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We know how empowering it is to enable others - to start their own creative projects and tell their own stories. That’s why we’ve decided to share our customers’ stories* to highlight their aspirations and challenges and share that wonderful sense of accomplishment you get from learning something new. At Stitch & Story we want to share our love of crafting – encouraging others to tell their own stories and create remarkable memories.
How/when/why did you learn to knit and/or crochet?
My mum tells me I learned to knit when I was around 7 or 8 years old. Someone was always ‘clicking’ away in our house - my mum, grandmother and aunts when they came to visit. Back then gloves, hats, jumpers, baby clothes, and so on, were made not bought, and for others, not just for the person knitting. I suppose I wanted to help, and began with knitted squares that would be stitched together to make blankets. I remember making pompoms for the hats my mum and grandmother were knitting and being told, “you can stop now, it’s big enough!”
Despite knitting having historically been a male occupation, why do you think male knitters/crocheters are underrepresented nowadays?
I still think it’s seen as ‘something women do’. When I was in primary school my mum came into class each week to teach the children how to knit - but only the girls were allowed take part! When I began knitting again a couple of years ago it did take me a while to be confident enough to knit in public places - in cafes for instance! But it’s a good icebreaker for conversation and most people smile rather than raise their eyebrows.
What do you feel companies like Stitch & Story could do to make men feel more welcome in the crafting community?
I think offering more ‘male’ kits – sweaters, for example, and hats and scarves that are more male-orientated – as the site is currently predominantly women’s, babies, and home kits. A dedicated men’s area, and possibly some ‘How-to’ videos featuring men, might help draw more men in.
What advice would you give to men that are interested in knitting and/or crochet?
Do it! Don’t feel embarrassed, start simple, follow the instructions, and ask someone if you’re not sure how to do something – the Stitch & Story ‘How-to’ videos are excellent! Knitting is rewarding and very therapeutic. Remember, it doesn’t have to come out perfect. My first pair of gloves wouldn’t have won any points for style, but they scored 10 out of ten for pride, and laughter!
As a dad, what has been the most important thing you’ve taken from learning to knit and/or crochet that you’d like to pass on to your children?
It’s a very useful life-skill to have, and a rewarding thing to do. In my experience it’s great fun and a terrific way to bond and spend quality time with each other.
What has been your best knitting and/or crochet memory, or favorite thing you’ve made?
My favorite memory is as child sitting in my grandmother’s living room, both of us knitting, and whilst watching television she picked up her teacup with one hand and continued knitting with the other!!
Do you have a favorite Stitch & Story kit?
My favorite kit - the Freya Fingerless Gloves kit - because you never forget your first!
* If you would like to be featured as part of our crafters' stories please contact us at email@example.com