6/13/09

Needlework A Go-Go #1: When Yarn Was Manly

Needlepoint
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This is from a May 1971 LIFE magazine article titled "Man That Needlepoint". Apparently, there not only was a needlepoint craze going on that year, but men everywhere were getting in on the action. From sea to shining sea, men were putting down their golf clubs and poker chips in favor of crafting! Was this all a part of the new "sensitive male" that was supposed to emerge in the 70's which would sweep away the old macho chauvinism of the previous decades? You certainly would never have caught Sinatra or Ward Cleaver stitching yarn through canvas!

The article has pictures of football player Rosey Grier and MAD magazine artist Sergio Aragones hard at work with needle and yarn.

This next image is from the book Rosey Grier's Needlepoint For Men. Look at all the tacky crap he made - a gumball machine, are you kidding me?


Apparently, Loretta Swit (from M*A*S*H) had a needlepoint book too, but I'll quit while I'm ahead.

14 comments:

  1. I must have missed the needlepoint craze of 1971. Too busy trying to stay afloat in college I guess.

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  2. 90% of needlepoint ends up being pretty tacky. But man oh man, can you imagine how much Rosey Grier's needlepoint gumball machine is probably worth?

    I didn't know that there was a regular "innovation" of men getting into traditionally feminine crafts like knitting; there was a bunch of articles a few years ago about this "new wave", which apparently was already done at least once in the seventies... I wonder how far back in history you can find that pattern.

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  3. I thought yarn was only good for killin 'charlie' in the jungle. Knit him before he knits you the Sarge used to say.

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  4. Why can't men just be men? Stupid 70's. I don't want a guy who knits, crochets, cries or ovulates, thankyouverymuch.

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    1. Hmmm...what an insipid, sexist comment. This is the equivalent of a man saying, "I don't want a woman who can use power tools, can do math or doesn't know when to shut her mouth." Sorry but you are one dumbass bitch. The last time I checked, knitting, crocheting are done with the hands, not with a vagina.

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  5. Well, to each their own. I do plastic canvas as a hobby, it is a form of needlepoint. Was taught it by my grandmother as a kid, and kept on with it as an adult. It definitely can be a calming hobby, giving an anxious mind something to focus on. I have made many gifts, sold some stuff on eBay and Etsy, and my wife has asked me to make many things for her to give away, too. And hey, I enjoy it. :)

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  6. I heard that Gene Rayburn of Match Game fame enjoyed needlepoint as a hobby...

    By the way, glad you're back from vacation...I have a feeling you had fun!

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  7. LOL I don't know any man who has never needlepointed...

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  8. Gene Rayburn? I can see Charles Nelson Reilly, for sure, but not Rayburn.

    But I guess if a football player can knit gumball machines and pandas, anything's possible. And let's not forget, Rosey Grier also sang "It's All Right to Cry" in Free To Be You And Me. That's a guy comfortable in his manhood!

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  9. There was a Captain Kangaroo episode with Rosie dedicated to needlepoint.

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  10. Looking at the first pic takes me back to high school. I joined the art club just because I liked the girls who were members! I had no interest in art, but forced myself to look interested.

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  11. That's one fad that I am glad I missed.

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  12. There was an issue of Vogue's Knit.1 a couple years ago devoted to men who knit. I have never known a male needlepointer but a couple of guys who knit.

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  13. I think that's cool guys can do needlework - why the hell not? Rather have a guy who's comfortable in his masculinity than some horribly insecure macho manly man.

    Keep the needlework a-go-go post comin - they're a trip!

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