Wednesday, 10 March 2010
Wednesday Night Project 100310 – Men Do Knit & Crochet.
Today one seldom sees anyone knitting. Grandmotherly types, likely suspects, pull newspapers or magazines out of their handbags rather than skeins of wool while waiting for trains or buses. And headsets abound among younger women. The only person I know who knits in public is a man; and though he seems oblivious to criticism, his friends tend to make excuses for what is generally perceived as odd or inappropriate behavior.
When I was at boarding school during World War II, however, everyone knitted - including the headmaster, the teachers, and the whole football team. We knitted 9-inch squares, which somebody else sewed together to make blankets and scarves for British soldiers. "Knitting for Britain," it was called. The wooden needles were large and clumsy, not really fit for much else. It was a knit-two, purl-two, mindless sort of occupation, like mucking out a barn or shoveling snow. But it was wartime, so we all did extra things.
There was a picture hanging up in the school library of the football fields grown up in wheat during World War I. We were not issued rifles or taught to shoot and march in formation as our fathers had been. Pearl Harbor was still a few months away, and we weren't geared up to do anything much yet.
A few boys became obsessed and knit enormous, lumpy, 12-foot scarves for themselves. But most of us were satisfied to turn out a square or two at a time and throw it in the knitting bin. I don't know who supplied all the wool.
Full story here.
Over on Handmade By Mother there is a great post on Men knitting and Knitting for Victory.