Saturday, January 20, 2007

Beach Stories

It is sunny! And in my eyes. Ow.

Don't worry, I'm not just sitting here complaining, I actually spent the last few hours out enjoying it. First, I visited my LYS, since I haven't been in for ages (no money for yarn). Then I went to cafe nearly next door to grab a cup of their super-good coffee (local roastery) and one of their homemade blue cheese scones. So. Damn. Good. And, because I am knitter, hear me roar, I headed down to the beach to get some quality knitting time in, and am now halfway through the thumb gusset decreases on the second Snow Tiger. It feel like a day at the zoo...

I suppose I had it coming, it's been ages since I've had a comment about Knitting In Public (except for the lady who decided to knit alongside me on the bus during exam week, that was cool), but today, the crowds were out in full force. Again, I shouldn't be surprised, as what with the gorgeous (and first day of decent) weather, everyone and their mother was down at the beach.

I have named the various encounters: (please note, these took place in the following order, and all while I was sitting on the same bench, I was there for about 30 minutes)
- Counter Culture
- Corrupted Kids
- Crones
- K-nitting Compliments
and
- Checked Out (couldn't make it fit, damn)

Firstly, Counter Culture, or how I can justify anything.
I am sitting. And knitting. And knitting. And sitting. When a dude walks up to me. I know he is a dude, because he says 'dude' a lot. I have a number of dude friends and acquaintances, so I think nothing of it. But then, he speaks.
"Dude, what are you doing?"
*I look up*
"Knitting. Hello."
"What?"
"...Nevermind."
"Dude, isn't knitting, like, for chicks or I dunno, preps or something?"
"Not as far as I know. Are you trying to tell me I'm giving into a cultural stereotype?" (I live in what is often acknowledged as a rich and pretentious neihgbourhood.)
"Well, dude..."
*I cut him off*
"Because, if that's all you're trying to say, you're way off the mark, man. This, this is COUNTER-culture. You see, nobody excepts a guy to be knitting. I'm really just sticking it to them, making them think, man."
"...Dude."
The dude walks off. I return to my knitting, thinking about counter-culture movements that a lot of my friends are into. You know, I'm not COUNTER-culture, I like culture, it can be a useful thing. But I would say it's a sub-culture thing I do. Go figure.

Corrupted Kids
Still knitting, but my ears are cold, and I forgot a hat. Thankfully, I brought my portable music device which has a nice big set of warm headphones, which I slip on without turning the device on as I like the sound of the ocean. I hear, and see out of the corner of my eye, a small contingent of children (maybe four or five of them) watching me. Cool, I like kids, and so far they're not getting in the way of the yarn. But then I hear their parents.
"What is he doing?" (Valid. Small knitting, and I was kind of hunched over.)
"Don't let the kids watch" (What, did I do something indecent?)
And so on. And then...
A shadow is cast over me, I only assume that it is some misguided parent chiding me for corrupting their children.

Crones (and Compliments)
But I was mistaken, it was a very sweet old lady.
"What are you making there, young man?"
"Me? Oh, sorry. I'm knitting some gloves."
"Those don't look live gloves." (Thanks lady, thanks.) "Oh, I'm sorry, they don't have fingers! Well they look very good, and so complicated."
*I drop into a whisper*
"Thank you ma'am. It's really not so hard..."
*Trail off into incoherency* (I am bad with compliments. Critiques and stabs I can take till the cows come home, but compliments trouble me.)
"Well, have a nice day, young man."
"You too, ma'am."

Repeat the conversation about three minutes later with another cute old lady.

Checked Out.
I pulled my headphones back on to keep my ears warm, and keep on knitting. A short time later, I hear two people walking past behind me. One is a young mother (I assume, judging by the stroller with the very little infant in it that she wa pushing) and I presume her friend. Both look to be in their mid-twenties.
"Hey look, is he knitting?" Mutters the woman with the stroller.
"Yeah, I think so. Man, guys who can knit, well, that's just hot." Replies her companion.

Thanks. Now, why can't any cute girls MY age agree? Stupid world.

No photos today, but all is well with the knitting. Have a good weekend y'all!

12 comments:

Tallguy said...

Hehehe --- sometimes you need to look to an older, more experienced woman! Don't limit yourself!

Ellen said...

And sometimes those older, more experienced women have daughters! Ha!

dragon knitter said...

unfortunately, most girls your age do think knitting is dorky. my daughter is 21 (a shade bit older than you, i think?) and she only takes my knitting if it's something cool. i crocheted a turtle for her for christmas last year that she absolutely adores, but that's it. even the vanilla socks of doom only get worn in the apartment.

of course, my sons' school's knitting group would probably think you're hot, but you're too old for them (they're 13 & 14, lol)

Anonymous said...

I'm nine years older than my husband. (Older guys? Can't keep up with me. Seriously.) So watch what you're saying to us rob-the-cradle types... :) :) :)

And dude, knitting IS hot. Hottt. Three t's worth-o-hotness.

Miss Muffy said...

Miss Violet - totally right!

Abigail said...

Hey Michael...found you through Lisa S...:)

So glad I did!...It is great to see guys making {knitting}, and blogging about it too! I am a jeweller so know well the 'problems' that surround guys doing a craft not normally assosiated with their gender....{from the guys in my class at art school, and their struggle with it etc..}....

Keep going, don't ever stop! And believe me, girls [with whom you have things in common] will not be put off by it at all - straight, available guys who are designers/makers/crafters are the proverbial holy grail!! So I'm sure you won't have to wait long to find someone who thinks the same way....;)

Anonymous said...

Here in Australia, I have known guys who do cross stiching, tapestry or knitting because it relaxes them and they can unwind. If people don't like it, that's their problem. Usually I'd say it's pure envy on their part that you can do something so well and they can't and that you dare to do it in public. No shame in that. Keep up the good works. You will always draw attention to yourself though...you're just too damned cute. Us "older women" have lots we could teach you! And yes, we also have cute daughters too!

Adam said...

Yeah, such is the day in the life of a guy knitter. I get weird looks all the time, and totally empthasize with the "don't let the kids go over there" scenario. That's happened to me a few times. Oh well, at least sometimes it seems to scare people away from me rather than bring them over to touch my knitting and go, "oh, what are you knitting?"

And why is it that the cute girls in our age bracket don't think knitting is HOT? I mean, come on, it's super hot!

Ellen said...

The hottest male knitter I know is actually 15 years old. I used to work at his school and am a friend of his mother and can only say, "Watch out, girls!" When this guy gets a car (and is legally able to drive it!!), he will cutting a path through crowds of girls.

I think that perhaps young women are just a wee bit intimidated about a cool craft that they might not share. My husband used to take me out on dates that ended with me helping him bleed the brakes on his Triumph TR7. When I first met him, I just envisioned getting to drive the car, not maintaining it! We are never getting rid of that car!

Andrea said...

Hey, I think guys who can knit are hot. And I am your age so don't give up hope.

Amanda said...

Guys who can knit ARE hot. But then again, I am *24* so not quite your age *lesigh for growing old*. I'm wondering wth the parents thought you were doing to be trying to shield their kids from it. BIZZARE.

Ted said...

Re: compliments

Saying "Thank you", with a pleasant smile, is a great way to receive a compliment from someone.