Over the past few days I have been doing a fair bit of Netflix and knitting (well it is half term!). Or rather Netflix and knitting/weaving/sewing. There have been two shows in particular that have held my attention, the George RR Martin series Nightflyers and the fabulous adaptation of the Dark Horse Comic The Umbrella Academy. The latter has proven to be an instant hit amongst the members of my virtual knit night (I have obviously encouraged them to check out Nightflyers too). Not only are these shows well produced with an engaging ensemble cast but being SciFi and superheroes they are right up my alley. However there is something else that ties these two shows together. In both shows we see a character indulging in the fibre arts.
Now we are all used to seeing women knitting, crocheting and embroidering in films and on tv – that is what genteel ladies used to do apparently. Supposedly it made them more marriageable. But in Nightflyers it is Rowan, the male xenobiologist (played by Angus Sampson), who not only sports a knitted cardigan but is seen knitting – one can only presume that he made the cardigan himself.
The much lighter show The Umbrella Academy also features a male knitter in the form of Klaus (Robert Sheehan). The Umbrella Academy doesn’t wait to slip the knitting in as we watch the series, ninja style, but instead includes it in the trailer.
With both these shows being hot on the heels of each other it got me wondering where else we can see men on screen (outside of YouTube) indulging in the fibre arts. And from what I have been able to find, with the assistance of Google, there are precious few instances of male knitters for us to gawk over. I’ve found a further four.
So in no particular order…
Cary Grant knits in the 1943 film Mr Lucky.
Morticia Adams taught Lurch to knit in the 60s.
In the 70s it was Hawkeye of M.A.S.H. fame who took up the needles.
And of course no list of fictional male knitters would be complete without Gromit!
Here’s hoping we see more male fibre artists featured on film before long. And if you know of any I’ve missed, by all means let me know!