Some things never change

It always makes me smile, when things never really seem to change.

I was reading through historic newspapers, as one who works with local history tends to do, and I came across a merchant’s advertisement in 1870, asking women why would they knit their own stockings when they can buy them already knit for 25¢.

Ontario Observer (Port Perry), 17 Nov 1870, p. 3.

Now, 150 years later, and it feels like this is likely a questions knitters haven’t stopped being asked since. You can walk into a store and buy a sweater at a fraction of the price of the yarn you would use, and you get the immediate satisfaction of being able to wear your new garment and not “sit for a whole week” or longer knitting rows on end until you’re finished.

So, why do we knit when there’s the convenience of simply buying *the thing.*

For me, it’s the craft. I love knitting. I love the feel of yarn wrapped around my fingers, the movement of the needles, the joy of completing this thing, and it becomes a labour of, and reflection of, love. Heck, it can be frustrating as all get out at times (every time I’ve had to frog back because I’ve miscalculated meterage comes to mind…), but once you’re ultimately triumphant, it makes the satisfaction all the greater.

So, sure, I could buy the knit stockings for 25¢, but I’d be losing out of the “whole week knitting,” and that’s the fun.

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