The Weekly Geekout: Knitting..?

Every Monday, TGA editors write about the geeky things they love. Anthropological and sociological analysis aside, sometimes we just like to geek out and share what we are passionate about with our readers. So far, we have written about things like Adventure Time and the Day[9] Daily. And today, I am writing about knitting.


Indeed. If geeks are generally considered to be highly enthusiastic, intensely dedicated or even slightly obsessive about the things they love, then it could be said that knitting is in many regards a very geeky hobby.

If I were to fall into clichés, I might say that while a geek might strive to collect every Batman comic ever made, be able to name each starship from the Star Wars expanded universe or learn to speak elvish, a knitter might obsess over high quality hand dyed yarn, learn dozens of cast-on or cast-off methods or collect various types of needles, knitting bags, and scissors. It takes a lot of love, skill, dedication, passion and time to build a replica of the Death star, and so does knitting an Aran afghan.

Celtic Aran Afghan from Sharondipity Designs

Celtic Aran Afghan from Sharondipity Designs

But let’s step away from the clichés: the point I am trying to make is not so much that knitting is a geeky hobby, but rather that as a geek and a knitter, geeking out and knitting necessarily go hand in hand for me.

On the most basic level, that means that when I watch my favorite TV shows or movies, I knit. When I feel like knitting, I watch my favorite TV shows or movies at the same time. Having finished a scarf, I’ll remember I knitted it while rewatching the entire ninth season of Supernatural or the only three Star Wars movies ever made. That’s right. Only three. So far.

But the relation between the geeking out and knitting goes deeper for me. If I read a comic or watch a TV show and see a character wearing a nice sweater, I tell myself that I should knit one exactly like it. So what happened when I saw The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey? I zoomed on to Gandalf’s scarf the moment I saw it. I lost track of the action and started asking myself what stitch and which yarn I might use to make my own. It turns out the scarf was made using a loom and pure sheep wool from New-Zealand and thin metallic thread, but I’ll find a way to make my own.

Gandalf's Scarf from the Hobbit Trilogy

Gandalf’s Scarf from the Hobbit Trilogy

I am not the only geek knitter out there of course: for instance, after the release of the latest Hunger Games movie, Catching Fire, knitting and crochet patterns for Katniss’s cowl appeared all over the internet (alright, all over Pinterest and Raverly). Needless to say, a geek who can knit or crochet has a great advantage when it comes to creating accurate cosplay.

My geeky interests also provide inspiration for original creations, as they do for many other knitting and crochet enthusiasts. Love Doctor Who? Why not make a lovely Dalek doily? And why not knit a tribute to Star Trek sweater while watching Star Trek? My next project is to make a beautiful Khajiit Cowl similar to the one my character in Skyrim wears.

I recommend knitting as much as I recommend you watch the Star Trek TNG episode ”The Inner Light” (S5E5): 150%, even if you don’t like Star Trek. Knitting is useful, it keeps your brain engaged while you watch TV, and it can help you make better cosplay (and Christmas presents).

So here is a list of my top 3 go-to resources for knitting (and crochet):

1. Ravelry, for patterns and ideas.

2. New stitch a day Youtube channel, for useful video tutorials on different stitches and patterns.

3. VeryPink Knits Youtube Channel for video tutorials about basic knitting techniques.


About Marie-Pierre Renaud

I am an anthropologist living in Quebec city, Canada. I specialize in native studies and anthropology of health. I am a geek. I founded and now co-manage The Geek Anthropologist blog. I am working on transforming my memoir into a book and journal articles. I like to knit while watching Star Trek. Reach out to me for collaborations!

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