For those of you who saw Dr. Oz today

smalltownknitguy's picture

My apologies for how we were portrayed. Here is the response that I am sending to him:

Dear Dr. Oz,
You recently featured a segment on Men Who Knit with photos I submitted to your producers. While I was honored and excited to be submitting photos that would be seen on national TV, I was a little skeptical. While the info on the Men's Knitting Retreats was quite accurate, I felt that male knitters were not given their due by showing pictures of slippers, a beer cozy, and remote holder. While these are great usable items that certainly men, or women, would knit, Men Who Knit is more than beer cozies and remote holders.

We knit for cancer patients, homeless shelters, battered women, and preemies.

We knit for our wives, children, partners, friends, and family.

We knit shawls for elderly and the bride to be.

We knit lace, cables, entrelac, fair isle, and even simple garter stitch.

We are designers, spinners, dyers, and artists.

We are yarn bombers, toy makers, tailors, and menders.

We attend Men's Knitting Retreats to share our love of knitting, ideas, designs, and a friendships that we don't get anywhere else.

Yes we have fun and relieve stress. Knitting creates a calmness and rhythm that other creative arts cannot duplicate.

I hope that you and your producers will take the time to explore the Men Who Knit website to see the real us.

Sincerely,

Rusty Boyd
Small Town Knit Guy

Comments

ILHIKER's picture

While I can understand the

While I can understand the ire that is permeating the room, let's not forget that the slippers, remote holder, and beer cozy were someone's project that they may have indeed worked very hard to make and of which they are very proud. My son wears the slippers that were on the show for a nanosecond and my wife was very proud. They were very hard for me to make because I hadn't yet learned the vernacular of knitting patterns. In fact, I had to make three slippers in order to get two to behave and actually look the way they were supposed to. The brown ones I am wearing in my profile photo were my first.

In the world of broadcasting, there is really very little regard for those who are used and abused in order to get what they deem a quality show. Daytime television is far from quality. It may be in HD, but most of the shows, especially those that are an offshoot of Oprah, lack depth even though they are fraught with pathos pretending to care about the regular person. I remember once on Oprah's show someone asked her about Costco. She had no idea what it was and it was already a marketing phenomenon. So much for understanding the common folk. All those shows are formulaic and getting them to go any deeper than a shallow pool will do nothing except get those of us with brains and talent upset. They simply don't care. Don't let their superficiality raise your hackles.

Is it flattering that they asked for photos of our work? Yes. Was their coverage of the craft complete? Far from it. I think that most of us on this site are self-actualized to the point where we do our craft because we enjoy it for any number of personal reasons. While we like to be praised, I don't think that is the essence of why we knit. We are crafters, gifters, lovers, and from what I can tell, very decent men. I am so blessed to have found all of you. Without you all, I don't think my passion for knitting would have gone beyond the frustration of learning to just cast on a row in order to make my first swatch. Let's not worry about those who don't understand. They never will.

Hugs to all.

Mark

Aaronknits's picture

For those interested, here is

For those interested, here is the letter that I sent.

Dear Dr. Oz and show producers,

Like many of my knitting brothers, I was excited about Russell Boyd’s news that your show wanted to include a segment on men who knit and the men’s knitting retreats. Word of this spread quickly on Menwhoknit.com and other social media outlets that it was actually going to happen and the excitement grew as the air date drew closer. However, once that segment was aired I couldn’t help but feel dismayed and disappointed at how we were portrayed and I know many of us knitting men felt the same.

We are so much more than “quaint” slippers, beer cozies, and remote control holders. Men design garments and accessories for some of the top knitting magazines. Men teach knitting classes in many yarn shops around the country. Some of the most beautiful, intricate lacework I have ever seen has been designed and knit by men. We enjoy what we do and take our craft seriously and like all knitters, regardless of gender, like to have fun with it and sometimes make some “less than serious” items like beer cozies and remote control holders.

Too many of us have experienced unwarranted condescension, taunting, and humiliation because we dared to take up a craft that has long been considered “women’s work.” Some men have been insulted and refused service in some yarn shops simply because they are men. It’s a terrible feeling to be shunned, dismissed, or just not taken seriously for any reason, and more so when it’s because of a craft that you enjoy and take pride in.

Of course, there are some men who knit who have not experienced the same negativity that others have. Some are fortunate enough to have other men around them who also knit. Still, many others are not. The internet and our growing community at Menwhoknit.com have been invaluable to us and have provided us with ways to connect with each other, share our stories, and encourage each other. The Men’s Knitting Retreats have given us an opportunity to bring that sharing, learning, and support out of the internet and into the real world. The sense of brotherhood and camaraderie that we’ve formed with each other though these retreat experiences is priceless to many of us.

There are several Men’s Knitting Retreats held throughout the year in various places around the US. Take a look at http://www.mensknittingretreat.com/ for a list of upcoming retreats as well as recaps and photo galleries from past retreats. If you’d like, contact one of the retreat organizers and ask if you can drop in and observe. I hope the level of talent and creativity that is displayed and shared among the men at the retreats will be as inspiring to you as it has been for me and many of my knitting brothers.

Thank you for your time,

Aaron M Bush

aaron@menwhoknit.com

Extremely well said, Aaron.

Extremely well said, Aaron.

JesterTwin's picture

I recorded the episode to

I recorded the episode to make sure that I would not miss what was said. I also recorded the prior 2 episodes to make sure my recorder wouldn't miss, or in case it was mentioned on a different day.
When I saw the little bit that was shown, I was very disappointed in the lack of genuine interest in the group. It was a let down hearing the audience's laughter at the mention of men knitting.
After watching those 3 episodes, I am convinced that it's really nothing more than a talk show mixed with info-mercial; very superficial.

just my 2 cents worth. what I knit is worth far more than a 3 minute appendix at the end of a show.

scottly's picture

Don't feel too badly, Dr. Oz

Don't feel too badly, Dr. Oz is vapid pop culture entertainment and not really interested in portraying any kind of breadth or depth in any subject matter.

Loom Dude's picture

Yes, it was barely a

Yes, it was barely a footnote, and I'd be curious to know how the show responds to your e-mail. I thought it was going to be featured as part of one of the segments, with the website info too. I searched for a mention of us on his website but found none.

smalltownknitguy's picture

Thanks everyone for your

Thanks everyone for your support. My first grade students are making me feel better by asking for my autograph this morning. Very cute.

Aaronknits's picture

It's hard to get the kind of

It's hard to get the kind of depth that I think we deserve in the amount of time they gave us. But I think they got the angle they were going for, which is not what I'd hoped it was.

I think your follow up email is completely appropriate, and I will send one of my own too. Might have to write the draft I WANT to send just to vent, and then write what I will send. Always a good practice. :-)

murfpapa's picture

I saw it. It was very short

I saw it. It was very short and it felt.....empty. Very disappointing. I hope if they do a revisit, there will be a lot more meat and depth offered the group

Bill's picture

Very wise, Rusty! I didn't

Very wise, Rusty!
I didn't see the show...but if it was ten seconds...you can barely say Men's Knitting Retreat in ten seconds...