Please, understand, the blog post that I am linking to is nearly a full year old. This isn’t fresh news but this post—and the comments—had me ready to throw my laptop through the nearest window.
Debbie Schlussel wrote a charming blog post entitled, “Men, the New Women, Alert: No, Balls of Yarn Are not Cojones.”
Right away, Debbie lets us know her opinion about the way that our society is finally recognizing that non-gendered activities are…non…gendered.
- In my ongoing examination of our society’s largely successful attempt to feminize America’s men (and masculinize the women), I’ve been watching the growing trend of knitting for boys and men.
Because in the past, no menz knit! If you had a Y chromosone in the Good Old Days, knitting just burst into flames in your hands!
- The latest point on this downward decline of masculinity is the book, “Knitting With Balls: A Hands-On Guide to Knitting for the Modern Man.”
Yes, because it is better to have men attach their masculinity to abitrary activities like woodworking or car repair, rather than have the confidence to be a manly man and knit. The logic that says that men are sooo tough that they will crumble if they knit or sew baffles me. You’re saying at the same time that they’re so tough that they can’t do something.
- The book came out last year, but for some reason–ie., the growing push by stupid mommies to make their boys knit–it’s getting a lot of press now. Gushing press. One of my hometown newspapers raved about it over the weekend. I’m guessing the woman who wrote the review also likes her son to figure skate and is sending him to flight attendant school next.
True story: two of my younger brothers asked me to teach them to knit. I don’t really enjoy teaching people to knit. It’s boring and tedious. But they asked. One of them is working on an orange and white scarf in garter stitch.
However, I think Debbie is showing that SHE HAS BEEN INFLUENCED BY THE MEDIA MAFIA! She used the term, “flight attendant,” and everyone knows that’s just a politically correct term used to replace the term stewardess.
And don’t start that talk about male figure skaters. Everyone knows that those are just a myth.
- Here’s a note for those who mistakenly think knitting is for men: It ain’t. Despite the title of this book, cojones do not equal balls of yarn and two wooden sticks. And the same holds true vice versa.
Omigosh. Can anyone tell me what the heck she meant by that last sentence? But, let’s continue with the making-fun-of-this-sad-woman. I’m not normally no-holds-barred, but this woman is just sad, sad, sad.
- If you’re a scientist in a remote Antarctic camp of all men studying the extreme cold and you need a new scarf or hat, then knitting is okay. But, other than that, if you’re a guy, don’t scratch that itch. Knitting ain’t very manly.
So like, if women aren’t around to do that womanly stuff for you, and, uh, you’re far away from where chicks can see you, and uh, you’re gonna die from cold, you can like, totally knit. But otherwise, SQUELCH THOSE KNITTERLY URGES!
- Just an observation. If you must knit, the jockstrap does not fit.
See, if you don’t fit into an extremely moden and limited perspective on masculinity, your men parts shrivel up and fall off. Step away from the cashmere, wool and knitting needles, buddy! It’s for your own good. It’s a wonder yarn store owners don’t post warnings on this stuff!
- For the record, I do knit. Or did. Takes waaaaay too long to make anything decent. It’s strictly for the very bored, IMO.
And here’s where every knitter realizes that Debbie was just playing with us all along. Because she doesn’t just think that men knitters are pansies, any knitters are just bored, sad little people that need real hobbies like…like…other stuff!
The comments range from crazy to very satisfying, like the Desert Storm Veteran that posted this amazing response:
‘beg forgiving for delving a bit deeper past the main subject, but…
Where in the world do you get off insulting someone’s way of raising her child?
…and well, if you really want to get off on that whole masculine thing…go ahead and insult some man’s mother and her choice of raising him — to his face…or is it just that you’d rather be more comfortable doing so hiding behind a keyboard and computer screen?
I was taught how to knit by my grandmother, who survived the Great Depression and lived through WWII…without the help of any man, but yet holding her own — great gods, where would all these manly men be without Rosie the Riveter?
I was taught to knit at the age of 5, and have been knitting ever since — even through my time serving in the military AND Operation Desert Storm.
…and if I may be so bold, I see that you support Veterans, at least from what I see from all of the Veterans’ blogs links that you have posted — please tell me, a proud Veteran, who KNIT HIS WAY THROUGH THE FEWEST OF SPARE MOMENTS WHILE FIGHTING AND SURVIVING DESERT STORM to help remind you of the freedoms that you have to wantonly insult our mothers and our upbringing; please tell me of my decline of masculinity.
Please, by all means tell the WORLD as you are right now.
I think I’ve earned my right to knit. I think I’ve earned my right to do whatever I want to do.
What have you done to earn your right to mis-use and abuse the freedoms you take for granted?”
Can I hear a chant of MAJOR (CENSORED) SLAP, yo!
There are some crazy comments, like this one by a self-dubbed, “JasonBourne81″:
- Debbie,This is a major fad today. As a 25 year old man of today, I am being constantly assaulted by the fad of men my age thinking it is cool to be effeminate. The whole pink/lavender/pastel colored shirt thing really gets to me. I find it truly offensive to the senses to see other men wearing that nonsense.
This whole knitting thing is probably being foisted on these poor, young boys by domineering, feminazi mothers who want to let their child “explore his individuality” by doing this, even though the kid probably begs for a toy gun or GIGOEs, only to be told “no, that encourages and excacerbates our violent gun culture.” The boys father is probably an ultra-metrosexual, wet noodle pansy who either sees nothing wrong with the sissification of his son or else is too under the thumb of the domineering feminazi wife to say anything about it.
The key word here? Feminazi. This is when anyone with a radio knows where this genius gets his info. Some racism follows from sonomaca.
- I wonder if all those Muslim male youths in Dearbornistan are at home knitting? Somehow I doubt it.
Trust me, though, go and read the comments. There are some GREAT stories from people with knitting fathers and grandfathers, male knitters and more. This lady is sad, sad, sad. But knitters are great.
Too bad Debbie doesn’t have a hobby like, you know, knitting. Then maybe she wouldn’t post such ignorant and hate-filled blog posts.
I’ve flirted with crochet. I’ve got a nice set of about 5 or 6 hooks, and I’ve learned, to date: foundation crochet and single crochet.
However, the 2008 fall issue of Interweave Crochet may change all of that for me. There’s a special reason that I knew that I had to buy this issue, even if I hated all the patterns, and that is because there’s an article written by one of my teen crafting buddies, Chelsea! She’s an avid crocheter with a great blog at crochetcollection.blogspot.com. And at the preview of the issue, there’s a little blurb about it!
Give a Girl a Hook:
By Chelsea Norquay
The making of a teenage crochet entrepreneur.
I cannot wait to read the article. The magazine is slated to come out on the 30th of September and OMIGOSH. OK, I know that most of my readers are knitters. My crochet skills are lacking. BUT OMIGOSH! This issue is crammed with amazing patterns that are totally kicking the idea of traditional crochet (ie: thick, frumpy) out the window! Here are some of my personal favorites.
The Northen Dreams Pullover
Seriously, this is a very sexy sweater. Slender, clinging lines and very cute colorwork on the toke. No insult meant to crocheters, but I would never have pegged this as crochet at 20 feet. I just haven’t seen this kind of crochet sweater before, although I have looked.
The Woodland Shawl
This may be the pattern that I end up crocheting. The colors remind me strongly of Michele Orne Rose’s ‘Spice Market Wrap’ which also uses Manos del Uruguay, but without the intarsia headache. It’s a cute, flirty little shawl that manages to avoid the gigantic, old fashioned look that frightenes me a little when it comes to shawls, knitted or crocheted. I’m quite short (about 5, 5/12) so a big shawl could really dwarf me.
The Driftwood Cap
Yes, I know, I know! I already have too many hats! Stop looking at me that way!
Finest Hops Bag
This design is by Annie Modsitt and it is just made of cute.
This is another sweater that uses Lorna’s Laces new green line, in the DK weight. It may be just the color that’s drawing me, but it’s still a very graceful looking sweater.
And there are more, more and MORE designs that are just lickable. Click here for the full preview. There’s this great brown and pink lace muffler called the Austen Lave Muffler and—I need to shut up, just go look!
There’s this legendary guy in the Ravelry group, Thrifty Knitters. Seriously, everyone there pretty much hates him for his serious skillz in finding all kinds of neat knitting stuff—needles, knitting machines, yarn, all that good stuff. Well, we don’t hate him, but we sure envy him. Well, I think I made a pretty good find myself at a used booksale over the weekend.
Every time that I look for knitting books at thrift shops or different places, I see the Sad Evidence Of A Prehistoric Cross-Stitch Craze, Akin To The Tulip Mania In Holland. If I wanted, I could have built myself 3 or 4 houses out of the millions of cross-stitch books that I run across. This also applies to quilting books, but to a lesser degree. Apparently, knitters hang onto their books with a lot more tenacity than the Crazed Cross-Stitchers of the 1980s.
However, sometimes I’m lucky. At this booksale, by the time that I reached the craft books, women jammed the aisle. Apparently, moving aside wasn’t one of their strong points, even if it was just to let someone pass them by. I don’t expect someone to give me their spot in a crowded place but if you stand in the same spot for 15 minutes and don’t move a few inches so I get past you, it gets a little irritating. Let’s say that my frantic impatience was exacerbated by the fact that I was on the exact opposite end of the aisle from the knitting books.
However, when I got there….holy moly!
As I started to pull book after book off the shelf, I started to get some odd looks at the giant pile that started to grow on the floor. This was incredible. And I left books there, too. Weaving books, some crochet books, one or two knitting books I already had, etc. I’ll list my haul, for lack of a better way to communicate my delirious joy. Keep in mind, none of these cost over $5.
- 2—yes, 2—copies of the old hardcover edition of Barbara Walker’s first treasury.
- Knitting For Peace
- Spinning Wool: Beyond the Basics
- Color in Spinning
- A Dyer’s Garden
- Teen Knitting Club
- Homespun, Handknit
- Spinning and Weaving with Wool
- New Directions in Fair Isle Knitting (older edition
- Fair Isle Knitting, by Sarah Don
- 6 ‘Threads’ magazines with knitting/dyeing articles for $2
- 1999 Intweave Knits magazine for 10 cents
I also (accidentally) picked up 4 issues of a Canadian machine knitting magazine called Knitwords. I didn’t realize that it was about machine knitting. I will probably destash these, along with my extra copy of the Barbara Walker treasury. I have a younger sister who views my knitting book collection as her personal enemy, which means that I can’t afford to keep any books that I don’t absolutely love or need!
Anyway, I feel like that was a pretty good find. Take that, Thrifty Man on Ravelry!
Gnomes are stealing my darning needles.
That seems the most reasonable explanation. I have bought 2 of these handy, blunt-tipped needles from my local yarn store. The third time, when I explained that I had lost yet another needle? Pat looked at me sympathetically and told me to just keep this third needle, no charge.
I’m not sure what the gnomes are doing with 3 darning needles. Given the sheer amount of crap under my bed, they could be constructing little gnome houses. Actually, there could be entire gnome village under there and I would never know. It’s been awhile since I checked. Maybe darning needles make good support beams?
I have also blamed gnomes for stealing several halves of straight needles that I have but oddly, they always turn up after I’ve bought a replacement pair. I have 3 pairs of size 7 needles and I am not joking. They don’t steal yarn or circular needles of any kind, but I’m starting to feel a little uneasy. Maybe it’s a good thing that I keep the yarn in a tub with a snap lid.
You know…just in case.
There’s nothing quite as…bracing…as pulling into a lane of traffic and suddenly, your car won’t move.
I wasn’t driving. But about 2 hours from our house this past Thursday, our car’s tranmission decided to quietly implode. Luckily, we managed to get the car to sputter on for about a mile longer (my mom waving cars around us) and we pulled off the nearest exit. You’ll realize how bad it is when I explain that the fact that the exit inclined downwards helped.
At the end of the exit, the car just stopped, wouldn’t continue. So everyone got out (minus the driver!) and we pushed the car a short way down the road to the nearby gas station. It was drizzling lightly. Fun for all at the Broken Transmission Festival!
We got a tow, and a very kind police officer gave us a ride to the the nearest car repair shop. Then, the waiting. First, deciding what to do with the broken car. Then, renting a car. And then just sitting and sitting.
Fortunately, I came prepared. Seascape-wrap-in-progress? Check. Fully loaded mp3 player with lots of knitting podcasts? Check. Fresh triple A batteries? Check.
Let’s put it this way, the chairs in car repair shop offices are not built for comfort. They’re the kind of utilitarian plastic chairs that are hauled out at special church functions when the preacher expects that the annual preaching-fest will bring in more people than usual. IE: comfortable for about 5 minutes. Then you spend the rest of the time fidgeting and looking as if you felt horribly guilty, although it’s more related to the pain in your backside than your regret over your sins.
However, I put in my earbuds and started knitting my lace. I have to periodically delete everything on my player if I want to listen to anything new, because I only have 1 gig of space.
I kept hearing about this knitting podcast called Knitmore Girls, so last night I downloaded a bunch of episodes. One important thing is that they’re still podcasting currently. I refuse to start listening to old knitting podcasts that have been abandoned and there are a lot of them. They’re up to episode 17 and you can check out the Knitmore Girls podcast right here.
Gigi and Jasmine are a mother-daughter podcasting team and it’s a lot less boring than that may sound. In episode 12, the one I started with, they interviewed Franklin Habit, blogger and author of the upcoming knitting book, It Itches: A Stash Of Knitting Cartoons. (Here’s a preview: there are also essays in this book as well as cartoons!)
Interview is probably too much of a clinical term for this; it was a very charming, chatty episode. With all this time on my hands, I knitted 22 rows of lace and listened to a few more episodes. I would start with maybe a slightly later episode, not the first few, because they’re a little less smooth and professional, so maybe you should work your way backwards. In any case, it’s a carefully structured knitting podcast that is definitely kept focused on the knitting, with a lot of spinning talk from Jasmine (the daughter) advice from Gigi, (the mother) socks, yarn, and lots and lots of book reviews!
I can see why so many people talked about this podcast; it’s very well done and I’m looking forward to listening more. Also, since it helped me to retain my sanity while waiting, I must give it credit for that—there isn’t that much that can do that in this sad, bad world.