b r o o k l y n t w e e d
  a special friday post
do you all know julie? if not... you should get to know her! she's one of those teachers that gives me hope for the younguns of the world.

julie teaches 6th grade language arts, but also teaches gender studies to her students! I was an avid gender studies buff in college and was blown away when i heard that she was discussing some complex and important gender topics with her 6th graders! can you imagine what an impact gender studies would have on our society-at-large if we included it in our education system as a requirement?

how does this relate to knitting? well let me tell you - earlier in the year Julie taught her students how to knit, and the response was overwhelming from both her male and female pupils (not surprisingly). At the present time, she has an afternoon knitting class for her students that has 32+ members. She has had to ask for additional teacher assistance to help her with the growing class size, and unfortunately had to bar other grades from joining (temporarily) because the group was getting too large (although, there are plans for a younger group to begin next year...). her students, like all knitters, seem ravenous to learn new techniques and take in all the addicting aspects of our art.

not surprisingly, some her male knitting students (some of whom seem very prolific already!) have run into opposition from friends and parents (specifiaclly fathers), who are uncomfortable with males taking such an avid interest in a traditionally 'female hobby.' Well, of course we had to do something about that........

Julie asked me if i would be available for an informal interview from some of her aspiring male students, and of course I jumped at the opportunity!

She has blogged their interview letter and attached my response over at fricknits - I think its really wonderful to see these young active minds latching onto, what i think (and i'm sure you agree) is an important and meaningful art form.

I encourage you to check out THE WHOLE EXCHANGE. Its sure to be a feel good moment for all knitters who are reading, and also, you'll get a little peak into my own knitting history. Just a little... heh.

and because this made my day - here is a picture of her students showing their love for the fiber:

Julie's Students

this is a big THANK YOU to Julie for pushing the envelope in her teaching and giving her students a terribly valuable and empowering life lesson. I wish she had been my teacher!

this is fantastic! i'm glad to see young minds taking on such a creative art form (as it IS creative AND art.. and don't we all know it!) i was just telling a coworker the other day about these sorts of activities for young kids and i can't wait to forward it on to friends who have always doubted that knitting is for everyone, boys and girls alike.

That is sooo awesome! I wish people would break out of the box and traditional gender stereotypes and roles. Thanks for sharing!

That's awesome. I taught my last boyfriend to knit, and he really took to it. I was so proud of him, not only for knitting but for breaking those exact sterotypes.

The latest guy I'm dating and I were talking about knitting just a few weeks ago, and he made a comment about how men don't knit. I promptly told him he was wrong, not only do men knit, but straight men knit as well!

I hope those boys stick with it and I think it's great that you answered their questions and gave them the encouragement to continue despite the comments and hard times they might get from people they encounter while knitting.

Your response to the knitting boys was awesome. I hope they all keep knitting. I think it would be great if more guys were knitters!

Very cool! I hope they get as much out of it in the future as you have!

That makes my heart sing and gives me hope that my own son may encounter people like this who don't let the walls box him in.

Not that he's shown an interest in knitting yet. But when he does, I've got the needles ready.

My brother's a rug-hooker and my step-bro is the other kind of hooker... both men in their 40s... GO BOYS!!!

Thanks so much for sharing this.

Thank you so much for sharing the link to Julie's post. The boys wrote a great letter and your response was awesome. I completely agree with your statement that people who think men shouldn't knit are confronting their own ideas of gender roles.

Great letter! I hope you are able to inspire more males to take up knitting. Keep up the good work!

That is such a great story and even though I don't personally know you, I felt so proud when I read the whole thing. As if it were a close friend of mine that had done something very cool and inspiring and I could say: "Yeah , yeah...I know that guy. He's awesome".

Thank you for sharing your story with us.

Bravo to you and Julie ... and of course to the boys!

Thank you for sharing this story - your letter to the boys was very inspirational.

I think everybody should knit because it is so darn cool!

Man, that is awesome! I'm actually headed to Ohio this weekend to hang out my brother and another XY knitter! The 3 of us are going to sit around the bonfire and grill and knit up a Storm!

I must say your letter to the guys was fantastic! It's improtant to help kids get involved in the arts of all kinds and it's hardest for boys. ....right-on "man"!!!!!

that's awesome that julia is teaching kids to knit. gender roles are created and reinforced at an early age (stop with all the pink toys already!) and i think it's great to teach kids to do what they enjoy. and your letter to the kids was very cool. thanks for sharing.

I just discovered your blog about a week or two ago (and I cannot remember how, now...doh!), but I just wanted to say...

first, great post...wonderful!

second, you give me hope for my boyfriend. haha. I guess you hear that a lot, being a guy who knits. but I point out your posts to him all the time, like "look! look @ all the great things he's knitting..and he's a guy!" I don't think he's convinced yet..

but soon. :)

anyway, what a great blog and beautiful work you do! just wanted to say hello!


Hey, did you ever get that magazine? I have an extra copy I can just give to you. Let me know: iselATemailDOTcom.

Yay you. Good job. Great blog.

Those are some seriously cool kids...and Julie is one seriously cool teacher...and you are one seriously cool knitter! I remember my mother teaching my brother and I to knit when we were kids. If I recall correctly, he was much better than I was! :-)

This was such an inspiring story. Kudos to you and Julie for working with the next generation of knitters!

I think that is fantastic that you're friend Julie is doing what she's doing. I went over and read your response to their questions and think you had some great things to say. I hope my boys have such role models when they are older.

When I was in 4th grade, our whole class decided to work on a charity scarf-making project. Every boy in the class learned to knit or crochet, and it was amazing to see all these little "tough-guys" being so crafty. Even at the time I remember thinking it was really cool.

I had happened upon her story before; it's great that you were able to get involved! Way to be a role model. :)
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