Stereotypes re: knitting

Last night, I was cruising around here, added my bit about a cap that I’d made, when my DH came and started looking over my shoulder. “What are you doing?” I explained that this was where I could chat with all my knitting buddies. He said, “so, you’re hanging out with an older crowd now?” And he was not really kidding. :shock:

I stayed calm and asked him to explain. He said, “aren’t most of the women who knit grandmothers and little old ladies?” :thinking: Hm… NO! At that point, I went over to the “photos of you” page and started showing him all of you. To say that he was stunned is an understatement. He honestly had no idea that so many people my age (knocking on the door to 40) and younger were knitting. He has now threatened to take up knitting himself and start joining you. :fingerwag: I don’t think he’s being sincere in his desire to express his creative impulses!

So… here is the theme of this post: do any of you get that? People acting like it is so unusual for someone “your age” to be knitting? For you guys, do people look at you funny when you either KIP or admit to knitting? How did it get this way? When did a “knitter” bring to mind the image of a littlle old lady in a rocking chair with 500 cats scattered around the room and huge balls of yarn slowly being turned into… doilies!!!

I hear a lot of “oh, my grandmother used to knit” or “I remember the old lady down the street knitting”. But then there are you guys. None of you is the stereotypical “little old lady”! I’ve seen photos of the grandmothers with the grandkids on this site - you guys rock! :sunglasses: I have a tremendous amount in common with so many people here. I don’t think that there is a single person on this site who falls into that image that people seem to have of knitters.

So I guess that’s the question floating around in my mind - if my own husband is stuck with this stupid stereotype, what’s going on with the rest of the non-knitting world? I know that it doesn’t really matter and I’ll continue to knit no matter what anyone thinks. It’s more of a curiousity thing. And, for the record, my DH is a changed man! I’ve also shown you guys to my son who no longer calls knitting the “old lady disease”. I’m doing my part to educate - kinda like teaching my son to always put the seat down! :thumbsup: My little contribution to the upcoming generation of women!


I think your DH would be surprised that I’m 23 and knit, not only that but I tought my 26 year old DH, my 25 year old best friend, and my 6 and 4 year old sons to knit. I have plans on teaching DD, too, but alas, she is only 9 months old :slight_smile: So I have to wait.

My dad keeps joking around with me that I should be going out with friends and not doing an old lady thing. but he’s just joking. (he’s weird) I get some strange looks when I KIP, but after so many years of breastfeeding my kids in public, I’m used to weird looks.

I think that’s a pretty typical stereotype, but I do think that’s changing (esp. with the Stitch 'n Bitch movement of young, “hip,” urban knitters). It seems like I know more and more “young” knitters.

The older women at my church all seem to do crafts (knitting, crochet, sewing, but other things too) and they really love it that I have learned to knit. I think some of them gave up on the younger generations in terms of carrying on handcrafts. So it really pleases them to see younger women getting into it.

I think the idea of knitting being an old lady thing is a stereotype that is on its way out. Because of people like us! :cheering:

I couldn’t agree with you more! I knit on my lunch break at work a lot and I don’t really get the old lady routine, but my co-workers constantly tease me about making baby booties. (I’m 25 and don’t have kids yet.) It is SO annoying. I definitely will start a family one of these days, but it’s always the same joke. There always like - what are you making now? More booties? Do you have something to tell us Lisa? :mad:

I think my hubby has learned that knitting has become quite the popular thing these days and knows better than to poke fun. My family on the other hand just thinks it’s weird and they don’t usually ask me about it. I am hoping to change their perspective once they get their Christmas presents (I just started to learn at the beginning of this year). At least I can use that as a “weed out” to know those who won’t appreciate my hard work!

And sometimes I guess if people do label me like an old granny I don’t mind so much, because I can do something they can’t! :wink:

OK … I could not figure out how to post this Anonymously … since I am the one who won’t say B**L winder and prefers the term wool winder :slight_smile:

KNIT NAKED… that will wipe away any stereotype your DH has about grandmas and rocking chairs :slight_smile:

well, at least when you do get pregnant, you know how to tell the people you work with the good news!

well, at least when you do get pregnant, you know how to tell the people you work with the good news![/quote]

Ha Ha…I wonder if they would even believe me by then! :rofling:

Ha! Knit naked! I love it! :roflhard:

:roflhard: :roflhard:

Because of my occupation, no one is surprised I knit. My students think it’s normal for a Literature geek like myself to do something else they perceive as geeky: knitting. Too, since they are so young, they think I’m ancient; and since to them, all old people knit, well, then it’s perfectly normal that I do. :rofling:

They would be surprised, though, to find young knitters, and in particular young MALE knitters.

They might also be surprised were I to tell them that I knit naked!

The people I work with are all accustomed to seeing me knit at lunch, or bring my knitting to informal meetings and such. Actually, I’m known to bring my knitting with me during fire drills. I still get teased slightly, but it’s turning into a “what are you going to knit for me?” thing.

I think the only stereotype that tends to be true about knitters is the tendancy to own cats. But c’mon, knitters and cats both like to play with yarn, so it’s a natural relationship.

Too funny. My husband ribs me about the same thing. I think it’s like anything else though…there are stereotypes and the stereotypes usually only include 1% of whatever the stereotype is about.

:rollseyes: yeah I get this all the time… I’m 25 but who I hear it from is odd… I hear it from my dh’s coworkers… they think its funny that his wife stays at home with the kids, knits, and doesn’t party… thankfully I have a cool hubby who makes them walk a very fine line … and they don’t say much anymore… My SiL is learning she is 19… I wish I had learned at a younger age and hope my daughter will want too :smiley:

I think that’s really funny!! I’m 56, but I started knitting when I was 19, too. I stopped for a few years…I only had 1 book to look at and it as not very advisory!! But I did do some stockings for the kids to hang by the fire. Then I fell in love with counted crosstitch, and it was my passion for 16 years until my eyes and head couldn’t take it anymore. So I crocheted, but the items were never as SOFT as knitted things!! Then I heard that knitting was getting popular again, and I confess, til then, I’d sort of put it out of my mind…but I’d NEVER given my needles away! :wink:

It was a year or so before the “scarf” trend came out fullblast, that I went and bought some funky eyelash and made a scarf or two. :rollseyes: Now socks are more of a passion than scarves, but I’ve found that , even though I spend some time frogging, knitting has been the most relaxing of any of the other needlecrafts I’ve done over the years. :inlove: And just knowing I have "friends "on this forum that literally span the globe is mine-boggling. That we share so many things that don’t
have anything to do with age or money, color , sex or creed and are so willing to help one another says so MUCH about knitters!!! Knitters have HEART!! :heart: :heart: :cheering:

Yeah we discussed this a few times here… it’s always a recurring theme, but with different undertones…

As for me doing KIP… yes I get looks… and yes I have people looking at me funny… Heck even the other day I was sitting in my living room and my brother in laws, fiancess’ sister came in and started laughing at me… that didn’t help… I shoul dhave told her to leave… but that would have been rude…

Anyway… I learned to knit from my dad (or I guess watching him is what got me wanting to do it) and he was in a biker gang in his youth… so seeing a older balding plump man, with a long pony tail and love and hate tattooed to his fists… kinda makes ya wonder… :slight_smile: but I have more and more gotten courage to KIP and most of the times it’s worked out… Knitting is starting to turn into the chic thing … for younger girls… the younger guys still aren’t too into it :slight_smile: And I think for the most part, from things I’ve heard if people see a man knitting they assume right off the bat he’s gay… :rollseyes: at least around here… and that just frosts my cake sometimes…


I’ll stop rambling now…

I don’t really notice the looks I get when I KIP - I’m concentrating on my knitting! One of my friends ribs me about being “so domestic” though. I guess I deserve it, with hobbies like knitting and baking. :rollseyes: Our teeny little s’n’b group sometimes gets weird looks, but I can’t tell whether it’s because we’re all university students sitting around and knitting or just because we’re having a good time. (I’ve noticed that a lot of people will stare when they see people laughing. It’s weird.)
Someday my boyfriend (21) would like me to teach him to knit, and I’ve just gotten word that my little brother (9) would also like to learn, but he can’t order the ‘learn to knit’ kit from his school book order because the other kids would make fun of him.

I think women of the “older”, WWII or Depression generation stayed at home, and HAD to learn to knit and sew and do other handicrafts because they did not live in the disposable society we do today.

Im so glad to see crafts are making a comeback…and I think we are finding the theraputic benefits to what used to be a necessary skill!

I have never received a “negative” comment. Only “I would never have the patience to do that”. My DBoss doesnt quite “get it” but he’s coming around now that I’ve given him that pair of flip-top mittens!

I think the true “old lady knitter” is still sitting in her rocking chair, knitting. The one thing she won’t do, most likely, is get on the computer and talk about it.

I’d be there’s a great wealth of information, experience, and tips out there that we have no access to.

Since knitting is becoming a “hip” thing to do, I’ve never gotten negative comments from other students. As the college knitting revolution goes, I think it’s response to the disposable society of today. For most people my age, the idea of actually making something that you can then wear is quite the novelty.

Though one thing I have noticed about the college aged knitting crowd, at least at my college which I realize may not be representative, is that though they see knitting as something cool, they still reject what they think of as the “traditional” aspects of knitting. A friend of mine who’s kind of a hipster outright refuses to follow patterns. She makes things up as she goes along and ends up with strange things like a bag knitting with homespun, regular yarn, and magnetic tape from a cassette.

I haven’t had many opportunities to KIP outside of the college bubble, so I don’t know what the general public thinks of a 20-year-old knitting socks.

I have never received a “negative” comment. Only “I would never have the patience to do that”.

This made me think of the story in Yarn Harlot…have any of you read it? Where she’s in the hospital and the woman comments that she’d “never be able to do that” and when SPM looks at her name tag, she sees that she’s a brain surgeon? A freaking brain surgeon, saying she just couldn’t do it… :roflhard:

I’ve been an “out knitter” from the beginning. I was knitting when I was 11 and people thought it was so cute that I was knitting. I do remember getting odd looks when I was knitting in my 20’s (realize that was 20 years ago LOL!) Now in my 40’s people don’t take much notice other than the fact that I’m knitting in funky colors with cool fibers or making odd looking things (try knitting a breast in public :roflhard: )

I think that the stereotype is quickly changing thanks to books like “Stitch 'n Bitch” which is geared towards the younger crowd, simply because of its name appeal. And I’ve also noticed that places like Target have quite a few knitting kits in their craft area now that are marketed towards the teen and twenty-somethings.

Of course if you go to my LYS and see the ladies sitting around there knitting, you would think that old ladies are still the only ones knitting. Oh and we all know that men never knit, right? Or if they do they are all gay. I know more straight men that knit IRL than straight women! :roflhard: