Man Made: are you man enough?

March 20, 2013

 For a long time my knitting ambition was to destroy stereotypes around the craft. To demonstrate that it wasn't simply for old people. That knitting is a pursuit for everyone, that the patterns are no longer awful and the yarn no longer scratchy. Knitting is a meditative pursuit that brings many great joy.

In line with this ambition, I want to prove that knitting isn't the exclusive domain of women. It's not. I know a bunch of men who knit. No, they aren't all gay. I've heard stories of husbands who took up knitting to deal with the stress of PhD study; men who spun yarn for their wives to knit up into jerseys. Men were the original master knitters - as with artists, carpenters and weavers, knitting used to be an industry populated by professional men and governed by a guild system. 

So. The challenge is on - is it possible to destroy another stereotype? Are men 'man enough' to knit? 

To be honest, i'm extremely skeptical. They say 'build it and they will come' - but will they? Is the average New Zealand man ready to pick up sticks and string and make fabric? Ready to accept that knitting is a craft for everyone? 

Man Made is a series of 6 sessions, covering all the basics (and then some) of knitting. Taught by Mike Dickison - a man knitter, ukulele player and bird expert. There will be craft beer. And finger food. And the tools you need will be supplied.

Prove me wrong. As much as I want to be optimistic and think we can get this series fully subscribed, I doubt it. I don't think men are up to it. I don't believe the average man has the balls to help prove that gender associations with knitting are a load of rubbish.

Here's the details anyway:

Wednesday evenings 7pm - 9pm

Holland Road Yarn Company, 281 Jackson St, Petone

May 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 and June 5

Tools, beer and finger food will be provided.

$40 for 4 sessions ($10 for extra sessions)

And to make it easy for you, it's possible to book online. No scary day time shop trip necessary.



Makaira said:

I am up for your challenge! I’ve already knitted my Dad a waistcoat, but that was a while ago. I’ll see if I can make it on Wed nights.

Mike Dickison

Mike Dickison said:

Looking forward to proving you wrong, Tash! I predict we’ll be swamped by knitting chaps: hipsters, farmers, blokes of all kinds. Every man in New Zealand needs a woolly hat, after all, and the only way to exactly the right one is to knit it yourself.

Holland Road Yarn Co

Holland Road Yarn Co said:

Awesome Makaira! Even if you have done a bit of knitting before, you’ll be more than welcome & i’m sure you’ll still learn something :)

One of Your Regular's Man

One of Your Regular's Man said:

This sounds like total fun. Unfortunately, I’m already busy Wednesday with other Manly things!

Dale Jackson

Dale Jackson said:

I am a male knitter, spinner, weaver, etc. in the USA. Sorry, I can’t make your sessions but would love too!!!


Dayle said:

Great initiative! Hope it’s successful.
I must say, though that I’m a 39 year old woman and I’m out to “destroy stereotypes around the craft” as well but on the crochet front. Been doing that for a while. One challenge still remains – quite a few embarrassing and daggy crochet patterns coming out in modern magazines. What are they thinking?! They’re usually promoted as ‘quick and easy’, so that now translates to ‘ugly and poorly fitting’. So, good luck with the StiX guys!
DayleSnail, a “Crafty Creatrix”

Mike Dickison

Mike Dickison said:

And here’s more information on ManMade, if people want it:


Kent said:

Hey Mike,
I really wanted to join this but was busy with other stuff at the time. Wondering if it was successful and whether it might be something you might run again, if so I ’d be really excited to join in.

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