From Esquire; Nov2005, Vol. 144 Issue 5, p74.
Section: MAN AT HIS BEST
THE INDEFENSIBLE POSITION
"AS A FARMER, I know my masculinity is measured by how straight my fences run and how thick the calluses on my hands are. I have a wife, three children, and several hundred sheep…and I'm a closet knitter. Or I was until security detained me at the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport because of the knitting needles buried in my bag. ("Do you knit, sir?" asked a man in a gray suit.) When I finally boarded another flight, tense and annoyed, I took my knitting out in public for the first time.
A man who knits is viewed askance, as if his masculinity is questionable for owning a pair of giant needles and a ball of yarn. But consider the history: For centuries, spinning, knitting, and weaving were the only means of turning raw wool into a product crucial for winter survival. Medieval knitting guilds adhered to a men-only policy. American colonists wore hand-knit clothes, a snub to King George III. Allied POWs learned to unravel their Red Cross sweaters and reknit them into socks with pieces of barbed wire as a defense against frostbite.
And consider the compensations: For every man who has sneered, a woman has sidled up to ask what I'm making and touched the fabric as it fell from my needles. Like building a table or restoring a car, the result of my efforts is a tangible product, one that keeps my family warm.
Do I knit? You bet your ass. Which is exactly what Ill say the next time I'm detained at the airport."
By Charles Capaldi