Our grannies knew something we didn’t – until now. Sitting down and click-clacking two needles together with a string of colourful yarn between them is totally chillax. These days, knitting has become a fashion trend, a social activity, some even call it the new yoga.
Why knitting is hot again? We find out from Adeline Loo, founder of It Takes Balls.
“I started ITB on my own and my sister Carol has joined me last year. She helps me to handle the marketing and social media platforms as I am terrible with stuff like that. It helps that she has a fashion background and knows how to take good photos.
My personal beliefs lie very strongly with the same ethos that Wool and the Gang is built upon – to change the way Fashion is made. We really hope to bring more awareness of the maker movement to South East Asia where fast fashion reigns supreme. Of course, I have been advised to tone down on this message – people now tend to be put off when you rub the words ‘socially responsible”, “ethical” and “sustainable” in their faces too often. So instead of picketing and shouting my message at people, I use craft to silently communicate this. It’s an age-old thing known as craftivism where we use the crafts to get a message (whether political or otherwise) to people. Safer too, especially in Singapore where picketing will get me thrown in jail.
So ITB concentrates more on educating and first getting the public to be willing to DIY, hoping that conversation can then be created which will allow people to naturally begin questioning, as well as appreciating, the true cost of fashion. In this, we use the approach of first debunking the belief that knitting is for grannies or uncool – and people see that it can be fashionable and trendy and that they can wear something they are equally proud of as their luxury label items. My free and unlimited classes also attract them as we practically guarantee they can finish their projects as we guide them step by step. A lot of people don’t take up a new skill / craft / hobby as they fear they’ll not complete it without further help.
Aside from this, I strongly believe the mental and physical benefits of knitting is something I would love Singaporeans to discover, having personally benefitted from it. Singaporeans live in a fast-paced society – whilst I get it that job security and earning capability is very highly regarded here, I think that the tangible benefits of making and creating is something people should not give up on, and would actually help towards a better quality of life. Like how some turn to Yoga or meditation, knitting is the same – a moving meditation like tai chi.
Many people are also surprised as they imagine a feminist like myself would be knitting – and it is unfortunate this view exists – the problem is that when our feminist pioneers gave up the ‘unproductive’ crafts to join the workforce to be able to be valued equally as men, they forgot about the benefits the crafts provided. A very unfortunate loss. I read somewhere before (and use this very often as my response) that the new feminist now is one who chooses to take back the knit (or cook or bake etc or another traditionally feminized craft). This reclamation shows the contemporary woman can reconnect with the female dominated art forms, to legitimize the importance of undervalued craft and show that the new woman has the privilege to express themselves through craft. Again, I suppose I should not harp too much on this angle as it’s probably not wise for the business aspect.”
Fancy joining Adeline’s close-knit crafters squad? Click here to ‘get the ball rolling’ with free lessons.