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Happy Independence Day to all my fellow Americans! And happy “War of American Colonial Aggression” to my British readers! And happy “just plain July 4, 2014″ to everyone else! Regardless of where you may be or whether or not you’re celebrating, I bring you the latest from the world of knitting…

  • Two days ago, it was “all knitting, all the time” on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered news program. First, they gave us this little gem, the story of how the tradition of knitting continues to flourish in the Shetland Isles, in spite of its recent unexpected oil boom. In light of this juxtaposition of the old, low-tech ways and the new, high-tech economy, this story also balances out its obligatory “granny” reference: “Here in Shetland, knitting is not a hobby reserved for grannies or for hipsters. It’s something people do because they’ve always done it. It’s one illustration of how this island cluster in the North Sea mixes old and new.” A special shout-out to my friend, Stitch Bitch, for drawing my attention to the “granny count.”
  • And as if that story weren’t enough, All Things Considered followed it up with a story on the specialized lingo of knitting, specifically “frogging” and the “boyfriend sweater curse,” featuring Los Angeles’s (and USC’s) own Laura Birek of Picture Perfect Knits fame.
  • And, because protest is — or at least, it should be — at the heart of what it means to be an American, let’s celebrate the “knit-in.”  My favorite part:

“Palmer was knitting what appeared to be a turquoise scarf, and had knitted about 8 inches of it before Vermont Gas closed at 5 p.m.,” VPR’s reports.

“It is unclear if she was allowed to continue her knitting at the police station,” he adds.