Men knitting in public

I recently had an experience that I found totally amusing. While I was in the hospital, well my son was in the hospital I was there to sign the paperwork, I figured I’d take my afghan project with me. I kept getting strange looks from just about everybody there. I mean here’s the scene: Basically, a hospital waiting room with roughly about 20 or so people, mixed company, and me, just pulling out my knitting stuff. had roughly 20 pairs of eyes all on me. Got a few smirks and jeers from some of the men in the room, and quite a few eyebrows raised from the women, some of which who were also knitting themselves. Personally, I found the situation funny, even though I rarely like being the center of attention. I did have a few questions asked about what I was working on, but some of the questions were more jeers than anything. So my question here is what, fundamentally, is wrong with a man knitting in public? I know that it’s generally not socially acceptable that a man knits in public, but I’m the type of guy that, generally, ignores what the rest of the public thinks, though, I am curious about this particular subject. Could anybody enlighten me?


Did ya see the post about Worldwide Knit in Public Day??

Im sure the jeers came because you were CHALLENGING a few stereotypes…CHALLENGE AWAY!!!

Yeah, I saw that post, Kelly. And I’m fully planning on doing it, my friend Suzanne was planning on getting a bunch of friends and knitting at our local Barnes and Noble Bookstore.

Welcome to the forum Rorshach!

Oh man, that would really bother me. I don’t know if I’d have the nerve to knit in public if I was faced with that attitude constantly! It’s great to hear that the looks and jeers roll off you back.

It’s men like you that will change the way people see knitting (it’s about time!). I think it’s simply a matter of people seeing it and getting used to seeing something they’re not used to seeing. Once people see it more (which they are, slowly, there are more men knitting now, definitely), I think the strong female associations with knitting will loose their hold on people’s consciousness, and the judgements will dissipate on their own.

When I put up my CafePress store, with t-shirts and buttons, etc., I’m planning a few for you guy knitters. Loof says his favorite of my t-shirt ideas is “Guy Knitter. Don’t have a heart attack.” (Pretty much says it all, don’tcha think? :rollseyes:) LOL.

:roflhard: dying laughing over here So true, Amy, so true. I will be looking for that shirt myself, and buy a couple myself. Thanks for the warm welcome too. :smiley:

Way to go! No shame! I’m also a man who knits in public! I’m in Germany where people seem to like to stare at just about anything, but the comments seem to be limited to “Oh my gosh, is that guy knitting??!” I recently spoke with my mother on the subject and she said that when her parents were young, all the boys took knitting and sewing at camp, and some of them were quite good! Perhaps there was a time when it wasn’t so strange, lets bring it back! My guy friends in SF have a knitting circle, which is how I got on the wagon.
Check out to see what the mens are doing these days!

When is knitting in public day?

Well, I figure it this way, it doesn’t really matter what gender you are to be an artisan. The fact is, is that we are artisans. I don’t mind people staring, I find it amusing, considering that I have a pretty good idea of what the heck is going through their minds at that particular point in time, peoples emotions tend to be easy to read when their faced with something that doesn’t make sense.

So my question here is what, fundamentally, is wrong with a man knitting in public? I

nothing…they are idiots!!!

I have never seen a man knit in public, but if I did, I would think it was cool!

People get uncomfortable when gender stereotypes are challenged, but they are closed-minded. I wouldn’t give them a second thought.



I’ve not had the opp to KIP… but comming this wednesday we have our knitting group at Barnes and noble… :slight_smile: So… we’ll see how that goes… I know I’ll get a couple of glances and giggles… but screw it… right :slight_smile:

Check the BIG STICKY POST at the top of the General forum… :lol:

btw…that men who knit site is AWESOME!

Sterotypes…I’ve always wondered who makes these decisions about what is appropriate for who…

just like who makes the decision about what is a large or extra large egg—not the chicken, I’m sure… (my daughter and I laugh about that one often…it has gotten to be a private joke with us any time we don’t understand the hidden “rules” that some people seem to have about life)

I think that it is wonderful to see people doing something while waiting for appointments etc. I HATE to waste time. I love to see anyone using their waiting time as productive time.

What’s funny is that some guys do some really stupid/gross things in public and no one thinks twice. Wearing big baggy pants that are about to fall off… cursing in front of children… not stifling bodily functions… LOL

But when a man is doing something creative and beautiful, it’s somehow wrong? WTH is wrong with society? :??

Good for you Rorshach, and everyone else who knits in public! :thumbsup:

Well I think most sterotypes were created back way back… in the 20’s and such…

When Women were expected to be in the home and men expected to work till death…

And such… certain things get sterotyped… I assume… Home functions: chores, Sewing, Laundry, Knitting were womens jobs

Working: construction, and such were men jobs

Now, around the time of the Womens Lib… this all started to change… and more recently you see those barriers breaking down…

Personally I LOVE to sew… I’ve gotten some snickers when I say that… I like counted cross stich and knitting… :slight_smile: They are fun… and you are CREATING something…

But you know… :thumbsup:
That’s just my opnion… ya know

Note: Even viewing this website at work gets a few snickers as people walks by… :rollseyes: but some people judge first before they learn…

I think you hit the nail on the head, Norman.

My best friend (who’s a straight guy… that has it’s own surprised responses from people) loves to cross-stitch and latch hook. He’s been doing it for years and always has a project going. I’ve never given it a second thought, so I guess that has a lot to do with why male knitters are no big thing to me. Another crafter, ANY crafter, is a friend of mine. :slight_smile:

Stereotypes irk me to no end. Any stereotypes. Have you ever just sat and watched people go by? So many people and all of them are different. Vastly different. How can there be any stereotypes at all?

Go man Go!

I say the more the merrier! I taught my 6 year old son to knit and he is very proud of that, so someday we may see him knitting while having a coffee and Barnes and Noble! (with his mom)

I have an uncle who has a brother who has knit since he was a kid and makes some really beautiful garments. He also spins yarn too! As does his wife!

Knitting is not gender specific! The sooner people figure that out the better we’ll all be!

Keep up the good work, and remember to post pics when you finish something so we can all enjoy it with you!

I know we are hijacking this thread… :slight_smile: But… I totally agree Silver…

There are SOOO many closed minded people anymore… I don’t understand how or why people are like that… no one is open minded anymore…

It so sad sometimes…

I’m thinking the sterotypes were what was keeping me from joining our local knitting group… I basically went out to the group but never entered the circle … until last week… i was so nervous and such… but I’m glad I did… the ladys are all reallllly nice…

I think we can blame the industrial revolution for taking the knitting needles out of men’s hands. It took people out of rural areas. It changed gender roles, where women were no longer an equal half of the farming family. Their purview was the household, even though they often took in piecework to help make ends meet. Imagine how, suddenly, you could go and buy a pair of socks instead of having to work for days knitting your own.

The IR also gave rise to the middle class. Merchants, managers, mill owners were all eager to ape the manners of the idle upper class. Societal pressure sent their women into the parlor and fomented the idea of “women’s work”.

So, if you please, gentlemen, keep knitting in public. People are sheep (pun intended) and the more they see men knitting, the more accepting they become of the idea. And you help to strike a blow for equal rights!

Back in the 60’s Roosevelt Grier, an intimidating football player who (unsuccessfully) was bodyguard to Bobby Kennedy, did needlepoint in public. It was a way to calm his nerves on airplanes. He was on all the talk shows and did beautiful work. I think he actually sold some patterns. Men needlepointing sort of became the rage for a while. Also, a punter for the Detroit Lions Garo Yapremian(sp?) in the 70’s designed and made men’s ties which were gorgeous and sold like hotcakes! Lots of professional men sported his creations.

Just recently there was a reality show on Bravo which pitted young unknown designers against one another for the chance to start their own label/house. The winner was a man, who, BTW, used clothing he designed and knitted himself. Again, gorgeous and innovative work. I was green!

Year ago, my husband, out of curiosity, asked me to teach him to knit. He never continued, which was OK with me because frankly, his work was much better than what I did.

It’s too bad we can’t just let people ‘do their own thing’ as we used to say, without being judgmental. Our culture would be so much poorer without the beautiful art created. There seems to be a movement afoot in the land to confine everyone to the same little boxes and God forbid if you want to to veer off what is considered the norm.

So, Gentlemen, KIP and let the snicker-ers snicker. Maybe they all just jealous at your creativity and talent.

Boy does this bring a few things to mind for me…

One… I’m way too cynical. I have (very easily) come up with way too many rude things to say back… I wouldn’t say them but they would rapid fire through my head. :shock:

Two… In answer to your question, there is absolutely nothing wrong with a man or woman knitting in public. What’s wrong is the attitudes that have developed. These same attitudes take guns to school, file lawsuits against businesses because the hot coffee was actually hot and fresh, and get fans tossed in jail (and players suspended) because they think the price of a ticket authorizes them to throw stuff and fight.

Three… Honestly, I’m more surprised single men don’t do it. They’d probably have more women stopping by to talk with them. (As for us married men… personally I’m all up for getting more new friends.)

Four… thanks for the link to the KIP Day… I didn’t know there was such a thing. But quite frankly, I have no fear of taking my knitting into public. As a newbie, I havent had much chance to do this yet, but as a sociology major in college, I’ve completed assignments where I was required to challenge societial norms, just to study the reactions.

Last, I’d like to apologize to those of you on this site. If I seem a little angry… its because I am. Stereotypes bother me, but close-minded a**holes piss me off. (Rant Over)