Straight talk about knitting - decorum

(I've edited this to try and be clearer about what I was trying to say; not what was said, as with anything written and/or spoken there are always opportunity for misunderstanding, this blog was edited to "try" and say what I inteneded, not necesarrily how it actually came out. Everyone was so upset, that after a break from the blog and other's posts, I've reread it and tried to smooth it out.)

How do I start? It seems funny to me that when I knit in pubic how often I’m misunderstood. I was at a local meeting group ‘Calling all Knitters’ one Saturday, I’m the only man, when a foursome sat at the table next to us. Within minutes I heard the muted talking that suggests that they’re talking about you, you know, voices lowered even lower than they need be, because the acoustics in a Hardees isn’t that good anyway?
Raucous laughter followed with an overtly loud, “I just can’t get over it, it looks so funny.” I hoped the “it” was my knitting and not me. I looked over, and made eye contact with the speaker. I nodded my head in greeting.

The laughter dying down, continued off and on for a few minutes; I kept on knitting, listening more to the ladies talk in our circle about this pattern or that, what charity things were being knitted for whom, and so on. Then I heard from the table again; “you know, you kind of get used to it after a while.” I smiled inwardly, as I’ve noticed time and time again that that is the general pattern of acceptance.

I’m hoping to find the same thing here. For some time, I’ve looked for a man’s knitting group, one which wasn’t overtly gay. Not because I don’t like gays; but because I don’t care much for the talk that ,with my past experiences, seems to come naturally out of a gay community (BOCTAOE: "But Of Course There Are Obvious Exceptions")

Things like “partner” or wife followed by the pronoun, “he”. or talk about showing off a finished work, I can handle. Constant display of items like a knitted willie warmers, or having one’s better half model it, would bother me. I can honestly say that of the four local knitting groups I go to, ninety-nine percent women, it’s the kind of unabashed talk I’ve rarely if ever heard, and yet I find it here within minutes of reading blogs because it's in the blog promenantly displayed at the top of the site. (BOCTAOE: "But Of Course There Are Obvious Exceptions")

I don’t know where I’m going with this; but, I guess I’ll discover if I belong here or not, we’ll see. I personally am trying to prove to the world that not all knitters are effeminate or gay, as many, especially here in the south stereotype. A side effect from that a majory of knitters are women, and a historical transfer of knitting to women and its general abandonment by men. I guess I’m just asking for a little decorum; or not. You see, I do believe that everyone here has the right to freedom of speech; and perhaps I’m the one who doesn’t belong here.

(added: I've decided I can and enjoy being here and that the stuff I read in the sticky blog is not the complete exception, but mostly an exception. (BOCTAOE: "But Of Course There Are Obvious Exceptions" ex: Recent talk about jeans and butts)

(added: no more would I...)
I would like to hear from others on this…. the real subject is “decorum”.
And at the risk of belaboring the obvious: (BOCTAOE: "But Of Course There Are Obvious Exceptions")


It's time for you to let

It's time for you to let this subject go, sir. You decided to join so leave the group as it is - it works very well. Did it ever occur to you that this joshing about butts and pants could be a reaction to your original tirade? You should have heard what I heard about men's butts in the locker room after my exercise class this morning - and most us are retired ladies.

I didn't think I was in a

I didn't think I was in a locker room. I stand corrected. I'm just trying to clarify. There is a level of lewdness that I don't much care for. As long as I'm an American and people will express that level I will take the freedom to express that I don't like it, and that's that. Some things are better said in private, or in appropriate public venue. The edit was a clarification, and a finale, to dropping it; but since you rebutted, I'll respond.
It should be clear by now (BOCTAOE), I'm no prude; but, I think decorum dicates that a line be established for public consumption. When we reach the point where we can no longer even discuss *that*, freedom is dead. For me, as you say, to leave the group "as it is", as it is, right now is with me in it; and there you go and I'll have my say. I think the butt talk was crude! Maybe several months from now, I'll change my mind (minute's up, I'm done.)

Donski's picture

maybe we could wipe this

maybe we could wipe this thread ? are there moderators here? I think everyone has had a good blow out and cleaned out some cobwebs :) I dont think it truly reflects this site as an example for future readers. So much creativity here we dont want to tarnish it :)
Just my opinion guys

I would agree with that.

I would agree with that.

Crafty Andy's picture

Visit Crafty Andy's Blog I

Visit Crafty Andy's Blog I agree, but let it be known we do not Accept any kind of discrimination!

GreatScottKCMO's picture

. . . where diversity is

. . . where diversity is praised and peace and harmony are the rewards

This phrase starts every Sunday morning service at the church I attend and it has been running through my head since I starting reading this post and all of the comments. I have not been a member of this particular web community very long, but I have found that for the most part, it is a community where diversity is praised and peace and harmony are what I have felt. As this conversation has in part been about "decorum", I think that decorum in this particular knitting community is centered on praising diversity and accepting others as they are not as we want them to be. The only times I have seen this knitting community not be accepting and open is when it perceives discrimination, non-acceptance, bigotry, or hatefulness.

Many members of this knitting community have experienced discrimination, non-acceptance, bigotry and hate in their day-to-day lives. Many here have struggled and fought for years to find or create places of acceptance and that praises their diversity. MWK is just such a place.

Chris, you have written:

"For some time, I’ve looked for a man’s knitting group, one which wasn’t overtly gay. Not because I don’t like gays; but because I don’t care much for the talk that comes naturally out of a gay community. Things like “partner” or wife followed by the pronoun, “he”. or talk about showing off a finished work, a knitted willie warmer, by having one’s better half model it."

"I guess I’m just asking for a little decorum."

"Being ill at ease with conversations involving words like “partner”, referring to he, or wife followed by the pronoun, “he”, these are things I don't hear much around where I live or the people I hang around. I expect I will eventually "get used to it" here, just like the folks who were uneasy at seeing me knit."

As I stated above, many of us have fought for, searched for and created communities where it doesn't matter what gender your marriage partner is or whether you are overtly gay, effeminate, masculine or gender neutral. This MWK community is very diverse. It has straight and gay men and some women as well. We have partners, lovers, husbands, and wives. This is a community where, in my experience, marriage in all its forms is celebrated and praised.

Please be aware that it was shocking to many in this community to read of your admonishment of "overtly gay" groups you have attended before, your discomfort with gay people referring to their same sex partners, and also to read of your request for "a little decorum". It appeared that what you were saying is that you don't want to see or read anything that is overtly gay. For many in this community it is the same as asking us to "go back into the closet" or "sit in the back of the bus". I believe that you would never be asked by anyone in this community to refrain from being overtly straight or or expressing yourself as a heterosexual.

I am glad to read that you are willing to "get used to" conversations which involve "overtly gay" talk.

We are all doing the best we can with the level of experience, knowledge, and awareness we have at this moment. When we know better, we have the opportunity to do better and be better. Let us all strive to exercise acceptance and understanding of one another, praise each other's diversity and uniqueness, and forgive each other and ourselves when we fail.

Chris, I wish you well and hope you choose to stay with this community of men who knit - where diversity is praised and peace and harmony are the rewards.

kiwiknitter's picture

I am a 56 year old queer man

I am a 56 year old queer man who has been fighting the good fight against discrimination for a long time (I can remember Stonewall!). Long ago, I decided that I was not going to allow or tolerate homophobia in my life and that I would confront it when and where I found it. I welcome diversity of opinion but when it is hateful toward me as a homo I do not allow it just to be tolerant.

Your comments are nothing short of blatant homophobia. I do not welcome you to the MWK community; in fact, I hope that you leave straightaway. This group of men knitters (and the occasional woman knitter) has done a brilliant job of coming together to celebrate our craft long before you arrived on the scene. We have community because each member contributes something of himself here without leaving any part of his persona out. You wish to limit our self-expression to your standards.

Perhaps you should start your own group of Straight Men Who Knit. You could also accept self-loathing gay men, too. The bar of admission wouldn’t be about knitting but how masculine-acting the members are.

Knit like the wind!

Crafty Andy's picture

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garyhrx's picture

I am glad that you have

I am glad that you have joined and am disturbed that your initial encounters with this website may not have been what you expected. I do however agree with PaganCub when he states that you have chosen to join MWK. As such MWK is not an extension of your personality or way of seeing the world. You must adapt, if that is your wish, to this new environment. The gay knitters on this website have overcome and are still battling tremendous sociological obstacles in their lives. They have had to fight for the same things that others take for granted. They have been derided, embarassed, yes even killed because they dared to live their lives for who they really are.

I am disappointed that you have chosen in your blog to condemn an entire community instead of approaching the person(s) that you feel offended you. Each person here has an address where you can send a private message. Failing that a person can be reported to the Webmaster. The internet can be a great deal of fun and a tremendous source of education but it is not for everyone. to which a lot of us also belong might be more to your liking.

Again, listen to PaganCub (out of the mouth of babes come some of lifes most profound advice). Give this community a chance. You will be generously rewarded.

vsidart's picture

I've been watching this blog

I've been watching this blog all day, and now, in the wee hours, someone helped me figure out what I wanted to say. I love this community of gay/straight/male/female knitters who have never said anything that wasn't supportive and loving. Thank you all, and Chip, before you jump into the deep end, you might might wanna dip your toe in the waters.

Crafty Andy's picture

Visit Crafty Andy's Blog

Visit Crafty Andy's Blog Well Said as well!

PaganCub's picture

i bow and give kudos *eta:

i bow and give kudos
*eta: so i lied. i'm lurking. lurkey-lurkerson i am!

*to thine own self be true*

ManMadeKnits's picture

Guys, I was admittedly a

Guys, I was admittedly a little worried when this topic came up and was addressed in such an emotionally sticky way, but I think the essence of what we're proud of here still shone through.

Even though some of us got acerbic at points, there is still a ready spirit of mutual respect and acceptance.

Chip, stick around and see things with your own two eyes. I think the community/site will ultimately speak for itself.

Part of me hates to make

Part of me hates to make this sticky again; but in for a penny in for a pound. After several hours of away time, taking care of business, I re-read my post. To my shock and horror, I see I must have slipped a cog in the "Hoping to find", third paragraph. While I'm used to dropping the occasional letter from the end of a word; I was surprised to find I miss constructed an entire concept, paragraph and the evidence is in the faulty grammar, misplaced period, and fragmented sentence.

The whole reason for writing the first story was to use it as an example. Again, I apologize, I don't like what ended up on page either and think I now understand why I didn't get understood at all. Because, even I don't understand the fragmented poorly constructed third paragraph.

I really do want to get on with being OT as you say; but I feel I must clarify.

Being ill at ease with conversations involving words like “partner”, referring to he, or wife followed by the pronoun, “he”, these are things I don't hear much around where I live or the people I hang around. I expect I will eventually "get used to it" here, just like the folks who were uneasy at seeing me knit. No one should shoot me for being honest. If what had gotten placed on the page, would have been grammatically correct and complete, and what I had intended, perhaps there would have been no problem.

I tried to talk about too many things and they got twisted together, inappropriately.

I still think that decorum dictates a discussion on whether showing pictures of one of the male member’s partner modeling a Willie warmer is appropriate or not, it's a sticky subject. Perhaps, this should have been a separate discussion; when I wrote, I was concerned whether showing these pictures would be the norm here, it being sticky in that post. If you make a topic sticky, make sure it doesn't become a sticky subject. I now have learned that this is not the norm; but the post being sticky, says otherwise.

Here's hoping I didn't fog up what I wrote.... either way, I'm done here with this post.
Knitting and Crocheting since 2006

Crafty Andy's picture

Visit Crafty Andy's Blog

Visit Crafty Andy's Blog The Art or Craft of Knitting is Neither Masculine nor Feminine, it is grabbing two sticks and a piece of thread and making cloth. Do you know Mister Chip that there are countries where same sex Marriage is allowed, do you know that there are states that same sex is allowed. I hope you don't ever plan to visit Spain, because there you have same sex marriage, or Canada,or other Parts of the World, including Massacussettss. What are you going to do when you see two men getting married and celebrating their union? So you are walking through another country and see two men kissing what will you do, will you knit yourself a shroud to cover your whole family? Are you staying in your little corner In South Carolina forever?. Perhaps your first mistake was to read something you did not like, perhaps your first mistake was not to confront those women. Perhaps your first mistake is not accepting your prejudgements of masculine and feminine You keep apologizing and your apologies make your statements more clear than before. This is not about Decorum it is about you being laughed at because you looked feminine to some women, perhaps you thought they thought you were gay, maybe you are sending gay signals out into the world, you know we do that all the time. You can not allow other people's judgement or opinions of you to dictate what you do in public, specially knitting in Public. You have no idea what DIVERSE community the LGBT community is, there are very conservative people and very liberal just like in any community, yet we all come together when we need to. I am gay not necessarily 24/7 , but I do not send gay signals to everyone around me, A bar does not becomes Gay by my presence in it, isn't that something powerful?. I would say delete the whole Decorum post and watch what we talk about. Remember that this is an all inclusive group, and no matter what religion,political affiliation, AGE, I f you are masculine or feminine , a man a woman or a transgender, your sexual orientation, disability, wether you have AIDS or any other incurable disease, social status, economic status, health status, willie or no willie, you are accepted here. We don't care wether you use acrylic or 100% wool, wether you knit with a small gauge needles or large, circular or flat or even if you use a crochet hook once in a while, What we do not accept, well you got a clear idea by now. Luckily for you there are plenty of people that are heterosexual so we will not judge all heterosexuals by you, we have learned that ! And as other have said, in all the time that I have been a member of this group, over two years, noone has created such turmoil like you have by using the written word. Don't you know how powerful the Internet is? If you knit Crochet and want to share you craft we welcome you. But don't be fooled we Gay People are a bunch of Party Friendly Simple Folk, one thing of positive consequence came out of this, I now understand why other LGBT stand out in a parade and shout WE ARE HERE, WE ARE QUEER, GET USE TO IT! SILENCE = DEATH! I am not going to tolerate your Bigotry, I am too old for that!

PaganCub's picture

In the almost-year that I

In the almost-year that I have been a part of, I have never SEEN anyone, knitter or their partner, modeling a willie warmer. Yes, few of us has joked and requested to see said item to be modeled, knowing full well we were not going to see it unless it was back channel (through private email). I think you assume(d) that any gay person, especially a *community* of gay men, just HAVE to behave the way you believe they act: effeminate, nelly, or whatever the case may be.

I still don't understand ho you can't tolerate to hear a man talk about his partner, or his HUSBAND (not "wife" followed by the pronoun "he" as you've so blatantly typed twice now) when you have mentioned your wife and your daughters.

I think from now on, before you click the post button, you should read and re-read your post and anything that seems a little hairy, edit, reword, or remove it entirely.

*to thine own self be true*

ManMadeKnits's picture

Because everyone who posts

Because everyone who posts things on the internet thinks long and hard before they click "send/post".

PaganCub's picture

de·co·rum (dĭ-kôr'əm,

de·co·rum (dĭ-kôr'əm, -kōr'-) noun.
1. Appropriateness of behavior or conduct; propriety: "In the Ireland of the 1940's ... the stolidity of a long, empty, grave face was thought to be the height of decorum and profundity" (John McGahern).
2. decorums The conventions or requirements of polite behavior: the formalities and decorums of a military funeral.
3. The appropriateness of an element of an artistic or literary work, such as style or tone, to its particular circumstance or to the composition as a whole.

With that being said, here are my two cents and then i'm done with the entire topic. I think every single one of us on here has acted with "decorum" (as you're so firmly stressing the idea of it) when relating to topics of conversation. If there is something that you happen to come across that disturbs you, bursts your bubble, enflames you, or even bothers you, then choose to stop reading the post/thread right there, and move on to something else to occupy your time.

For no one (not even my mother) will I hold back on talking about knitting a scarf for my boyfriend/partner; for no one (not even my sisters) will I not discuss the willy warmer I chose to knit for him - whether he's going to wear it or not. If something strikes my fancy enough for me to comment about it, then I will speak my mind, regardless of who is around to hear it. That's not to say I'd precariously drop an F*bomb around a gaggle of nuns or kids (however, I have emitted a cuss word or two when stubbing my toe, or spilling a drink on myself).

Speaking of such a topic, back in January I happened to be dating a wonderful man and was happy enough that I thought I would share my news/love interest with my fellow MWK'ers. There were many many people (men, women, gay, straight, bisexual) who commented on it, and wished me good luck. If any of them ever had an issue, they chose to swallow it and move on to the next post; and I respectfully request that you do the same. In other instances, people have come to the board and asked for prayers for a sick loved one. They understand that we each follow a different lifepath and possibly different religions as well. They didn't ask for christian prayers from straight people only; or wiccan blessings from homos only; they asked for what they needed from anyone who was willing to give it; and they got it.

We are a tight-knit (pun intended) community here, and hve come to be able to intuit deeper meanings of someone's post because we've gotten to know them *through* their posts; not as an "asexual knit-bot."

Take from this what you will, but realize it is YOU that is joining, not that is joining YOU. We welcome anyone and everyone here; it is up to you to decide if this is a place for you or not. You simply cannot demand or request an entity (whether virtual or physical) to change and adapt for you, but you must change and adapt to the norms and customs of said entity.

Thanks to all who take the time to read this; I wish everyone a great day/night/week/month/year/life!

*to thine own self be true*

Crafty Andy's picture

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PeterMark's picture

Chip, Welcome to the


Welcome to the conversation, but really this forum really is about knitting. Every now and then a knucklehead (such as myself) interjects something totally OT, but I've been very comfortable here and I hope you will be too. We share projects we've been working on and/or patterns we've found. We ask for advice re: knitting techniques, etc. We acknowledge that a lot of us differ from one another in our personal lives, but generally we leave those differences for other forums. Some folks (men and women) have also posted to this forum about how refreshingly unique we are here in that we tend to avoid the sort of comments your initial post, possible through no fault of your own, has generated. In order to move this conversation on, one could say, get it back on track, how about if you post regarding one of your current projects, or one you've recently completed.

As for me and my house, my wife's parents have been visiting and staying with us for nearly a week now, but the socks for the county fair are finished except for weaving in ends. When I can figure out how to use the new digital camera, I'll post pics.

Again, welcome to the group, we're a very friendly bunch and we look forward to your knitting-related contributions!

Peter, Father of 7, Nothing to Prove, Enjoy Knitting and visiting with others who enjoy knitting as well.

Crafty Andy's picture

Visit Crafty Andy's Blog

Visit Crafty Andy's Blog Well mister CyberChip I will make a comment because I can't believe that in this day and age a person of your experience is confused. Maybe your confusion is what brings forth those comments from people around you. Masculine is something that I will not use to describe you, When I look at your picture, then one with the red and white scarf, in the posting you definitely do not look Masculine to me, maybe you have issues with your masculinity, yet I make no judgement of what you do in bed from your behavior becasue IS NOT OF MY BUSINESS!!!!!!!!!!!!! . Being Gay is about sexual orientation not about personal choice behavior or manerisms. I see plenty of straight men that are very in touch with their femimine side and women that are in touch with their masculine side. The question is How comfortable are you with your Sexual Orientation, because to make such comments about normal, look at yourself in the mirror do you look Normal? Are your eyebrows plucked? Do you smell like lavender or do you like to smell like a man without deodorant. Mister Cyberchip, Grow Up, a Man of your life experience with such hang Ups is not cute any more. The Subject is not Decorum my friends the subject is A 54 YO Man who is Uncomfortable with people that are different that he is!

In all the time that I have been here YOU are the first Man (Gay, Straight, Bi Transgender, Did I leave anyone out?), to say anything like this. Look inside yourself for the answers that you are desperately looking for!

Little comment for you,

Little comment for you, mister big big masculine man, because apparently you want to be contentious. Don't push your confusions on me. I don't recall being "confused" about anything. Enough said. You're a sad sad man with misplaced anger; perhaps you're angry at the world, and I look like a likely candidate for you to vent your "confusions" on. Nope, not me... I know people like you... and I don't like you either. I'm not discussing gay anymore, certainly not with you; because people like you want to make that the issue. And it's not what I'm talking about.

Knitting and Crocheting since 2006

Crafty Andy's picture

Visit Crafty Andy's Blog

Visit Crafty Andy's Blog
You are the one with the Issue,you brought it up, your confusions are yours and they are as plain as the plucked eyebrows on your face. Did you really know what those women were laughing at, did you ask? Where you afraid of those women? Or did you decide that you were going to take it personally? Are you that paranoid?, where they speaking in a foreign language too? I bet you the story is not even true! I definitely had a good laugh at your made up story. So what you are saying is that it is ok for us Gay Men to be gay , but not to talk about our boyfriends or partners Or about willie warmers? Well How about if we tell you that it is ok to be straight , we accept you, but please don't talk about your wife, husband , or your family. Doesn't that sound stupid? You are an ignorant bigoted pataqh!

Crafty Andy's picture

An addendum to this, You can

An addendum to this, You can leave this group anytime , there are plenty of Men and Women in this group that are of a lot Higher Caliber et Quality than you, personally I won't miss you. Don't let the door hit you on your way out!

TomH's picture

Regarding the initial

Regarding the initial posting, perhaps, the highest level of decorum would be to ignore him and not react. Although often times that is a difficult stance to maintain.

Donski's picture

I have to say from the

I have to say from the outset joining a group for men who knit I assumed there would be a whole mix of people on here, gay, straight, young, old, fat, thin. I too was not sure how I would fit in. I have always been really surprised at how "comfortable" the group is. How rarely it moves off topic. I smile at the innuendo's and occasional camp outburst, it's just a brighter colour amongst muted tones at times. I would hate to see anyone censored or not made to feel totally at home. We should all have our slippers on when we meet on here :) Brothers with needles :)

I think the fact that the group is so mixed makes it what it is. We are here because of our passion which in my mind overides "real world" stuff. A chance to forget about the pressures of the world. I would hope that the OP would feel as comfortable as I have been and as inspired both creatively and socially.

Thanks to all for making me feel welcome and to those who have offered me such warm help and advice.

grandfatherknits's picture

"Brothers with

"Brothers with needles"

Thanks, Don, I love that. My brothers are my brothers be they gay, bi, straight, trans, confused, celibate, or whatever. This is a warm and accepting and safe place for everyone and that is one of the things I appreciate most. A new band of brothers! We let our hair down (those who still have it) and enjoy the safety of doing so.

Welcome to our house, we don't have many rules, in fact, I really don't know of any. It has been my experience, however, that we treat each other with infinite respect: we do to the other as we would have him do to us. It is not my experience or desire that we request or demand that others do to us as we would have them do.

ETA: Bi to the list. Sorry to have not included you at first bi-bros.

Asplund's picture

I admire Donski's reply and

I admire Donski's reply and agree with him completely. Also, I think his reply is an excellent example & description of decorum!

A tongue-in-cheek addition: it's a good thing I'm not easily shocked, because even if it's a typo I must say "when I knit in pubic" beats anything I've read here on MWK before...

Thank you both, I've only

Thank you both, I've only had one unwelcoming and misunderstanding response. No, Santa never claimed to be normal. ;-) And, I'm glad there is a mix here, so I don't have to take anything from one person personally. I simple innocent question from a complex and naive man. But, I'm meeting the community. I look forward to seeing what can be accomplished here.

Knitting and Crocheting since 2006

QueerJoe's picture

Extremely well

Extremely well stated...thanks.

MMario's picture

Over on another group MWK

Over on another group MWK got mentioned by someone with the comment - "but I left the group because it was more about being gay then about knitting" - and several people, myself included, replied that it certainly didn't seem that way to us. Makes me wonder when the original poster (who said he was gay) had joined and read MWK, because there were both gay and straight guys among the responders who had NOT gotten that impression.

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

steve kadel's picture

hopefully we can agree we

hopefully we can agree we are talking not about sexuality, but levels of social comfort. then we can leave each person's overall conclusions based on fairly limited exposures to what are in fact, varied and large populations aside. on the issue of social comfort, i am agnostic :)

I'll bet you're not agnostic

I'll bet you're not agnostic about yarn and knitting, or a great pattern specifically for men. I keep thinking some kind of tool belt (and not the kind mentioned before); and from my limited knowledge on yarns have decided it would definately not be made with acrylic yarn. It stretches too much. Perhaps wool.

On the other subject, it's often ironic that I can't say what I really dislike without becoming a kettle calling the pot black. Like my sense of dark humor would be conteplating a conversation with a woman where I express "that I'm concerned about sexual harrasment" (because I am); and then asking her "if (expletive deleted) would be considered sexual harrassment?" Understand, I wouldn't think of actually doing it; but, mostly because I'm aware that no matter how sincere I might be, or how sincere I would be, my sincerety doesn't matter. I might be socially comfortable having a discussion like that; but, would not be knowledgeable to the point of determining whether the expeltive, which was deleted, was an acceptable norm to her, because of as you say conclusions based on fairly limited exposures. That's why tolerance is such a good thing. However, the question still begs to be asked, biases aside.

On the other hand, when it comes to yarn, hopefully no one is offended when I call acrylic yarn stretchy and probably not good for making a tool belt. And while I am not intentionally trying to be obtuse, I am intentionally trying to be acute (sic).

Knitting and Crocheting since 2006

Bill's picture

""For some time, I’ve

""For some time, I’ve looked for a man’s knitting group, one which wasn’t overtly gay. ""
You have found it.
We are a very kind, caring and supportive group.
(Please keep that in mind)

Hooray, someone who

Hooray, someone who actually understood me. I thank you, really I do, and I will do my best to also be very kind, caring, and supportive. A man who knits in public will find as many varied responses to his knitting as their are people. I'm astonished at the ignorance of some; and uplifted by the exhuberance of joy in others; but, I don't need to tell anyone here that, do I?

Knitting and Crocheting since 2006

Bill's picture

Sorry, Chip... I DON'T

Sorry, Chip...

I DON'T understand you...
I was utterly appalled by your post.

I'm sorry to hear that. If

I'm sorry to hear that. If you read on and between the lines. You'll find that your first response was what I was looking for.

Knitting and Crocheting since 2006

Raymiew's picture

I'm having trouble

I'm having trouble understanding your post. You start out talking about how you are misunderstood, but then you clearly show your misunderstanding of the gay community in at best a covered condescending way. I personally am very proud of my gay brothers both effeminate and masculine. Additionally, I've never understood why people care so much that others think that knitting is for women. Cooking, ironing, etc have all been traditionally thought of as "women's work" but I rarely see single men starving to death.

Again on the

Again on the condescending... I'm afraid I have to have you explain in what way. No one is challenging your pride in who your are, or in what you think of your friends. But I'll reserve that right to be who I am and not be thought a blackguard. If you think I'm saying you called me one, then you are mistaken; either way, I'll not be thought of as one. Perhaps that is clearer. It needn't be a big thing. I'm not here to gay bash. I liked Bill's response. :-)

Knitting and Crocheting since 2006

MMario's picture

I'm sure - given your

I'm sure - given your responses, that you did not intend it, but take a look at your third and fourth paragraphs in your original post of this thread. It took effort for me to *NOT* read condescension in their content.


QueerJoe's picture

I hesitate writing this

I hesitate writing this comment, because I've found this forum to be one of the most supportive and encouraging group of guys I've ever been involved with. And it seems as though Chip wrote his comments while trying to not to offend. So I write this with education in a hopefully supportive sort of way.

I would like to set the record straight (so to speak) on two of Chip's comments in particular. Having guys who mention their male partners, in my mind, is as offensive as a straight man talking about his wife. I have been with my partner (a man) for 25 years and why discussing him in public forums should be offensive or hard to handle is befuddling to me. We have a very solid and loving relationship, and as with most couples it took a lot of work and it's something about which I'm very proud.

The second concern I had in Chip's writing is the insinuation that gay men sexualize more things (like knitting) or are effeminate. Painting any population with such a broad brush is offensive, and while I don't think that was his intent, I'd like for him to reconsider his biases, and even if he's more comfortable being around guys who are more like him, I'd prefer not to have to read that guys like Chip think lesser of someone for their sexual orientation or that they're more stereotypically feminine than him.

teejtc's picture

Joe (I think, wisely)

Joe (I think, wisely) wrote:
"The second concern I had in Chip's writing is the insinuation that gay men sexualize more things (like knitting) or are effeminate. Painting any population with such a broad brush is offensive...."

I thought I'd just make a note here. My experience is that the gay men I'M AROUND sexualize more things than the straight men I'M AROUND. The CAPS are the key.

The gay men I spend time with and know (well) tend to be more well-adjusted and open about issues of sexuality and the straight men I spend time with tend to have particular hang-ups around issues of sexuality. To be honest, I find that when I'm with gay friends I tend to make more innuendos than when I'm with straight friends. It's a sociological thing rather than a sex or gender thing though - the difference isn't the gay/straight difference but rather the individuals involved.

To some who don't know the groups I hang out with well, it may seem to be related to sexuality but, in reality, isn't at all.

Does that make sense?

It could be that this is what Chip is running into to.... Just an idea.

Grace and Peace,

Exactly, if that is part of

Exactly, if that is part of the subject, and on the subject of decorum, there is no easy way to discuss it, in a mixed group as this. I don't have a problem with someone being gay; but on the order of sexuality, I'm quite comfortable with who and what I am; and still don't feel the need or desire to discuss in vivid detail my preferences in public. Still, I think I've had my questions answered here. Some will think I'm a homophobe, that's their choice, I am not. I really don't care much what people think of me; but, I do care about what they think. A subtle difference.

The subject was/is decorum; I hope I was clear on that. For the most part; I think everyone has behaved. Yaay! We're not animals. I've seen that vulgarity is not the order of the day. And that's good too.

Knitting and Crocheting since 2006

ksmarguy's picture

I get what you are

I get what you are in a very "straight" area of the country I see this alot in the straight men, until they get a bit inebriated and even then can tend to have hangups. I have noticed that with the few people around here who are more like you (very secure and adjusted) they tend to get on so much better anywhere they go.

As always when writing on a

As always when writing on a sensitive subject, I knew there could be a propensity for misunderstanding. Let me just leave it at that and I hope my comments below clarify some of what you say; and nothing in either of your paragraphs offend me. Opinions are what they are; and up to me to change them, when about myself. And as far as insinuation goes, I don't insinuate, period. I'm open about my opinions, and my words are as carefully crafted as I can make them, to not offend, and I apologize if I have.
I didn't intend to broad brush; however stereotypes and statistics being what they are, there is generally an axiomatic truth in them without proof or they wouldn't exist. It is often taken for granted when speaking generally that exceptions exist to every rule, except the rule of exceptions, for which there are none.

Knitting and Crocheting since 2006

crmartin's picture

I agree with Mmario. I would

I agree with Mmario. I would also like to point out that the majority of gay men are not effeminate, as you are suggesting. There is a large percentage of gay men in this group and there is occasional "gay" talk. I would suggest that if that bothers you that much then you probably are in the wrong group. Perhaps I am reading you wrong but your post is very condescending.


If you read it that way,

If you read it that way, condescending, you are reading me wrong and would have to be more specific in your reference to my claim of superiority, or rank and priveledge. To that which I am specifically referrring would be the other talk I mention further on. There is no real heterosexual reference; and so my analogy falls short (no pun intended) ; as far as the kind of talk which occurs naturally from that kind of relationship, I'm suggesting that I'm more like the others who after a fashon came to accept something out of their norm.
I don't think the women exclude me from their talk; I've often been involved in and heard sexual innuendo, I'm a man; however, perhaps because I live in the south I've not heard them talk bawdy talk. For example: Knitting and mentioning a "Willie warmer" is within acceptable adult decorum. Slobbering and making whooping sounds over displaying it on one's partner on the otherhand and others chiming in open accord and encouragement, not so much, and better left, in public forum for private conversations.

Knitting and Crocheting since 2006

Parrot's picture

I agree with Mario . .

I agree with Mario . . occasionally I have been sitting with a few to several women, in a variety of social settings, where they seem to forget that a "guy is amongst them" and the chat and banter was much less than expected, and in fact, a little embarrassing. I think the women are holding back a bit with your presence, and keeping on topic of knitting, patterns, and such.

Parrot's picture

Your requested topic aside,

Your requested topic aside, I was drawn to the candy cane scarf in your pic . . . what a great look; I was wondering what to do with the white and rec yarn in my stash!

Thank you, I made that for

Thank you, I made that for my mother-in-law who lives in PA and seems to like walking around in newly fallen snow with her white faux fur coat. Just before Christmas word came back she was 'bumped' by a car. At 70, that can be really bad; but, she sprang back up with only a bruise or two. I thought the red would stand out, and give me an opportunity to continue my lifelong task of winning her over to my side after taking her only daughter.

The yarn was a sweet pick up at "Hobby Lobby". It was Yarn Bee, Intrigue. (Normally $9.99/skein on sale at $1.99/skein) Needless to say, I bought as much as I had money in my pocket, about 15-20 skeins. It's listed as a worsted weight (4) but without the "Lurex Glitter" it is really closer to a (1) or (2). I knitted as suggested with #8 needles and the width was what felt right. The stripes are made using a fibonacci number of rows (x2) for the stripes. It has the drape and flow of a lace scarf because of the (2) size, but the softness of baby yarn because of the short thin threads of glitter. It is, obviously, knit on the diagonal. I almost didn't give it to her. :-) Thank you for your comment.

Knitting and Crocheting since 2006