• 15 Apr - 21 Apr, 2023
  • Mag The Weekly
  • Mag Files

Knitting has soared in popularity once again in the United States in this age of pandemics and self-care. Yet, one group of fans stands out on a bright March afternoon just outside the nation's capital: the roughly ten people who are clicking their needles are guys. The Washington area group DC Men Knit meets twice a month to knit or crochet scarves, caps, and blankets. The aim? Relaxation, camaraderie and reclaiming a hobby previously enjoyed by men and women. The group's coordinator Gene Throwe says he hopes to "provide a safe space for men to knit together and trade our skills with one another, to help each other out, because knitting has for quite a while been viewed as a female vocation." The 51-year-old Throwe, an office manager for a national association of nursing schools, puts some finishing touches on a brown sweater with a subtle golden pattern that he's been making on and off for years. Like many of his fellow knitters, Throwe grew up watching his grandmother work magic with her needles. That feeling of nostalgia turned to regret as he watched the hobby fall by the wayside, in favor of more modern pursuits. One day, he realized he could do something to revive it. "Why do I have to expect the women to do it – I can do it too!" he recalled. The members of DC Men Knit tend to spark a degree of fascination when they meet in public places – but no hostility or discrimination.