Let them knit

WE know of a young entrepreneur in New Hampshire who has developed a thriving business long familiar to many a householder: knitting. He does just that, turning out scores of brightly colored caps and scarves, which he sells to schools, clubs, or individuals. And our friend isn't alone. In many a home throughout the United States, but particularly in New England, housewives and retired or single women have nurtured incomes by knitting such products - and then letting outerwear firms market the goods.

Handmade knitwear products, it need hardly be noted, are considered works of art in many nations.

So it seems unfair indeed for the US government, of all agencies, to actually bar commercial home knit work. But a 40-year-old federal rule, still supported by textile and garment unions and some manufacturers, outlaws such home industrial work.

The US Labor Department now is seeking to lift the ban, and the issue is currently in the courts. The Labor Department deserves plaudits for seeking to draft a new rule to overturn what is an outdated policy. It should do so as quickly as possible. Garment workers and manufacturers need hardly feel threatened by individuals who sit at home and knit and then sell their products - often the knitter's only way of making an income to support a family or provide pocket money.

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