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A Knitta Dinnah From an Outsider’s Perspective

Shit That I Knit Blog | Knitta Dinnah

So you’ve heard us yammer on about what a great community we have and how we all like one another and we share knitting secrets and compare gauges and blah blah blah. So here’s an outsider’s perspective on what we’re really like.

Grady Ross just moved to Boston and was invited to our last knitta dinnah through a mutual friend. She took the time to write shit about us. Here are her thoughts on our team in her own words.

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My First Knitta Dinnah or,The Night I Learned To Wield The Metaphorical Knitting Needle Inside Me To Fend Off The Haters

I'm 25 and just moved to Boston. What a great city, the city of baked beans, Red Sox, and freedom. But despite my affinity for swan boats and Peskey Poles, it's none of these wonders of the Cradle of Liberty that brought me here.

I'm here in pursuit of education. I'm going to learn things, much like the wicked smaahht alumni of Harvard and MIT who have come before me.

I'm going to learn to make dresses.

I'm enrolled in a program for fashion design, and it feels like something I have to admit: rather than a declaration, this announcement feels like a sheepish, head-hanging, feet shuffling concession of guilt, like "yes, I am taking my potential and throwing it down the drain like I should have done with that bottle of wine two bottles of wine ago."

I love beautiful clothing and designs, but the pursuit of a spot in the fashion world feels embarrassing to me.  As a woman who resents a lot of the roles that women have been assigned, it feels almost superficial and archaic to concern myself with pretty things.

Which brings me, long-windedly, to Sh*t That I Knit. In this case, my gratuitous yammering on self serves a purpose. It is important for me to get personal in this recollection of my first meeting of Christina and the  Knittas, because STIK is a personal company embarking on a very personal mission. It is a company that means something to people. It means something to me. What do I mean?

I went to the most recent Knitta Dinnah having scored an invitation by a lucky connection via mutual friends. This friend has kept me abreast of the company since its inception, and I've been increasingly intrigued. With sights on breaking into the apparel industry myself, I wanted to get a look at Christina's very unique business model: plus, the product is TO DIE, and I like to be as close as possible to beautiful clothing. Christina's family graciously hosted me and a dozen other young women, all employees of the company with the exception of myself, at their beautiful home in Boston, where we were treated to charcuterie and wine and grilled vegetables and wine and chicken and salmon and wine and homemade desserts, and wine. At first, it felt very much like girls' night, like a girls' night in the movies that you watch and think, "I wish I had friends." It felt like a gathering through which women might stereotype themselves, like going to Whole Foods in your Lulu Lemons, or post-breakup Ben & Jerrys, appropriate for a company that concerns itself with something as traditionally "feminine" as knitting. By the time I left, however, a bit chagrined and slightly intimidated, I had gotten, thank God, a clue. I didn't expect for my time with the STIK crew to strike me on such a deeply personal level, but it did. Their story is one whose moral is this: people like me who are stuck in ideas about who they should be, like ideas that they should be scientists rather than fashion designers, are just a bunch of assholes.

I know: you're like, it's just a hat for god's sake, I can't believe you're waxing profound on knitwear. But the fact is, while the product is top-quality and on-trend, it wouldn't be the same company without the dynamic of the group behind the scenes, even if the inventory was exactly the same. There is an understanding there that the success of a company isn't strictly the goods it produces. Christina has brought together a community of young women with a shared passion and turned it into a viable business that has garnered attention for the way they have defied expectations. They're knitters, but they aren't elderly women clinging to an antiquated art. They're females (ok, there's one guy, but I didn't meet him) but not one of them fits into a mold, gendered or otherwise. They're doing something they love, but they're not doing it for fun's sake: profit is the end game here. They're business people. Amidst other dinner-party chatter there were brass tacks discussions of non-compete clauses and lawyers and design copyrights and expense reports and ethical sourcing and opportunity costs and marketing strategy and things I had to Google later.

Each item by the Sh*t That I Knit brand is knit by hand, giving every piece a one-of-a-kind quality: allow me to be cheesy and state that these hats are metaphors for the people who create them. This is the company's strength, and so far they've played off it beautifully. I am so excited to see how things take off in the coming months: and while I'm at it, let me say that I'm excited for myself: I've seen what's possible when you believe in your own shit.

Photo by Gretchen Powers