Saturday, October 5, 2013

On Quicksand and Gifts for Guys

Just a man and his fiber
 I have been participating in the Knitchat Twitter conversations, which are now hosted by Angelia Robinson (@quaternityknits, as well as her website) every Saturday morning at 8:00 am pst/11:00 am est/ 4:00 pm UK time. (Btw, it's a great way to share tips and tricks, as well as bridge the gap between designers and those who stitch purely for fun, and the hour seems to fly by. If you log onto and search under #knitchat, you'll find all the conversations.)
This week's topic was knitting/crocheting for men. I arrived about 30 minutes into the conversation, and my initial tweet exchange went something like this:

@quaternityknitsAngelia Robinson @DeniseVoiedeVie, good morning! What have your made for your guys? #knitchat
@DeniseVoiedeVieDenise Voie de Vie @quaternityknits - not one little thing. EVEH. Too large a minefield for moi. :) #KNITCHAT
Initially, I must apologize to Angelia - didn't necessarily mean to shout the "eveh," and I'm certain it might have been strange to see me entering a conversation concerning a topic on which I seemingly have little to discuss.

However, I actually do have a thing or two to say about this (like, you couldn't tell). Angelia made an earlier vague reference to "the sweater curse," and those of us who are NPR devotees also know the flap about those "scratchy hand-knit sweaters." Knitting for guys is like stepping into quicksand - the more you try and escape unscathed, the deeper into the muck you sink.

I haven't knit anything for any guy because I'm not one for surface gestures and no guy has ever asked me for a handmade piece of clothing or accessory. (Of course we won't discuss all the historical baggage associated with crochet and knit designs for men ... but I digress.) I will also flat out tell you that if any man has ever seen me as that gal who'll patiently sit and knit him socks ... well ... he (and the rest of you) can just forget that. Banish that homespun-Little-House-On-The-Prairie scene from your minds. Especially since it involves ... socks.

However, if my guy was evolved and self-assured enough to point out a design he liked and asked if I would make it, I absolutely would do it. In.A.Heartbeat. I would also hope he'd be open to researching fiber colors with me (and online is fine, I wouldn't subject him to an actual LYS trip) so he could get the piece in colors that would make him happy. Because, you see, dressing and body adornment is a very personal thing. I admit I don't want anyone telling me what I can and cannot wear, so why would I subject someone I supposedly care about to the very thing to which I am so strongly opposed?

So, I will sidestep the fibery quicksand, and if my guy wants something handmade, all he need do is ask. Nicely, of course. And no socks.


  1. Well said. I've been burned one too many times. Respect for the craft and respect for my time are two the things any prospective recipient must demonstrate before I make even a single stitch. A little genuflexion wouldn't hurt either, especially if socks are being requested. ;)

    1. If only I had an appropriate ring to kiss. :)

  2. Ha! I agree, I told Grumpy that I'd buy him socks but I'm knitting them for him. He did fall in love with one particular skein of handspun which he requested that I weave into a scarf. He wears it. Now the matching hat...that was an epic fail.

  3. Hmmm…guy projects. I've knit several, mostly past old Xmas gifts. For my husband, I've done a camo hat and socks. Both are not worn much. The hat probably b/c of Chinese superstition. I do have to say the teacher beanie I had knitted last May is very respected and loved by the fifth grade teacher. He said he's gonna wear it for the spring pictures!

  4. Oh my. Mine has size 12 feet ....US 12.5. NEVAH any socks for him LOL

  5. Agreed. I've made a few things for people who did not appreciate appropriately... all I can say is those were a complete waste of good will... and I wish I still had some of that yarn.

    Although, Hubba has requested and received a hat made my me... he chose the yarn... and wears it proudly.