George Orwell Ponders- Are Knitters Really Felons?






Reposted from a satire story I did in 2010 about Guerrilla Knitters just up the street from me in Berkeley

George Orwell Ponders- Are Knitters Really Felons?

Last year a Breaking News report appeared at approximately 7:38 am on Fox TV. Was it a murder or better yet a drug ring smashed in the East Bay? No, Guerrilla Knitters are being reprimanded for desecrating the letter “T” on the sculpture of “HereThere”. The “words” lie on a deserted piece of grass next to the BART tracks on Adeline Street. Yes, the letter “T” was mugged with hand knitting, and that my friends is now considered a felony.

The 6 foot metal “HereThere” signs are actually in a small green space and were designed by Steven Gillman and Katherine Keefer. Basically ‘Here’ means Berkeley and ‘There’ is North Oakland. Apparently knitters from the Knitting Shop across the street were fed up with the Gertrude Stein reference of Oakland (her hometown) as having “no there there”. So, they knit the night away to cover the letter “T” so both signs would read “Here”.

What angered me was that the city of Berkeley insists that the hand crafted letter “T” – Tea Cozy must be removed because it’s a crime. Seeing I never really see anyone or anything in that small green space except dog poop and it actually gives the whole place some life. Imagine if this was publicized in the Knitting World? Knitters would make pilgrimages to honor the knitting simply called “The Letter T”. The piece covered in colorful squares of hand knitting would inspire Knitting Renaissance Fairs and people would sit at Sweet Adeline’s across the street and enjoy the sites.

Thinking along lines of the 60’s I wonder if there will be more protests of some sort? If the Knitters do not remove said creation will it push the City of Berkeley to consider all public knitting illegal?

Will knitting books be pulled off the shelves and will Grannies be forced to buy their knitting books in the Black Market? Maybe they won’t be so tough and they will allow only the basic and pearl stitch. But if pushed, I can see the headline of The San Francisco Chronicle now.

“All Hand Knitting Banned in Berkeley – Local Knitting Clubs Shut Down”

Signs will be erected behind the neighborhood drug aware signs warning everyone that carrying knitting is grounds for prosecution. Road Speed Bumps will be accessorized with long metal pieces to hopefully unravel knitting hidden in bags. Darkened street corners will encourage territory wars over Mohair Wool. Reflections of silver knitting needles being bought illegally at night will be continuous – gleaming under the city street lights.

Will the Knitting ban spread to San Francisco or to parts of the Peninsula?
Will the State of Arizona now ban the City of Berkeley for placing a halt on Knitting?

I can see women protesting marching in the street with signs of:

“Let the Knitters Knit”
“We will Give up our Lives to Chain Stitch”

The President upon hearing this news will have a live news conference condemning the banning of Knitters. Limbaugh will have countless radio shows blaming the Left and Rand Paul will make more racist comment; only this time about Knitting.

Anderson Cooper from CNN will arrive on the scene and do live broadcasts with his hip waders deep in the muck of City Council tangled in wool.

Unable to control the Knitters, the City of Berkeley will propose building a fence around the city’s perimeter to keep migrating Knitters from coming in. Anyone hiring a Knitter will be jailed and landlords housing Knitters will be fined. Churches will become the only sanctuary for Knitters and they will sit there in the pews quietly knitting slippers. Yes, slippers. Receiving Holiday presents of slippers will become a thing of the past.

So what will become of the Knitters? Will they tell the tales to their grandchildren about escaping to Canada where knitting is legal? Or will they weep as they tell stories of the Underground Knitting tunnels and how they hid in the Oakland Hills? God help us all if Berkeley bans knitting. They might try to enforce substitutions like Macramé and we will have to sit there and listen to Janis Joplin and the Big Brother Holding Co. as we endlessly knot.

Berkeley needs to remember that we need the knitters as no one in the high paying Tech Field will do this job. Have we not had someone in our family tree that came from the origins of knitting making His and Her sweaters?

So I say to you The City of Berkeley. Let them knit! Let the Letter “T” with the Tea Cozy live!

Brought to you ( and you knew this was coming) by the Letter T because honestly Gertrude Stein would have loved it.

“A masterpiece… may be unwelcome but it is never dull.”
Gertrude Stein…



About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

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