SMP Craft
21 Jun

Men Who Knit and Crochet

Most of us, if asked to assign a majority sex to a particular hobby or activity would probably have a few if not all of these on their list for men–football, hunting, golf, fishing, chess, poker, model making, car tinkering, and smoking cigars.

But knitting and crocheting? Unlikely.

This Father’s Day, we’ve decided to shine light on the community of men and boys who knit and crochet–a community of over two million in the US alone, according to a 2014 survey conducted by the Craft and Yarn Council.

Let’s be clear. No, we don’t think Men’s Knitting is the New Yoga. Or that men’s knitting and crocheting will overtake Football as America’s favorite national pastime–in the near future.

But “thriving” and “vibrant”? Indeed. However way you choose to see it, in this century, women aren’t the only ones who knit and crochet as a leisure activity, men are returning to the craft, and we couldn’t be more excited about it.

Numerous online articles feature this trend:

Men who knit can join the very active online community of the same name that was formed to “promote and inspire knitting amongst men” and includes blog links, instructions, features finished and ongoing projects by members, and information on Men Knitting and Crocheting Retreats and Clubs, of which there are more than a handful in the US and UK.

On Facebook, there are a few Community pages for Men’s Knitting Retreats groups. Below is an image of the Men’s Mid-West Knitting Retreat attendees from last November.

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Scanning through the comments section of Real Men Crochet! a youtube video on Action Wipes’ channel, which has garnered nearly 23,000 views, we find men of all ages, young boys, and teenagers excited about crocheting and knitting.

Cheskydivision shared a story about his teenage son “who gets teased a lot for crocheting as much as he receives praise from friends but never comes home with his creations as they end up being gifted.”

Joetherocku2ube: Dude, I really enjoy working with my hands too. I make tons of beanies as well as survival bracelets. Male, married, 44 years old.

TheRommannEmpire: I’m 12 now and I’ve been crocheting since I was 7. I learned to crochet from a book with no help from anyone.

Explore Pinterest, like Carrie Carpenter’s channel, to see images of movie stars, musicians, and sports celebrities knitting and crocheting, including David Arquette, Ryan Gosling, George Lucas, Laurence Fishburne, Ewan McGregor, Russell Crowe, Kurt Cobain, Paul Rudd.

Hollywood Knit for Breast Cancer Research featured David Arquette on their mission statement cover, as he’s known to be an avid knitter.

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AuntPeaches.com includes Ryan Gosling in a post titled Sexy Men Who Knit.

ryan-gosseling-knitting-640Several online articles and a podcast pop up about Gregory Patrick, formerly homeless, and now has a book out about his story. Here’s his blog, where he also sells his book: Mad Man Knitting.

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We’ll end here with Moral Courage Project’s recent youtube video featuring Alvin Irby: I Crochet in the Subway and I Don’t Care What People Think. 

Inspiring.

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If you’re interested in reading more about the history of knitting, Knitty.com’s History 101 by Julie Theaker is an excellent place to start.

Happy Father’s Day!

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20 Jun

The Secret to Making Your Father’s Day Gift Super Special

This Father’s Day, probably the best gift to show Dad how special and loved he is, is to spend more time with him, participate in his hobbies, and help him with household chores and big projects since what dads really want is time and attention from the people they care most about.

For many of us, we can’t actually be physically present to make this happen. But we can still keep this in mind and show thoughtfulness and care in the gift we give.

Whether you’re donating money under his name to a cause he feels strongly about, or helping him manage that wild beard with a membership to the Dollar Shave Club, ordaining him Top Chef with a new Global or Henckels or Shun Chef Knife, or signing him up for the Custom Golf Clubs he’s been (not-so-secretly) coveting–what will REALLY show Dad how special he is?

What’s the secret?

Finish the gift with a follow-up that shows up a few days or even a week or two later, something personal and handmade that shows him that your appreciation for him goes beyond one national holiday.

This one simple act will bring a smile to his face and resonate long after Father’s Day. Why? He won’t know it’s coming. It’s unexpected. A wonderful surprise.

Admittedly, it’s not a secret really but a reminder to look beyond what’s immediately in front of us and find ways to act meaningfully.

You probably have some ideas of your own as a follow-up to your Father’s Day gift. But if you need a little guidance, we have a few suggestions. Just a few since the point is to really think about YOUR father.

Each of these takes less than an hour to accomplish:

Send him a handmade post card. Even if he lives next door. It can go with the theme of your gift, or be a picture of you and him together, or stenciled with his favorite saying or phrase. Don’t forget to convey the message: Wish you were here!

Here’s the postcard I made to send to my stepdad, a former pilot. He got me into flying and it’s a subject the two of us have killed considerable hours talking about.

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Show ongoing support. Wish him luck on a project–career or personal–that he’s battling. Buy seven or 30 $1 scratch-off lottery tickets. Wrap each in a sticky note labeled for each day of the week. Instruct him to scratch one ticket every day. He’ll have at least one thing to look forward to every day, a fun moment of distraction. If you want, fold an origami crane, a symbol of luck and fortune, and send everything in a cool origami box. Click here for instructions on making the box. And if you’re feeling ambitious, click here for some instruction on making moveable origami.

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Did you know you can make a custom iPhone Case in less than an hour? Acknowledge his hobbies or favorite pastimes or TV show, or use a funny phrase he’d appreciate like: Will Trade Wife for Whiskey to accessorize his phone. The Cheese Thief shows us how.

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Crafty Morning had a terrific idea. Even if your dad doesn’t grill, this spatula with a personalized message using the phrase Flippin’ is simply brilliant as a summertime gift.

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If you still need more ideas, check out our post from last week–10 Beer Bottle Crafts to make with empty beer bottles and caps.

But whatever you decide on, always keep in mind the age-old adage: It’s the thought that counts.

Happy Father’s Day (and after)!

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CAUGHT CRAFTING: SMPCraft’s Spotlight on NYC Crafting

SMPCRAFT #CAUGHTCRAFTING Thursday morning, Astoria, Queens. Accessorizing with a lovely temporary floral tattoo she learned to make from DIY Temporary Tattoos: Draw It, Print It, Ink It by Pepper Baldwin!

PROJECT OF THE MONTH: JUNE DIY Father’s Day Gifts to MAKE NOW

PROJECT OF THE MONTH: JUNE DIY Father’s Day Gifts to MAKE NOW

Father's Day is less than three weeks away -- Sunday, June 19th in the U.S. -- just enough time to start prepping for what would make dear old pops feel loved....What dad, what MAN, wouldn't want to get a bright red tool box full of homemade BBQ, bacon, and chili flavored chocolate? Or a handmade Paracord hammock? Does he play golf?--hand dipped tees? Does he like to hike? Enjoy nature and the great outdoors? How about homemade beef jerky? Or does he enjoy watching sports--Remote Control Cookie? What about beer? One of the coolest new items coming out of Japan is a Frozen Beer Slushy Maker by Kirin Ichiban that perfectly pairs with the DIY black and tan soap! Scroll and click for more homemade DIY Father's Day gift ideas sure to make pappy happy! Hashtag #SMPCRAFT #DIYFATHERSDAY!

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