The Hand-Knitter's Tale
I added the neon red into this shawl just as I sat down to start watching The Handmaid’s Tale on Hulu.
Let me give you some context for how big of a moment this was for me:
I love books.
I love reading so much that knitting barely wins for my favorite pass time (it does but like by a hair...or a piece of gorg, hand-dyed, worsted-weight yarn).
I majored in literature.
Whenever I move, my library of marked-up books comes with me.
I have created many failed book clubs where I always tend to show up enthusiastically with a list of discussion topics and my friends are more stoked that someone brought something other than two-buck chuck.
The Handmaid’s Tale is one of my favorite books of all time.
The book is disruptive. It made me think about my gender in a way I hadn’t before. It made me look at uncomfortable pieces of history that we assume “will never happen again” and see that nothing prevents these atrocities from returning.
In her recent piece in the New York Times, author Margaret Atwood notes, “One of my rules was that I would not put any events into the book that had not already happened in ... history, nor any technology not already available. No imaginary gizmos, no imaginary laws, no imaginary atrocities. God is in the details, they say. So is the Devil.”
After reading this book at 18, I became comfortable identifying as a feminist. Before I would say, “I agree with the feminist agenda, but I wouldn’t say I am one.” What the f*ck does that even mean, pompous, 18-year-old Casey?? Feminism is recognizing that women should be treated as equal to men. That’s it. I can still wear a bra and believe that.
So, as I re-entered this dystopian realm, this time in film, it felt right to cast on that neon red accent in my briochealicious shawl. And as I began that shock of red, I thought for a moment about the women behind this garment:
Madelinetosh: dyer and supplier of the wool
A Verb for Keeping Warm: badass female-run, local yarn store where I purchased my yarn
Me: the knitter
We go, girls.
P.S. The show is really, incredibly well done and it's important. After I watched four episodes, I went back and restarted them with my boyfriend. He had some great questions that we talked through after the first episode. I love that this book (and now this TV show) provokes meaningful conversations.