Friday, March 26, 2010

Knitting is for Men Too!

Last night my husband tried his hand at knitting and the skies did not darken, the earth did not shake, nor did a loud voice come from the heavens intoning "Men Shall Not Knit." It all came about when my husband, the stamp collector, reminded me that I had promised to make him a felted pad to lay his damp watermark revealed stamps upon until they were dry. I had made this rash promise in my new knitter zeal and had actually cast on his project but as I had quickly bypassed straight stockinette scarves in favor of socks and sweaters I had scornfully tossed it aside. I was knitting on my lace scarf when he reminded me of this promise and as I was on a rather tricky part I remarked that "he could learn to knit and make it himself". This comment was met with injured silence whereupon I told him that plenty of men knit and this project was very easy. He was not convinced but when I reminded him that I shared his hobby (stamp collecting) he agreed to give it a try.

Knowing I only had one shot at this, I quickly laid down my lace scarf and rooted through my project baskets until I found the discarded project. Apparently at one time or the other I must have needed the needles because it was laying in the bottom of the basket without needles. Luckily the yarn was a worsted weight corriedale natural wool and the loops were still there waiting for the needle even after 2 years! I slid them onto size 10 bamboo Clovers and began the novel experience of teaching my husband to knit.

Having crocheted for many years, when I learned to knit I naturally held the yarn in my left hand so I knit Continental style. I knit a few stitches to show him how to hold the yarn and needles and handed it over. While he was able to hold the needles and understood the process, he had a little difficulty with the actual process so I showed him the English or throwing style. This method is tricky for me as I don't knit this way but he tried it. After 4 stitches my husband conceded defeat and decided that he didn't like knitting. While this may seem like a futile effort, in fact I am very proud of my husband. He took the time to actually try to learn and has a greater understanding and appreciation for my knitting efforts. He earned brownie points in the "wonderful husband" category and while I didn't promise to quickly knit his pad, I did promise to work a few rows every night before I continue on my fun projects.

You might have noticed the pictures I chose for this post. The first, "The Manly Art of Knitting", is an actual 64 page booklet published in 1972. I have fond memories of the Marlborough Man commercials that appeared on TV when I was a child. While I didn't smoke then or now, I had a secret crush on the cowboy. How wonderful it would have been to see him knitting instead of smoking! The second photo is Cary Grant learning to knit and is a scene from the movie Mr. Lucky. In my opinion there isn't a more suave manly man than Cary Grant unless it was the image of my husband with knitting needles.