28
Jun
08

A Penny's Worth of My Two Cents

Learning to crochet was not difficult for me…once I got over my fear of failure and realized that it was NOT rocket science. Although, I must admit, that my initial struggle with a crochet pattern prompted me to wish for some sort of Rosetta Stone to translate the gibberish. But, before long, it began to make sense. That which made no sense one day became a matter of course the next. I dare say that now there is nothing I will not tackle. I’m not saying that I enjoy every stitch in every pattern I crochet (I ABHOR hdc!!!!!!), but I’ve yet to find an instruction I could not follow.

Now, I am not a boastful person and my reflection here is not to inflate my worth on the planet. I simply want to illustrate that, against many odds, I learned to do something that I always believed was beyond my grasp. I have become proficient in a craft my mother was reluctant to share with me. I regret she did not live long enough to see my work. But, perhaps, it is just as well. She was a woman of her time when gender identities were strong and intransigent. Perhaps, it is just as well.

Because the vast majority of crocheters are women, most of the apparel patterns available are for women. Most designers and publishers cater to the obvious majority. Many of the new subscribers to the Men Who Crochet Yahoo group tell me, with their request to join the group, that they are looking for patterns for men or that they are interested in finding out what men want to crochet for themselves or others. Since some of our members are designers, I find this to be an encouraging sign of good things to come.

I belong to a number of crochet groups online. As a matter of habit, many of the listers start their posts with “hello ladies”, or some such salutation. I used to be offended and express my outrage at being overlooked and excluded. I would contend that it was not a major imposition to expect folks to think before they wrote in order to be inclusive. Well, I have given up that fight. I have been flamed into submission. I will rest, convinced that such things will never change as long as crochet is regarded as “women’s work”. I will instead concentrate my energies on enlisting more and more men to join us happy hookers. It is only when more men are visible and vocal that we will be regarded among the many. We don’t want to take over, y’all. We just want to be one of you.

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4 Responses to “A Penny's Worth of My Two Cents”


  1. 1 kathy bennett
    June 30, 2008 at 5:49 pm

    Hi Peter, I see your point but I have a different one. Everyone I know who is NOT a crocheter thinks it is a “grandma” thing. LOL, I am one now at the young age of 52, but the only critisism or back lash about crocheting is on the on-line groups. Everyone thinks they know everything and e-mail makes them feel brave. I look at it as an accomplishment – which you have done – and also an art and craft that can always be improved on.

    Speaking of that, congrats on your first place win at the fair for the hooded rowena. Sp?

    I love fairs and have found that is an excellent outlet for me for others opinions. (I don’t do garments) LOL

    Kathylovescrochet

  2. 2 Ken
    July 5, 2008 at 9:30 am

    Hey Pete,

    First off, hope you’re feeling better (us ‘young’ girls got to stick together, right? 😉

    As a black, urban male for over 36 yrs(trust me, it makes a difference), I feel attitudes on male crocheters has changed slightly. I find more people more ‘tolerant’ than before. Maybe it’s age, but, like when I crochet on the subway, I rarely get a comment (OK, so I’m not in thmiddle of the car, crocheting something pink or yellow!), but when you show confidence in what you’re doing, most people pick up on that.

    You other commenter mentioned about people online. Well, the main problem I sometimes have are with people who think everything crocheted is (1) made with ‘online’ pattern, and (2) available if you suggest by saying “would you be willing to share”, regardless if the pattern is copyrighted

    Like I told a young crocheter who had been berated by another crochet, that crochet is a equal opportunity craft …even assholes can do it!!!;-)

  3. July 8, 2008 at 9:35 pm

    When I was in France last week, I took a picture (for which I paid a tip, of course) of a man crocheting on the sidewalk. He did beautiful work and, man, was he fast. He was probably five times faster at it than I am. I just had to stare at him doing it in amazement.

    Anyway, thought I’d share. Not all of us think you’re all ‘ladies’! And I don’t like being called one, either. hehe

  4. July 8, 2008 at 9:43 pm

    Please, if you can, share the photo. You have my email address, I believe. I’d love to see it. And thanks for your comments.


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