This is the lovely thing about language. We all get to use it, use it reasonably well, and words are so easily recycled. Imagine, a contest called NaSweKniMo â€” National Sweater Knitting Month â€” in which first-time knitters knit their hearts out. In many cases that would be a total waste of wool. In NaNoWriMo, the talented and inexperienced, the experienced and untalented, and all of the rest, can use as many words as they want, knowing that we will never run out and not one will be wasted.
So after some prompting, I could no longer resist, and sent this to the Times:
Dear New York Times,
I find it both distressing and laughable that your editors find it good sport to mock knitters (and aspiring writers, for that matter), as seen here:
as well as page WK7 of your 14 November edition. For one thing, there IS such a thing as NaKniSweMo. I should know, because I organize it — and have since 2006. Any combination of ‘national,’ ‘sweater,’ ‘knitting’ and ‘month’ plugged into a search engine (one presumes the Times’ writers have heard of and used such a thing?) will bring up our event in all of the top results. “Total waste of wool”? Your writer betrays his or her utter lack of knowledge, in that there is no such thing — if one makes a mistake, it is very easy to rip out one’s knitting and start again. If only it were as easy to backtrack on these sexist and ignorant assumptions!
The NaKniSweMo knitalong group on Ravelry.com (a website for knitting and crochet enthusiasts which recently welcomed its one millionth member) numbers nearly 1000 participants, and this doesn’t count the other people knitting along on their own websites, etc.
Perhaps your editors should be more careful next time — after all, we are armed with very pointy sticks.
author of 13 books on knitting, ex-magazine editor, and magazine columnist as well as