LOOK WHO'S KNITTING - NO LONGER AFRAID TO ADMIT IT, MEN ARE TAKING UP NEEDLES AND YARN
Boston Globe, The (MA)
January 31, 2002
Linda Matchan, Globe Staff
Section: Life At Home
When Ira Vishner's mother died two years ago, she left an unfinished sweater she'd been knitting for Vishner's wife. Being a practical man, Vishner, a Brookline consultant, did the logical thing. ''It was there and needed to be finished,'' he said. So he learned how to knit , and finished it himself. Men who knit. It has the comical ring of a one-liner, like, say, grandmas who parasail. Although men and women have been crossing each other's gender lines for years, knitting for the most part has remained a stubbornly segregated activity. Women knit sweaters. Men get to wear them. This seems to be less true than ever now. The roster of men who knit includes no less macho a male than Ethan Zohn, winner of the third edition of CBS's ''Survivor: Africa.'' He was shown knitting on the Survivor recap special two weeks ago. Network TV honcho Stu Bloomberg reportedly took up knitting during vacations on the Massachusetts coast. (He may well be knitting more than ever now, since being removed from his job earlier this month as the head of ABC's entertainment division.) Two local yarn shops, A Good Yarn in Brookline and Woolcott & Co. in Cambridge, run knitting classes taught by men. Men are showing up at knitting circles (or ''stitch and bitch'' sessions, in knitting vernacular). Teenaged boys are knitting, boys such as Michael Godin of Leominster, who will turn 16 next week. TAUGHT BY HIS MOTHER, HE KNITS FOR HIMSELF, HIS CHURCH, HIS COUSINS, AND HAS ALSO CROCHETED AFGHANS TO DONATE TO ROMANIAN ORPHANS. HE USED TO FEEL SELF-CONSCIOUS ABOUT KNITTING, HE SAYS, BUT NOT ANYMORE. ``I SAW (ETHAN ZOHN KNITTING) ON `SURVIVOR,' '' HE SAYS. ``THAT WAS SORT OF, LIKE, REASSURING.'' Conclusion: There are "tons" of men who knit, states Niki Bronstein, owner of Woolcott & Co. in a telephone interview. "I can think of probably 10 right off the bat. As a matter of fact, there's a man in my store right now."
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