Fighting Stereotypes

Today,  I was playing Old Maid with my students and I ended up with the “Old Maid” card. There are several issues with this picture.  Number one I hate that the knitting needles are facing the wrong way. Get it together cartoonist! The needle ends face downward…duh! Secondly, this image  continues to perpetuate the stereotype that all knitters are elderly and women. Why is it when most people think of knitting they picture their grandmother or some other elderly woman sitting in a rocking chair slowly generating items such as afghans and/or mittens?

So who should we picture when we think of knitters? My answer: Think of anyone. That is right any human. Knitting is a universal activity. As long as you can hold up two sticks and swing that yarn you are a knitter.

As I write these words I know that I am preaching to the choir. We knitters know that the stereotypes are untrue. I mean look at me. I am a 30 year old African American woman who enjoys knitting while drinking cocktails. I have been known to take my knitting anywhere from the beach to the Inca Trail. Knitting is my love and I don’t care who knows (haha).


So how can we change stereotypes? Knit, knit, knit! Knit in public, knit with others, and share your talent. We are a unique community and we need to represent!

Until Next Time,


14 thoughts on “Fighting Stereotypes

  1. I don’t knit but I crochet and it’s the same for that craft too, I know lots of younger people who crochet but aren’t willing to share that with people because they’re concerned that they’ll get mocked! It’s a shame, both knitting and crochet are brilliant crafts, you’re right, we shouldn’t think of it in a stereotypical way

  2. I couldn’t agree more – especially since I learned to knit and crochet around 4-5 years old! I must look positively mummified, laughs. I’ve taken my yarn to ballet classes and performances, on the bus with my DC’s and blue mohawk, camping and the beach in Punta Cana. I never have ‘wasted’ time – not even when the doctor or dentist is running late. I like to think it shows good time management and multi-tasking skills in a world that has made “must be nice, wish I had the time to do that”, some sort of virtue.
    🙂 Oops! I think I better hook myself a soapbox cozy!

  3. Amen! #goknitting indeed!

    I can’t believe wonder woman isn’t even knitting correctly. Maybe that’s one of her super powers…stitches never fall off the needles!

  4. I love this post 🙂 it’s so true! I’m an avid believer in public knitting- I’ll knit in the ten minute break during my seminar class. And I have to ask, what’s on your needles in the last picture? It’s gorgeous!

  5. I could not agree more! However, at times I am having a hard time knitting in public. Sporting long grey hair (“It is silver!” corrects me the son) and knitting socks somehow seems to turn me into exactly that Old Maid – whether I am actually old or not.
    And assuming I am actually old (when does being old start??) – why would that be so bad? Always and everywhere youth has been preferred to old age. Old age – that is infirmity (not wisdom), decrepitude (not experience), ugliness and weakness (not beauty or strength). Why? What is so embarrassing about being old? (After all, there is no real alternative to aging, is there?)
    The good thing about me looking old: I am holding the needles properly 🙂 Always! Hence, being young and looking old I might change people’s perceptions on the Old Maid AND Wonder Woman.
    Thank you for your blog post – I love it! It gave me a lot to think about.

    • The term “old” does often have negative connotations in the US, which is unfortunate. People make snap judgements based on what they know, which are often based on stereotypes. We all get older and wiser and it is for the better. It further bothers me when people assign an activity to certain age groups like they are the only ones who can do it. I say keep knitting in public. Knitters are ANYONE and you are no exception. They are probably just hating because you are making some awesome socks 😉 May your needles always be full of awesome yarn and the ends facing down hahaha.

  6. Thank you for this post and all your posts. In the midst of a busy day I sneak a peak at your blog and it is always like a fresh breeze when there is something new to read!! Keep up the good work and tons of happiness for your marriage!!!
    A faithful reader- Ethel

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