By Randae Radford
Sometimes it’s hard to imagine that the stars who shine so brightly on cinematic screens are people just like the rest of us. We often think that their lives are so much more interesting and exciting than our own and that we have little or nothing in common with the Hollywood crowd.
Well, it may surprise you to know that at least some of today’s hottest stars enjoy perfectly normal leisure activities that we might acquaint more readily with something your grandmother enjoys doing.
I’m talking about crafts. More specifically, knitting and crocheting. These two activities are especially hot in recent years and Hollywood stars and other celebrities are certainly not immune to the lure of a relaxing evening spent with a crochet hook or knitting needles and a skein of yarn or two.
Indeed, some stars seem to be particularly captivated – some might even say addicted --by these old-time traditional activities. Julia Roberts, for example, is now well-known as a knitting enthusiast who loves to knit sweaters and was once photographed knitting on the set of a movie she was working on.
Other well-known knitters include Madonna, Sandra Bullock, Sarah Jessica Parker and Hilary Swank. Not to be left out, some well known celebrity men have decided that knitting is not just an activity for women. Tough-guy actor Russell Crowe and former NFL player Rosie Grier have made no secret of the fact that they enjoy it as well.
And who didn’t see the TV footage of Martha Stewart and her now-famous “Coming Home” poncho that she was wearing during her trip home to Connecticut after completion of her sentence at Alderson Federal Prison in West Virginia?
The poncho was reportedly crocheted especially for Martha by one of her fellow inmates and after it appeared on TV, it seemed every knit and crochet addict in the country had to have the pattern. There was so much demand for the pattern that it crashed the server that hosts Lion Brand’s web site soon after they posted a version of the pattern there.
And it’s not just celebrities that are knitting and crocheting in record numbers. Manufacturers of yarn and other craft supplies report that sales are way up in recent years. One of the best-known yarn manufacturers, Lion Brand, reports that their sales have doubled in the last year alone. Granted, celebrities have a lot of money, but still, I don’t believe they are solely responsible for Lion Brand’s recent success!
It’s hard to know just what may have triggered all the recent interest in these activities that have been around for so many years. Some believe that the terrible events on 9/11 have influenced people to focus more on home life and simple, more traditional activities. Others suggest that these activities are a nice contrast and welcome respite from lives that have become far too hectic in the wake of the new millennium.
Enthusiasts report that knitting or crocheting can be a very relaxing activity that also provides a nice sense of accomplishment upon the completion of a project. It’s also a great way to create gifts for friends of loves ones that have that personal touch – so much more so than something purchased at the shopping mall.
Some also cherish the traditional aspect of these activities and still harbor fond memories of a beloved relative that took the time to pass along a skill that has endured through countless generations. A skill that they intend to pass down to their children as well.
Whatever the motivation, there’s no question that these traditional activities are experiencing a revival of sorts. There are many possible explanations, however I suspect that speculation and statistics don’t interest these enthusiasts as keenly as their plan for the next project they intend to tackle just as soon as the finishing touches have been applied to the current project.
Randae Radford is webmaster for Learn Crochet Now, a producer of quality instructional videos that teach crochet.
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