Today I worked knitting into novel I’m working on. (One of the characters reaches into her bag and pulls out a half-knit tangled sock on four needles.) Fiber arts are not the core of the book but will weave through (pardon the pun).
As a society, we (both women and men) accept the use of metaphors, analogies, and similes that are not generally considered as being from the domain of women. For instance, both women and men (in alphabetical order) use phrases such as: below par; blind sided; first downs; fumbling the ball; game plans; hole in one; home court advantage; home runs; par for the course; rounding bases; running interference; slam dunk; and tee times.
I remember when I was in junior high, all the kids talking about “getting” to certain “bases” with members of the opposite sex. While I played softball in school and so understood the base thing playing softball or baseball, I was always thoroughly confused about what exactly they meant between boys and girls. In fact, I never really had a clear idea of what happened on each of those bases until Thor explained them to me last week.
What about metaphors, analogies and/or similes from “women’s domain?” I can think of only a couple but they’re a little more pondersome, for instance: if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen; a stitch in time saves nine (though I have a hunch most women do not know exactly what that means); too many cooks spoil the broth; and a watched pot never boils.
Oh, several years ago at the National Museum of U.S. History, a poster from World War II was displayed featuring a women’s pair of hands knitting, and it read: “Don’t forget Pearl; don’t forget to purl.” If we showed that poster to 50 people on the street, I wonder how many would know what it meant.
I’m going to go root around in my yarn stash.