Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Husbands and knitting

[Note: This is a Very Opinionated Post. You have been warned.]

I listed to a lot of Podcasts. Recently, I’ve been catching up on some older ones. This morning, while I was listening to knitTherapy, one of the K’s was talking about going on vacation, and her husband PROHIBITING knitting on their vacation.

The whole issue of husbands prohibiting knitting gets me completely incensed- what does working on a sock or a shawl on vacation take away from the husband? Nothing. It’s a control issue. We are all equal contributors in our relationships- whether or not you are the breadwinner is irrelevant.

When Andrew and I started dating, I made it clear that knitting was an established part of my identity. Knitting means yarn. Not knitting makes me cranky. When we got married, Andrew was aware that my stash was my trousseau. Lucky him, right? Of course right.

That’s exactly right. Knitting is art, and I would no sooner expect a knitter to quit knitting than an opera singer to stop singing, or a painter to stop painting. It’s stupid, and moreso, it’s disrespectful. Not only that, but it violates the “Love, honor, and cherish/obey” vow that many of us took when we got married. It also violates the “For better or for worse” bit.

I can say with a fair measure of certainty that the anti-knitting husbands all have hobbies and interests. Women, generally speaking, either absorb or accept their partner’s hobbies and interests. In the seven years I worked at the LYS, I heard husband after husband bitch and moan about all the “knitting crap” that their wives spent money on.

That’s really what it comes down to: money. If it’s free (like washing dishes, or doing laundry, or vacuuming), the spouses tend to be all for it. Like women often do, these women devalue themselves by referring to the communal money as their husband’s money. These are the same husbands who “babysit” when they spend time with their own children. The whole mess is infuriating.

Here’s my solution:

Scenario A:

Non-knitting spouse: Don’t bring your knitting.

Knitter: You’re right. My off-time is much better spent strangling the life out of you. [Sweet smile.]

Scenario B:

Non-knitting spouse: Don’t bring your knitting.

Knitter: It’s my vacation, too, darling. My knitting doesn’t take anything away from you. [Sweet smile.]

Scenario C:

Non-knitting spouse: Don’t bring your knitting.

Knitter: [Melodramatic, complete with hand against forehead] Without knitting, I am like a fish out of water, a woman with no air, a car with no gas. I simply * cannot be * without my knitting.


  1. I'm so glad I have my husband. He's a woodworker, a leather worker, and a chainmail weaver. (No, not a RenFaire person, just a work-with-his-hands person.) He also learned to crochet, and crocheted his mom an alpaca scarf before we started dating.

    He understands the importance of doing things with one's own hands. I knit in the car, when we drive around town. I've hand-pieced quilt blocks, I've embellished blankets, I've woven chain mail.

    Neither of us understands someone "forbidding" a spouse to do a hobby that makes them happy. As long as you're not running the family into the ground spending to support the hobby, or using hobby time to ignore your spouse/family, it's not a big deal.

  2. Scenario D:
    Non-knitting spouse: Don’t bring your knitting.

    Knitter: See you when you get back!

  3. Well, I must say that my man is more than supportive in my case. We were just at the Buick open (golf tournament) and less than 10 yards away from Tiger Woods playing golf and I was knitting a sock! All the players saw me knitting while they were golfing and my man didn't say one word. Made for interesting convesation with other spectators between groups of golfers coming through.

  4. Scenario E:
    Non-knitting spouse: Don't bring your knitting.

    Non-knitting spouse: CALL 911! I can't move my arms with all these knitting needles stuck in me!


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