The Rise of Adolf Knitler

The crochet-fascists are back.

By Steven Wells
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 14 | Posted Jan. 2, 2008

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art credit: HAWK KRALL

You know what really annoys Philadelphians? Journalists who get neighborhood names wrong. Write that the corner of 23rd and Analretentive is in Whogivesafuck, and you'll get 100 letters and phone calls sneeringly pointing out that Analretentive stops just south of Getafuckinglife Avenue, which means the corner you're talking about is actually in Stupidyokelwithnothingbettertodo, "you fucking idiot" (no matter how politely they start the phone call, geographical pedants can never resist swearing right at the end.)

But giving these local-geography fascists a good run for their money in the hysterical overreaction stakes are Philadelphia's legions of extremely sensitive and appallingly badly dressed knit-Nazis. Boy do they get pissed if you write rude things about them.

I should stress here that knit-Nazis are in no way like real Nazis (apart from being really touchy and big fans of the films of Leni Riefenstahl). I use the term because it's an astute parody of the way the crafts most associated with brain-dead, soul-destroying pre-feminist housewifery--knitting, beading, stitching and crocheting--have been re-packaged and successfully sold to smugster sheep as radical, alternative and edgy.

I have two books on my desk right now, both pushing the strange idea that twiddling about with bits of wool is totally punk rock. And they're just the tip of a huge knitted iceberg. There are entire sections containing metric shit-tons of these knit-Nazi manuals in every book barn in America.

First up there's Alter Nation. There's a rad-lookin', crazy blue-haired rebel chick on the cover alongside a boast that it contains "25+ DIY fashion projects." Be still my punky heart.

Then there's Anticraft, subtitled "Knitting, beading and stitching for the slightly sinister." One can only assume they're using "slightly" here to mean "not at all." And that "anti" is a misspelling of "auntie."

Seriously, if you called housework antihousework, would that make it cool? If you anticleaned the kitchen after antichanging the kitty litter before antipicking your screaming brats up from school and antidropping them off at soccer practice before rushing home and nearly anti-overdosing on antidepressants so you can face clearing up the vomit your shit-faced alcoholic of an antihusband has puked all over the bathroom (while still finding time to knit an amusingly decadent antitoilet-roll cover) does that mean your lifestyle is somehow edgier and more interesting than that of your poor burnt-out-at-40, dead-by-50 great grandmother?

Put it this way, young goths: Vlad the Impaler didn't crotchet his own ear-flapped bobble hats. And neither should you. If you need a hobby, take up spitting.

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COMMENTS

Comments 1 - 14 of 14
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1. fortravl said... on Jun 17, 2008 at 06:58AM

“Could have said the same thing without showing your lack of intelligence and wit with profanity...”

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2. Stephanie said... on Jun 17, 2008 at 10:34AM

“I am a knitter and I personally am not offended by this article but find it quite exact and funny. It is true that knitting is considered edgy and "cool" or punk rock, which is quite annoying. It doesn't change the fact of what it is or what knitting is associated with. Really this made me laugh especially knowing how all these knitters are reacting, getting their panties in bunch.”

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3. rooftophop said... on Jun 18, 2008 at 07:01AM

“Your words cut my knitty heart. Lol.”

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4. nutstoknit said... on Jun 21, 2008 at 11:35AM

“I could not agree more Stephanie.”

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5. psychoblonde said... on Jun 22, 2008 at 12:12AM

“and you get paid to do this for a living? sheesh I am in the wrong profession, clearly!”

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6. Kris said... on Jun 22, 2008 at 05:02AM

“http://www.flickr.com/photos/yarnschool-07-1/2403494057/”

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7. alex said... on Jul 21, 2008 at 09:39PM

“god forbid I should knit for my own personal enjoyment and not because i think it's "cool". this was unnecessarily smarmy, and makes me wonder what kind of bizarre bad experience the author had with one knitter that led him to have a vendetta against an entire demographic...”

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8. Jessica Bechard said... on Aug 8, 2008 at 02:54PM

“You know, this kind of reminds me of an argument I got in with a woman in a Home Depot. She told me I was setting feminism back fifty years because I was buying a clothes dryer. Well, I sincerely apologize to women everywhere for imprisoning them because I was so selfish as to do laundry and knit.”

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9. Tabitha said... on Aug 21, 2008 at 03:57PM

“It's a funny article, and that's that. One could sit here and argue that "punks" and "goths" also knit for the DIY factor (I'd rather pay a couple of bucks and make my own unique sweater/socks/hat/whatever than give it to a big corporation like Walmart or Target - better yet, I can brush my cats and spin my own yarn and be totally eco-friendly) - but why argue? If every knitter who found this offensive sent the author a pair of handmade socks I'm sure it would either a. change his mind or b. get him SEVERELY pissed.”

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10. whocares said... on Sep 22, 2008 at 06:46PM

“why waste perfectly good yarn and knitting time on a fool who is already obviously pissed? severely pissed. I'll bet his psycho granny used to torture him with her needles”

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11. Summer said... on Feb 24, 2009 at 01:02PM

“ROFL! I need a MAN to tell me how to spend my free time? Oh yeah. THAT'S feminist. You know, Vlad the Impailer could have used some size 14's. They're pretty dangerous.”

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12. Anonymous said... on Feb 18, 2011 at 12:14PM

“Because watching television for your hobby and buying everything from major corporations that are rich off the labor of their minimum-wage employees is the true expression of feminism?

Please.

This article further cements my opinion that PW is just a place for privileged wankstains to cry about and denigrate things they don't understand.”

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13. Texansis said... on Feb 28, 2013 at 08:54PM

“Dude, LOL, I knit, paint, sew, darn, bake, preserve foods, hang clothes on the line, stay at home with my kids, and I have shot an M16, a 50cal, a grenade launcher, thrown live grenades, various other small arms, and I was a warhead tech in the Army for 6 years. I've also built a closet and a bathroom, laid thousands of feet of rock and tile, farmed, fished, and gardened.
Call me an anti-feminist for housework and knitting and I'd be tempted to knock some sense into you.”

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14. Zira said... on Jun 3, 2013 at 12:17AM

“I think the authors weirdo uncle must have stuffed a crochet hook up his wee wee when he was little. How else can you explain such abundant vitriol for a craft that you will never learn, let alone be any good at. Who is this douche nozzle anyway, to even remark on feminism? Get tossed, steven.”

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