A Symbol of Femininity -Knitting-

knitting symbol of femininity

Hand Knitting is a part of three women’s lives: Ito, Peiji and Hachi.

In their knitting interaction, Ito teaches how to draft and knit to Peiji and Hachi.

They have knitted sweaters, cardigans, vests, some pairs of gloves and hats.

Hand knitting has a deep world.

There is no space to write about hand knitting process here so that let’s see what they often faced.

When Peiji and Hachi made just one dropped stitch, they became a little bit panic to fix it.

It also often happens, even to Ito, a difference of impression between drafting and a finished fabric because of a combination of yarns and the type of stitches.

In that case, she undoes every stitches.

You might think that knitting is an activity of sitting, but that is not everything.

In order to prevent a stiff neck or tendonitis, daily exercise and relaxation are so important.

To increasing sustainability of a body for knitting, core muscles need to be trained a little bit.


Despite the fact against the image of knitting, why do they continue to knit?

One of the reasons is that hand knitting is a part of their lives.

When did they start knitting?

The answer could be found in their home video.

When Hachi organized the home videos, she found three women knitting.

It was about thirty years ago.

Ito was in her fifties, Peiji was in her twenties and Hachi was two years old.

Hachi was playing with a yellow yearn ball, sitting near a sofa where Peiji was there.

Peiji was knitting with the yellow yarn ball.

Ito was sitting next to Peiji and she was teaching how to knit to Peiji.

Ito still teach how to knit to Peiji and Hachi.

Why is she able to teach how to knit?

When Ito was the third grade, two years before World War Ⅱ began, she often spent night around a charcoal stove with her mother, Mitsu.

There was no television in their room.

Mitsu often knitted sweaters for her children after dinner.

At that time, there was no ready-to-wear clothes and there were lots of shops where only yarn balls and skeins were sold.

Women bought yarn balls and knitted clothes for their family.

Hand knitting skills were inevitably required.

Ito grew up in those circumstances.

Now Ito often knits after dinner as her mother did.

Young Ito was carefully watching how Mitsu’s fingers make stitches.

Then she got unnecessary yarn balls, she practiced knit, purl and moss stitches to be squares with ten centimeters sides.

She also practiced how to use her fingers with yarns sitting next to Mitsu.

She practiced the basis of knitting when she had no homework.

She began to realize how fun hand knitting was.

Then Ito started to knit a scarf of ten centimeters wide.

She also enjoyed watching Mitsu knitting clothes little by little, sitting next to her.

How was Mitsu’s life about hand knitting?

She often got together with neighborhood who like hand knitting after Ito went to school.

They enjoyed chatting with each other, reading a home magazine together and shared ideas of knitting, while listening to radio.

Even though they didn’t frequently get together, they cherished the opportunities to see each other’s knitted works because it was more fun than knitting alone.

The joy is eternal.

Ito, Peiji and hachi get together for the joy.

When Ito got back from school, she asked Mitsu to knit a sweater like the one one of her friends wore.

Mitsu did knit exactly what Ito asked.

 Ito, who spent her childhood like that, became a grown-up.

World War Ⅱ had been over so that there was no limit to buy knitting books and yarn balls any more.

Ito got married, had children and start knitting for her children.

As she learned the basis of knitting under her mother, she could imagine what she wanted to knit and could knit through trial and error.

She undid her own sweaters to knit her children their clothes.

Yarn can be transformed, and inherited by next person.

Much like yarn, hand knitting environment and its habit are inherited from Mitsu and young Ito by Ito today, Peiji and Hachi.


What is another reason of the three women keep knitting in modern days which is full of entertainment?

It is because they love the atmosphere around a knitter, which makes people feel calm.

Hachi would like to ask who has opportunity to be around a knitter, have you ever felt calm around her/him?

Hachi has experienced many times that she became calm as if something splashing in her mind became calm when she was around Ito knitting.

It didn’t matter the television was turned on, or Hachi didn’t talk to Ito.

Hachi has wondered what the feeling was.

She also experienced like this when she was knitting:

Even though a television was turned on and she didn’t to talk to anyone, her brother said that “I love this atmosphere” and he seemed to be satisfied so much.

What he said convinced Hachi that a calm atmosphere was created around a knitter.

What was happening exactly?

Hachi asked Ito, then she quietly answered right away like this:

“Perhaps it could be an atmosphere or warmness of real family. Maybe it is because there is no loud buzzing sound.”

The warmness of “real” family without buzzing sound.

The atmosphere of “real” family….

(There are many images or feelings of “real” family so that we wrote ‘real’ with quotation marks in the sentence to express that was what Hachi and Ito felt. )

Hachi thought like this:

“Gosh….now I see what we didn’t realize even though something bigger might ask us to realize for a long time.

We maybe barely felt it but didn’t fully realized it.

It could be the strength motherhood or the strength of femininity.

Something bigger might ask us to understand them more to be able to create them consciously.

The themes might have been always with us and have waited to be realized since the home videos were taken.”

Hachi felt something in her mind began to crystallize.

It was just before Beelationshp began.


Spinning yarns, weaving, embroidery and knitting are women’s work in any countries and any continents from ancient times.

Hayao Kawai, who was a Jungian psychologist, quoted from a book by Von Franz and wrote that “spinning yarns was one of the most important women’s work so that it symbolized femininity”.

While men were hunting, women got together and took care of their children, doing yarn work and thread work.

The life style reflected the strength of motherhood which was trained by animus(a masculine inner personality) aiming to create better lives.

It is far different from the aim of young women trying to take in a lovely image from knitting.

Hachi feels that what yarn and thread work symbolize is lay in people’s mind without being taught.

As Hachi followed above process, she started to see the experiences of the calmness around knitters and what knitting symbolize like this:

A yarn comes out from a yarn ball.

With the yarn, women’s fingers start to knit stitches.

The stitches became fabric.

A knitter stretches out her arms forward with the fabric to see how much she has knitted.

Her family see the situation and the whole situation makes them feel calm and warm.

It is because they know to whom she knits.

A classic family time.

The moments have been created above the efforts of her preparing knitting skills, equipments, time and energies from limited resources in her life.

Quiet time with the sound of repetitive rhythms of knitting needles, which creates stitches and fabrics.

People around her spend quiet time and listens to comfortable rhythm, and then something splashing in their mind become calm.

It can be a transformative time supported by warm energy of family..

 Knitting is a part of the three women’s life, which comes from Mitsu and young Ito.

The activity could symbolize the strength of motherhood which seek to create better life and a family warmness.

The three woman have hoped not to disappear the themes from their lives and from people’s hearts.

Therefore, the three woman found their themes and it became the themes of Beelationship.



Reffernce:Kawai, Hayao (1994). Mukashi Banashi no Shinsou Yungu Shinrigaku to Gurimu Douwa (The Depth of Fairy Tales: Jungian Psychology and Grimm’s Fariy Tales), Tokyo Koudansha+αBunko





Published : | Updated : (2 years ago)
Author / Copyright : Beelationship | Knitting, About Beelationship






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