Did you know that suturing and sewing in surgery is really a type of knitting? Looping the tiny sizes of surgical threads in and out of each other. Making knots. All for the purpose of holding something together. To help something grow. To add some texture. And how surgeons are revered. Many of them are men, nonetheless. I never gave much thought about surgeons being knitters, crocheters, tailors, etc. And, yea, I bet they could do phenomenal counted cross stitch, huh?
Men? They knit? I was just a small boy. He taught me how to knit. I didn’t know that boys and men weren’t ‘supposed’ to knit. After all, Grandpa was THE MAN to me and if he could knit so could I. He was from Germany. He had to learn to knit in grade school along with all the other boys and girls. Their curriculum was way ahead of their time! How did they know back then that knitting is for both sexes because it teaches fine motor skills and concentration? It provides pride in the act of creating.
Sailors and fishermen, as well as shepherds, were among the first knitters. These were all occupations held by men. What better way to pass the hours than to create?
During the Renaissance, men were the only ones who could join knitting guilds, while women took care of spinning. The reasons that knitting has come to be associated as a woman’s-only craft are many, but there’s no reason–physical or otherwise–why men can’t knit.
In South America, you’ll see men knitting as much as women. There aren’t social stigmas or sharply defined gender assignments all over the world the way they exist in Western society. Some of the most intricate, beautiful items are knit by men on needles as skinny as bicycle spokes while they tend to their herds.
Soldiers during the war years knitted, as did many people, including school age children-boys and girls. Everyone was encouraged to knit their bit to keep the soldiers warm.
With the resurgence of knitting, more men are becoming involved and as a direct result, there are websites, clubs, and books designed for them. Hopefully, this will lead more men to openly claim this hobby instead of worrying that the uneducated will think that they are sissies or effeminate just because they enjoy being creative. If a boy is taught to knit at a young age, before self-consciousness is allowed to seep in and create unease (usually in the form of teasing from peers), he can be equally capable of knitting as a girl.
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Oh, by the way. Did I ever tell you that many of my dates with Pam were “knitting dates?” Sounds boring, huh? We had a blast……laughing, sharing, carrying on just like teenagers…………that’s love for you!
Photo from Knittingdaily