August 19, 2014

It’s officially time to start getting excited!  Fall, and the Crawl, are right around the corner…

Here on the blog, I’ll be highlighting all the events coming up that are part of the festivities, and also the Destinations and Indie Artists who are trotting out all their best stuff for us as we shop around the Metroplex in October.

But for our first post, I wanted to turn the spotlight on one of our Brothers in Yarns, a minority in the needle world, but a strong member of the community who shouldn’t be overlooked.  I visited with Ted, a knitter in the DFW area and asked him what it’s like to be a guy who knits, and buys yarn.  His insights might surprise you…

Yarn Crawl: How long have you been knitting?
   Ted: I have been knitting about 4 years.

YC: What interested you in knitting in the first place?
   Ted: I have wanted to learn to knit since I was little and saw my grandmother both knitting and crocheting, but she wouldn’t teach me; I was too young. She passed when I was in 4th grade. Every once in a while, since then, I tried to teach myself, unsuccessfully. Four years ago a friend sat down with me and taught me.

YC: What kinds of projects do you enjoy?
  Ted: I like projects that push me out of my comfort zone. So I do a lot of MKALs. Lace has been FUN, but not very masculine results, LOL. Cables are challenging, I just haven’t, yet, had the courage to start the project I most want that is cables.

YC: Do you have other guys you knit with, or are your knitting friends mostly female?
   Ted: Mostly, females. I only have one male friend that I see fairly regularly, who knits.

YC: Do other knitters or shop owners treat you differently as a guy?
   Ted: MOST definitely. I can’t go shopping for yarn with a female, because I get treated as the “patient” husband, waiting on the little woman to finish her shopping. When I’m new to a knitting group, I’m a novelty and everyone wants to know what I’m working on, how long I’ve been knitting, etc.

YC: Is there anything you wish female knitters knew about you?
   Ted: That I’m not the only one, LOL. Not really, being the only guy in most if my knitting groups, they generally get to know me pretty well.

YC: Do you have any favorite designers?
   Ted: Matthew Gnagy, Laura Nelkin, Gwen Bortner, Franklin Habit, Steven West (though NOT most of his shawls, I prefer his sweaters)

YC: Are Dallas/Ft. Worth Male Knitter Friendly cities? Why or why not?
   Ted: The knitters I come across are extremely friendly, once they realize I actually have some skill, and I’m not looking for a wife.
   The shops much less so. I either get ignored (he must have wandered into the wrong shop, or is looking for his wife), or I get treated disdainfully (if he knits why does he ask so many stupid questions).

YC: Is all this gender stuff important or a lot of fuss for nothing?
   Ted: I plan on wearing a t-shirt next crawl that says “I’m here for my own balls!”, when I yarn crawl with the ladies I knit with. I got really fed up last year getting treated like someone’s doting husband. Nearly every shop we visited, I got thanked for being so patient.

YC: What would you like to see in this year’s Yarn Crawl?
   Ted: I would like to see shop keepers recognize that everyone who walks into their shop is a potential customer, not just the ladies. There is one in particular, from the past 2 years, that I feel is downright hostile to me when I walk in, I’d give you the name, but I don’t remember it until I pull up outside to go in for the Crawl.  [OUCH! Shops, listen up!]   I would like to see a unisex pattern designed specifically for the Yarn Crawl. All of the patterns I’ve seen over the last two years have been fairly feminine; shawls, and lacy things. And NOT a scarf. I get very bored doing scarves. Though it seems that nearly every unisex piece out there is either a scarf, gloves or a hat.


Thanks, Ted, for your insights!  And Crawlers of the female variety, let this be a lesson to us as well, not to judge the fellows we meet along the Crawl journey – the guy you diss, might just be the one to help you out of your next technique jam!

Till next time, Yarn On!
Cindy Telisak
Yarn Crawl Wrangler