This is the footnote to a discussion about the knitting boom, which I had deleted from a previous post. Basically, I made a reference to “knitting-related businesses being treated as investment opportunities rather than an amusing project to keep the wife busy.” Since the discussion was cut, the footnote was unnecessary, but this “wife” thing has now bothered me for several years. So here it is.
In the mid-90s, Ram Wools published its full-colour catalogue, but shared webspace with Gaspard & Sons, a manufacturer of academic, judicial, and religious vestments. I remember this because whenever I visited the Ram Wools website, I’d often see the splash page that announced both businesses. I figured (correctly) that the businesses were run by the same family.
When it was time for my class to order barrister’s robes, there was a tiny fair in a room at the Law Society where various tailors and manufacturers took measurements and orders. Gaspard was there, and I mentioned to the sales rep that I knew they were somehow related to Ram Wools. The fellow chuckled — a little dismissively, I thought — and said something about how the wife (not his wife, I assume he wasn’t the Gaspard) needed a hobby, and that it kept her busy. The ‘tude irked me at the time, and it bothers me still whenever I think of it.
(I didn’t buy my robes from Gaspard, but not because of that. Gaspard only sold machine washable polyester robes. I opted for the traditional wool, since I wasn’t planning to play rugby or cook three-course meals or do whatever while gowned that would necessitate frequent machine washing.)
I really do wonder which of the two businesses is turning more profit now. In your lifetime, you buy one set of robes (I suppose more than one, if they’re machine washable, but still not very many). But you never stop buying yarn.
(No, I didn’t buy robes from Gaspard, because I went with wool.)