Why Knitting Is Becoming A Craze Among Men

Why Knitting Is Becoming A Craze Among Men

We discuss how this hobby with benefits breaks gender norms

Sapna SarfareUpdated: Tuesday, December 26, 2023, 01:52 PM IST
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Pic: Freepik

The definition of hobby is ‘an activity done regularly in one's leisure time for pleasure’. However, one wonders if we can bracket any hobby into being gender appropriate. The recent scenario of men taking up knitting as a hobby certainly has brought the focus on this aspect. Knitting has become a popular hobby amongst men. Men have been in foray when it comes to commercial knitting still has men across the globe since long. But to take it up as a hobby is quite a new thing for men.

Reasons

Dr Gorav Gupta, psychiatrist and co-founder of Emoneeds, has seen a notable surge in men resorting to knitting as a hobby. This is challenging the traditional gender norms associated with the craft. “Men are drawn to knitting for various reasons, including its meditative and stress-relieving qualities, fostering creativity, and providing a sense of accomplishment. The tangible results of creating something with one’s hands appeal to individuals seeking a break from the digital world.”

Then, there are the benefits of improved mood, increased mindfulness and a sense of accomplishment. Fatema Zavery, a Therapist, reveals, “The act of knitting can be a form of self-care, providing a healthy outlet for stress and anxiety; it also allows an individual to focus on the present and not dwell on past or future.”

Actor and musician Sorab Wadia has been doing knitting for quite some time. “Maybe because in an overly digital age, some of us want to get back to doing something creative with our hands. I think men are just rediscovering it. In centuries gone by, groups of men would knit in places like Ireland and Norway, groups of fishermen, sitting around, fixing their nets, knitting sweaters, while drinking whiskey and chatting.”

Personal note

Actor Sorab Wadia knitting in free time

Actor Sorab Wadia knitting in free time |

Wadia took up knitting in 2004 when he was part of a Broadway tour for two years. “I had a lot of extra time to kill backstage during the shows, in the bus, in airports and planes. It’s the perfect activity for a busy life when you have pockets of free time. You can pick it up for five minutes, and then stop with no consequences. It’s hard to read a book in five-minute increments or watch a movie only two minutes at a time. But knitting is very forgiving that way."

According to him, in a world filled with sensory overload, he needed an activity to disengage me from that madness. “It’s like meditation in motion.”

He has noticed that some still get surprised and amused to see a man knitting. “This, in turn, surprises me, because we are living in the 21st century, where ridiculous gender norms are, or should be, a thing of the past! Sometimes it sparks conversations, because people are curious, and I’m cool with that!”

Prospects

When a so-called gender role-breaking hobby is taken, it leaves a mark on society. Zavery mentions, “In some countries, it is considered as social and community activity which creates a self of belonging and social connections which is very important for mental health.”

For men looking for an outlet for their creativity, this can be a calm, gentle, easy, practical, and portable hobby.

“The inclusivity and sense of community within the knitting subculture also contribute to its appeal, breaking down stereotypes and creating a space where men can express themselves creatively,” suggests Dr Gupta. “The practical aspects, such as the ability to create personalised gifts, further enhance the attractiveness of knitting as a fulfilling and enjoyable pastime for men, ultimately promoting a more inclusive and diverse crafting community.”

Of course, men need to break free of what others think of them. Wadia suggests, “I’ve never let other people’s opinions stop me from doing anything I wanted to and thought fit to do.”

With everyone looking for digi detox and calming hobbies, more men could pick up knitting as a hobby.

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