While society has come a long way in breaking down gender barriers, stereotypes about the sexes and what activities are appropriate to each are still widely prevalent in society. Oddly enough, people are often judged as much for pursuing hobbies that are more traditionally ascribed to their gender as ones that aren’t. As a female, I’ve heard many other women saying they’re uncomfortable with having hobbies that are traditionally feminine (like embroidery and other “domestic” arts) because it conflicts with their feminist ideals. I can’t say that I’ve ever felt that way. I think it’s silly to force yourself to fit into a box, whether that box is progressive or traditional. People like what they like and they should be free to enjoy it. Isn’t that what society moving forward is all about?
While some women might feel strange pursuing such a traditionally feminine craft, men seem to face even more of an uphill battle when it comes to making textile-based crafts. It is a bit funny as in many cultures around the world weaving and spinning are almost exclusively male activities, showing that there is nothing inherently feminine about these so-called “soft” crafts. Heck, in years past many men in our own Western culture have pursued crafts as a means of relaxation and making a living. If men want to make a sweater or embroider a work of art, why not? Some pretty manly men have tried their hands at quilting, knitting and embroidery. Take for example these truckers who love showing off their quilting skills or former professional football player and bodyguard to the Kennedys Rosey Grier who wrote the book on needlepoint for men.
These blogs are a great place for men to learn about crafting from men who’ve already taken up the mantle and helped to finally lay to rest the ideas of the division between men and women’s work.
- I Knit: Check out this Brit blog to connect with other guys getting into the knitting habit.
- Manspun:Through this site you can buy manmade (literally) yarn and see what projects this knitting dude has been making.
- Fiber Beat: This blog is an excellent resource for learning more about the knitting world at large.
- Stitchstud: Despite not having been updated in a year, this blog’s vodcasts are still a good way to learn about projects and get inspired.
- Crochetdude: Get a clue about what’s cool in crocheting here.
- The Panopticon: Here, knitter Franklin shares some of his beautiful projects with readers.
- Men Who Knit : This site is more of an online community of male knitters than a blog but you’ll still find regular updates.
- It’s a Purl, Man: This blog hosts a knitting podcast by Guido Stein.
- Brooklyn Tweed: The projects presented on this blog are high quality and super beautiful.
- Mr. XStitch: Got a hankering to take up embroidery? This male blogger shares a wide range of inspiring projects by men and women alike and even has a few that are decidedly NSFW.
- Manbroidery: Become fully immersed in the world of embroidery with this awesome, manly blog.
- Extreme Craft: Try out this blog for ideas on how to get extreme (or just cool) in your crafting.
- Craftivism: From videos of Cary Grant knitting to Transformers-based artwork, this crafting blog covers a lot of ground.
- Dude Craft: If there was any doubt in your mind that crafting couldn’t be cool and even artistic for men, this blog will crush it.
Better yet, why not support these men who craft and have shops on Etsy?
- IMOTIME: This crafter makes anything and everything into a clock.
- CubistLiterature: Visit this store for cool knits and printed tees.
- JohnwGolden: John Golden makes all kinds of cool artwork (some robot themed!) to sell in this store.
- Mud Stuffing: On this site you’ll find pretty pottery and ceramics to purchase.
- Western Art Glass: This store is home to loads of beautiful stained glass projects.
- Canadian Wood Crafts: The name is pretty much self-explanatory with this one.
- Scarf Guy: Need a scarf? This stores is the place to find one.
- John T. Unger Studio: Find rockin’ metal projects through this store.
Finally, read these articles to learn more about men in the crafting world.
- Men Can Craft, Too: Get the support you need to pursue your love of crafts from this article.
- Men of Craft: Watch this video from NPR to learn about the men of the crafting world.
- Top 10 Men in Knitting: Never knew there was a top ten? Learn more here.
- How Do Truckers Beat Stress On Extended Layovers?: Read this short article to better understand the soothing effects of knitting.
- Man-Broidery: Here, Jenny Hart supports men who embroider.