This summer, Gay PRIDE parades will be going on all around the world in towns large and small. This, oddly enough, led to me thinking of my two favourite arts: knitting and crochet.
Knitters, I have noticed, have an extraordinary pride in their craft. They are not out to justify themselves, they feel no desire to prove that what they love to do is worthwhile. Knitters are proud to be knitters.
Knitters are fun, welcoming, and helpful. Even people who don't knit may get caught up in the easy camaraderie of a knitting community – I did. I don't knit, as a general rule. I prefer my hooks to my sticks, but the theory of knitting fascinates me a great deal. I have devoured every word of Knitting Without Tears by Elizabeth Zimmerman, and I'm always on the lookout for exciting new techniques in the world of knit/purl.
Crocheters, on the other hand, often have a somewhat defensive attitude about their favoured medium. The constant, unconscious mantra I sense being chanted in the hearts of hook-users is this: We are just as good as knitters! We can do anything knitters can do! Knit/purl is equal to sc/ch!
We, too, are fun, welcoming, and helpful. We, too, have innovators in our ranks, and recent contributions to zines like Crochet me prove it.
So here is my point: We don't need to be just as good as knitters. We don't need to do everything that knitters do. There is only one reason at all for us to have any desire to replicate knitters: because we want to. Not because we need to prove that we can; not because we want to shove it in the face of the next snooty stick-user we meet. But just because we want to do it with our hooks.
PRIDE is about loving who you are for being who you are. It's about shedding the negativity that others may have instilled in you about your self. It's about saying "I'm fabulous just the way I am."
So yes, pick up that H hook and craft a Fair-Isle sweater if you want to. Painstakingly recreate Victorian lace with size 100 thread if you want to. But also feel free to make things with your hook that will stretch the limits of crochet, to take your yarn to new heights and distant horizons. Your art is fabulous just being what it is.