Friday, June 29, 2012

Myth Bustin'

I was reading a thread on the Ravelry forums about a YouTuber who got seriously offended when someone corrected him on the statement that "No girls of this generation knit".  The YT comments were hard to follow, but I also noticed that some people were under the assumption that if a man knits, he must be gay, and they were very confident in that assumption.

Some people just hate to be told they're wrong, I guess.  But as I've said before, I hate letting people keep going in their wrongness.

So I think it's time to bust some knitting myths.


If you read this blog regularly you know that I'm not an old lady, but apparently some people really cling to the idea that knitting is not a "young" thing to do.  It might be a milder version of how people have a way of convincing themselves that they're right no matter the amount of evidence there is to the contrary, but goodness if it isn't... kinda pathetic.

Like I said, this person in the YouTube conversation was apparently livid that they had been corrected*, that someone dared suggest that their ideas about knitting were wrong.  Kinda fascinating.

Anyway, no, there is no minimum age you must be before you can start knitting.  I was not the only one in my circle of friends in high school who knit, but at 17 I was the latest to get on the bandwagon.

17 is not old-lady age. :P


"Okay," the ignorant person might say, "so young women knit too.  But they're still all women, right?  I mean, knitting is a girl thing."
He's using double-pointed needles, too.  Skillz.
Au contraire, hypothetical person who can't talk back unless I let them, men not only knit, but back in the day men were the elite professional knitters.  In Medieval Europe, men could join knitting guilds and study for six years, completing their training with a massive knit carpet.  Women only did knitting for domestic things, while men were earning money with it.  It's like the culinary arts until very recently; both men and women were "allowed" to cook, but men did so as chefs in professional settings while women did so at home.  Gag.

And for those who say "Well surely that's changed now, and only women knit!", I point them to the 1940s, when older veterans no longer fit for military service and Boy Scouts took up their needles and knit socks for soldiers fighting in World War II.  Knitting men didn't stop there, either.  Today, it's just another practical skill that many take up when making one's own clothes is necessary; and if it's not necessary because this is Amerkuh and everyone's rich enough*** to be able to buy clothes that are already made, there's always Knitting with Balls.


Oh, right, because knitting is girly and only gay men do girly things.

Bleh.  Okay, seriously, "gay" doesn't equal "girly" and "knitting" doesn't equal "girly," either.  These things are all independent of each other.  While yes, most of the men I know who knit are gay, that doesn't mean all knitting men are gay.  So drop the heterosexism and pick up some needles and challenge masculinity, dude.


This is a hard one to break because, when you go to the book store, the majority of knitting books have things that frankly aren't appealing to a young punky/hippie/artsy person like me.  It's a lot of stuff for babies (and I don't have any babies as far as I'm aware) or women who like wrapping themselves in bulky sweaters because they're skinny and no amount of bulk is gonna make 'em look fat and I can't have those things and-


I've survived by two things: 1.) Every time I find a fun, funky knitting book, I put it on a wishlist or just buy it, and 2.) If there's a book where a lot of the patterns work well for steampunk, I don't lose hope.  Steampunk has been my saving grace because things that I wouldn't normally consider wearing take on a whole new light when I realize they'd look good in a Victorian ensemble.

But don't take all of this to mean that knitting isn't cool.  Because I can tell you, it is.  Only when people stop knitting string bikinis, fishnet stockings, flame-covered sweaters and spats will I say that maybe knitting is kinda dorky.

Doesn't mean I'll stop, though.

*I couldn't find their actual comment, so I'm going on hearsay** from the Ravelry forums.
**Not the same thing as heresy.
***By global standards, if you have indoor plumbing and electricity, you're rich.

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