Monday, October 18, 2010

Male Public Knitting

Last post I was working on my Red Scarf Project contribution. It just so happens that I am still unfortunately working on the very same project. In attempting to diagnose the factor responsible for my lack of progression, time restraints were the first to emerge. Although I recognize that some truth exists with a lack of time, as I am a busy person often surviving on four or fewer hours of sleep a night, I find it frustrating when individuals complain about time availability. So instead of letting myself fall to the same ill behavior that I often find so inexcusable, I decided to dissect my daily time regiment and see where possible knitting opportunities elude me. I narrowed the task by assigning opportunities during the day where knitting would be viable. More specifically, times during the day where my hands were unoccupied and my visual attention could be devoted to knitting needles. I soon discovered that most of the situations where these criteria were met happened to be on campus during class, lunch, and inter-dispersed downtime. To many knitters, these small opportunities are golden moments of productivity that transform limited spare time into an item of fruitful labor. So why do I not join in on utilizing these precious spare instants?

Simply put, I’m a closet knitter.

I have yet to actually knit in public. I only knit in the privacy of my home. Which, although I live in a fraternity house where privacy in limited, I am at least surrounded by those who I feel family-comfortable around. When I first started to knit for this class, I was very proud of my newly acquired skill and I had no shame practicing the craft as a male. I expected to march on campus, needles in hand, and knit my way through the semester. But now I sit here halfway finished with the semester and I have yet to grace the campus with my presence while knitting. I still have no shame of knitting as a guy, but yet I am often stationed in the student center, relaxing post meal with my partially finished scarf sitting in my bag, and consciously choose not to work on it. At this point in the day, knitting should be a relaxing escape where pressures of class and upcoming assignments melt away.

I would like to think that I am not nervous of judgment as a male knitter but subconsciously I must be. I would otherwise knit in public frequently. Through Ravelry I have observed groups such as S.M.A.C.K (Straight Men Also Crochet & Knitting) and Men Who Knit (fellows who love the fibers: for those of us with a Y-chromosome) that promote knitting

within the male gender. Some even go as far as attempting to connect the opposite sex through knitting. Despite this positive male influence, I still have yet to gather the courage to knit publically on campus. Our newest knitting service project, Conway Cradle Care, has not been introduced to Craft Wisely yet but it involves an afternoon where we knit openly on campus. Although it will be a new experience, I actually look forward to this opportunity to group knit in public, I feel that it will serve as a perfect opportunity to break my private knitting habits. On that note, I extend a question to any possible readers. What would you think if you spotted a male knitting in public? Would you have a certain default perception of sexuality? Do you have any enjoyed skills/crafts that you won’t perform in public?

1 comment:

  1. If a saw a male knitting in public, I might have some curiosity about him, but I would try not to make judgments or assumptions. People just need to see it more. Make yourself public. If enough people, not just men or women could knit in public, no one would even notice after a while. Except for fellow knitters, who may sit down and join you for a few stitches and some conversation.

    You are doing great things with knitting. It is a beautiful skill. Flaunt it.