how hard it can be to not see anyone who resembles you in the media. The media says you don't exist, we don't want you. I say screw the media. We knitters/weavers/crocheters/fiber people just need to take over the world. It'd be much nicer...

Melissa said...

You rock. Thank you.

Susan B. said...

I know that the goal of all great writers is that ephemeral effortless prose. I also know that goal does not come effortlessly.

However, you have done it, again. Excuse me, I have to find a kleenix.

molly said...

You could have started this post "Dear Molly" as it seemed to be aimed directly at me. It was important for me to read this today. Thank you for writing it.

Nita said...

You rock on a level I was not aware of. I'm a new stalker, and you're just awesome. I'd spin and snuggle kitties (with a bottle or two of wine of course), with you any damn day of the year!! Kisses and love and I hope to meet you some day.

Erica said...

Thank you Franklin! This was just so wonderful to read, and the photo of the person knitting that reads "This is extremely important" touches me deeply, in a way that surprises even me.

And thank you for the 1000 knitters project! I literally cannot recall the last time I sat for a picture or allowed anyone in my family to take one of me. No one would have believed me if I'd told them that my boyfriend was taking me to Kennett Square for my birthday so I could be a part of the shoot. As the fates would have it, mine was one of the shots that made your blog. I got to tell them all so they could drop by to see it. They were really impressed I let it happen. I was really impressed by how much better it looked than I thought it would! lol

Having become a quiet little part of the knitting community at large works for me. Thank you for being you!

And...my mother wants to know when the project is finished, is it going to be a book? I told that's the only way she gets a copy of that pic!

Thanks again, for the blog and the Project!

gaylen said...

Franklin - you hit the nail on the head with something I have been fighting with and trying to find balance with. Not so much with my knitting/sewing but rather with how society views me -as a person. Thank you for saying so eloquently what I can't even put into words.

g

Cheri said...

Beautifully said.

AuntieJimbo said...

Did you have that book "I'm Terrific" when you were a kid? That's what this reminds me of, although I think the creature (bear? badger?) in the story was kind of a turd. I think. It was a long time ago. In any case, I think you're terrific.

Cindy said...

Yes, we are a unique group. I like being different. You are a hero for knitter and such a wonderful man. Thank you.

Joy said...

Bravo, Franklin - very well said!!!

Cheryl said...

Thank you dear Franklin, thank you. You said it well.

Jackie said...

Thanks, Franklin. You speak to my soul.

Saralyn said...

lovely. thanks.

tersa said...

This post really hit home with me and left me a little misty. This was awesome. Thank you for writing it.

Bobbi said...

Well said! Remember to take your own advice, also.

AlisonH said...

Wool said.

BustersDad said...

Thank you! Thank you, Franklin! I needed those words of needlefolk wisdom. Over the weekend I attended a sale at my LYS where I suffered "male knitter invisibility syndrome".

I do not think that they mean to do it. It was a late night sale and it was hot and chaotic--and most of us did not become knitters because we love hot and chaotic. I realize that I am a man in a "female space" and try to be mindful and respectful of that.

However, there is still that looks that seem to ask "Why are you here?" Most of the time there is not a negative tone to this look but it is not wholly friendly and inviting either.

So that evening I got the needles that I had set out for, one of the four books of mens patterns that had and a couple of skeins of sock yarn. I would have looked longer and perhaps lingered but it had been a long week and I was growing more tired due to the less than inviting vibe.

So again, thank you for your wise words! I needed to remember that although there is a broad spectrum of knitters -- some with whom I may share a lot in common and others only interest in a craft -- we are all brought together by the enjoyment that we receive from those two simple sticks that can make magic out of a ball of yarn.

bonnie said...

Franklin,
I hope you sit down at #1000 with your camera timer and do a self-portrait because you are be-all/end-all of knitters! Loved your post today!

Knitting Linguist said...

Thank you so much for that reminder; I'm truly touched. Your photographs are gorgeous works of art, and such perfect reminders of the art we all produce! Thanks.

Charlene Schurch said...

BRAVO!!

I am proud to have been one of the knitters lucky and privileged to have been photographed by YOU!

KNIT ON! and keep taking those lovely, sensitive photos.

Red said...

I spent WWKIP day with a golfer who went on and on about golf, at a sports bar watching golf. At least I had my mohair shawl to work on and the street traffic to watch. It's amazing what people will do to their cars. There I go again, noticing the creativity and care people put into making useful things beautiful.

Thanks for articulating what many of us (and not just knitters) know and feel.

debd94 said...

Wow...awesome comments. Thank you for sharing your wisdom.

Christy D. said...

What a wonderful post! I have often been made to feel a little eccentric and apologetic for my knitting hobby (can I say Knitting Lifestyle here?) You remind me that if you can find 1000 of us to photograph then we must not really be all that strange. I'm going to be proud to knit now. In fact, I may just go knit somewhere public tonight because I can. :)

I would love it if you came to Denver for a photo shoot. We love to get together and knit here and I bet we'd show you a real good time!

Sarahfish said...

Yup, you touched a nerve with this one. It's just like we were saying on Saturday- everyone has an excuse (sorry for the bad hair, I was going to wear something different etc.) when no one needs one. Everyone there was so beautiful! And all so different! What a boring place this world would be if we all looked the same and thought the same things and had the same hobbies. I LOVE that I'm a Knitter and belong to this amazingly diverse group.

What a way to Represent. Thanks for the message, I hope we can all take it in. And it was lovely to meet you!

Diane said...

Amen, brother!

Anonymous said...

Brilliant and beautiful, like knitting. Like you. Thank you...

mj said...

Mass media does what is in its best interest. Increasingly, the message delivered seems designed to frighten and divide us. Makes sense, I guess-- people who are happy with themselves are less easy to sell the latest product to, whether it's hairspray or a presidential candidate.

Thanks for being a leader...someone who reminds us of our common identity and inspires us to come together. The world needs to hear more of your message. To steal shamelessly from Dickens: even if it doesn't put a scrap of gold or silver in my pocket, it has done me good.

Thank you.

mad angel said...

From someone who too often feels like a schmuck, thank you. I needed this today, more than I could (or should) say here. I think this one "powered" up the Reiki session I just had! Now. Work is work and life is life. Do I go for the knitting or the spindling? Hmmm...choices...choices....

My word verification is "wypowc." My mind has slipped into the gutter. I'm thinking "Wipe-o, W.C." Sounds like a product one might use in a European toilet. :-P

Sonya said...

Preach, brother, preach! I've come to the conclusion that people in the "media" must come from a narrow range of human experience.

KnitMusic said...

It's truly amazing how often, and how well, you capture my own thoughts. I'm extremely proud to be a knitter, and to be in such grand company as yourself, and all of the other wonderful knitters I read everyday. Last week my daughter become slightly perturbed about how incredibly boring I was. While she wanted to 'go somewhere', despite there being no particular 'where' in mind, she just couldn't fathom why I'd rather stay home. Why wouldn’t I want to stay home? I’ve got mohair lace knitting calling my name. What could be better than that? Maybe a nice Cabernet to go along with it…

Thanks Franklin, for consistently voicing the thoughts and feelings of so many of us.

Leslie said...

Beautifully said and I emphasize that appreciation with a big, fat whopping "Woo hoo!"

Paige Darling said...

Wow...thank you. I'm leaving this on my computer for the next knitter to sit down to it to read.

Sandra said...

I know I count for something, even though I seem to constantly defend the knitting. But I continue to defend it because it is a part of what defines me. Golf does too, but I'm a much better knitter than I am a golfer!
Franklin, I loved meeting you and chatting with you, Next time, I wish we had more time. I know you made ever single knitter that sat on that stool feel as special as you made me feel.

knitterotica said...

Well said. It is now my goal to toast these words with knitters every where.

If we every meet, I'm buying you a beer (or other beverage of choice) and toasting you for saying it.

Marina McIntire said...

Franklin! You and Stephanie had me in tears today -- a very good and rare thing, indeed. Thanks for your thoughts and the beautiful writing.
I, too, am in Oregon and so won't be *in* the 1,000 select. But I know we are all represented there. I'm looking forward to seeing the finished product.

Gwendilocks said...

Fantastic post, Franklin! Very insightful on different levels. Thank you.

Kelly said...

"I haven't met the knitter who shouldn't feel proud as all hell at his or her ability to create beauty every day, when most of the Western world does nothing from cradle to grave but consume, consume, consume."

the beautiful heart of it - thank you, Franklin; so well said...

Stephanie said...

oy. So well written, I look forward to seeing more of your photos from this weekend :)

Anonymous said...

The awful "world" you describe is fortunately running out of impetus. The real estate boom is bust. The stock market boom is bust. The oil boom is bust. Without those, there is little to drive their twisted world. They will eventually have run to those of us who know how to feed, clothe, and entertain ourselves and still have hearts ompassionate enough to help even them. Thank you for saying what badly needed saying. Knit on.

Donna said...

Agree (1) Love (1) Thanks (1)

Annette said...

That was so moving I have tears in my eyes. Happy, accepted tears. I've been the butt of knitting jokes for far too long. Even my children roll their eyes at mums knitting. Beautifully written, thank you.
Now, how about that trip to Australia?

Kathe said...

Thanks, Franklin, I love you more than ever!
Kathe(aka Knittingfiddler)

angelina said...

you, and stephanie, made me cry!! I love being one of these knitter-people and I adore that people like you are part of my group. Thank you for creating so much beauty in our world. and I want the 'this is important' on ANYTHING in the shop... pretty pretty please!

...i wish you could've been in San Francisco to take picture of the queer people getting married today; it was truly phenomenal!

xoxoxo
angelina (in oakland)

Anonymous said...

Thanks Franklin.
You are very wise.
Marcia

Vanessa said...

Absolutely on target and wonderfully well put.
Thank you, Franklin

Sally Comes Unraveled said...

I agree the most with what you say about the media overall.

However, there is something special about knitting being a "mystery" to so many others. I think if it's spotlight were too bright, it'd be less attractive.

Purl in the Rough said...

Very beautifully said.

And may I say, what a pleasure it was meeting you at the 1000 Knitters event in Toronto. You made each one of us feel at ease, and dare I say, special, while we sat for you. You are a rare talent. I will read your blog with even more respect now. Thank you, Franklin.

(Oh, and I agree with Bonnie at 5:54 pm - you most definitely should be knitter #1000.)

Renata

Senora Fuerte said...

This is so weird, because I just last night was writing in my journal that I wish my knitting were important to more than just myself. My husband is supportive and (relatively) interested in what I do, and my other family and acquaintances view it with interest, but in the same quizzical way one would look at a bearded lady or a sword swallower... Are we that strange?

With all of the posts today about the experience you gave everyone up in Toronto, I feel a little more proud of what I do and a little less like a freak.

Thanks.

Angie said...

Rock on, Franklin! If you ever find yourself in Western Mass, I'll be the one you run into knitting (unapologetically) somewhere in public!

Hedgehog Librarian said...

Thank you for a beautiful essay--I've forwarded it to a number of friends and linked it over at my blog. It was a refreshing reminder to enjoy, to create and to celebrate ourselves. Greatly appreciated.

jpknits said...

Thank you!

denny makes her own shit. And it's good cause her ass is big. said...

does my giant plasma screen make my ass look big?

Laurie said...

Totally true! I regret that I could not make it to Toronto for the great Franklin/Stephanie extravaganza, but I was there in spirit. And I remain grateful that circumstances brought you to Maine!

NeedleDancer said...

wow.
You DO rock!

I want to print this whole thing out .... and paste it to the wall...
and forward it to every knitter I know... and read it again and again.
THANK YOU!!!

(oh, and YOU are beautiful too... inside and out!)

Alexandra said...

Thank you

alana said...

Perfect. Timely. Thank you.

heathers said...

Here here!

Lee Wittenstein said...

You are right that part of the problem is that those in power don't knit. But there is also something about the commercial/corporate world, too. Having just come back from TNNA one of the things that struck me was that the companies that sell yarn and needles and patterns and notions and books...are, for the most part, small and often family-run. No one ever got rich selling yarn and so the world at large doesn't value it.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this post. Time and again I find myself having to defend being a knitter to people who play video games for hours on end, or watch sports all day long, or go bar hopping every night. And rarely can they ever grasp the concept that in the same time they spent on that high score, or for the same money they drank down the drain, I'm able to create something beautiful. Something that will last for more than the time it took to get there. So thank you for your eloquence and your heart. Thank you for being you.

Erin

Becky said...

A man who has an amazing way with words and creates beauty with his hands. It doesn't get any better than that!

Jack said...

The fact that you have it in you to write such a post helps me to understand more fully why we love you, how-be-it from a distance, and why one of my favorite images of you is the one at John Ruskin's grave.

susan said...

You have touched my heart with your words on knitting! So well put. Keep up the great writing and knitting.

Anonymous said...

Franklin, not only are you a gifted artist, talented knitter, you are a man of enormous heart and a profound wisdom. Thank you for your words and your caring. Elizabeth

Feral Janine said...

Thank you, Franklin!

no-blog-rachel said...

Well as there are at least 108 comments ahead of me so I knew I wouldn't be the first to say it - but I'm saying it anyway - I love you. Mwah!

CityMinx said...

franklin, you rock. Nuff said.

Rudee said...

Amen!

puffthemagicrabbit said...

Franklin- you are beautiful. Thank you for all you said, and for 1,000 knitters.

anne marie in philly said...

"When you are bombarded each day by advertisements, television shows, billboards and books that tell you in no uncertain terms that you are not okay, it's easy to feel too flawed to even leave the house."

I used to feel that way...until I sought help from a psychologist. now, I don't give a good goddamn what ANYONE thinks of me.

I am 53, 5'3", a voluptuous, intelligent, ribald, caring, forward thinking, assertive woman. and if the world doesn't like it, it can kiss my big fat white ass!

being a doormat is easy. loving yourself is hard. and I love me just the way I am (thanks, mr. rogers!).

Kate said...

You know, that's the first time I've ever read that 'you are the only you' thing and not got an upchuck reflex. Because it makes me understand why I peer into all those 1,000 knitters photos. Not only is every one of them different, every one of them is INTERESTING.

It's not 'you have a unique genetic code' which, duh. It's 'you are such an amazing mix of things, there is no way to put everything you are into words. Hoorah!'

I still get cross any time somone finds out I knit. Because it's always irritating. And I work in the most diverse, accepting environment you can imagine. Yet it's still ok to scoff at the fact that I like to make things with my hands. Sewing? Oh, that's cool. How earthy and socially responsible. You baked? Mmmmm, delicious. You KNIT?!!? WTF!?!?!

It's a good litmus test, though. If I am interested in a boy (man) but don't want to tell him that I knit, then he is not a good idea. It's not his reaction that's in question (everyone needs their boundaries pushed sometimes, right? ;P), it's my unwillingness to tell. It's been tested enough times to be statistically relevant.

Thanks, Franklin. For helping our community articulate itself. You always do it so well, whatever medium you're using.

Sam said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you! (time a million!!)

If this was Ravelry, I'd be clicking the "love" button in earnest, trying to make it register a million times.

I will undoubtedly be linking this entry in the near future. Being of the knitter/new spinner/freak/unintentional nonconformist persuasion, what you've written here speaks to me loud and clear.

Nancy said...

When a little-known golfer from the Greensburg, PA area can almost beat Tiger Woods on Playoff Monday, it is like the song "High Hopes": We can all climb that rubber tree, ant though we may be.

paula said...

Hi Franklin,

Is there any way to get you over to the Northeast? Webs is HUGE and I'm thinking many people would love to head over there to meet you and to be on the last leg of your 1000 Knitter's Project. :)

Perhaps a call to Webs is in order?

Paula

textilegeek said...

*APPLAUSE*

Oh my god, I think I love you.

I recently started spinning/knitting at work, when I'm on a phone call and I don't have anything to do with my hands but twiddle my thumbs (knitting is far more productive)... My coworkers look at me funny, some of them tease me, but you know what? I'm not doing it for them, I'm doing it for me.

If they want to watch football or go jump in a freezing river or watch japanese live-action game shows, I'm all for letting them do it. Let me do my thing. In the end, I'm the one who has something to show for it. :)

Thank you...

Kelly said...

That was beautiful, and I feel grateful and humbled knowing that I'm part of a community that includes you. Thank you for reminding me and valuing me and all knitters.

Jennifer said...

Wow! What a great pep talk for all of us. Congrats on such an amazing interactive viral project. I love watching it progress and hear stories - both personal and via blogs - about knitters reaction and excitement about getting to be one of the 1,000 knitters. You're amazing!

Cathy-Cate said...

A knitter's manifesto --

a manifesto for all of us, knitters or no.

ROCK ON, FRANKLIN!

Riin said...

Franklin, you're absolutely right. I've been saying for years that our culture is mentally ill. Most mass media exist to please the sponsors. Advertisers want to sell us their product, and if they need to tell us the only way we'll be happy is if we buy it, and that we're no good the way we are now without it, they have no qualms about doing so. Someone in a documentary I watched years ago said "advertising is the opposite of therapy."

One of the easiest ways to be happier is to stop watching television and don't ever look at "women's magazines." I don't know if there are men's magazines that are equivalent to those, but ugh, those things just do nothing but rip women's self esteem to tiny little shreds. They're poison. I suppose the sports magazines are sort of an equivalent, e.g., golf magazines trying to convince you that you can't be a decent golfer unless you buy more and more expensive equipment.

Elizabeth B. said...

Thank you, Franklin.

Karin said...

Thank you, and AMEN to that.

toni in florida said...

Amen, Franklin. And thank you.

Teresa said...

Takes one to know one!

Vellan said...

Awesome post, Franklin. One for the ages.

In years to come people will continue to link to it because it will still be true.

Sarah said...

In the midst of my mid-life pondering of "what am I doing here that justifies my using up valuable resources?" comes your lovely and affirming entry.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go knit.

Erin said...

Very well said. Thank you. :)

Stacy said...

Thank you, Franklin.

Mary said...

That was a powerful bit of prose there Franklin. Really powerful. What a voice you have. Moving mountains in people's hearts. Knit on dude.

georg said...

*smooch*

Lisa said...

This is why I read your blog...I can laugh at Dolores and marvel at you capture the truth of things so beautifully all at the same. This is wonderful! And timely for me as I was just thinking that I was tired of waiting to live my life.

korin said...

I have only been reading your blog for a while, as a toddler stole all of my blog reading and knitting time. However, I am completely in love with you. :)
I love this post, and it's message. It speaks to so many things that matter in life, like parenting well, making a good meal and hand work.
Thank you.
xo, korin

Anonymous said...

Amazingly perfect essay. You have touched us with your insight and grace. Please include this essay and pictures in the "1000 Knitters" book. And - any chance of considering "Volume Two: The Next 1000 Knitters." There's a whole lot of us you haven't met yet!

Thank you!
theprofessionalaunt

Anonymous said...

Hi, Franklin--

I'm from Kathryn's fiber guild, here in response to her link. I now live in a part of the country far from the fiber guild where "being ignored" simply doesn't describe it. Handwork is simply nonexistant in the public consciousness here in TotoLand. I am so glad that something is going on somewhere to remind us that we are valuable. Make a book of your pictures and thoughts, we need documentation to point at!
Marji

Beadnit said...

While I was waiting for my flight home from Sock Camp at the Seattle airport, I was looking at the magazines and what did I see? Knitting magazines!! So maybe, we are making some headway. I also do beadwork and I can remember a time when I couldn't find beading magazines anywhere - now they are everywhere.

Thank you, Franklin, for your essay and photos.

Melanie said...

Great words Franklin. As we know the world is wrong in lots of ways. Knitting is one example of something that is right.

Northmoon said...

Franklin it was a pleasure to meet you on Saturday. My original plans were to be on a motorcycle ride to Port Dover on Friday the 13th, but I had surgery and can't ride my bike for six weeks. Taking part in the 1000 knitters project was an excellent substitute and a great honour.

It kind of suprises me that the spirit of cameraderie and tolerance is the same with women who ride motorcycles and knitters. Perhaps it's something to do with celebrating individuallity and helping each other on the way.

Personally I don't want the media to have anything to do with knitting. Leave us alone, don't spoil it up with PR crap and commercialization/standardization.

Linda said...

Thank you, Franklin. It's been a rough couple weeks and I needed this.

Sara said...

o dear. perhaps we should meet.
I am boring.
I don't have a story.
I've kitted about 15 years and still am only comfy with garter or stockinette in the round.
But I will never quit :-)

You are awesome!

=Tamar said...

Mad Angel at 6:15: wypowc to me
evokes "Why, Pow! See?"

Thank you, Franklin.

kt said...

well-typed and obviously heartfelt.

XXOO

Grandfatherknits said...

Franklin,

Namaste.

David

Kate R said...

Those were brave words to put out into the blogshere...You say it, Franklin, say it.

I think that creativity is a vital outlet especially in these trying times.

I remember when you put the project out as an idea on the blog...and now look how far it's evolved!

I can't wait to see what you come up with next!

Love-
Kate R

Sandy said...

Welcome to the party, Franklin. Ain't it great to finally like yourself for who you are? And stop listening to the voices who say "you aren't good enough?" It took me a while to get there too...but congratulations for finally saying it out loud! We aren't all supermodels and flaunting six pack abs with our luxury cars and mcmansions (etc) but we mostly are good people who try to be the best we can and do right in the world. And people who love to knit (and dare I say, crochet?) tend to be some of the friendliest and welcoming people in the world. (of course, that could be the wool fumes, but so be it.)

Thanks for saying it so beautifully Franklin.

Anna-Liza said...

Thank you, Franklin, for this post. Also, thank you for existing and for being willing to put your writing out here.

Sara in WI said...

Thanks, Franklin. I needed that!
Sara

Vero said...

This is my first comment in your blog but I just have to say I love what you wrote and you're so very right. This weekend my grandmother died, and at her wakening I bought my knitting and had a very nice chat with some of my aunts that also knit and they all knitted a few rows on my little square. That square that seems so little and insignificant is filled with love and thoughts for my grandmother and is going for a blanket for a person who really needs it. I told the story of how so many knitters get together to knit a blanket for someone who needs it or deserves it in a totally unselfish way, giving time and money for the only purpose of making another person feel better.
I'm really proud to be part of this community
And I'm babbling again, as usual :)
You rock!

Redhead Samurai said...

Thank you.

I need to get this text tattooed on my forehead.

yvette said...

Thank you, thank you, for putting it so beautifully. Keep writing, and taking photos. I'm so glad you're part of the knitting community.

lizbon said...

Amen, Franklin. Like Amy (knitty), I love you. Haven't met you, but I love you.

And like the other Amy, I think this holds true for a lot of the things we do that seem strange or foolish to other, "cooler" people.

Plum Texan said...

Bravo. I am now thoroughly regretting not making it to Austin to meet you. Fingers crossed that there will be another opportunity.

I think that I'm most tired of laughter from almost every man to whom I suggest that I could teach them to knit. Thank you for saying all this, and for being a knitter, too.

doodah said...

I'm not even a knitter and I feel inspired by this. Thank you for your wonderful words.

ColorJoy LynnH said...

I almost never comment... but thank you.

Those who create will always be interesting to me. When hip and edgy and fashion-forward are long gone, interesting continues to stand tall.

Interesting works even if you are 95 and in a wheelchair. Knitters/creators are interesting by definition.

I'm focused on the idea of creation/artfulness as a lifestyle, and being interesting as a result. (Not just me... anyone.)

I'm still bummed in the worst way... that when you were in Lansing, I was so sick with flu that I didn't even know you were here. Ten miles from my house, and I didn't know you'd been here till you'd been home a week.

Meanwhile, thanks for the validation of all the knitters you've met... and not met.

Ceels said...

Thank you

Ivywindow said...

You are right Franklin. Thanks for reminding me.

Ruthie said...

So eloquent!! When (note the positive word there...) you make the 1,000 Knitters project into a book, this blog would be the perfect forward. You rock, man!!

Meribeth said...

Franklin, thank you so much for your post. I actually have tears in my eyes because I have felt that I should just chuck the entire fiber thing. Your post made me hold my head up again despite the "wtf" looks and patronising smiles and my own doubts.

I will not go with herd. Not when the knitting community has people like you in it. Bravo!

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much

Hugh said...

Franklin - What a brilliant entry... I don't often look at blogs etc but my wife Alison told me to read it - thanks it was a real boost.
I used to knit 15 years ago but stopped after someone took exception to a bloke (me) knitting in the bar at a knitting exhibition - I was in the process of knitting a gansey on circular needles at the time - I despaired and gave up knitting (Alison finished it for me some ten years later when she gave up hope of me picking up the needles again - she's a real gem!). I have just started again (but never in public again) to help keep me relaxed and in touch with what is real in the world.
Blogs like yours and the Yarn Harlot's are a real laugh. Thanks & keep on blogging.

Anonymous said...

Here, Here! VERY well said, indeed, thank you.

deirdre said...

You seem to be a man of extremes - I am either choking laughing or choking up when I read you -

thank you for your eloquence, and I am so very sorry I was unable to get in to Toronto to meet you - I think it would have been a real treat...

Fiona E said...

I was so proud and thrilled to be part of your project-thanks you so much for including me!!

Jan E said...

Thanks, Franklin. Because I sometimes believe that media stuff, I was sure that I was one of the 900 whom you wished you could replace. I only recently COUNT myself as a knitter although I've been doing it all my life. (Finding good teachers was the challenge...the internet has saved me. Now I can find out what I need to know, I'm having a ball, and doing good stuff!)

Syd said...

I knit, I spin, I weave and I am proud of it! Thank you Franklin, for those eloquent words! And even more for doing the 1,000 Knitters! Yes, we all have stories ...we bring beauty into the world with our creations along with love and often a wicked humor..Knit on Franklin, you do indeed rock!

MLJ1954 said...

reading this brought tears to my eyes . . . I remember being a bratty kid who was appalled and embarrassed because our hats/mitten/socks were handknit by either my Mom or Gramma. Fortunately, I grew out of that at an early age (by 14 or 15) and still have the sweater my Mom knit for me when I was in 10th grade and the poncho she knit when I was in 12th (in 1971).

The joy, the absolute, wonderfully, glorious joy is when I have a niece who watches me knit and says "your hands look just like Gram's, especially with the knitting."

Thanks for sharing.

Tara said...

Wow, that just made me feel great and proud to be an obsessed knitter. Thanks for putting a big ole' smmile on my face this morning.

Terri D. said...

OK, now I'm crying again, dammit (but then, I cry when someone wins a car on The Price is Right). Thanks, Franklin...now get your tush to NYC so I can give you a hug.

Miss Knit said...

Yesterday was a rotten day. One of those monumentally bad ones. What you wrote made me feel better - thank you so much. You are awesome.

Steph said...

I will never be apologetic about my knitting again.

Thank you, Franklin. Apparently a thousand photos lead to the right words.

dale-harriet said...

Cherished Franklin - you are, of course, dead-eyed on. I love you too (on a lot of levels, but that's for another time). This is an accurate Truism right up there with "if the sun is up, it's daytime". I'm wondering if Michelle Obama knits - (her daughters are old enough to learn too, now). I wonder if we could convince Barak to take up the needles, I bet he'd enjoy that.

dale-harriet said...

PS - (as you may recall) I'm an elderly, short, eccentric Jewish (pagan) lady who knits among cats and ADORES having dentures. Guess how many demographics *I* fit???

Vicky in Ottawa said...

Bravo indeed.

Red Dog Knits - Kristi and Otis said...

I love warm fuzzies - thanks for the post.

Anonymous said...

Amen.

Roxie said...

I love you, Franklin!

Anonymous said...

I'm kind of new to Franklin's blog (steered here by the Harlot) and I'm missing something, I think - what does "wypowc" stand for?
- Pegkitty

Anonymous said...

yeah, i'm famtastic, thanks for noticing

marie in floria

Amber in Albuquerque said...

Thanks, Franklin. For everything, but especially for this post at this time. Couldn't have come at a better time for me. I really needed a boost.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful message! Thank you!

Bald said...

Thank you

Spazzmanda said...

Thank you for being the beautiful words for the thoughts jangling around in my own head! I'm linking this post to my blog as a must read- there are a few in my world that don't understand my knitting, it is about creation and process not consumption and product. Knit on!

DEEP END OF THE LOOM said...

Thank you Franklin, that was wonderful. I always told my kids when they were growing up, that the world can't validate you, God does. My comment to people that are snide in making comment on my knitting is "I knit because I can." There is always silence after that, which is golden.

NStreicher said...

Damn right we are! I may just print this, frame it and hang it in my studio. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Goosebumps, Franklin, tingly, happy goosebumps. Thanks for sayin' it, loud and proud. (That Ivy League education hasn't gone to waste! ;) says someone making questionable use of same)

Tracy in Qatar

Llamabean said...

Thank you. This needed to be said, and it needs to be heard by both knitter and non-knitter alike.

Alwen said...

Congratulations. You're the second blogger of the day to make me cry.

Carriellen said...

Franklin, thank you for this.

Leslie said...

Bravo!

Thank you, Franklin. Live forever.

Ann (yet another) said...

Well said Franklin!

I'll take this as today's meditation on right intention. 8-)

chandra said...

you rock! (as always!)

Nat said...

On so many levels, thank you.

Rhonda the Stitchingnut said...

I love you, Franklin. You're the best!

Dr. Steph said...

"And you have a lot of interesting things left to knit before you die."

Franklin, Dying ain't gonna stop me.

(It's the only way I'm going to get to knit it all).

Thanks for coming to Toronto. And for doing this project. It was totally great to meet you and talk about the stuff that gives us joy.

LizzieK8 said...

Well spoken. I've put a link on my blog to your post.

Cindy said...

Damn. That was eloquent. Thank you.

Tippymarie said...

What a wonderful post. Brought tears to my eyes. Thank you, Franklin, for reminding us to stop worrying about what other people think. To appreciate our own uniqueness and be happy with who and what we are. You are such a beautiful man!

walterknitty said...

Thank you Franklin. You are very sweet. You are right about our consumer culture that no longer values handmade objects that take time and effort to produce. Thank you for what you said today and thank you for being the quirky, creative you.

Mary Ellen said...

love (1)

Thanks, Franklin. :-)

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