On a superficial level, a ‘knit-in’ may look like nothing more than a group of (predominantly, but not necessarily) women sitting around clicking needles and playing with yarn.
But, it is so much more.
On a practical level, it is cultural transmission. It is the passing of tradition from one generation to another. For instance, at the last ‘Knit North Battleford’ get-together there was an intergenerational group of three knitting in the corner–mother teaching daughter, teaching daughter.
On yet another level, equally intangible, is a transmission of knowledge. People talk about what is going on around town or upcoming events. They as well talk about things like health and nutrition.
But, on another level is the quintessence of ‘Knit-Ins’ (in my opinion). It is the gathering of people, who are often strangers, who for no other reason than a common interest have come together for an hour or two, and share their time, their stories, their humour, their life.
A woman who is a recent newly wed and pregnant for the first time may be sitting in the same circle with another woman who has multiple children and is widowed or separated after thirty-some years of marriage. A shy person may come and take comfort in the company of others without the imposition of speech. A new immigrant may come because the gathering offers solace to his or her solitary new environment … and so on.
Bearing this in mind, I feel it is a real success when I hear of Culture Days endeavours like the ‘Knit North Battleford’ Group who have been asked to meet in venues above and beyond their already pre-scheduled locations. Further, that they are discussing meeting after the Culture Days weekend.