|Goodiebag; one energydrink, two rolls of yarn, one set of knitting needles|
We where welcomed by Nikkie, the best dressed woman in Netherlands, host of the event. First on stage is an English speaking guy who made the crowd spin a grand shawl by trowing yellow and blue balls of yarn through the air. That was actually quite a beautiful act of collaboration, the threads created a cob-web as big as the audience itself, eventually the audience lifted it up and rolled it up forwards to the stage, where the guy picked it up and threw it around his neck. Then Mirjam Tegels entered the stage, she can knit faster than her own shadow, and is the undisputed Dutch champion of speed knitting. She gave a knitting-for-beginners course from the stage. The audience dived into their goodiebags and grabbed knitting needles and balls and started knitting. The idea was to set a world record in simultaneous knitting. It is currently held by the Sock Summit in Portland; 937 knitters. In Leidse Rijn we where 415, maybe just enough to set an European record? Mirjam kept feeding us knitting tips and tricks and telling anecdotes to keep up the good spirit during these 15 minutes. After all this hard work, the crowd was rewarded by some singing by the X-factor winner; Jaap, finishing it all off with some happy singing along.
|The Crowd is weaving a big shawl. Beautiful|
|European record knitting, 415 people knitting 15 minutes|
Zeeman completely missed the point that has made knitting so hot. The New Knitting is an act of rebellion against prejudice role-models and social injustice and of a fashion system that exploits it's workers in ways that sometimes verges on slave labor. it's a new sort of feminist movement where the housewife's medium (knitting) is used to raise social critique. It uses humor and the street as canvas i.e. creating social knitting grafitti so it seems that lighting palls and cold industrial bridges are cuddled up in cozy sweaters. The Zeeman did just the opposite it confirmed all prejudices against knitting as being a dull housewife's activity.
Besides Zeeman is very late in catching up. The first Dutch Stitch'n Bitch group was started15th Nov 2004 in Amsterdam. That's quite a while ago. That was when Knitting started getting really hot. Also I think that the effect of the day could have been of a more grand scale if it had been hooked up with the World wide knit in public day; 12th of June.
|A mum and her 4 daughters. Proof that knitting is female powers that transcends generations|
I enjoyed the afternoon, but my intuition tells me that the Zeeman event heralds the beginning of the end of New Knitting. Unfortunately.