What would you think if you saw a man knitting in public?

Absolutely nothing, because I’m not stupid enough to think men can’t, or shouldn’t, knit.

Men have always knitted. It’s likely that knitting was invented by shepherds – men herding sheep. In the medieval era, men completed a 7-year apprenticeship to become professional knitters in men-only guilds. The Moorish knitter who created the silk pillows in the grave of Spanish prince Ferdinand de la Cerda was probably a man:

Back and front of silk pillow from the grave of Spanish prince Ferdinand de la Cerda

The first knitting machine, in 1589, was invented by William Lee, a man. Sailors and soldiers have knitted, at sea and in the trenches. Most haute couture knitwear designers, even in recent history, have been male:

Kaffe Fassett:

Wedding dress by Jean-Paul Gaulthier
Wedding dress by Jean-Paul Gaulthier

My uncle became a globe-trotting mining engineer not because of his education, but because he could cook, sew and knit, and therefore could be sent to uninhabited regions of the world without female support. My father, a lorry driver and former amateur heavyweight wrestler, won prizes for his lace knitting:

My father and I at my PhD graduation.
My father and I at my PhD graduation.

My younger brother learned to knit before I did, and can still knock out a decent pair of socks.

So, if I saw a man knitting in public, I might ask what he was making or which pattern he was using, ask what his Ravelry name was, and give him mine.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s