Knitting – A Manly Art


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

12 Responses

  1. My husband and I have crocheted together for years. We both crochet blankets for children with cancer through our local V.F.W.’s Linus project.

  2. One of the people who taught me to knit was my dad. He taught me the purl stich. My grandma taught me the knit stich, and the rest i learned online (YouTube is great for learning new stiches)

  3. Glad I could help out with the Entrlac Tutorials..
    Thanks for stopping by🙂 I see I have another blog to check out!

  4. Dear “Doctor David”
    Thank you for your comment on my blog about the entrelac shawl. It is appreciated. I have just visited your blog and learned a lot about LBD, which I was previously totally unaware of, even of its existence. I think your blog is a jewel of a resource of inspiration and information for anyone who is suffering from that disease or who is a caregiver. I’m sure that there are many who are thankful for your dedication to educating and helping others.
    I am glad that you enjoy knitting. I have a cousin in law who is also a male knitter, and have recently had the pleasure of meeting some fellow knitters of the opposite sex at some knitting groups. I personally enjoy knitting as a wonderful way to do something fun, creative and, since I mostly knit when watching TV, it is a way to feel productive while at the same time enjoying my favorite news show or movie.
    Keep those knitting sticks moving.
    Cynthia

    • Cynthia………..keep me posted on any and all of your entrelac!

      David

  5. Dear David, I don’t know if you’ll ever see my comment, because I just opened this part of your blog, being still far, far away from home. But I wanted to say something about knitting, an art I haven’t mastered but enjoy very much. I learned to knit as a young girl, and then started again when I was a young mother, knitting things for my children (now I knit for my grandchildren). But I never really “learned” it profesionally -I just have to figure out shapes and sizes every time. I don’t remember much about crotcheting, just the main stitch and the loop, and I don’t know how to make an afghan, something I’d like to learn some day.
    One of my best friends has been a knitter all his life, and loves to do it. I find it very relaxing, and I also knit while watching TV.
    Enjoyed your post here and the comments. Is that a recently taken picture of you?
    Love to you and Pam (I think is very romantic to get to know each other while knitting),
    Raquel

    • Raquel…………….either you are too kind or just joking. The guy in the pic is not me. I’m not quite that young and handsome!

      David

  6. Dear Dr. Thomas,

    Thanks so much for your blog. I am a professional counselor, got interested in knitting that last month and find it very entertaining, focusing, relaxation and just plain fun. It is rather inexpensive and you end up with a product besides. I will be praying for you and your health.

    Blessings,

    Erik

  7. Dear David,
    I just joined (actually re-joined) the KnitU website/listserv (mollyp10520) and saw your question about knitting needles for lace knitting. Your question is interesting to me as I’m just getting launched in lace knitting and made my daughter a cowl called the Good Luck Cowl which is shetland lace. I used Cascade 220 and Knitpicks Options and I really like those needles because of the lightweight cable. But what I really wanted to say is this: I am so delighted to have found you and your blog about LBD because I remember when you felt you could no longer manage the Guernsey listserv and I have often thought of you and wondered how you are doing. I am so happy to have found you again and just by chance too. You are one of my heroes. Your blog is marvelous and I admire you greatly. I have found the past year and a half very hard as my beloved daughter passed away unexpectledly, having suffered from very severe depression and anxiety for much of her life. Knitting has been a respite for me along with reading and friendships, on-line and off.

    Sending you all kinds of good wishes,
    Molly

  8. Well, I meant to say Gansey, not Guernsey, but I hope you knew what I meant. What a lovely knitting list.
    Molly

  9. […] Knitting – A Manly Art […]

  10. […] are men, he truly makes a case for male knitting and crocheting and thus gets our vote.   Click here to read his blog on […]

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