The Influence of Knitting in Pop Culture

The Influence of Knitting in Pop Culture

From Films to Fashion Runways

Explore how knitting has made its mark in movies, TV shows, and the fashion industry

Knitting, once regarded as a traditional craft practiced by grandmothers in cozy living rooms, has transcended its domestic origins to become a significant cultural phenomenon. From the silver screen to television series and high-fashion runways, knitting has woven its way into the fabric of pop culture, captivating audiences worldwide with its versatility, creativity, and timeless charm.

Knitting’s presence in movies, TV shows, and the fashion industry is a testament to its enduring appeal and adaptability. In films, knitting often serves as a visual metaphor for themes of comfort, connection, and resilience, providing characters with a tangible means of expressing their emotions and forging bonds with others. From heartwarming scenes of characters knitting together in “The Notebook” to the use of knitting as a plot device in “Knives Out,” the cinematic portrayal of knitting reflects its universal significance as a source of solace and self-expression.

On the small screen, knitting has been seamlessly integrated into the fabric of television series, becoming an integral part of character development and storytelling. Shows like “Gilmore Girls” and “Outlander” showcase knitting as a symbol of familial bonds and tradition, while reality TV competitions like “Project Runway” elevate knitting to new heights of creativity and innovation. Whether used to evoke nostalgia, convey emotion, or inspire viewers, knitting continues to leave its mark on the small screen, captivating audiences with its meditative qualities and timeless appeal.

Coco film 2017

“Coco” (2017)

In this animated masterpiece from Disney and Pixar, the protagonist Miguel encounters the character Mamá Imelda, who knits and weaves memories into her family’s history. Knitting serves as a metaphor for the interconnectedness of generations and the importance of familial bonds.

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“Mrs. Doubtfire” (1993):

In this beloved comedy, Robin Williams’ character, Daniel Hillard, disguises himself as the lovable nanny Mrs. Doubtfire. Knitting becomes a pivotal skill for Daniel as he learns to sew and knit costumes to maintain his disguise, showcasing the versatility and creativity of knitting in unexpected ways.

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“A Tale of Two Sisters” (2003):

This South Korean psychological horror film features a haunting scene where one of the sisters discovers a mysterious knitted sweater hidden in the attic. The sweater serves as a haunting reminder of past trauma and family secrets, demonstrating how knitting can be used to convey suspense and mystery.

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“The Secret Life of Bees” (2008):

Set in the 1960s American South, this adaptation of Sue Monk Kidd’s novel prominently features characters knitting together in a circle. The act of knitting symbolizes sisterhood, healing, and resilience in the face of adversity, as the women find solace and support in each other’s company.

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“The Shawshank Redemption” (1994):

In this classic prison drama, the character Brooks, played by James Whitmore, spends his time knitting a scarf for his friend Andy. The scarf becomes a poignant symbol of friendship, hope, and the passage of time, as Brooks struggles to adapt to life outside of prison.

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“Bee Movie” (2007):

Even in animated comedies, knitting makes an appearance. In this film, the character Vanessa, voiced by Renée Zellweger, is an avid knitter who creates various crafts, including sweaters for her friend Barry, a talking bee. Knitting becomes a lighthearted yet meaningful way for the characters to bond and express affection.

The Small Screen

Television series have also embraced the art of knitting, incorporating it into character development and plotlines. Shows like “Gilmore Girls” and “Outlander” highlight knitting as a source of solace and self-expression for the characters, reflecting its therapeutic and meditative qualities.

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Reality TV

Moreover, reality TV competitions like “Project Runway” have featured knitting challenges, bringing the craft to the forefront of the fashion world. From heartwarming dramas to competitive reality shows, knitting continues to be a beloved and versatile element of storytelling on the small screen.

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" (2017-present)

Set in the 1950s and 1960s, this critically acclaimed series follows the journey of Miriam “Midge” Maisel as she navigates the world of stand-up comedy. In several episodes, Midge’s mother, Rose Weissman, played by Marin Hinkle, is seen knitting as a form of relaxation and creative expression. Knitting becomes a subtle yet poignant symbol of tradition and femininity amidst the rapidly changing cultural landscape.

"Grace and Frankie" (2015-2022)

This heartfelt comedy-drama revolves around the unlikely friendship between Grace and Frankie, two women who find themselves navigating life together after their husbands reveal they are gay and in love with each other. Throughout the series, Frankie, played by Lily Tomlin, is often seen knitting quirky and colorful creations, reflecting her free-spirited nature and artistic sensibilities.

"The Great British Sewing Bee" (2013-present)

While not specifically about knitting, this British reality competition celebrates the art of sewing and crafting. However, knitting has made occasional appearances in knitting-themed challenges, demonstrating the crossover between different textile crafts and showcasing the contestants’ versatility and skill.

"Call the Midwife" (2012-present)

Set in the 1950s and 1960s in London’s East End, this acclaimed British drama series follows the lives of a group of midwives working in a nursing convent. Knitting plays a significant role in several episodes, with the midwives knitting baby clothes and blankets for expectant mothers in the community. The act of knitting symbolizes care, compassion, and the bonds of sisterhood among the characters.

From heartwarming dramas to competitive reality shows, knitting continues to be a beloved and versatile element of storytelling on the small screen. Whether used to convey comfort, creativity, or camaraderie, knitting adds depth and authenticity to the characters and narratives, resonating with audiences of all ages.

..to be continued


I believe that knitting is more than just a hobby - it's a way to express your creativity, connect with others, and even promote mindfulness and relaxation.