Friday, 3 June 2011

What is a critical mass of machine knitters?

I had a bunch of good reasons why the Biennial Victorian two and a bit day conference dedicated to the now rather retro art of machine knitting on domestic machines should be allowed to lapse quietly in favour of less ambitious events more suited to current customs and lifestyles.

But now I am not so sure. It is so good to see machine knitters from interstate and New Zealand swapping ideas and experiences over numerous cups of tea and too much food. I was particularly pleased that three first time participants really enjoyed the experience and got a lot out of it.

It is so encouraging to have demonstrators and other participants show such generosity with their skills and techniques. Recently I have come across instances where machine knitters have tried to protect their patch by refusing to pass along the craft to new recruits. It may be hard for craftspersons to make a living from low volume production in the world we live in, but without a viable machine knitting community, the craft is doomed. We need to share ideas, but we also need to be a market for machines, parts, services, yarns on cones. We also need to show the public a range and quantity of machine knitted products to build appreciation for the things we make. A restauranteur once explained to me how it was much better to be in a street full of other restaurants rather than be the only one on the block. That way you get plenty of passing trade, as well as folk who set out just for your place.

I smile when I see how thoroughly Tony Bennett, of Dormani Yarns, has taken to heart the concept that community is the key to survival. He is so generous with his time and ideas, so helpful to anyone who asks. Also a dazzling beacon of inspired simplicity, always ready with a faster, more modern and saleable solution to share for every knitting challenge

I failed picture gathering completely, but with a bit of luck someone will have some images to share

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

1 comment:

  1. I do so enjoy your posts ... keep them coming! xx