Sitting in my knitting club one Tuesday night I realise that the member who has the most experience and is most excited about the knitting part of the evening (if I’m being honest, I suspect that the gossip and wine is what keeps at least half of the members coming back) is a man.
Owen has knitted over 30 hats since his girlfriend taught him two years ago, and he’s never looked back – he’s currently making one with an ombre effect using three different yarns held together. It’s more and more common to hear of men knitting these days, from Ryan Gosling on the set of Lars and the Real Girl, to Made in Chelsea’s Proudlock, who was photographed at a Wool Week knitting class.
And let’s not forget Stephen West, the designer who burst onto the knitting scene in a pair of ‘swants’ in 2013 (an jumper up cycled into a pair of trousers) and whose neon bright shawls have brightened up many a winter wardrobe since. There’s also Andrea Brena and his arm knitting, the inimitable Kaffe Fasset and a whole bunch of boys with balls of yarn on Ravelry. There are even all-male knitting groups popping up in the US!
My friend has had mixed reactions to his hobby, it’s true, with some of his colleagues laughing at him when he gets out his work in progress on his lunchbreak or finishes a few rows in the pub. But why should certain activities be considered masculine or feminine? The relaxing, rhythmic nature of the craft is beneficial for both sexes, and has been proven to encourage little boys as well as girls to concentrate in school, and help beat stress levels.
If you’re a male knitter, then you’re definitely not alone, and we wholeheartedly encourage you to continue squashing the stereotype by knitting whenever you can! Websites like Ravelry make it much easier for you to find likeminded friends of both sexes, and there are plenty of amazing on trend patterns out there – what could be better than knitting yourself a chunky cable knit that you can’t get your hands on on the high street?