New Zealand Knitter's Weekend

Hi everyone,
Just thought I'd let you know that Kiwiknitter and I had a blast last week at the Knitter's weekend. We were definitely in the minority as "Men Who Knit" but more than made up for it by being two of the most visible knitters. On the Saturday afternoon we decided to avoid the crowds and knit together upstairs at the New Dowse gallery... but gallery visitors kept lining up to talk to us about our knitting. I guess in reality we became a live, interactive exhibit at the gallery. Everyone was impressed by our knitting ability and the projects we were working on and they applauded us for knitting in public.

This photo is of me competing in a speed knitting competition during the weekend. I only planned on watching the contest but got too close to the action and had needles and yarn thrust at me and was told to sit down and cast on! I didn't win the contest... but I can honestly say I was the fastest guy in the competition. The fact that I was the only guy is quite besides the point. If you look closely you can see that I was proudly wearing my Men Who Knit badge.
Thanks go to Kiwiknitter for taking the photo.


Bill's picture

Way to go, guys!!!
...we're proud of you!

kiwiknitter's picture

Thanks, James, for writing this blog. We really did have a jolly good time over the weekend. There were fun games, valuable classes (James taught the colour cable class which was brilliant), interesting guest speakers, a great venue, delicious food and nice people. Besides being a really nice man, James is a very proficient knitter and people came by continuously to look at the project on his needles. I won a contest for doing the best job at learning a new technique (most likely I did the least worst job). I learned some new knitting techniques, one of which was the Italian cast-off, something I could never suss out from the written instructions. I will use it in the future as the finished edge is very nice. We received lots of great gifts of knitting wools, patterns and needles. The most memorable time was the interview by the TV news camera of our men’s knitting session. I don’t know if we ever got our 10 seconds in the sun since I don’t have TV hook-up. As for the fastest knitter contest, the organisers had signed-up with Guiness Book of Records so we had an official contest. The contest was won by a woman who knitted 204 garter stitches in 3 minutes, no small feat I’d hasten to add. She knits Scottish (or Shetland, if you prefer) and could really throw those stitches!

I really enjoyed meeting James and I hope there will be more men at next year’s event. Now I know that there are at least three men who knit living in New Zealand!

Never trust a man who, when left alone in a room with a tea cozy, doesn't try it on.  ~Billy Connolly

potterdc's picture

You guys are great!!! It brought a big smile to my face as I thought about you two going up to knit quietly only to become an installation piece of your very own!

Jonathan in DC

Think less, enjoy it more.

kiwiknitter's picture

It did end up being something very much like that. The New Douse Gallery is a public art gallery which has rotating exhibits featuring all ranges of art. It has an excellent cafe and has free admission so the place was very busy on the Saturday were were there. While the Knitters' Weekend official events for the arvo were held downstairs, James and I were the "men knitting" exhibit upstairs. People constantly came to have a chat to us, some even sitting down in the chairs opposite to talk. Many were not knitters which made if even more interesting. I have to say it was the very first time that I'd knitted in public and anyone even noticed!

Never trust a man who, when left alone in a room with a tea cozy, doesn't try it on.  ~Billy Connolly

Kerry's picture

Jesse and James, congratulations on your great effort for MWK!