Betsy Greer turned Craftivism into a Masters thesis. The creator of Craftivism.com, she believes that crafting and activism are meant to be together. Her new book, Knitting for Good, is a handbook of projects, tips, and thoughts on using your crafty skills to make the world around you a better place.
[Creative Commons photo by Gideon Tsang]
Folks in Betsy’s department at Goldsmiths College in London where she earned her M.A. in Sociology called her “the girl who knits.” Her dissertation was on knitting, DIY culture and community development. She was frustrated with the lack of outlets for activism and turned to her knitting to make a difference, coining the term craftivism in 2000.
She launched craftivism.com in 2003. The site includes an extensive definition of craftivism along with Betsy’s personal blog. On the site, she defines craftivism as activism + craft. She says “that each time you participate in crafting you are making a difference, whether it’s fighting against useless materialism or making items for charity or something betwixt and between.”
Knitting for Good came out in November and focuses on “highlighting the subversive, revolutionary, and political aspects of knitting.” Greer talks about knitting as a vehicle for social change. She says that:
knitting can be a profound way to: connect to ourselves by embracing the personal and meditative aspects of knitting; reach out to our community through sharing our skill and through charity knitting; and support others across the globe by using knitting as a form of activism and expression.