So, let’s put aside all the stuff we already know--
- the health benefits
- that it is an old an honourable activity
- that it clothes us and our families (and that the ability to knit with wool—with its properties of warmth retention—was considered essential in the fight against infant mortality)
- that a gift of knitting is of spectacular value—given the money we spend on yarn and the hours we spend in the making
--and look at this from another perspective.
How we spend our leisure time is recession-proof and could be seen as essential to economic recovery.
In tough times, people may give up the new car, the home reno, the new bedroom set. But they do not give up playing golf, reading books, going to movies, spending money on yarn. Nor should they!
On Feb 19, I wrote about research done on happiness—that people below a basic income level were less happy but that people above that basic level were no happier. In other words, once we are comfortable, more money does not make us happier. But then the recession of 2008 hit . . . which drove the researchers back into the field. And what they found was that—at first—people’s levels of happiness went down with their incomes . . . until some measure of recovery . . . and then people's levels of happiness went up . . . until, even though their incomes and job security were lower than before, they were happier than they had been before the recession hit.
The researchers assumed something they called the adaptation principle: when times are tough, we find out how resilient we are, we find out who we can count on, we find out what really matters. In other words, we find out what makes us happy.
And here’s what I think. What we do in our leisure time is what makes us happy! Obviously, at the top of the list is spending time with those we love. But when it comes to spending money, leisure dollars might be spent on a book, a movie, a golf trip, a new electronic gadget to manage family photos.None of these seem to have suffered since the recession.
Or we spend money on yarn! And consider that when we knitters spend money, it goes into small, locally-owned businesses! Isn’t that precisely what the experts say is essential to economic recovery?!?!
I consider it my duty to spend money in every yarn shop I visit! And what knitter can visit a yarn shop without doing the same? Knowing that we are 38,000 million strong, knowing how much it costs to make a sweater, go ahead and do the math to imagine the dollars we put into the economy!!!
So in addition to all the other wonderful things we wonderful knitters do, that’s why we deserve respect!