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Community Montessori students Kala Farineau, Sadie Gaudet and Kaitlin Fondren knit during free time at school.
Stephen A Harmon /


Gail Peterson concentrated on her work as she joined the group at The Grinny Possum.
Stephen A Harmon /

Published March 31, 2008 10:57 am - “A lot of people like knitting because you can just go back and do it again if you do mess up.” With so many people of all ages sporting hand-knitted scarves and hats lately, it's evident there's definitely something addictive about this hobby.

Alterknit Reality
Hands-on tradition remains popular hobby

By LESLEA M. HARMON
THE EVENING NEWS AND THE TRIBUNE (JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind.)

JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind.

FAST FACTS:

Most popular first knitting/crochet project: the scarf

— Finely decorated cotton socks have been found in Egyptian tombs dating from the end of the first millennium AD — possibly the oldest example of true knitting on two sticks, similar to what is performed today. (Wikipedia)

Stars who knit: Julia Roberts, Uma Thurman, Vanna White (also crochets), Cameron Diaz, Sarah Jessica Parker, Daryl Hannah, Hilary Swank, and Julianna Margulies.

Stars who crochet: Debra Messing, Bette Midler, Rosie Perez, Raven-Symone, Carolyn Rhea, Jane Seymour (also knits), Meryl Streep, Martha Stewart (reputedly learned while in jail), Catherine Zeta-Jones, football player Rosie Greer.

— According to the Craft Yarn Council, young women ages 25-34 (6.5 million) have fueled knitting and crochet yarn sales across the country since 2004, followed by the 18-and-under set (5.7 million). Matrons ages 55-64 (7.8 million) round out the pack, following in third place. Overall, approximately 53 million US women are knitting or crocheting. Thirteen percent do both.

“As ye sew, so shall ye rip.” It's the motto of knitters, crocheters, and felters throughout the land. “Ripping” is when you undo the knitting you've just completed, in order to go back and correct a mistake.

“Knitting is a very forgiving hobby,” explains Rhonda James, of New Albany, Ind., an avid participant of The Grinny Possum's knitting circles. Men and women of all ages gather in increasing numbers at the popular shop, as well as in coffee houses, tea shops, churches, and other venues to chat, knit together, and compare projects.

Ann Merriman owns the popular Jeffersonville yarn store “A lot of people like knitting because you can just go back and do it again if you do mess up.” With so many people of all ages sporting hand-knitted scarves and hats lately, it's evident there's definitely something addictive about this hobby. “It becomes ethereal-there's just so much love in it,” Merriman says.

THE HOOK BRINGS YOU BACK

Kala Farineau, 14, is free to work on her textile projects during her school time at Community Montessori in New Albany. Bypassing needles altogether and going straight for the hook, she crochets a combination of environmentalism and creativity together, turning old grocery bags into purses. Along with a few fellow students, she's received a grant to make more of the bags, which will be sold to benefit charity.

Kaitlin Fondren, 15, is on the project as well. “We've made business cards and a letterhead,” she explains. Fondren has been knitting since she was about eight years old-so long that she can't recall what originally attracted her to the hobby. “I know I got a knitting kit for my birthday,” she says, before trailing off.

Wait a second, isn't knitting just something that grandmas do?

Fondren laughs and looks to her classmate and long-time friend, Sadie Gaudet, 13. “Sadie taught me how.”

“I learned from my grandmother, when I was three years old,” she says. As of this writing, Sadie's been knitting for a full decade.



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