Revive the old arts and crafts; they're cool
- XN Iraki
- Posted on: 09th Jan 2019 10:44:49 GMT +0300
Recently and across the university way , I came across a lady knitting using knitting needles as she waited for the bus home. It is a rare sighting in the City.
Knitting using such needles and crochet used to be common when we were growing up . Women of all ages kept themselves busy in evening as food cooked , while walking to market or church. Any idle time even in buses or matatus was taken up by knitting . They made pullovers , muffins , scarves , school bags, seat covers and other items . Old ladies were busy knitting colourful Kiondos using either sisal threads or nylon . They later innovated and used the polythene papers.
Today such free time is taken up by the greatest thief of time , the mobile phone . Matters are made worse by the fact that the younger generation has ignored the art of knitting. May be we never taught them.
We may blame technology for killing the the knitting art . First came the sewing machines that made knitting needles and crochets irrelevant . The importation of cheap second hand clothes made matters work.
For the younger generation , they just wear clothes but have no clue how they are made . Even the old trade of tailoring is rare, left to old men at the sunset of their lives.
Yet such arts kept us busy and were fun . They are part of our heritage . I think it’s time we revived them. They would be a better use of time than the mobile phone . Imangine a family telling stories to each other while knitting in the evening instead of being glued to the phone or TV . Imagine sitting in a Matatu and finding every lady knitting while men are admiring the many patterns . I noted that this art unleashed lots of creativity as ladies tried to come up with the most beautiful knitting pattern.
Incidentally one university in Mississippi , Jackson State University has tried to revive that art. Can our schools do the same as part of arts and design ? Do we still teach arts and crafts as we used to in schools?
Despite our advance in technology , there is something surreal and magical in using our hands to make a scarf , a table or something to use at home or sell . I made some cane chairs that are still in use 30 years ago and made some money too. That was my first hustle.
Returning to our old arts and crafts is one way to balance the extremes of modern technology. They keep us busy and helped socialize . Can you make learning to knit using needles or crochet one of your new year resolutions ?Can men learn to make something like seats,shelves , tables etc. Can we make such arts an alternative to the tyranny of the mobile phone ?
Jackson State UniversityArt and Craft