Men Who Knit – How Do Truckers Beat Stress on Extended Layovers?
Once upon a time, men who knit were not unusual. Back in history, knitting was exclusively a male activity. Sailors knit their wool ganseys as a way to pass time on voyages and wore their sweaters as protection against bad weather on the open sea. Today, truckers who encounter more extended layovers while they wait for a load for their return trip fill their wait-time with crafts.
Real Men Knit
Eighty percent of truckers are men. Picture a bald-headed, bearded, mustachioed and tattooed guy in jeans and a black shirt sitting behind the wheel in his big rig. Now picture his rig parked on layover as he waits for a load. What do you see in his hands?
If you pictured knitting needles with a half-completed colorful variegated sweater for his wife in soft pinks, lavenders, greens and blues, give yourself a prize. I would have guessed he’d knit a watch cap for himself–in black, maybe with skulls or a truck logo.
Other truckers have sewing machines in their rigs and spend downtime creating quilt tops. Some tour quilt museums or hunt up fabric stores on their routes.
See the Wall Street Journal article about truckers who knit and quilt here: http://budurl.com/wsjtruck
Local Yarn Shop Alert
Be nice to any gentleman who enters your shop with a faint trace of diesel fuel about him. Don’t assume he’s lost or was sent by his wife. He needs yarn for his own next project. If you’re too snooty or ignore him because you can’t imagine him as a customer, he’ll go elsewhere for his yarn. You just lost a customer. And he’ll tell his friends. You just lost them as customers, too.
What Goes Around Comes Around
History buffs know better than anyone how radically things change over time. I welcome men knitters–just as long as they don’t try taking knitting over again as an exclusive boys club. I don’t see women these days standing for it. We’re armed with pointy sticks and aren’t about to give up our Malabrigo and other luscious yarns, no matter what.
No worries. It won’t happen. Did you know women account for about 80% of all purchasing decisions in America? This includes buying cars! Women account for 40% or so of new car purchases. I read it in the news.
Since 80% of truckers are men, 20% are women–who maybe buy or lease their own rigs. I’m sure some of those women truckers are knitters, but their knitting isn’t news. How long will it be before the number of men who knit equals female knitters, so they’re no longer headline news?