A good friend of mine, Emme, went to her knitting group the other day and noticed something (link in Danish): there is a huge overlap between knitters & people who read scifi/fantasy. She notes that Ravelry has at least 65 groups dedicated to fantasy but has just two groups for Copenhagen knitters. And Emme is really surprised by this overlap between scifi/fantasy-reading and knitting: "I don't get it". My first thought? "It's a geek thing." Emme responded to say that my response was a cop-out, it had to be something a bit more profound. And so I'd like to ask you, dear readers, why this overlap between scifi & fantasy geeks and knitters?
(From my own observations, there are also huge overlaps called "librarians & knitting" and "GLBT-orientation & knitting", but we'll have those discussions another day..)
I like reading books, full stop. I like imagination. I like books that take our mundane lives and turn them inside out; books that take our world and expand upon it. Many of my favourite books tend towards the speculative end of the spectrum with a healthy dollop of misanthropy and dystopia. And I'm horrifyingly entertained by dragons, airships, and ray guns (not necessarily in the same book).
And I knit.
And I think it has to do with imagination and creative space. Knitting is just a ball of string which you loop together in a manner which you find pleasing. You can have an entire jumper in a ball of wool: it's bigger on the inside, if you like. You can knit optical illusions, crochet ray guns and buy steampunk-themed patterns. And make your own chainmail, of course. All these things that you can create yourself whilst playing with numbers and watching Game of Thrones - what's not to like?
(Or could it just be that fantasy/scifi happen to be very, very popular genres?)