Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Blogging here is going to continue to be light for the foreseeable future. I am now a member of Ravelry, so that's a more obvious place for me to post knitted projects -- the whole point of doing that was so that other knitters could find my projects as they research what project to do next, as I do. Ravelry was built for that purpose and makes it easier for knitters to post their own projects, and to find other projects done with a certain yarn, or with a certan pattern, etc.

But I did want to post a link to this Telegraph article by Liz Hunt, and that doesn't fit naturally either on Ravelry or on the CommerceNet blog. The article bitterly critiques a book called The Gentle Art of Domesticity (not available in US yet), by Jane Brocket. I wish I could figure out what has Liz Hunt so bitter, because I can't see anything intrinsic in the work of this enthusiastic cook and craftster to inspire the tone. The comments on the Telegraph article vary from wondering how Jane Brocket could be so "perfect" to angry reactions to the article's tone and criticism of a domestic lifestyle.

I've been following Jane's blog since she started it in early 2005, staying as she progressed her writing style and particularly her photographic abilities (from this to this, for example) even as her posts on knitting became more and more infrequent. Most of what she documents and extols I have no desire to imitate. I'd rather bake oatmeal squares and butter tarts than elaborately decorated cakes and "fairy buns". I hate gardening and do not want to live in a remote town or in the country. I do knit and sew but I've been knitting for five times as long as her blog has been up so I already have my own style and inspirations. But it's a gentle, beautiful picture she paints, and it's like visiting an English village house and garden for a quiet moment when I read a new post on Jane's blog.

The only way I can reconcile this with the Telegraph article is the tension over feminism vs. domesticity again. Liz Hunt brings up careers and Shirley Conran in opposition to the domestic values. I haven't got a copy of Jane's book yet but I suppose Jane even started the argument by extolling domesticity as an antidote to ambition and stress. But I'm pretty sure that if a woman wrote a book extolling jogging, swimming, line dancing, playing cello, online gaming, sculpture, reading, bird-watching, photography or dirt-biking as an antidote to ambition or stress, it would be seen as trite at worst rather than threatening.

Blog Archive

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.