Wednesday, October 07, 2009

More guys and purls

It's the story that keeps on giving. A local newspaper article about a LYS's knit night for men was picked up by the AP and been rewritten many times, often with drastically different takes on the information. (I wrote about it here.)

New angles on the story range from news of the weird to proof that men aren't interested in knitting because there aren't that many attending. All of the nuance in the original piece tends to get eliminated. Guys! Knitting! Beer! Swearing! (What, no mention of spitting, scratching, and groin adjusting?)

Tonight one of my fellow knit night-ers mentioned being at a party at which this article was a topic of conversation. It sounded as though the reaction to the men's knit night, which I've never attended, was one of amusement more than anything.

In a conversation with my boss today there was a throwaway mention about meaningless news stories about little old ladies knitting. It wasn't a condescending remark, but it reinforced to me how knitting is perceived in general. (Obviously he has no idea that I knit and, in fact, had my current WIP in a bag in my office.)

Look, I realize that it is not common for men to knit and that the conventional wisdom says the hobby is only practiced by grandmothers. Prior to picking up the needles I thought pretty much the same way. I don't expect that how people perceive knitting and who does it will change, and I'm not particularly concerned about that. After all, I knit in public.

But could we at least come to an understanding that just because something doesn't interest you doesn't automatically make it worthless to everyone else? Also, in my experience, beer and swearing has been present at knit nights I've attended with women. Such features might make a men's knit night sound more masculine, but I don't expect it's all that different.

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