Does anyone have statistics on the numbers of knitters as a percentage of the total population? Since I write a blog mainly devoted to knitting and I read many other blogs about knitting, I tend to think that the whole world is knitting.
I am under the impression that the popularity of knitting is on the increase, like book groups. Recently I was told that there are cooking groups/clubs. News to me. But maybe someone in a cooking group thinks that the whole world is cooking.
Quite often in general conversation when I tell someone that I knit, the reply is “oh, nobody does that anymore.” Fallacy I say. But really, how popular is knitting in today’s world? Two major wool shops in the Dublin area have closed in recent years…..but at least 2 others have opened.
Has there been a dynamic shift in the age profile of knitters? Are knitters getting younger? It is my impression that the Stitch N Bitch groups that are springing up around the country are composed mainly of younger people. Or maybe it’s my move along the age profile that is changing my perspective and knitting among the 20-40 year old age group has always been popular whether from economic necessity or now in more recent years as a social activity.
Here in Dublin, the active knitters that I know are younger. Friends in my age group, say 60 plus, tend to be relapsed knitters. i.e. they used to knit when their children were small. No more knitting for them.
In my own family, my mother knit because she just loved to knit. But after she moved to Hawaii, knitting with wool was just not appropriate to the climate. She knit a few cotton sweaters but somehow knitting and that hot climate just didn’t go together. My sisters were very keen knitters – but mostly items for their children. The children are all grown up now and my sisters no longer knit. I think of them as lapsed knitters. Is lapsed the right word? According to the Oxford English Dictionary lapsed as a verb or noun can have the meaning “a weak or careless decline into an inferior state” – rather harsh isn’t it to consider someone to be in an inferior state just because they used to knit and now no longer do so.
As for myself, I knit a little bit at an early age, lapsed for a while, started knitting again for my children, lapsed again for a few years and detoured into the world of weaving. More recently, I have returned to knitting with renewed zest.
Happy knitting everyone.