Why knit? I’m sure there are as many reasons as there are knitters out there, and even more so, because I for one have many many many reasons for knitting and for why I love this activity. Easiest to point out maybe, are those purely egocentric reasons, but knitting can also be used as a tool to build relationships, bring communities together and express attitudes.
When I moved to London not knowing anyone here, my first attempt to build a social circle was through attending a knitting group, and today several of my closest friends are people I originally met at this group.
For me, it’s always been important to make Knit with attitude into something more than a shop, I really want it to be part of the local community, a creative space not only for selling goods, but where people can meet, discuss, create and enjoy each other’s company. The second Thursday every month we invite to Knit Night, where this is exactly what’s on our agenda, creativity, chatter, and lots and lots of wine.
Speaking about community, I really want to share one of the most amazing projects we’ve seen unfold during the last year, as several of our knit group members got involved with an exhibition at the local Hackney Museum. This is how the museum presents the exhibition ‘Side by Side: Living in Cazenove’; This exhibition explores Cazenove Road in the north of the borough as an example of how people from all over the world live side by side in diverse Hackney. The exhibition features a range of creative artworks, films and installation made by local people, community groups and schools working with local artists, filmmakers and photographers.
They have explored the nature of their communities through different faiths, cultures, histories, fashions, languages and foods and what it means to them to live in Hackney today.
So what is the link between our knitting group and this exhibition? Quite a few members of our knitting group are also members of SNUG – Stoke Newington Common User Group. Stoke Newington Common is a small park/green space next to the Cazenove Rd. which is ‘common land’ actively used and very much loved by the local community. The knitters came up with this brilliant idea: they wanted to knit the Common, and so they did! During the last year, to the delight of all our knitting group members we’ve seen the most amazing creations being made; trees, railway tracks, the playground with all it’s equipment, I’m not joking, if it’s on the Common it has been knitted! The engagement and enthusiasm surrounding this project have been amazing, and there are so many people who wanted to contribute in one way or the other. Let me tell you, this is how you build a community!
The pictures here only show part of the process, and they give you an idea about what’s been going on. But honestly there really is nothing like seeing the whole installation in all it’s glory, so should you happen to be in the area you really need to pop by Hackney Museum and have a proper look, the exhibition is on until May 17th.
And by the way, tonight is Knit Night!