Are You Ready To Be Reskilled?
Rob Hopkins, founder of the organization the Transition Network, has won over communities worldwide to his theory that the only way humanity will be able to ameliorate the effects of climate change is by undertaking “the great reskilling,” an intensive re-education in practical skills such as knitting. Transition Town theory has a note of survivalism—it’s easy to imagine adherents learning to can vegetables so they can store them in a bunker, next to their guns—but its principles are starting to trickle down to the mainstream. You can imagine that Hopkins would be very pleased, for example, to hear that Wool and the Gang is opening a store in New York City. Launched earlier this year by Lisa Sabrier and Carolyn Main, the Paris-based brand aims to make knitting attractive and accessible to the style-minded. According to Main, the Zion hat—an oversize fisherman’s cap—can be whipped up by a beginner in a day. “That’s why we introduced the ‘Crazy Sexy Wool’ first,” Main explained, as workmen slapped paint on the walls of the Wool and the Gang boutique in Soho. “The yarn is so thick, it knits fast, and bears mistakes.” The new wool Wool and the Gang is introducing next month—Sugar Baby Alpaca—is intended for more advanced knitters, but even so, the patterns the Wool and the Gang team have devised exploit the aesthetic benefits of the occasional screw-up. “We did a sweater inspired by the one you’d see Kurt Cobain wearing in old photos,” says Main. “There are holes, it’s stretched out and all a little off, in a good way.” Perfectionists will be able to improve their knitting skills at the Wool and the Gang store. Following the launch party tomorrow night, the shop will be hosting lessons every evening for the next week, and beyond that, will remain open daily for knitters who want some help as they cast-on. How-to videos and graphic, jargon-free instruction manuals ought to coax cynics into giving knitting a try; that said, there is an out for the lazy. The Cobain sweater, like all the Wool and the Gang styles that are available as knit kits at the store, can also be purchased ready-made.