Because people nowadays are incapable of critical thinking.
Until about the 1980s, fibre crafts – knitting, crochet, weaving – were part of the curriculum in primary schools around the world. Boys learned, as well as girls. Many would have learned to card and spin fleece at home from an early age. Unfortunately, this practice disappeared in many countries. The last people to have gone through it are middle-aged, 40s+. Some are amongst the recent resurgence of interest in the fibre arts.
With the disappearance of fibre crafts from schools, so too did the simple knowledge that “older women” knit and crochet because they – and their brothers – learned to knit and crochet as very young children.
I am, I believe, not yet an “old” woman at 52, 53 later this year. I have been knitting for 48–49 years, and crocheting for 47–48 years.
The few remaining critical thinkers among you will have observed from the above that I have been knitting and crocheting since I was a very young child. Not an “older woman”.
Moreover, I was taught to knit by my 30-something FATHER. Not an “older woman”.
Look at the size of those hands. His wedding ring was the size of a toddler’s bracelet.
He taught me to knit AFTER teaching my younger brother, also not an “older woman”.
My uncle Victor, of whom I have written occasionally, was a mining engineer who began his career in the 1950s. At the time, there was a great push to explore uninhabited regions of the world for possibly useful minerals. Uncle Victor travelled to places that no human had ever set foot in, and certainly no Westerner. Having lived in some of the most inhospitable regions on the planet – places of extreme cold, heat, humidity, and low-oxygen environments – he was one of a number of people invited by NASA in the 1960s to consult on and provide physiologuical data for the Apollo program. He met Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong when they were mere hopefuls.
Why do I mention this? Well, Uncle Victor’s amazing career was made possible not by his academic knowledge of mining engineering and geology, or his experience. It was made possible because he knew how to knit, sew, and cook from childhood. He didn’t need to rely on a woman or an extensive support network to sew on his buttons, darn his socks, or make his dinner, so his employers could send him into regions where there were no women or support networks.