I was talking to my little brother the other day about crochet and knitting and crafting in general and he asked me honestly if men do these things. I laughed (because of course the do!) but the truth is that I do know far more women than men who do needlecrafts. I live in a city and era that’s pretty tolerant of either gender doing almost anything but crochet is by and large still a female thing. But yes, there are men who crochet, and it’s not a new thing.
I was browsing through the Google News Archives for crochet information and came across the article from the November 28, 1950 issue of the Spokane Daily Chronicle: (ironically, November 28 is my brother’s birthday!)
This article fascinates me to no end and I’d love to be able to find out more about this award-winning crocheting mailman who started crocheting in his 30′s and apparently felt comfortable enough to make a filet crochet tablecloth and then submit it to a competition. If men today find it difficult to let people know that they enjoy crochet then how tough must it have been for this guy and yet he did it anyway.
And he’s not the only one. In fact, the year prior there was an article about Joseph Dolinag, “a 37-year-old railroad man” who bet his wife that he could crochet better than her and also ended up winning the National Needlecraft Bureau’s eighth annual contest. I am especially interested in this guy right now because I’m researching the health benefits of crochet and Dolinag is quoted as saying that he believes crocheting could help end ulcers in men!
Another Google News Archive dating way back to 1939 has a headline that says that a 58-year-old “lumberjack, carpenter and cowboy” named John Miller was heading to New York on a trip he won after entering a crochet contest. I didn’t get any more details on that one because you have to pay to access the full article but isn’t this intriguing?
Although it’s not a new thing for men to crochet, I do want to note that all known crochet history reports indicate that crochet was started by women. This sometimes gets confused by people because knitting was originally something done by men and only later did women do it but crochet began later and seems to be a woman’s thing at the time of its launch.