Are we stuck in the dark ages?

This week several things have wound me up in the woolly comunity. Shaming people for spending their money on yarn whilst we are in a pandemic, telling people of colour they have no place in this community and mansplaining how we shouldn’t knit top down sweaters.

But the biggest thing to annoy me this week is the amount of emphasis on past thoughts and opinions of the knitting & crocheting community from big brand yarn companies.

Are we still living in the dark ages and why do so many still think this way? Why do women still put male knitters on some sort of special space as if they are a novelty to our community and when will we stop acting like only old ladies knit?

Spoiler alert MEN knit, Women knit, Non binary people knit, straight people knit, gay people knit, white, people knit, coloured people knit, old people knit, young people knit, left handed people knit and right handed people knit.

We need to move on and we need to do so NOW and the sooner the bigger companies grasp this the better we will all be.

I’ve been a professional knitter for 10 years now, a yarn shop owner for 2 and a knitter in general and yarn obsessed being for 30 years but I am only 36 years of age but yet I am not seen by the big yarn companies. Being in this business for so long I have watched and learnt lots of things from fashion to debates of who do’s and doesn’t belong in this community but these are topics for another day. Today I am going to talk about Men who knit.

Being a yarn shop owner I make it my business to know about other shops, what they do, who they are, their beliefs and who owns/runs them. Right now off the top of my head I can name 5 MALE yarn shop owners who had they been involved with some of the things I have this week would have been completely overlooked simply because of the gender they are.

I follow the trends too and their is a severe lack of Male knitting garments out their something that the lovely Nkki of Ewe Felty thing has also noticed and is trying to do something about so I recommend you go and follow her and her progress. Having seen several companies up coming autumn winter collections it is actually quite crushing to see the lack of male garments. Men deserve nice garments too.

I have several male knitter friends, acquaintances and collegues as well as customers. Some of my favourites to follow on instagram are welsh_tenor (martyn) is lovely and can knock out a yoked sweater as good as any female knitter I know, Georgecullen is an amazingly talented knitter and book maker, mungotwyford (Rusell) is a big fan of Tunnocks biscuits but he is also one of the best knitters I know, he is king of sock knitting and spinning his own wool to knit amazing sweaters. Then you have people like Stephen West (go follow him now) who own a yarn shop, creates fabulous patterns for EVERYONE and is funny. Martin Storey is a fabulous knitter and designer but the Male knitter that always springs to min when I am asked is of course the lovely Kaffe Fassett designer, colour artist, knitter and alround fibre genious. So why are we only ever looking at middle aged woman and thinking that they are our target audience.

It is time to start celebrating every knitter and encouraging more diversity and aknowledging it isn’t just Granny who knits.

Here is my promise to you Male knitters, and you ladies looking for male garments. I will make a concious effort to seek out and display more patterns, knit and display more garments and start making noise about the lack of these to the big companies I deal with.