Oxford Street launches ‘men-only’ knitting classes

Male knitting class fights feminine stereotype

While many people have gotten over the stereotype of knitting being the reserve of the older generation it is still seen as very much a female hobby.

This is something that the Campaign for Wool is trying to steer away from, encouraging everyone in the UK to pick up a pair of knitting needles and a ball of yarn to see what they can make.

Due to recent demand from young men in London John Lewis’ Oxford Street store has chosen to launch its very own male-only classes, enticing more and more men to come down and try their hand at knitting.

Rowan Yarns already runs workshops from the branch three times a week but after a rise in the number of male customers it made sense to try and start a men-only group with a view to attracting more to the craft.

Sharon Brant, business development manager at Rowan Yarn, told the London Evening Standard that the interest among males visiting the department store has more than doubled over the last year.

“There are now more than 9,000 men subscribing to our services which is a massive jump from just a year ago,” she explained.

The recent surge in male knitters comes after celebrity endorsements from stars such as Ryan Gosling and in time for winter it is expected that many more men might start picking up knitting patterns in order to make cosy garments and Christmas gifts.

Being able to custom-make his own clothes was one of the main reasons Jerome Riga, a 32-year-old web developer from Clapham, decided to take up knitting. He explained to the newspaper that he often sits knitting with groups of male friends and is more than happy to break the stereotype.

“You can build them [clothes] the way you want them, choose the pattern, colour and everything else. The idea that knitting is just for old women is a totally old-fashioned cliché. There’s nothing more manly than a man building something with his hands,” he went on to say.

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