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July 06, 2006



Those mothers should be ashamed, depriving their boys of the brain training that knitting accomplishes. Both my boys learned to knit in first grade (they are in Waldorf school) and both are good at it. My 8 year old is fundamentally a wildman, except when sitting at my feet knitting with me. He recently mastered the cable cast on and the brioche stitch from watching me. I am planning to help him knit a pair of socks on 5 dpns this summer. (My 11 year old prefers crochet but he's a really good knitter too.) What knitting does for these boys is astonishing. I could go on forever, but probably should use my own semi-abandoned blog to wax more eloquent.


Interesting . . .
For many years, I was a Montessori elementary teacher, and being an avid knitter, I always shared my skills with any of my students who cared to learn. Just as many boys wanted to learn knitting (at age 6) as girls, and to tell the truth, they usually caught on quicker - at that age, they seemed more able to be analytical about what they were doing. Some of my male students continued knitting with me through 6th grade, i.e. age 12, and most of my older students who knew how to knit enjoyed creating patterns as they grew older and acquired more math skills. It is a pity to me that any parent would deny her child such a great learning experience just because of stereotyping.


I am shocked. why not let their son knit? I taught my 12 year old son and he really likes it, even blogs about his knitting. and it's a bit of a chick magnet, not that he really wants that yet.

I just read a blogger who has a son. she complained that he got upset and "screamed like a girl." sigh. dontcha think we'd be beyond that by now?


In England Knitting used to be taught to children in school, starting at the age of 6. This practice was stopped in the 50's but has had a recent revival in some areas and is now becoming quite popular. It increases both manual dexterity and math skills and I believe is being used as therapy for kids who are behind in their studies.
My 14 year old cannot be persuaded to knit, even though I suggested he would be the only boy in the knitting club with lots of girls when he starts high school. He does however show interest in spinning so we'll try that this summer. In the meantime the 14 year old girl next door can't wait to learn.


I taught a bunch of 8th graders to knit while chaperoning a church overnight. ONLY the boys stuck with it long enough to finish projects. I can't believe those moms. I consider the fact that I taught a bunch of 13 year old boys to knit is one of my greatest accomplishments. When I have kids, I fully intend for boys to play with dolls, and girls to have dump trucks, and I will teach ALL of them to knit and sew.


My daughter started home economics class in secondary school here this year and the boys (13 years old) had to take the class, use the sewing machines and cook as well :)


As my husband has told me many times, if I learn how to knit I'll like it too much and I won't tie (fly fishing) flies anymore...So maybe those women are protecting their sons from having to make that hard decision later in life. It is sad that we empower our girls to do so much, but then hold our sons back from exploring anything that interests them.


In Hawaii most middle schools still have "home ec" (though it might not be called that anymore) and both boys and girls have to take it. As well as "shop," one semester each.

Don't these women know it used to be the men-folk who did the knitting? Fishermen KNIT their nets (well, crochetted at any rate).

We teach the young our prejudices and fears...


My younger brother learned to knit about the same time that I did. He made one item and then decided it was more fun to use the power saw.

Funny, I enjoy the compound mitre saw as much as the next guy, but not to the exclusion of knitting!

I think there are still a lot of idiots out there that don't realize the positives of craft other than the actual craft.


your blog is a Treasure Cove! :)
I taught my best friend to knit who taught her sister to knit and she was having great success teaching after school boys & girls (Georgia) to knit until the parents complained about the dangerous needles. stopped all the fun. Could be just plain ignorance. BTW, your "old knitting friend"...she really needs to be stopped, I called the knitting police. no problem


My son (the J-man) is a newly-minted nine-year-old, and loves/begs to knit. I think its wonderful -- builds hand/eye coordination, similar to Legos, and it is very mathematical -- which he loves.


Hey, today my daughter (almost 12) mowed the lawn for her first time & my 7 year old son LOVES to tell everyone that he knits & sews!! My 4 1/2 year old son alway pipes in and says 'I can't knit very well yet, but I'm learning' ..... dd does knit too ... she's making Zib's Roxy Lady right now!!


I really hate that stereotype that it's not manly for guys to knit. I'm a guy, and I don't do sports or the other things that make you manly...and because I enjoy cooking, knitting, etc., I always get labeled as "gay", which really irks me. What the heck is wrong with a guy expressing himself with needles and yarn instead of smashing in some other guys face while wearing face paint and body pads? At least I'm more civilized.


I'm the wrong person to ask since my son signed up for the Princess elective at camp.....

and did you get an e-mail from me!? Colors! Tell!


Frog Tree Pima Silk and Tahki Classic Cotton both seem like they might be good yarn substitutions for Sizzle. Maybe not so shimmery but certainly soft and somewhat drapey. Plus both come in a blue ton of colors and are $5-$6 a ball.

I have no idea what to say about those moms. They certainly inspire head shaking. Don't they know that men who knit are hot? I guess mom's don't want to think about their sons that way. Don't ask me. I only have daughters. My husband knits though and its one of the things that contributes to making him a wonderful guy. Knitting requires, among other things, patience, dexterity, and the ability to manipulate numbers. Why aren't those characteristics any mom would want her son to have???


How about Berroco Soft Twist--it has sheen to it and it should be available cheap as it has been discontinued :).


It is ridiculous! My little boy (he is 4) loves everything that has to do with knitting. He loves to go to yarn shops with me and touch all the yarns. He has even loom knitted alongside me, and he is just waiting to be a little older to get his first pair of knitting needles. I am proud of the little rascal!
I just wish other Moms would feel the same way, but I can see some of them thinking less of men because they knit. It is their loss.
My son and I have a special connection because of our little hobby :).

Elizabeth K

I haven't got any children but I think those moms are being completely silly.


I have 2 boys. That's it for us. So I hope my boys will want to learn. Both my boys, ages 2 & 3, will sit with me and watch me knit. I think it comforts them. My hubby can knit and purl! He just chooses other hobbies. Besides, he says there wouldn't be enough room in our house for both of us to have a stash!


That is why I really wanted a daughter. It seems as if girls can be taught anything, and become anything, and boys are held back.


I'm a psychologist, and I did my doctoral internship at a CD treatment center. My partner-in-crime that year was a great guy (with 15 years of solid sobriety) who was a world-class knitter. (And unambiguously hetero-sexual.)

He learned to knit in the first years of his own recovery, and ran a men's AA/knitting group. He believed *absolutely* that the knitting contributed to wellness, and promoted knitting as a manly skill. He often commented that women were always more interested in him when they found out he was a serious knitter.


PS -- he had three sons, and taught them that knitting was "a total chick magnet - better than a dog".


As soon as I finish my current project, I think I'm going to have a go at Sizzle. :) My plan is to sub with a cotton/acrylic blend from Smiley's... it doesn't have much sheen, but it's called "Luxor," so that counts for something, right?

(Also, I remember the first time I met a guy who knit - he said it helped him get all the ladies. Might not convince the moms it's a good idea, but just wait a few years until Mom can't interfere and you'll probably have a captive audience!)


Some mothers won't let their boys knit. One reviewer at amazon.com called the boy designs in a certain pattern book "kinda sissy". I've heard other women tell their boys to stop "crying like a girl".

Then women wonder why some men are so sexist. HELLOOOOOOO.


Darn tootin'.

I was finishing up a "stash hat" for Dulaan while awaiting my girlie at dance class and another mom with tiny baby and two-to-three-year-old boy in tow sat next to me.

He was TERIFFICALLY interested in what I was knitting, and his mother kept apologizing for his interest. Oy.

He helped me to bind off the final part and finish the crown. Good for you, little man. Keep on keeping on.

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