men who love knitting

I wonder if these Los Angeles firefighters really were knitting? I don’t recall where I found this photo, but if anyone knows its history, please enlighten me?

There are many men who knit for real.

Here’s Ryan, who is studying for a PHD in 20th century art history at Princeton. When he’s not studying he knits with gusto and designs for a yarn company.

Knitting while sunbathing is impressive. I wonder if he knits in the movies? Probably.

Of the men who don’t knit, there are two categories:

Support and Hindrance

Supporters are those who love that their partners have a hobby and never EVER complain about how much they spend on yarn.

They do things like this:

Michel (Jean Louis Trintignant), the patient guy who marries flirtatious Juliette (Brigitte Bardot) in Roger Vadim’s classic  movie  “….and God Created Woman”, helps his mother wind her skein of yarn while his jealous, macho older brother skulks. Nice guys finish first!

and sweetness is rewarded.


This man is most likely to complain about how much his partner spends on yarn and he usually has an expensive hobby himself, like motorbikes, cars, boats, golf, or ski-ing to name a few.

He might also be prone to jealousy. Of your knitting, that is. He’d prefer it if you spent all your time cuddling him instead of counting stitches.

[disclaimer: even if your partner is the most patient Supporter type, it’s advisable to put down your knitting once in a while just to show your appreciation]

But even the complainer is not as bad as the man who tells his partner that knitting makes her/him look OLD. This man is more than a hindrance. He’s a Saboteur!

I’d never thought about men’s attitudes toward knitting until I heard this complaint for the first time from a woman who was learning to knit. I felt sad for her knowing that she would probably not continue to knit, and grateful that the men in my life, father, husband, son, daughters’ boyfriend, all understand the benefits of knitting, not the least of which is the thrill of making something yourself!

The Saboteur needs to ponder this:

When I met David he asked me a question: are you sane because you knit or do you knit because you’re sane?  I had to give it some thought and I’m not sure of the answer. But I’m glad he asked.

10 Responses to “men who love knitting”

  1. frangipani Says:

    Loved reading this. I had a quiet chuckle to myself. Thankfully I have men in my life who are supporters:)

  2. Jessica Says:

    The firefighters photo was most likely to promote knitting for the troops during WWII. Susan Strawn’s Knitting America covers a lot about the wartime knitting effort.

  3. Nicky Says:

    My husband even buys yarn for me !!
    Sometimes the colors arent what I would choose, but the thought is defianatly what counts.

  4. Ellen M Says:

    Hi Mel,
    I used that photo years ago when I first started my knitblog.
    I found it on the Los Angeles Public Library website.
    It’s from 1917.

    Here’s all the info about it:

  5. Karen Wilson Wehrle Says:

    My man is a supporter of knitting. It took him awhile to realize the importance of it to me, but now he’s there. He never, ever wears a sweater and he has toenails like scimitars, so I can’t see knitting him socks. That leaves hats, mittens and gloves. He loved a pair of mittens with the forefinger separated from the rest–a glove/mitten hybrid. Hmm, been awhile since he scored something off the needles. Better get busy.

  6. Mel Says:

    Thanks, Ellen, for the info on the Firefighter photo!

  7. MarieAngel Says:

    Luckily my mate has been exposed to knitting and crochet for most of his life. His mother was an amazing knitter, he still has the sweaters she made for him years ago (she passed away 9 years ago) and still wears them.
    So when I picked up knitting and crocheting again (had done neither since my early 20’s) I had a supportive and cheering husband next to me. He will even ask me if we need to stop by second hand stores (I buy most of my yarn at those) to check for yarn for me.
    He also has asked about yarn types, needles, why use this and not that over the years. I keep offering to teach him how to knit or crochet since he often complains he has no other hobby but reading, but he still needs some extra convincing. I’m patient :)

    I also am very lucky to have a daughter who is an enabler. She regularly checks the local 2nd hand stores where she lives for yarns for me and always shows up with several trash bags filled to capacity. I don’t know anyone else who can walk into a 2nd hand store and find the gems like she does. 7 skeins of mohair for 2$ as an example.


  8. Susie-F Says:

    Great post! Made me smile… and LOVE the vintage image

  9. Trish Andersen Says:

    Oh Mel I miss our chats so. Being in LA isn’t the same without you. I love the blog and will be checking in more frequently! Glad you weren’t shaken to bits…. missing you even more now Trish

  10. Rusty Boyd Says:

    I am a man who knits, married to a woman who knits, with a daughter who knits. My 5 year old son is not keen on knitting (yet) but loves to visit alpaca farms with me.

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