Meet Calvin. He is 7-years-old. He loves video games, is on the 2nd and 3rd grade basketball team, had a lot of snow days this year so far, loves playing outside with his little sister Rylee and he’s totally into knitting. Yes knitting.
There is a common misconception that knitting is “for girls”. It’s pretty funny that this is the assumption because knitting actually has a rich history full of men. (Bros & Rows: The Real History of Men Who Knit and The Ultra Manly History of Knitting are a good place to start if you want to know more about the history of men in knitting.)
I’m always excited when I see little kids knitting – or just making something with their small hands, big imaginations and inexhaustible tenacity. But the fact that Calvin is unknowingly breaking stereotypes is even better. Not to mention, he gets his basketball team in on the action!
Calvin’s mom, Nicole, is friend of mine and I just had to know: What is he making? How did he get the team involved? Are the other parents making a fuss about their boys doing something “girly”? Nicole humored me with a little Q&A.
Purl You Crazy: I love that Calvin is knitting! What prompted him to start?
Nicole: His sister got a hat loom kit for Christmas and she put it in the bottom of her closet and had not looked at it since then. Calvin was looking for things in her closet and found it and instantly wanted to make the hat. So I showed him how to get it started and off he went and he LOVED it! After he finished his first hat he said “Mom I have a new hobby. No video games for me.” I highly doubt that, but I love that he found a new hobby that he can enjoy.
Nicole: I think when it is their idea to start a hobby, sport, musical instrument, or whatever it may be they are more invested in it and excited about it. Which makes that “thing” stick longer and more fun for them.
PYC: Sounds like he loves it. He’s interested is selling his knitting now?
Nicole: Yes he is very interested in sell his hats. Right after he made his first one he said, “I think I could sell these.” Then he made up a plan that he was going to set up a stand in front of his grandma’s house and sell them. I told him we may have to wait until it’s a little warmer out.
PYC: What does he want to knit next?
Nicole: He is working on finishing a hat for himself now and because of posting the picture on Facebook we connected with another little boy named AJ who knits scarves. He is going to make a video and send it to Calvin showing him how to knit scarfs. He is pretty excited to make a matching scarf for him and his sister.
PYC: So was this hat on the loom the first thing that Calvin ever knitted?
Nicole: Yes. He made his first hat for his sister, Rylee.
PYC: I love that he got the basketball team involved in making the hat. Have you or he gotten any push back or criticism?
Nicole: The only “push back” would be that everyone giggles a little when I have said he is making hats. I think knitting is thought of as a girl thing to do, hence his sister getting it for Christmas and it being all pink things that came with it (which she loved she is a pinkaholic). Everyone is supportive though and think it’s very cool.
Nicole: I would have to say I think the best part of his new hobby is how confident, excited and proud he feels about it. I really feel like having little things that make a child feel special or different are great for helping them build You-niqueness!
Calvin, I hope you continue to build your You-niqueness around knitting. I’d share a craft market space with you any day!
On Friday, I taught some of my co-workers how to knit as part of our half day staff retreat/meeting.
Wow. What a reminder that knitting truly is a test of your patience, a talent and some serious dexterity skills.
I had four people in my knitting class. And I learned that teaching someone to knit is really hard! Explaining how to hold the yarn (I knit contentinal) and how to go through the stitches is actually super difficult. I need to watch some lessons on how to teach lesson!!!
I must have done something right though! Everyone in my “class” learned how to cast on and got their first row of garter stitch going. We’re planning to meet up during our lunch hour next Friday for a second lesson.
I’m so excited to share my love of knitting with other people. 💕 I’m thinking about doing some YouTube videos on how to knit for my site. What do you think? Go for it?
I’m making slight progress on my January socks. I should finish them before the end of the month if I manage my time right (like knit instead of playing Horizon Zero Dawn every free moment I have… But it’s so good!) I’m not too sad about the slow pace though because Rox and I are making great progress on the house we bought over Christmas.
We’ve taken on a fixer upper of a home to say the least. We are gutting it. 😮 It’s an intimidating job and I have ZERO experience in home renovation. I mean zero. I have lived in apartment after apartment. Every day that we work on the house I learn something new – about housing or about how to manage my anxiety about the house. All of this work is legit overwhelmimg. 😬
But all the evenings we come home completely exhausted will be worth it in the end. The house will be exactly what we want it to be. I will be able to wake up and go for a walk in the woods on our property with our little daschund and I’ll have a new pair of socks to kick back and relax in at night.
Jen (my PYC second half) has challenged me to a once a month sock making challenge.
Oh lordy. Socks take like 20 hours. A pair a month? I don’t know about this! Well… it’s a good excuse to make something for myself AND to buy new sock yarn. 😆
I’m ahead of the game with a pair of crazy colored socks that I started making for myself around Christmas. I’m using yarn I bought on the trip Jen and I took to Toronto. I don’t remember the brand but it’s soft and adorable and knitting up really nicely.
I love it so much.
Jen and I went to our favorite local bar and got our first “business meeting” of the year in. We talked about potential models for our products, craft markets, new products (including whimsical BLANKETS!) and of course, gossiped.
I’m excited for 2018!
Wish me luck on this damn sock challenge. 😘
The art of knitting and the art of advocacy are not so different.
I recently finished a custom order – two Grab Back Hats aka Pussy Hats for a young woman named Jia. She and her Granny will rock these warm, cozy hats at this month’s Women’s March in Lansing, Michigan. And as I knit, I think of the women who will wear them – praying for them to stay warm, empowered and vigilant. I am inspired and energized every time I knit, but today I am honored and thankful for women like Jia and her Granny, who will stand together in the cold, in the wind, in the snow to advocate for equality for all women. For me.
Advocates like Jia and Granny share a common thread with knitters (and other makers). It’s this DIY spirit that fuels us and moves us through challenges, successes, through life.
I see these commonalities everyday as I am both a knitter and an advocate. When I knit, I have a plan, I have the tools to see that plan through and I have friends to knit with or call when I get stuck. I watch my project come together stitch by stitch, bit by bit. At my day job, I advocate for policy change that leads to safer, walkable communities. I have a plan, I have tools to see the plan through and I have friends and colleagues to collaborate with or call when things get tough.
Like advocates, knitters are patient, creative, flexible (knitting everywhere from coffee shops to bus stops), passionate and determined (we will restart a project about a million times….). We build networks. We lean on one another for support. We share ideas. We live and breath the DIY spirit – often in a quiet introvert style, but we live it nonetheless.
So to Jia and Granny, I wish you all the patience and perseverance in the world.
Grab Back, ladies. Persist.
Can I tell you a secret? I am completely jealous of people who know how to weave using a loom. I’m not talking about one of those hat looming kits that you can pick up at Joann’s (although I’m not knocking those. I don’t know even know how to use them). I’m talking about the big beautiful wall art pieces that you see at DIY maker shows. I don’t know what it is, but I love them.
My love of loom art persisted throughout 2017, but I didn’t have any tools to try this out myself and I didn’t want to spend a bunch of money on a loom or on classes. So, my lovely partner Roxanne helped me build my own loom. I was so excited. I got to spend time with Roxanne, play in the garage with power tools and finally I had a loom of my own.
I was very proud of it and wanted to start using it immediately. I had a lot of ideas in my mind of all the fun and funky woven projects I would make – mostly wall tapestries with lots of loud colors. Finishing up the homemade loom just made me daydream even more.
So I started using my loom and quickly learned a few important lessons… Read More
Happy New Year!
I’m excited for a brand new year of creation! PYC has a new line up of creature cowls for you this year. Don’t worry – you’ll still be able to order the Cinna Fox that started it all. We’re also trying out a few new fiber arts. Be sure to check the blog for sneak peeks of what’s next.
Knitting may move a little slowly for me at the beginning of this year. Just two days after Christmas, I bought a new house.
The new place is a spacious homestead with lots of potential. It’s quirky and I love it. Although, it’s quite the fixer upper. It is in need of lots of renovations and updating. So I’ll be squeezing my knitting in between knocking down walls, painting and putting in new kitchen cabinets.
Wish me luck! ❤
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