My eye was this week caught by a string of articles based on surveys about teenagers becoming more sober, and a reduction in the number of teenage pregnancies. The media list of possible for causes included more strictly observant teens from other cultures and the rise of Facebook and Twitter. Whilst this story is good news in itself, as our young people hopefully live more healthily, the particular sideline I enjoyed was the comment that “many youngsters are now more likely to spend time knitting than sitting in a pub.”
As a born again knitter myself, I am amused by the media’s presentation of this craft as the antithesis of drink and drugs for teens. I wonder whether the current loom band craze will eventually mature into other more traditional crafts, but I also remember the craze for friendship bracelets and sitting up in bed whilst I ought to have been studying making bracelet after bracelet stretching from my bedpost.
We in the Diocesan offices are ahead of this trend, although mainly too old to be caught in the surveys. We have a weekly craft club which meets during our lunch hour, to do anything creative. This summer with its beautiful weather has proven rather a distraction from our crafting activities, but with the weather getting less sunny, and Christmas on the horizon (and unfortunately already in every shop), our thoughts have returned to our craft. The group pulls together staff from different parts of the diocese and cathedral and offers us a relaxing calm space to share our enjoyments and sometimes our moans. It is wonderful to meet and share both laughter and quiet together and feel productive at the same time. I hope those knitting teenagers find the comfort of this in what are becoming stressful lives full of tests and worry, and that they enjoy the beauty of what they produce, even if they then feel the need to ‘Instagram it’.
Rebecca Shorter, Trust and Pastoral Officer, Diocese of Gloucester