Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Value of Handmade

This week, TechKnitter blogs about overcoming our throwaway mentality when it comes to clothing. Our era of mass production has made it seem almost ridiculous, but it wasn't that long ago that people would specifically mention items of clothing in their wills.
When asked why she kept old clothes which no longer fit, my grandmother (born in Austria in 1902) used to reply with a German proverb that "clothes outlive their people."

Today, clothes don't have that resonance. Clothes are not really considered valuable. That, too, is something I think about when knitting: after all, it takes a certain thickness of skin to be a confirmed hand-knitter in the day of cheap ready-made sweaters and expensive yarn. However difficult life was for the old-time knitters, the usefulness of their craft was never at issue. So, while we think about knitting's value while we knit, that's one thing the old-time knitters did never concern themselves with: they and everyone around them knew it was valuable.
Read the rest, including the story of two old sweaters staging a jail break. It's a cozy reflection in these chilly days.

As further proof that a well-made item can long outlast its wearer, I submit this news story, about a 150-year-old Fair Isle cap that was just recovered.

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