Saturday, July 25, 2009

Does Russell Crowe knit?

An article about knitting's origins and its celebrity-credited resurgence ticks off plenty of familiar names from stage and screen who've expressed fondness for the needlecraft.

Once again I see the same picture and claim that "even" Russell Crowe knits. Honestly, I've always been pretty skeptical of this information. The repetition of it--based on a photo shoot picture? a single internet story? wishful thinking?--hasn't inspired any more confidence in its veracity.

As an image--the temperamental tough guy indulging a fondness for a hobby associated with old ladies--it holds a lot of affirming power for men and women who knit. If Crowe is a knitter, then how knitting must be masculine and worthy of one's time, right? (Yes, I realize this opens up an entire can of worms about gender and the marginalization of female domains, but in this case I use "worthy of one's time" because clearly the suggestion of Crowe being a knitter means something to some women.)

But is it true? There's an anonymous source who claims Crowe knits, although the 2004 item reads more like gossip column fodder. (The publication doesn't inspire tons of confidence either.) This 2001 article might be the genesis of all the other mentions of Crowe as a knitter. At first I thought it might provide a definitive answer to the mystery, but notice that there isn't even an unnamed source.

A commenter to a 2007 story tries to shoot down the knitting Crowe rumor. While there's no reason to put any stock in what this person says, I'm more inclined to believe her than pieces that seem to have passed along this as fact like in a game of telephone. Why, here's a June 12, 2009 story that makes the same flimsy statement that Crowe is a knitter.

Best as I can tell this rumor has been going around for eight years, but of the articles I've pulled up, none come straight from the horse's mouth...or even anyone with a name. Of course, short of the unlikely prospect of interviewing him myself, I'll not come upon a definitive answer. Perhaps one of my readers or her husband might straighten this all out if the opportunity arises.

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