Changing gender roles and by qdk21196


									8   April 6, 2005 The University News                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 April 6, 2005 The University News            9

                                                                                                                                                                                    by Michelle Padgett                  consin, has noticed the craft’s growth     “all those people who looked down         knitting, too. According to a recent
                                                                                                                                                                                     Contributing Writer                 in popularity.                             on knitting were not being feminist       MSNBC report, the majority of male
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            “I think knitting is more popular       at all. In fact, they were being anti-    knitters are actually (as hard as it may
                                                                                                                                                                                  It is happening in cafés, universi-    than it was when I learned just four       feminist, since they seemed to think      be to believe) snowboarders.

                                                                         Changing gender roles and
                                                                                                                                                                               ties, and subways across the nation.      years ago. There are several student       that those things that men did were           Tired of the same-old manufac-

                                                                                                                                                                                  Thousands of women are picking         organizations at my university for         worthwhile.”                              tured beanies and scarves, many
                                                                                                                                                                               up their needles and knitting. The        knitters, and it’s not uncommon to            So, in an effort to “take back the     snowboarders started knitting to
                                                                                                                                                                               face of knitting, however, has changed    see people knitting in a coffee shop,”     knit” and give women’s crafts the         make their own fashion statements.
                                                                                                                                                                               drastically in the past decades.          she said.                                  attention they deserve, Stoller wrote         A yarn store in Davis, Calif., In
                                                                                                                                                                                  Instead of stereotypical gran-            One of the best-selling knitting        Stitch N’ Bitch and started a group       Sheep’s Clothing, hosted the first-ever
                                                                                                                                                                               nies knitting multi-colored afghans       books, Stitch ‘N Bitch: The Knitter’s      in New York City that meets to knit,      all-male knitting group this February.
                                                                                                                                                                               and itchy Christmas sweaters, this        Handbook, targets this new audience        visit, and share ideas.                   There are also two online forums for
                                                                                                                                                                               generation’s demographic of knitters      of young knitters.                            Her book is designed with the          men who knit:
                                                                                                                                                                               is more varied, trendier, and usually        In the introduction, author Deb-        beginner in mind and teaches basic        and
                                                                                                                                                                               much younger. According to the            bie Stoller, who is also editor-in-chief   knitting how-to. It also includes pat-        Just as the typical knitter has
                                                                                                                                                                               Craft Yarn Council of America, the        of the feminist magazine BUST,             terns for cardigans, scarves, bags, and   changed, so has the typical yarn. Yarn
                                                                                                                                                                               percentage of women ages 23-34            explains knitting is becoming more         even a Wonder Woman bikini.               stores offer different textured yarns in
                                                                                                                                                                               who knit increased by 150 percent         popular with the younger genera-              New York City is not the only          a wide variety of colors.
                                                                                                                                                                               last year. All over the United States,    tion because women are no longer           place where knitting groups have              Knitters have the option of work-
                                                                                                                                                                               college-aged students and hipsters        ashamed to take pride in a so-called       started-up. Almost every major city       ing with silk, acrylic, alpaca, and even
                                                                                                                                                                               are knitting everything from scarves      “domestic art.”                            in the United States has a group that     soy-based yarns.
                                                                                                                                                                               and handbags to cozies for their cell        The strong feminist movement in         meets in a local café or bookstore.           The Dallas-based knitter has a
                                                                                                                                                                               phones and iPod holders.                  the 1970s, inspired by Betty Friedan’s        Websites such as www.Knitting.         few specialty yarn stores to choose
                                                                                                                                                                                  In the forum dedicated to knitting,    The Feminine Mystique, encouraged help knitters find their        from. The Woolie Ewe (1301 Custer
                                                                                                                                                                     , people exchange        women to break free from their             city’s knitting groups. There are more    Rd. #328, Plano) and Yarn Heaven
                                                                                                                                                                               ideas, talk about patterns, and share     traditional gender roles. As a result,     than five groups listed in the Dallas      (1300 W. Arkansas, Arlington) are
                                                                                                                                                                               pictures of completed projects.           any craft or hobby that was typically      metroplex alone.                          two of the largest. Both stores offer
                                                                                                                                                                                  Sarah Kantor, Craftster member         reserved for women was shunned.               Women are not the only ones            hands-on classes for those interested
                                                                                                                                                                               and student at the University of Wis-        “It dawned on me,” Stoller said,        participating in the trend. Men are       in picking up the hobby.

                                                                     offers a history lesson about knitting and men. The
                                                                              website’s creators disagree with Stich N’ Bitch author, Debbie
                                                                              Stoller, and her assesment of knitting history. The site credits
                                                                              male Arabian sailors for the spread of knitting throughout the


                                                    Men knit, too                                                          


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