The biggest thing to hit Sydney these days is to join a knitting circle.
It seems that knitting circles have replaced share trade groups, book groups, pay tv and Christmas lunch with the relatives as the latest form of home entertainment.
A typical knitting circle might consist of between five and ten complete strangers who sit around and knit leg warmers, cardi’s or weird Grandma-style tea cozies in even weirder colours. It’s also a chance to chat and drink wine, which actually means trying to get a word in edgewise against the alpha type, self appointed leader.
There are health benefits too. Apparently by simultaneously knitting and talking you will be much better at literally “casting off” all the rage, anger and anxiety that is likely to develop during an average day on Sydney roads. The idea is that you simply knit all your worries away.
But that’s not the only benefit of the knitting group. It’s also a group activity, which all the social commentators believe is an excellent thing (mind you it would be interesting to know how many social commentators actually belong to a knitting circle).
In addition, as knitting groups are normally held at someone’s home, it’s a chance to engage in another typically Sydney activity: checking out other people’s real estate and making rude statements about their taste in water features.
As daggy as the knitting group may seem, if DIY, celebrity chefs or ugh boots as fashion is anything to go by, then it looks like the knitting circle could be here to stay.
In fact, knitting groups have now become so cool that there are even signs up in community halls and advertisements in magazines proclaiming knitting as “the new yoga”.
This has happened just as we had got the hang of the yoga thing, and worked out how to get out of a potentially embarrassing stomach crunching forward bend by simply standing still and attempting to look zen like. Also just as we’d worked out how to wear lycra shorts with a modicum of elegance (long t-shirt).
But the thing is that with the knitting circle, if your knitting ability resembles something out of a Big Kev script, then you can’t really expect to be let into the group. So, if you can’t knit, then unless you ply the knitting group with a large dose of alcohol, you will find yourself immediately out of the social loop.
Whereas with all the other crazes, like yoga, home renovations and slow cooking, there were always little ways that you could fudge it. However not so with the knitting circle.
I think the social commentators should start to unravel all the misconceptions and hype about the knitting circle.
It’s exclusionist, discriminates against people without talent and what’s worse is that people get to see in real time all the mistakes you make. Moreover it will create way too many tea cozies, cushion covers, bad taste scarves, cardi’s with reindeer motifs and a whole generation of knitted clowns without a home to go to.
I think its time we came full circle and got back to the basics in life. Like trying to program the video recorder for instance, manage to fill in a tax return or remember to do the vacuuming. If we want a spot of relaxation then why can’t we just stick to red wine and chocolates and package holidays to Queensland, instead of adding knitting to the To Do list.
Maybe for a change we should start to actually enjoy ourselves in our spare time. And it doesn’t need to cost much. What about just gathering at someone’s home, eating their biscuits, drinking their wine, checking out their real estate, commenting on their DIY, without a tea cozy, beanie or knitted giraffe in sight.
Now that’s my kind of group.