Here at IKL HQ we get requests for all sorts of things. Do we want to be interviewed on such-and-such a TV programme? Radio? Internet? Would we be intersted in advertising in a certain magazine, or writing a short article about knitting....? Then there's the whole, "can you knit this?" for us, in a day or two for 20 quid? Usually if it's for the telly we'll have a go, but we've turned down Fonejacker, BBC's Oliver Twist, and BSkyB in the past year...the request to knit a hat for each of the Premiership's football managers, in team colours, with the face of each manager intarsiaed into the design of each hat, and with a deadline of 'a few days', still ranks as our favourite "one that got away"!
Anyway, this week we had two requests. One for an interview on the radio and one for advertising. To me it summed up the way that knitting has started to cross the usual boundaries and how it now appeals to people across a huge spectrum. On Wednesday Gerard was interviewed for Kerrang! radio...about knitting? I think they'll probably use the interview to take the piss (the very first question was, "So, why do you knit? It's rubbish", which almost made G hang up straight away), but I suppose it's the man thing. Even if Jonathan Ross calls it the new rock 'n' roll (yawn) and Johnny Borrell namechecks Stitch 'n' Bitch, I still don't think Kerrang listeners are quite ready for an interview about knitting, but it's all good. G took great pains to mention IKL, oh, about every sentence!
The second request was for an ad in a magazine that has completely passed me by. Best of British describes itself as "Britain's favourite nostalgia magazine" (how many are there?) and is amazing. It nestles snugly between The People's Friend and The Lady as one of those purely British enigmas enjoyed by those who live in places with names like Much Mickle-on-the Moor and have no contact with the known universe after 1950. It's just full of cosy nostalgia from the time of steam trains, coal fires, wartime spirit, rock 'n' roll and the like, before the hoodies, iPods, immigrants and Labour government ruined the world (according to BOB). But, I couldn't help but love it. It has, apparently, over 100,000 readers, mostly over the age of 55, and it takes you back to a time when we all loved each other and even murder was cosy (Miss Marple). I realised on Friday that I was officially old when I started to reminisce about things that do not exist anymore; rag and bone men, coalmen, Hillman Hunters. Ahh, those were the days.
We thoroughly embrace all the steroetypes and we actively encourage the breaking of them in the same moment. What's unusual (to me) is that the so-called 'new' knitters (ie those under 40) are the ones who want to use natural fibres, wool, alpaca etc, which I would consider the more 'traditional' choice and most of the old ladies (who are, apparently, the 'traditional' knitters) are only ever after a bit of manmade acrylic.