OK. This is not a post regarding GLBT circles or men’s knit night. I am talking about what makes people decide something is better suited to males or females. Or, as it was put rather succinctly recently—“Kinda girly, isn’t it?” I am always surprised at how adamant people are on this issue with baby clothes. Little boys and girls were once dressed in identical long dresses. Now, merely the presence of several garter stitch ridges on the yoke of an otherwise stockinette sweater makes it ‘girly.’ People in my Quick and Easy Baby Sweater class debate these things endlessly. “I wouldn’t put purple on a boy.” “Those blue dogs don’t look right for buttons on a girl’s sweater.” I usually end up reminding them that no matter what color the item is, it will be covered in baby cheese and milk stains at some point early in its career, so don’t take it too seriously.
Then, there is the question of what side the buttonhole should go on. I never give this much thought, since I was unaware of the boy/girl issue on this for many years. One of the few boys vs. girls issues I missed, I assure you. I have three older brothers and wore lots of their hand-me-downs. I thought some shirts buttoned one way, some another. Who knew why? (My mother did, however, sew the fly shut when I inherited pajamas…) Someone told me I could remember which side by saying “Women are always right.” But then I can’t remember whether it is the button or the buttonholes on the right.
But CABLES? How can cables have a gender identity? Take a look at this hat, one happy result of my recent explorations in cables.
I am not a great photographer, and red is especially hard. Not the choice for a pattern photo. While I wait for daylight and temperatures above -10F, I put it in the flatbed scanner.
The color and fuzzy quality of the yarn (Cloud 9, a merino/angora blend) aside, what makes this “feminine?” Without exception, everyone who has looked at this hat has declared it so. I tend to agree with them, but I wanted it to be a gender-neutral design. (Oh dear God, I can’t believe I am using terms like that regarding a HAT.) What if I did it in black? Would that make a difference? Share your cable/gender identity concerns with me. Really. I want to know.