Sunday, March 26, 2006

Theory: The Societal Similarities of Golf and Knitting

Since many of you are curious I'm going to tell you about my theory. Before I go into the whole Knitty submission thing, I think I need to give you my general theory on this whole knitting game, which I equate much to the game of golf. Golf is a sport. The sport itself is only prejudical in the fact that if you don't learn how to play you don't get to play. If you take the time to learn the game you can eventually play well. Your swing, equipment, and the elements determine your success. No other people are involved.

For some golf is more than the actually equipment and the elements. It is about all the surrounding activities like the clubs, courses, social interaction, prestige,and the exclusivity. Golf for a long time had it's traditions. For a time it was seen as a white man's sport. Only certain men went to certain clubs based on their societal status. One should only where a certain style of clothing if you wanted to be proper and accepted. One did not break the traditions. If one wanted to be accepted to a particular club they had to conform to the club they were trying to join. Only until recent years did the acceptance of woman, minorities, and younger players because more of the norm.

In the same way knitting has it's traditions, perceptions, and demographics. Traditionally knitting was seen as a thing for older white women and as of late has changed to target all races, ages, and genders. Traditionally, knitting was all about technique and making really ornate pieces that didn't always focus on fashion or style. Now there has been more of a focus on fashionable knits. And even with all these changes, there are other things that stay the same. Knitting can be snobby and pretentious. It can be cliquish and has it's groups. Some people are all about the process and technique. Some people don't like people that only make scarves. Older women talk down to young knitters because they think they are "fad/bandwagon" knitters. There are leaders and joiners.

Like golf, if you are going to venture into new knitting territories, you have to know your surroundings. It's no longer about the game but the personalities surrounding the game. If it were only about knitting, you could do that at home by yourself. If you want to join something socially knitting related then you have to find the things that fit your personality. If you chose to get involved in it then you chose to deal with all the stigmas, traditions, etc. that come with it.


Now for some personal elaboration.

When you pick certain publications, you pick them based on their personalities and traditions. Vogue Knitting's main goal is fashion. You can tell this by the use of top notch designers and the fact that they are based in New York, the fashion capital. Interweave, based in Colorado, is all about the technique and uniqueness of a design. They say as much in their designer submission guidelines. I don't think fashionable, by NYC standards, is the first thing on their minds.

This brings me to design submissions. If you are going to submit then you must understand who you are submitting to and the persons picking designs. The folks at Knitty cater to what they personally like and what they think their friends personally will like. Priority goes to the latest cool kid on the blog block, published designers, and people that they know, like, and have been lucky enough to have made it into their mag before. My mother equates it to a sorority for which I may or may not be granted admission. Secondly, the designs they pick must be something that their choosers would actually wear. An easier way to say this is, my style may not equal their style. I'm a little more Bebe/Guess/Anthropologie and Knitty is a little more Cold Water Creek/Chicos. While both style types are fashionable, they differ due to the differences in conservativeness ,being age-appropriatene, and body types/sizes. The next factor, is that they pick things that are either extremely traditional or extremely weird. (There was a pattern for a "stocking hat" that was basically a big sock on your head.* Please tell me why? WHYYYYY?) The last factor is that they like to focus on techniques.

All of this is to say that I've figured out how they pick designs. I don't want you to think that I am in some way bashing them because I'm not. I don't begrudge them in their way of chosing. It is their site and they can do as they please. I have only to deal with it and take my chances. Will I continue to submit? Possibly. Here is the thing. I design something because it is what I want to wear. I am all about the fashion. Is it cute? Is it stylish? Will people think it is store bought or handmade? That is what I think about. If something I do fits their mold, then I might send it. If not, you'll see it right here.

That's all folks. Feel free to discuss it amongst yourselves.

*You know I love you all, but if I see you with anything like that on your head, I'm snatching it off your head without apology. A good friend doesn't let you walk out the house looking nuts like that.