How long have you been knitting?

1% (4 votes)
Less than 6 months
16% (44 votes)
Less than 1 year
9% (26 votes)
1-2 Years
16% (44 votes)
2-5 Years
15% (41 votes)
5+ Years
44% (123 votes)
Total votes: 282


How is everyone doing? I have enjoyed "needle" crafts for a long time. I learned to crotchet, and do counted cross-stitch years ago. I am now 38, married with three daughters. I gave up much of my needlework when I thought it was not the thing a man should least not out in the open. My mother-in-law is an avid knitter or at least she use to be, but it has become difficult for her now that she is almost 80. About 6 years ago I decided I wanted to learn. I had loved to crochet, but all I ever made was afghan's, and most items seemed too bulky. None of my mother-in-laws five daughters had any interest in learned, so I figured I would. She was a great teacher, and loved being able to show someone. Well, as time progressed, I have made sweaters (baby & adult), mittens, socks, scarves, hats, and purses; just about anything, that catches my eye. I am really enjoy making vintage work, mostly from the 1940s and 1950s. With updated colors and yarns, they come out very nice. As time has progressed, and (cough…cough) I have become older I now knit in public, usually bring socks along with me whereever I go. Like has been posted before, people seem intrigued and a little shocked. One person asked me about being a man knitting in public, and I said "Once I would never have done this, but as I have become older I look at it as, I enjoy it, and if people don’t like it…too bad". Well enough for now. Chat soon.

P.S. I am also almost ready to submit my work for the level one evaluation of my Master’s knitting program from the Knitting Guild of America.

Well, I figured I'd thrown in my two cents, here.  I started knitting in, oh, June, I think?  My wife and I were walking through a craft store (she was getting supplies for some project or another), and I said "You know, I've always wondered how you knit."  And my wife responded with "Well, why don't you learn?"  So, I bought myself a pair of size 8 straight needles, two skeins of yarn, and an instruction book, and a couple weeks later I had my first two-tone dish cloth done.  Since then, I've finished a scarf for myself (it took me about a month to get through the first quarter, then another to finish it :), and am now working on a baby blanket for friends of ours.

As for my own interests, unlike the previous poster, I'd never been *heavily*into crafts, although I've done a little sewing in my time, but I've always been interested in picking up new skills.  More importantly, I love the activity of creating.  I'm a computer programmer by trade, and I love the activity of creating new things using only my mind and my hands.  I also happen to love cooking (making food), and playing the guitar (making music), so it all fits, in a strange sort of way.

Also unlike the previous poster, I'm definitely not a public knitter (although, I'm willing to knit in the car :).  Kinda silly, really... but, I'm young (25), so I've got some time to become more brave. :)

zanngo's picture

Heh. Just joined up here, and am enjoying reading the postings. I remember being about 4 or 5 years old and seeing a cartoon where a flea was knitting something, and I decided I was gonna learn. My mom taught me that very day the basic knit stitch. That sufficed for me for quite awhile - just doing squares and rectangles in basic knit. Then when I was about 25, I watched this Danish lady knitting in the "European style" (with the yarn coming in over the left hand). I tried it and saw how much faster it was. Then, production picked up. I started experimenting with adding, splitting, combining stitches, and all that good stuff. The next big miracle was learning to purl. :) Whoa. Can't stop me now. I'm 34 now, and knit everywhere - home, bus, lunchbreaks... Love doing seed stitch. My next endeavor will be to move away from flat things and into the world of circular needles...

it's good to see others' intelligent conversation about this. i am a relatively new knitter, but i have been doing craft-ish stuff most of my life and i pick up techniques easily. i have been knitting just over a year; shortly after i learned to knit, i taught myself to purl, then made my first mobius scarf (extrinsic, not intrinsic twist). two mobiuses (mobii?) later, i extrapolated the three-needle bind-off, tho i didn't know its name until recently. then i started designing my own reversible stitches (i still have one that's unique enough that nobody has seen it before), and then my own patterns. i've designed reversible cables, klein bottles knit in the round, and am beginning to work on two-color reversibles. i'm 27, and have been comfortable knitting in public since the beginning, probably because of necessity -- i.e. if i hadn't been knitting on the bus to see my family for the holidays last year, i wouldn't have had a chance of finishing 8 mobius scarfs in a month and a half. also, i have received nothing but positive reinforcement (aside from being studiously ignored) from strangers. i knit on the public transit buses into boston; on nice days i can be found at boston commons knitting, and i have been frequenting a few knitting circles in the boston area. take my example and get out there and knit, guys ... what have you to fear, really?

Well, I suppose my knitting story is somewhat unusual. I'm on the crew team at my school, and, recently, we decided to do some fundraising in order to purchase uniforms. The two primary projects that we came up with were duct tape wallets (which, by the way, are quite nifty!) and knitted scarves. I decided to try out the knitting and, two weeks later, I'd finished my first scarf on size 17 needles, just in time for it to be sold the next day!

Now I'm quite hooked- spent a few nights unable to pull myself from surfing the web for knitting information, and hopped over to a Michael's just before Thanksgiving to pick up supplies. My list of plotted projects is about 14 items long, and constantly growing. Haven't had the chance to knit in public yet, but if it comes up I'll certainly take it.

It's great that there's a community of male knitters! Was thinking about creating a knitlog once I started some projects, and this site would seem to make it an easy and centralized task.

splendero03's picture

How exciting, Closet Pacifist!!!!  Keep on knitting! Yes, it is addictive and you'll soon find you have more than one, two or even three projects going at once. Try to find a knitting group in your area. Many knit shops have them or can point you in the right direction. You might even try forming a mens knitting group or a nighting group in general in your area. How exciting!!! Keep at it. Isn't it fun!?

Darrel's picture

That's a great idea!  When I started knitting, I didn't expect so many of my friends to be interested.  Now it's just one more thing we can do together.  Knitting is a very popular pastime among all the various subcultures here in San Francisco, so you could be a total scenester about it if you wanted.  Some of us are floating around to other knitting groups and getting a feel for who's out there.  Even if you're out at a cafe by yourself, someone might come up to you and express an interest in learning.  There's your chance!

I think you website is amazing and I'm so glad to see so many men knitting now.  One of the best knitters in my opinin is Kaffe Fassett.
I have a confession to make I thought you had to register to look at this site and I'm a lady not a man, so do I log off and stay that way.
Knit in peace and harmony.
JPaul's picture

I agree!  Kaffe Fassett is an amazing designer/knitter.  I was able to take a workshop with him in several years ago and it was really inspiring.  He did the workshop with Brandon Mabley and they were both encouraging and great fun to spend a day with.  If you ever get a chance to attend a workshop with either of them, I highly recommend it, regardless of your skill level.

I hope you're still visiting the site Rose!  You're certainly welcome.


Rose, who cares? Of course, this site is oriented towards Men Who Knit. But we certainly aren't crazy enough to reject ideas, comments, and improvements just because a woman suggested them. Anyhow, welcome and jump in.

I started knitting just after I got out of high school.  I got a book called the Reader's Digest Needlework book, and was trying some quilting and saw it had instructions for knitting so I taught myself using that book. I retaught my mom how to knit because she had forgotten.  At first all I made were swatches to try out the stitches and then rip em out and try another one.  Then I made this beret out of this funky bright yellow yarn my mom had left over from one of her projects.  I really liked how it came out.  Then I got involved in other things and put up the needles for a couple of years.  Then about 5 years ago I started again after going to all these festivals where they have the sheep and fibers and such.  Now I'm into doing some spinning and dying too.  The whole process is reallly interesting and gives you a real appreciation for anything handcrafted. 

I learned to knit about 25 years ago from a woman at work. I made an afghan, some scarves, a hat or two, and then lost interest. Besides, it wasn't "manly". I re-learned about two months ago, and have puttered around, mostly ripping out everything I do. But finally this week I completed a scarf as a gift for a friend. She loved it. I showed it to a friend at work, and she burst out laughing when I told her I made it. I don't know why I care, but it bothered me. So, no, I have not knitted in public, but I'll have to do it eventually. Too many closets to come out of!! I don't know any other men who knit, but I wish I did. Locally, I mean.

I hesitated to knit in public and finally did last month in a plane on the way to Florida. I thought I would freak everyone out.

Guess what? No one looked and those who did really didn't care. Anyway you're right. What does it matter anyway?

Keep knitting,


Started knitting 30 years ago when I was in the hospital. At the time comp didn't pay for a TV and after listening to radio, reading papers and books, I got bored. The nurse suggested knittng and I was up to anything. I was stuck there for at least 12 weeks and had to do something. I made a vest that I still have. Did knit for about 4 or 5 years but after marriage, I got involved with other activities. About 10 years ago I started Crocheting and now it's time to get back into knitting. Each craft has it's different looks and I like the way knit looks. Working nights gives me a lot of time to make something.

atravelingknitter's picture

I have been knitting since my great grandmother taught me. I was 8 now I am 42 ( you do the math).  I do knit in public I am a flight attendent so I have a lot of time to just sit and knit the longer the flight the more productive I am I have really been having a good time with pre printed sock yarn.   It is like knitting fairisle with out all the work and the latest wave of colors are amazing.  I find the reactions funny women tend to be mildly interested, men on the other hand are facinated... also there are alot of men who will fess up to doing some form or other of needle work.  I have also found that when I give my knitting as gifts people really respond to the amount of work invovled and they tend to realize how much love goes into a piece even if it is just a pair of socks.   So.... KEEP ON KNITTING GUYS   IT ROCKS.....

A Traveling knitter

Jack's picture

When I was in the fifth grade, I asked to have a knitting circle as part of art class at school. I was shown a simple way to cast on and to knit. I was never taught to purl or bind off. That year I knitted a garter stich placemat out of gastly yarn that was red, black and yellow twisted together. I remember I knitted it on #8 aluminum alloy needles that were fuchia color. (In those days I shopped at Woolworth's.) All these years I have wanted to learn more, but the various people along the way who offered to teach me never came through.When I was a student at the School of  the Ballet Russe, I wanted to knit a pair of wool tights for myself, but the idea of facing all that black Scotch fingering, and the fact that I could only do garter stitch, was too much for me. For $10.00, one of the teachers took my measurements, bought the yarn, and knitted the tights on her knitting machine, all in less than a week. Finally I have decided to try and teach myself using a book. I took a clue from Charles Burbridge's personal statement, and got myself a copy of "Stitch n' Bitch". I'm glad I did. I'm having great results. 

kiwiknitter's picture

I first tried to knit when I was in the third grade.  I had to hide it because my father didn't like the idea at all and my mother backed my father all the way on this one (I grew up in the Ozzie & Harriet, Leave it to Beaver era).  But, being an ingenious little sissy boy, I used 2 sharpened pencils and some string.  My teacher at the time saw me in the corner of the play ground and came to see what I was doing.  She thought it was very clever of me and actually was quite supportive.  Of course, I had to try to figure out how to knit by myself which didn't work too well.  I finally quit the whole idea and just went back to playing with the girls.  Over the years I did lots of needlepoint and embroidery and even a stint at crochet, all because I didn't think I could learn to knit.  My partner who crochets lots bought some knitting needles, yarn and a self-instructional book on knitting but never even tried to learn.  One day, while cleaning out the storeroom in anticipation of a move, I found the bag with all these items and decided to try it.  I had to find another self-teaching book but - wow! - I took to it like a duck to water!  I loved it instantly and now I find I can't put down my knitting!  I'm knitting up a storm to make up for lost time.

Never trust a man who, when left alone in a room with a tea cozy, doesn't try it on.  ~Billy Connolly

drmel94's picture

I've always had a fascination with the fiber arts - from papermaking to spinning, weaving, knitting and basically anything else you can think of). My grandmother taught me basic knit & purl when I was 9 (my other grandmother taught me some basics of crochet, which I've played with a bit). I made a fairly pathetic looking pink garter stitch scarf and then didn't do anything more until about 3 years ago, when I decided to take up the needles again and give it another go. I haven't looked back since.

 In June '05, I met my current partner, David, who also spins, knits, and is a fashion designer. Needless to say, it's been a perfect fit for my fiber-obsessed self and he's been wonderful about enabling my habit.

"Hatred does not end by hatred; hatred ends by love. This is the eternal law." - Buddha

MMario's picture

Interesting to see the numbers don't go higher in the poll. since I've been knitting over 40 years...(only been purling for the last five or so...)

MMario - I'm not divorced from reality - we're having a trial separation

Kilted Knitter's picture

Knittng off and on!!!
I voted that I have been knitting about two years. I really started when I was a kid at home. My mother tried to teach me with some success, but I got bored easily and gave it up. A few years ago I was watchin a friend of mine spinning at a camping event we were at and asked her if she could teach me to knit. I started out on socks. She had four dpns with her and some extra yarn and I started that day. But got frustrated when I wasn't sitting next to her, gave up again. Then I saw and bought the Stich n Bitch book and got interested in knitting again. Picked up the dpns and have been knitting socks for a couple of years now. Some scarves also. Thanks for this site. I enjoy it very much. I enjoy knitting outside and in public. Its fun tho see the reaction of people when they see a man knitting. Wish I could get into a group of male knitters. Any way, thanks again for the site.

martyknits1's picture

I was 7 years old when I asked my grandma to teach me to crochet. She was always crocheting afghans for us grandkids. Even though I liked it, I never had the attention span to complete anything more than a couple granny squares, and eventually the crochet hook my grandma gave me ended up in a box with all my other childhood memories....So, how did I end up knitting???

Well, two years ago I went for a family visit and decided to look for those boxes in my parent's attic... low and behold, there was the crochet hook and a sad skein of Red Heart yarn. Upon my return home I started messing around with the yarn and hook and my partner, Eddy, said "You know... I've always wanted to learn how to knit"...

~Ding!!!~ Those were the magic words!!!

The next day I was a man on a mission. I found a yarn shop in the neighborhood and asked the lady to sell me some needles and yarn and a book to learn with. Soon after that, with the help of a few more "learn to knit books"... and the internet...I was a self-taught knitter! Eddy learned with me, but doesn't have the patience for more than a super-chunky garter stitch scarf that he can make in a day.

However, once I got the hang of it I was hooked and have not stopped knitting since!... Or spending way too much money on yarn and needles...who knew there was something other than Red Heart yarn or aluminum needles???
.... sorry, grandma...

Well, I had an interest in knitting years ago when I was in college. I remarked how nice a knitted blouse was that one of my guidance counselors was wearing and she replied that she had knitted it herself. Being English, she was very experienced in all manner of knitting. She offered to teach me. I started out with some borrowed size 8 needles I think and some standard Red Heart acrylic yarn in a hideous 1970's mottled orange - brown. All I could do for years was the simple garter stitch, but it was very rewarding to see cloth form from my work. My classes changed, and I wasn't able to see Mrs. O' Brien very often, so my knitting tapered off there.
I moved up to Boston a few years ago, and due to relative isolation and being housebound in the winter, I once again decided that it was time to get back with the knitting. I've started several projects and still have any number of them going on at any given time. I have openly knit in public, and got some very surprising reactions from people. Some men have given me looks of disgust, but I figure that's their problem stemming from insecurities of their own. Women are generally always very willing to talk about the craft and are very supportive. I tried to learn how to knit using the Continental Method, but it feels far too strange and awkward to me. I sort of have my own method of pulling the yarn around when I'm ready to make the next stitch. I take my knitting with me everywhere I go. Even work on it during the day at work during my lunch. I take it on the bus and ferry boat with me when I go out to see my boyfriend on Martha's Vineyard. The point is, I enjoy it and it's a very useful craft and a skill to have. No one now alive has ever gone through life without wearing some kind of knitted garment. I'm just now moving into circular knitting, and it keeps me on my toes counting stitches and increases and decreases. I love making vintage looking pieces with high quality yarns in natural fibers. I've fallen madly in Love with Lion Wool. Great quality, great look, very soft wool, and easy to work with. No matter what, keep knitting guys and show people what baloney gender stereotypes are. Wishing you guys all the best and happy knitting.

My grandma taught me to knit when I was five, but I never did anything more than a scarf and some mittens. However, when I was a teenager I took it up again with a vegeance and have been knitting for 52 years. I had to stop in 1995 because of problems with my fingers and wrists, but after a couple of years in the Spanish sun I was able to take it up again, and try to do some knitting every day. I prefer to knit in the round with steeks where needed, and as much as possible on circs. even if it's going backwards and forwards, and joining in sleeves where possible to cut down on the sewing.

Thadbear's picture

I was taught to knit when I was 10 years old, but never did anything with it. When I moved from the city of Chicago to the far northwest suburbs, I was looking for something to occupy my time and decided to try knitting. I went in the Yarn Shop in the village and told the owner that I was interested in learning to knit. That was the beginning and it was 38 years ago. I also learned that the suburbs are no place for a single guy.