Often during the bleakest of winter months, I find myself drafting the unofficial constitution to Knitopia— my imaginary tropical island paradise where knitters flock to stitch a more civil society.
With better weather.
Our woolen flag blows gently in the wind, anchored by a coconut palm, leaning perfectly toward the crystalline sea, fronds flapping in the breeze. The flag’s prismatic emblem: a ball of yarn criss-crossed with knitting needles. We’ll be modern pirates of a troubled planet. Instead of robbing others and plundering treasure, we’ll knit socks.
On Knitopia, everyone will be kind, as I have found most knitters to be. Conflict will be dealt with peaceably, by consensus at best and with a knit-off at worst. We’ll make our own laws (case in point: Ravelry forums), eat from the land, consume fine imports of chocolate and wine in abundance, and generally bask in the sun as we chatter about under the shade of a bougainvillea, needles clicking.
We’ll share stories about our children, who will also reside on Knitopia, spending their weekdays in a quaint schoolhouse with big windows, worthy educators, and lots of notebooks (because offspring of knitters surely harbor an unusual genetic propensity toward new notebooks and brightly colored pens).
When we tire of our knitting, we’ll stand and stretch. Swim in the sea. Dip in the pool. Perhaps do a bit of yoga. We’ll walk. Together or alone.
It will be grand.
Knitopians will put their differences aside. Cable news will be banned. We’ll be equitable and respect the humanity in each of us. No one will starve. There will be enough wool to go around. Needles will be swapped. Stitch markers bartered. Indie-dyed shawls will be traded abroad for essential imports under a socially responsible international trade agreement. Everyone will be lifted up. No one will be held down. We’ll all just be people who care about each other.
We’ll have hospitals for the ill (and, gasp, arthritic) among us. Libraries. Institutions of scientific research. Organic farms and orchards. The works. We’ll flourish. Our spirits will soar, lifted by the warmth of the sun and sweet calls of the island’s diverse tropical bird population (knitters do have a thing for vibrant plumage…). Most of all, we’ll be in good company. We’ll have each other.
If we grow weary of the sun, we’ll jaunt back to our respective homeland until we quickly tire of the dank, dreary, drizzly cold days. The darkness will creep in. Before long, we’ll return to Knitopia, smiles wide, suitcases restocked wool and sunscreen. (Did I mention Knitopia will boast a first-rate international airport where flight delays are banned and leg room on all departing flights is ample?)
Our hands will no longer ache with the winter’s cold as we knit. Our bones will warm. During the hottest hours of the day, we’ll work on smaller projects—socks, or maybe shawls. When the sun sets and the nights cool, we’ll break out the sweaters, most likely fingering weight.
Many knits will be gifted to those who have stubbornly remained at home, insensibly preferring to weather the cold. These knits would have been gifted regardless. As a whole, knitters are a generous population. Always making. Always giving. We’ll work with fiber blends pleasing to the warm air, but wool will always be close by. Too much linen and cotton can be rough on the hands, and self-care must always be a priority on Knitopia.
We’ll pride ourselves on craft tolerance, embracing those among us who choose to dabble in crochet. Even sewing. The arts will flourish yet simplicity will abound. Our footprints on our cherished island will be light, but our impact on the troubled planet will astound.
Word will spread of our good deeds.
Our borders will be open. Knitopia will be a place of refuge for those in need. A homeland for the homeless. As long as you are nice and contribute, you can stay. Even if you don’t knit, although knitting lessons will be free to all who care to try.
When I think of Knitopia, it often seems so far away. Obviously imaginary. Because how could I (or anyone) possibly pack up and move to a tropical island to establish a peaceful knitting nation—a colony to enrich the humanity missing around the globe? Then I remember there is power in numbers. That I could. We could. All we have to do is pick a spot to meet.