Tuesday, April 26, 2011

It's a Guy Thing.... too

It doesn't take a brain surgeon to know that while the professional chef industry may be male dominated, crochet is definitely a girl thing - but does it have to be?

I was pleasantly surprised two weeks ago when I attended my first ever yarn group meet-up that a gent was at the end of the table, knitting away. I believe he was sitting next to his wife, but I am too new to the group to be making assumptions.

I was equally as thrilled a few days ago when my son asked me if I could show him crochet so he could craft at the yarn group too. I didn't think anything of it as I got him started and showed him the half double crochet. (he chose camo yarn... no surprise there).

In the 30 years I have been crocheting, I must admit I have never noticed guys taking up the craft until the last few years, which I personally think is a great thing. Perhaps I didn't notice because I really don't view it as a "girls only club." I may sound like an uneducated oaf to some when I say this: I think that each individual can offer a different perspective to various tasks, and I think that a person's gender can influence his or her perspective. So having "guy eyes" and "girl eyes" on a project could possibly lend way to more creativity than we already have.

*waits for hate mail on the topic*

Anywhoozles - with all of that said, there is still a negative connotate when it comes to males who crochet or knit. Many times these guys are looked on as weaker or effeminate. To this, I say balogna-sauce! Ya know who else would say balogna-sauce?

Mike Rivera.

Who is Mike Rivera? Well, the sports fan would identify him as a 6' 2", 252 pound lineman for the Miami Dolphins who landed himself on the inactive list after getting injured.

However, if you ask the students at Hillcrest Elementary School, they would say he was their crochet instructor 'Michael.'

Yup - tough man is a hooker too.

According to an article posted on ESPN, Rivera is using the NFL lockout time to crochet more. He learned to crochet when he took a trip to Guatamala, where a former classmate was teaching. Rivera is quoted as saying "people say 'crochet, isn't that something old ladies do?' ... Football is masculine and testosterone driven, but I think it shows you can do other things and be well rounded."

People fight stereotypes every day, including myself; however, Rivera's openness and willingness to teach children to crochet is tearing down the walls associated to crochet being 'only for old ladies.'

According to the ESPN article, Rivera does not watch television or play video games. He spends an adequate amount of time volunteering in his community. He volunteers at the Boys and Girls Club and has recently starting teaching crochet. He is even considering opening a shop to sell his crocheted hats as a side project. From the article, it appears that Rivera is taking heed in knowing that he will not be able to play football his entire life. He wants to become a teacher when his football career ends -

Now, the ESPN article doesn't say if he wants to teach crochet or teach in the traditional sense of the word - but either way, if crochet needed an ambassador to show males it is ok to crochet, I think Mr. Rivera is a good first round pick - or hook, as the case may be.

ESPN Website - http://espn.go.com/espn/page2/index?id=6420424
Miami Dolphins Website - http://www.miamidolphins.com/content/mike-rivera


CrochetConcupiscence said...

Great points made in this article. I'm also hearing about boys' crochet clubs called bro-chet clubs!

LyndaGrace said...

My husband is very interested in my knitting projects. He goes with me to the yarn shop and loves to browse around the wool. And as a former math teacher, I often go to him for help with the math parts of a pattern. When I tease him, though, and say: "Comon you know you want to learn how.." he gets all manly on me. "Uh no...I don't have the patience," he gruffly says.

MissH said...

This is a fantastic article! As a teacher I am considering starting a crochet group with my students, and this would be an excellent addition to my stash of things for students to read!
On a side note, my bf is not a hooker, but if very supportive of my crafting abilities, and I his, the last 2 Christmas` he has made his own candles and soap, myself and his family were impressed indeed!

Richard Rose said...

Being a guy that learnt to crochet about 30 years ago I've done a bit of research on this subject and it seems that popular opinion says that men invented knitting and that the first knitters guild in London was all men. If this is the case then there is no reason why we shouldn't continue with the tradition.

Kat said...

How cool is that? And he's mighty cute looking too! I think that's wonderful. No hate mail coming from this sliver of the world. :o)

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