Knitting CultureCourse taught by: David AltmanColloquium Associate: Gigi HewittCampus Partner: Marsa Terrell
During the last decade, knitting, crocheting, and the fiber arts in general have experienced a remarkable increase in popularity in the U.S. In part, this is because activities such as knitting have the ability to play many roles and serve diverse functions. Knitting can be practiced as a craft, and it can also be a medium for art and fashion. Knitting can be used to express political views, and it can also simply be a way to relax. And these various facets are not mutually exclusive. For example, if I am knitting a sweater with an American flag on the front, I may be partaking in craft, political activism, and leisure all at the same time.
The goal of this class will be to examine the impact and value of knitting through a multidisciplinary approach, exploring its significance through the lenses of history, fashion, politics, and science. Questions that will be addressed include: What has driven the recent knitting revival? How is knitting perceived, and in what ways is it an effective method of expression? Does hand knitting present opportunities and experiences that machine knitting is incapable of providing? What is the relationship between knit products and social equality? During this exploration, you will also learn how to knit (if you do not already know how).