The State of Fairs*

Thursday, September 11th, 2008
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State Fair

Posie‘s post about her state fair has reminded me that it’s Fall Fair season! It also reminds me that I had plans to post something about this news a few weeks ago. I’ve cut out some parts of the article for quicker reading.

Crochet pulled from fair’s fabric [Ed’s note: LOL! Crochet! Fabric! Lollerskates!]

A local crochet club has its yarn in a knot after the Western Fair dumped this year’s home arts competitions — a fair mainstay for decades. And the club isn’t alone. The fair, which began as an agricultural exhibition, has cut or downgraded three other categories, including culinary arts, display contests and oversized vegetable challenges. Part of a shakeup designed to attract younger fair-goers, the changes don’t impress traditionalists like crocheters.

“The Western Fair is forgetting its roots and is becoming a costly amusement park,” said Patty Attkins of the Crochet Club of London. Attkins, president of the club, discovered home arts were cut when she couldn’t find the category for this year on the fair’s website. “I found out by chance and not by courtesy,” she said.

The home arts were cut in the spring after fair officials examined a three-year study of the number of competition entries, said Sharon Pook, expositions sales manager. The culinary arts, including jam and baking contests, and the women’s institutes display contests, were eliminated. Depending on public response, the fair could eventually bring back some of those categories.

The fair wants to attract people in their late teens to mid-30s — a group that doesn’t often go to the fair, Pook said. New video game categories, such as Wii Fit exercise competitions, might be added, along with a new “green” lifestyle section.

Read the rest »

Real Men Knit

Tuesday, May 29th, 2007
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Before I get to the knitting content… Aren’t these cute? I swear this is the last time I post about Threadless. But come on, they reprinted Rocketbird! Yay.

Rocketbird

This is a new one, and I am so so buying. OMGOMGOMG.

Tokyo

For putting up with my love for Threadless, here’s a video called “Real Men Knit”:

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/2jYa_rJyG18" height="350" width="425" /]

And now, on to the commentary.

Unfortunately, the only two video responses on YouTube either said “ha ha that must mean real men are gay/insipid women, ha ha” or “ha ha instead replace knitting with farting, lol omg bbq.” I think the whole point of saying “real men knit” is to say “real men don’t let themselves be tied down by old-fashioned gender roles,” but I guess you can’t expect everyone to be open-minded about that.

It’s kind of sad that knitting is sort of a stigma that both men and women now have to live down. Oh, for the days of the 1920s, when women were allowed to knit, and their husbands gave them monthly allowances of $20-$25 that they could spend on soap and ribbons and powder for their noses. Now that was a time when everything about being a woman was stigmatized, so at least you knew where you stood. Nowadays, we’re allowed to be strong and powerful, but only if we do men’s work. Women’s work, not so much. You housewives, you go away and watch Oprah and fold the laundry while we get the real work done.

Strangely, the tagline is “it’s not just women’s work, in fact, it never was.” As a matter of fact, for quite a while it was women’s work, so why are they ignoring that history? Do they think that they have to completely disassociate all femininity from the craft before it can become palatable to men? That’s not very fair to men, if that’s true. From now on, why not say it’s “human’s work”?