Management Seminars: Joanne Turney
Dr Joanne Turney (Bath Spa University)
G.15, 15-19 Tyndalls Park Road
Title: Stitched up? How Patriarchy has reclaimed domestic hobby crafts
Notions of needle-crafts tend to precede both activity and object, so even before the first knitter has cast-on or needle threaded, judgement, associations, words, images have started to construct boundaries delineating, categorising and classifying. The maker, the making and the made, all conjure imaginings of gender, space, time and power.
Knitting is currently undergoing a revival in its popularity. More and more people are picking up needles and starting to knit. Whether this is as a means of relaxation, socialisation or celebrity emulation, or as the expression of fashionable dress, art installation or as the demonstration of new approaches to new materials, knitting as a practice has certainly been revisited. This may just be a passing fad; a trend which will die out and be replaced with the next ‘new’ best thing. But there are a great many people who have an investment in knitting that transcends the novelty and situates knitting at the heart of everyday contemporary life. On the one hand, we may understand knitting as the ‘new’ yoga, the ‘new’ celebrity hobby, as an expression of the ‘new’ domesticity, but on the other, what we are being offered is the old knitting in new packaging. Is crafting a form of feminist backlash? Themes for consideration in this paper are: women’s work/women’s leisure, the commodification of craft, craft and the media, post-feminism and patriarchal values.