“Manly Crochet”


You can download this free e-book here.

The hardest part about running a blog is coming up with things to write about. Sometimes you have no idea what you are going to write about, sometimes you have things planned out, and other times things just fall into your lap…like ‘manly crochet’. Thank you, Pintrest.

I have never thought of crocheted afghans as “girly” or “manly”. They are blankets and they are meant to keep you warm. They are homemade, pretty, functional items that keep you warm on cold days that everyone loves because they are homemade, pretty, and functional items that keep you warm on cold days. However, I think that the person who put together this e-book is reaching a bit with why an afghan would be “manly”. Don’t get me wrong, there are a number of gorgeous afghan patterns in the e-book and I do recommend downloading it.

Maybe I am weird but crochet is something I have never gender identified, especially finished products. Granted, a lot of men aren’t into lace or flower patterns but there are hundreds, maybe thousands or more, crocheted afghan patterns in the world and the majority of patterns I have seen aren’t all that flowery, frilly, or lacy.

Naturally I had to get down the bottom of this idea of “manly crochet” so I decided to employ the help of one of my guy friends. I mean, he’s over six foot tall and Australian. You can’t get any more ‘manly’ than Aussie guys, right? Okay, maybe I just played into a weird American stereotype but the important thing is here, he’s a guy. I shared with him a number of the afghans that are in this book to get his ‘manly opinion’.

Me: So what’s so manly about this?

Him: It’s blue. Duh.

So, we are still stuck on that “blue is for boys, pink is for girls” thing, I see. I know girls that like blue and guys that like pink so I think that colour coding things is weird. I also think it’s weird that we make baby blankets in pastel pink and blue when the colour cones in the eyes take a while to develop and babies can’t see the colour their blankets are unless they are black, white, and/or red. I am convinced that the majority of baby things are made to the parents aesthetic and don’t take the baby into consideration. I have yet to meet that new parent that says they are doing the nursery in black, white, and red.

Me: It’s supposed to look like a NASCAR flag.

Him: Make it larger and turn it into a giant chessboard.

Ironically I recently seen a pattern for a crocheted chessboard. I wish I could remember where. I do wonder how large this particular afghan would be if it were turned into a chessboard and how much yarn it would take to make.

Me: It’s called ‘The Manly Square.’

Him: So square. So brown. So manly.

Sounds like a meme in the making. All we are missing is Doge. I’m sorry, when I look at this I don’t think ‘manly’. If manliness is based on ‘brown’ I have to ask, what if the guy you are making this for doesn’t like brown? Is it still manly? At what colour combination does this square loose all of it’s manly points where it’s just called ‘The Square’? I actually quite fond of this this granny square (grandpa square if we’re going to keep things manly). As a woman, does this make me less feminine because I like something deemed ‘manly’?

Me: If it’s manly, why is there a chick on the bed showing it off.

Him: Throw rugs are never manly…unless it’s on fire.

Me: So…It’s a throw rug for a bed?

Him: Yes, and single bed because he’s not getting any action.

I am going to complain here that the picture is too small to make out the design of the afghan. It looks like it might be a reversible one, which is always cool. However, I think that the colour brown is once again what makes this ‘manly’ … as if colours have genders.

Me: I think you might like this one.

Him: Actually, I don’t like it. I rather zigzag.

Me: However, their description “Fold this easy crochet afghan and lay it across the back of his reading chair as a birthday surprise” is….weird. First of all, the last dude I knew who had a reading chair was my grandfather (and his German Shepherd used to sit in his lap while he read). Second, every dude I know would be like “So, you put this here as decoration? Why?”

Him: Pretty much. I don’t understand decorative blankets. Decorative blankets are rarely big enough to wrap around you. Still love zigzags.

Me: There you go. Manly zigzags. Not sure what makes these more manly than other zigzags though.

Him: So bold. So thick. So manly! 91.5×104 cm is so not big enough for me

Me: Note to self. Make you a bold, thick, grey and white (manly colours, obviously, because a man likes them) zigzag blanket for birthday to share with the pangolin.

Him: It needs to be like 1.8×1.8m minimum. I want to snuggle in it.

Me: So like king sized blanket dimensions.

Him: Those are queen sized dimensions.

Me: You need room for the pangolin.

Him: Because pangolins are manly.

Now I have this image of my friend wrapped up in this blanket with a stuffed pangolin playing video games and it makes me giggle.

What I learned from this exercise is that even men (or at least the ones I know) don’t understand the criteria needed to classify something as ‘manly’ and that people put way to much weight into gender identifying things.

At any rate, it’s still more afghans to crochet and that is always good.

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