the Yin Yang Knitter
Contemporary male knitters abound, well, at least are becoming more common. The first male knitter I knew of was Kaffe Fassett, famous for his fabulous colorwork in the decorative arts.
Other than Kaffe, it was not common to hear of men knitters in the late 20th Century. Rosie Greer embroidering? [All Pro defensive lineman, Los Angeles Rams, 1960’s and 70’s] Yes, but knitting…no.
In World War II
Reverse painting on glass collage
During the American Civil War, there was a huge effort to produce knitted goods for soldiers on both sides of the conflict; there is documentation that boys and men were involved in this effort.
Not so surprising when one considers that the first French knitting guilds in the 1300’s were male organizations, and it is likely that knitting came to
In many communities in the
Lauren Weinhold explains her photo, “This gentleman is knitting a hat by the side of the road. I had heard that needles are often recycled bicycle spokes, sharpened to a fine point, and this picture seems to confirm it. Also, his technique is quite different from European circular knitting - he is actually purling every row in the round, working from the outside of the loop, not the inside. This is supposed to be "easier" for the integrated colorwork. It is also a tradition that the working yarn is looped around the neck - it is here, although hard to see. (The end ball is in the small bag near his foot on the ground).“
Annie Modesitt and Drew Emborsky include short bios of 16 male knitters, one of whom learned to knit as a child from his grandmother and another who learned from his wife as a way of spending more time with her. Selected pages are available here.
But men who knit lace, now that’s special. A personal favorite is Jared at Brooklyn Tweed who scaled up a vintage knitted doily pattern
into this jaw-dropping Hemlock Ring Blanket in a lovely manly shade of gray.
He also knit Elizabeth Zimmerman’s Pi Shawl as a blanket,
Montse Stanley’s book, Knitter's Handbook : A Comprehensive Guide to the Principles and Techniques of Handknitting has an illustration of a wonderful pair of Spanish 19th century knitted stockings with inscriptions ‘Jacinta Cabanes’ knitted into one sock and ‘Recuerdo de Vicente’ on the other, recording a gift from a man to a woman.
Were they knitted by Vicente himself? On needles finer than anything readily available today?
Kenny, The Boy Who Knits produces lace shawls
and lace socks. (Photos courtesy of Kenny)
A lovely Spiral Counterpane was knit by Ricke Scott:
He is a member of Men Who Knit, an online community where you can buy Real Men Knit, the DVD.
In The Dining Room at 209
Yknit offers a podcast by WonderMike and Stephen hizKNITS, who describe themselves as "two needle junkies who happen to be men". Episode 5, "Lace in Your Face" interviews Nino Esposito
and Ted Myatt, the Knitter Guy.
Who would have predicted it, all these men who knit? And, men’s knitting retreats are popping up from
[Elizabeth Zimmerman affectionately known among knitters as EZ, revolutionized modern knitting with innovative techniques and patterns in her books and in her knitting series shown on American Public Television. In 1974, she founded Knitting Camp, which continues today under the direction of her daughter.]
Amazing work. Good job, all of you guy knitters, and thank you for the eye candy!
Note from Rachel:
I made a series of reverse painting on glass collage pieces recently. I had found an article on men knitting during World War II and used the images in the collaged pieces. These were inspired by Diane's charity knitting and are available for sale on Etsy. Click on the images for the link.