We're going to try something new today. I interviewed a knitter from my work that does not have a blog. I thought that it would be interesting to see what he had to say and share it with everyone.
Above is a picture of Mark, a fellow knitter, with a sweater that he had knit for his wife. The picture does not do either of them justice. Mark has a much nicer smile, and the sweater up close is very nice and lacey. I talked to Mark for awhile on break at work, and this is what he had to say:
C: So how long have you been knitting?
M: Since about 1998, before that I would do thread crochet, since about 1995.
C: In this day and age it’s not very common for men to pick up a pair of needles (or a hook) and yarn and say, “I want to make something out of this”. What made you want to?
M: I wanted something to do with my free time. I tried to do needlepoint, but kept stabbing myself, so that was out. I thought, ‘why not crochet?’ The girls that were around me thought I was joking and no one would help me, and I taught myself through books on making doilies and such out of thread. That was the start, but then I wanted to do more, so I tried to crochet a sweater, and well, crocheted sweaters don’t look too sharp. That’s when I said, ‘I want to learn to knit.’ I wanted to be able to make something that someone would be proud of wearing.
C: That’s a neat take on that. Speaking of which, you have showed me a cotton sweater that you had knit for your wife (really pretty, btw). What did she think about all this when you started?
M: She thought it was neat. I was knitting and crocheting things for her and our home. She dabbles a little, but not much. One time we were going to make afghans for my parents and she was going to make my dad’s and I was making my mom’s. Well about a week later I asked her how it was going. She showed me a project that had maybe 15 rows, and when she asked about mine, I showed her a completed project. She laughed and said I could finish my mom’s. I took it and found mistakes and I was pulling it all apart, when she caught me. Now I get all the yarn projects and she designs floral arrangements.
C: Oh, that’s the worst! My husband caught me fixing a stitch on the scarf he’s working on one night. I feel your pain. So what have the reactions been at lys that you’ve been to in the metro area to a guy knit?
M: Pretty neat. Everyone likes the idea. The knitters at SWAK think it’s great. They have an impression that men when they knit aren’t afraid of trying new things. One thing I have learned is that you can’t be afraid to tear stuff apart.
C: Isn’t that the truth. I re-learned that lesson just the other day. Speaking of which, what are you working on currently?
M: That’s the bad news, right now nothing, got away from it for a while, but finally meeting another knitter and finding out that I’m going to be a grandpa, has got me going thru the pattern books again. I want to knit something special for the new baby. But first, I am going to knit my son a sweater. I have an unfinished afghan that I need to get done as well.
C: Ah, so there are some unfinished works out there. Congratulations on the grand-baby. There are a lot of awesome patterns out there for babies that have been released in the last year or so. I don’t even have a baby and I’m inspired. So, have you ever considered spinning your own yarn?
M: Not really. I love to see it done, and I find it extremely fascinating. I used to watch a lady spin her dog’s fur, he was a Great Pyrenese. Funny, people thought it was yucky. If only people knew where the best yarns come from. They act like you just take the yarn spin it and wear it. There is a lot of work involved, as you well know. But who knows, If you asked me 10 years ago, I would have said no to knitting
C: Good, yes, bwa ha ha then there is time yet for you to be corru….um…it’s neat that you have an interest in it. I meant to ask you this earlier when we were talking about patterns, but what do you think about the availability of quality men’s patterns today?
M: I like them. My dad loves sweaters, so I’ve knit 4 sweaters for him. There are just so many creative people out there, so the possibilities are endless. Especially with the internet now, you don’t even have to leave the house to get a pattern.
C: Which is great since we both work nights-I totally feel ya. One final question for you: Any advice for the new knitters to the ranks who have joined up over the last couple of years?
M: My advice would be Never give up, and don’t be afraid to tackle new projects. If you make a mistake, just go back and correct it.
C: Great advice. Thank you so much for letting me interview you today and being part of my new blog segment: Knitters on the Street.