Saturday, October 07, 2006

here she goes again

the cult of celebrity does not sit well with me, I don't watch much t.v., I don't read women's or celebrity magazines, I watch movies and listen to music, I read voraciously, I wouldn't know most of todays stars if I fell over them. I am grateful to those I do watch, read and listen to - for sharing their talent and making the world a richer place, stories must be told, just as they always have been. A great performance will send shivers down the spine, but I have no admiration for thise who are famous for being famous, it seems to me that if you are poor, your wrongdoings are evil, if you are famous they are entertainment.

To me there is no difference between Penn Gillette and Brenda Dayne - both entertain and enlighten me through their podcasts, they both challenge me to look both inside and out, to grow and accept life's challenges, they are both people who refuse to be compartmentalised by society, and if I had the pleasure of meeting either of them I wouldn't be screaming, fainting or sneaking photos to sell to Hello! I would thank them for giving me so much pleasure (and get a photo for the blog!)

Which in a roundabout way brings me to the reason for this post, Tracey Ullman and Mel Clark's book "Knit 2 Together" was released recently, I didn't pay much attention as I tend not to buy "pattern books" preferring "ideas" books (the recent purchase of Norah Gaughan's Knitting Nature is the exception that proves the rule - her designs are so inspirational that they transcend mere pattern) however, reading the article in the fall issue of Vogue knitting was very disappointing, it was 3 pages about Tracey - (I must say here that while I know who she is, I haven't actually seen her in anything since the "Tracey Ullman show" so while she may be extremely well known in the US, she is moderately well known in NZ) and if she had written the book alone, then it would have been a wonderful article - it is great to see celebrities championing knitting, and showing the rest of the world that their prejudices are outmoded.
Tracey talks about knitting the way that we do, she is one of us, and that is wonderful...BUT...the article only mentioned Mel as an adjunct to Tracey, I am a knitter and a designer, I want to know about the WHOLE process, both people, how they worked together to come up with the designs. I read somewhere that Mel was originally from NZ, I don't know if this is true, but if it is I want to know how she ended up owning a store in California, where the knitting has taken her both physically and personally, because as I mentioned - my celebrities are those I can relate to: Brenda with her self-awareness and openess, talking about her human frailties in the light of motherhood and relationships, Stephanie who as a hippy-ish mother of 3 daughters I can relate to, who presents herself to us foibles and all, and whose yarn adventures "knit" us together as a community, and Norah who astounds me with her ability to see knitting from such different angles, and manage to communicate these to us mere mortals without making our heads explode.

So, in closing, I hope that Tracey and Mel's book does well, that it brings new knitters into the fold, and encourages old ones back, but in future I would hope to see a knitter's slant to an article such as this, especially in a knitting magazine.