Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Repost from my Fiber Arts Blog on Why Don't Men Knit

Recently another photographer invited me to join a survivalist group on Flickr called Self Reliance For Survival.
As I was contemplating about what appropriate photos I could add, I thought spinning would be a good one. Then I thought about a topic that kind of chaps my hide, so to speak.
Many times when I'm knitting or crocheting or doing other fiber arts, men will walk by and roll their eyes and say something like, "um, knitting, or hmpf quilting, my wife does that." And then they'll go back to working on their knife or their bow or their atlatl darts. Very few of the men say, "Wow, you can knit. Can you show me how?" I think it's happened once and I even remember the guy who said it.
And no, he wasn't gay. He's one of our best archers and teachers.

So what's the deal guys? Don't you realize that to be a true survivalist you need as many fiber skills as you can master? You can't always rely on a deer walking by so you can shoot it, and skin it to make clothing or shelter.

With knitting or crochet or weaving you can make coats, blankets, hats, socks, gloves, shelters, slings, bow socks, hammocks, and so much more. With quilting you can take old clothes, save the good bits and make new blankets and jackets and vests. If you are a big, brave, strong guy are you afraid people will think you are a pansy if you whip out the knitting?

In a bartering society, you might need things you don't know how to make, like butter or candles. You might need to trade for eggs, lye, coffee, or fence posts. If you know how to weave you can make things to trade like baskets, sunhats, mats, potholders. One guy I know made his own hat out of pussywillows.

I hope you men will rethink your attitude towards fiber arts. If you don't want to do them yourself, at least don't belittle the women in your life that do them. They deserve as much respect as a knifemaker or a bowyer. And for you few guys out there that do knit and weave maybe you can convince the other guys you know to give it a try.

Knitted Skull Cap

Crocheting a Raffia Hat

Small woven tapestry

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