While we here at Lion Brand have always known that crafting is for everyone, society says otherwise. Gendered stereotypes have persisted as long as we’ve seen yarn in the media. The idea that crafting is for romance-less introverts has been reinforced until it’s become a classic punchline. But social media is changing the way we think about everyday activities, for the better! These men who craft are breaking all those old rules. Changing stereotypes, stitch by stitch. Meet some of our favorite fellas shaking up the yarn industry, and join us at our Manhattan Studio for Men’s Night!
Though we’re featuring some dapper dudes in this post, the truth is… men have always been crafting, too. Since the Middle Ages, when unions – then referred to as Guilds – dominated each industry, the knitting guild was composed only of gentlemen. As with any other industry at that time, young men would leave their families to apprentice with a Master of the trade. Sadly, because of the invention of the knitting machine in the late 1500’s, boys let the machines take over, and moved on to other pursuits.
With the national focus on the First and Second World Wars, men took up their needles again, to aid in the war effort. Check out this popular tune from 1918, which was printed in a school bulletin:
… I’m sure it was rocking in it’s day! But the purpose of patriotic tunes and propaganda like this one, was to turn the tide dramatically toward men feeling comfortable casting on again. And boy, did it do the trick!
Nathan Bryant is one of our new favorite men who craft. A talented crafter hailing from Virginia, he describes himself as a passionate artisan of knitting, crocheting, and photography. Nathan writes: “I try to find a balance in most of my creations so either a male or female can wear them proudly. The hardest thing would be to just choose the color that society may consider a ‘girl color’ or not.” When he first started sharing his pieces on Instagram, many followers thought he was merely modeling for a friend! He realized he needed to put himself out there, and debunk the theories. His photography is unique – you can see he’s sharing in more of a ‘lifestyle’ aesthetic, maximizing the uniqueness of using himself as a model, and showing how his creations work out in the world. Check out his website here, & follow him on Instagram.
“Some guys may think of knitting as a softer side, but there is actually some boldness to it. That comes with designing new pieces and then you realize the mistakes really aren’t that bad regarding the consequences.”
We shared a special post about Louis Boria recently, and he’s certainly a knitter-to-watch. Plus, he’s doing all he can to inspire the younger generation of knitters just getting interested in casting on. He connected with a young man who was interested in knitting, and encouraged him to try it. Lion Brand got in the loop, and gifted him a stash of yarn for his next projects! You can follow Louis on Instagram at @BrooklynBoyKnits, and we’ll keep you posted on his future plans to change young lives with yarn.
We’re big fans of Steve Malcolm, the brains behind #BigStix. He’s not only one of our #1 men who craft, he also designs tools of the trade! These jumbo knitting needles are perfect for all your biggest ideas, and we’re thrilled to carry them at Lion Brand. You can find him on Instagram as @MrHugzzz, and find his fabulous knitting needles on our website, here. Check out his website for his blog, patterns and more fun!
Darrin Morris is near and dear to our hearts. So near, in fact, you can find him on the class schedule of our Manhattan Studio! A super-talented yarncrafter in many capacities, we’re thrilled to feature Darrin’s classes weekly at the Lion Brand Yarn Studio. From needle felting, to hand-dyeing, to basics and back again, he can do it all. In addition, we carry his totally unique hand-dyed yarns in our Studio – no two skeins are alike. Find him on Instagram here.
If you’re in the New York City area and would like to craft with some camaraderie, join us for our monthly Men’s Night! Our Men’s Night is hosted by Darrin, @MisterWoolyBear himself. A group of awesome guys, working on whatever projects they’ve brought, enjoying the company. As a bonus, you’ll receive a ‘stache’ enhancement (har har) incentive – all crafters joining us for this get-together will receive 10% off their in-Studio purchase that evening. Our next night is March 22nd.