Sticks & String

A podcast by an Australian bloke who knits.

Show 6 – What men want more

Welcome to show 6, This show’s theme is ‘What men want more’.

The essay is available here.

What’s happening
Courthouse stitch’n’bitch – Sundays 1:30
Sydney Sity Klickers Every second Saturday afternoon
NSW Knitter’s Guild – Blue Mountains – 3rd Saturday of each month
Long Island Knitting and Crochet Guild (link to a page with their details, scroll down a little way) Westbury Library – 2nd Thursday of each month
Sydney Royal Easter Show 5 – 18 April 2007- Competition details. Arts entries close 20 December

From the bottom of the knitting bag
Plano Fishing Box
Targus Backpack

This show’s music
This week’s tracks come from the Podsafe music network and IODA Promonet.
(Except for the little bit of Bach at the beginning and end, that’s me on a synthesiser.)

Josh Woodward Swimming to Cambodia (link)

1st Instrumental Music for Ten-String Guitar Prize

Download “Esplendor” (mp3)
from “1st Instrumental Music for Ten-String Guitar Prize”
by Various Artists  Kalamata

Link to the show file
Show 6 – What men want more

You can contact me at: podcast at sticksandstring dot com dot au (I’m sure you know to replace the at with @ and the dot with . but perhaps the spam bots won’t.)

If you’d like to contribute to Sticks & String, guest essays, reviews, suggestions of music, people to interview, please just let me know. And please let me know about your knitting group I’d love to have to start a whole separate page because the list is too long.


2 December 2006 - Posted by | Podcasting


  1. Great show! Tell us more about your new spinning wheel. Like others, I have also experienced some “cold shouldered” store clerks. It used to bother me, but now I’ve adopted the attitude that I belong there as much as anyone else and just ignore whatever reaction my presence evokes. It’s now a much more enjoyable shopping experience. Maybe they are getting used to me or maybe it was partly my old attitude that I somehow didn’t belong. I’m looking forward to your future shows!

    Comment by Steven | 3 December 2006

  2. Hi David – thanks for another great podcast – I’ve just listed to it in the sun with coffee and knitting (of course). I think you have the mix of music, chat, essays and interviews just right.
    Knitting bags that don’t scream “knitting” aren’t just for men. I’m always on the lookout too – again it’s about context. In a city full of men in suits I just don’t feel comfortable with flowers, on my dress yes, but not on my “briefcase”. I was in our Sydney office last week and snuck down to Tapestry Craftsaw to look at the Jordana Paige bags but I didn’t buy. Well, I bought yarn and books but not a bag. I’m really looking forward to next weeks cast which I’ll be saving for reference for my next trip across the ditch.
    All the best Sally

    Comment by Sally | 3 December 2006

  3. Hi David –

    the list of dates for the north sydney pub knitting group can be found at lisa g’s page –

    also – i’m having trouble subscribing to your blogs feed at bloglines – it keeps telling me the feed doesn’t exist.


    Comment by ginger_nut | 3 December 2006

  4. Enjoying the show a lot – hope you keep going for a long time! You provide an interesting insight into men and knitting and I always get a buzz from seeing a new episode appear on iTunes. Enough of the compliments … I wish more English men would knit – I’ve just taught my 7 year old son who enjoys it so what’s the big deal with the older blokes here?

    Comment by Lizzy | 3 December 2006

  5. Your experience in a knitting shop reminds me of the first time I bought a car – talk about being invisible! The male person with me _ who wasn’t buying the car, or interested in buying a car – got all the attention, much to his amusement and my chagrin. Apparently this has changed so there’s hope for male knitters yet.

    Comment by Kate | 3 December 2006

  6. Great podcast. I like your idea about fishing boxes, sure beats the plastic bags I have all around the house.

    Comment by Kerry | 4 December 2006

  7. Great podcast! Some of the challenges you describe for men are also problems for girls who are not “girly girls”. They really don’t make many accessories for knitters who like clean lines and conservative colors.

    One question: How do you keep the kitties out of the yarn? I start knitting and I have a little, grey kitten attacking.

    Comment by Erin | 5 December 2006

  8. Today I downloaded the latest Lime & Violet and Sticks & String episodes. Then I considered which to listen to first. While I love Lime & Violet’s show, I just had to get my dose of Sticks & String first. Maybe it’s because I’m an Aussie knitter too. Or maybe it’s because your show is well paced and always interesting.

    I’m so with you on the knit bags. Not being into the ‘handbag’ look, or overly girly stuff, I still haven’t found anything appealing. So if you do find something, do please tell us listeners about it.

    Lastly, since you’re an Aussie knitter, you might be interested in the Knitpicks petition. Or maybe not. Have a look at and see what you think.

    Comment by trudi | 5 December 2006

  9. Hi David! I’ve listened to all your shows, I think you’re a real hoot. I’m an ex-Aussie – we left Sydney in 95 and haven’t even been back since 99 – I can’t even remember all the words and my accent is sadly mid-Pacific at this point (we live in New York). Your show therefore has the added benefit of rubbing my homesickness the right way…

    About the bags – you know I feel about knitting bags the same way I felt about nappy bags when I had to use them – they never quite fit the bill – too girly or cutesy or whatever. And so my solution is, just use a regular bag! I have a bag for each project, usually some kind of ‘tote’ as they say here – not sure of the Aussie word – something you would get at the library perhaps, or in a public television fundraising drive. Just a cloth rectangle shape with handles. I’ve got cuter little ones that are somewhat embellished, and bigger hessian ones for big sweaters or shawls. Mind you, I don’t commute or use public transport, my knitting gets dumped on the passenger seat of the minivan on my way around the place. I do like your waterproof idea though! Might be useful protection against juiceboxes.

    About the men knitting – can I just come right out with it – can you please comment on whether most or some or whatever proportion of men who knit are gay? I’d love to know about straight men knitters vs gay men knitters, I’m sure it’s a different kind of story for each. I mean I’ve heard that Russell Crowe and Isaac Mizrahi both knit, but I’m sure they handle it differently! Sorry to be politically incorrect, but maybe, being Australian, you won’t shoot me down in flames.

    cheers, Liz.

    Comment by Liz | 6 December 2006

  10. I too have become a regular listener and appreciate your podcasts. Thank you for the time and effort to share your skills and thoughts.

    As a male knitter I thought I would share one one my odder stories. (At least I thought it was odd.) My son (about 5 at the time)and I were waiting to pick up my wife at the airport. I was knitting and he was using sewing cards. (Pieces of colorful wood with holes and long shoelaces to “sew” with.) When a woman stopped in front of me and started telling me what a wonderful father I was because I was knitting. I hope I am a wonderful father, but somehow I do not think knitting has had much impact on that other than helping with my patience once and a while.

    In our family my son and daughter knit but it is just not something that my wife gets into. It is nice to have something that I can share with my kids.

    Another time I can tell you about yarn stores or knitting in public. Thanks again for your podcasts!

    Comment by Eric | 6 December 2006

  11. After listening to your podcast I wanted to mention that I dye yarn with men in mind. I taught my husband to knit a couple of years ago and he ran into a lot of the same problems that you have talked about. Such as not being able to find bags or yarn that are suitable for a man. There are many female knitters too that have a hard time finding sock yarn and such for the man in their life. I have created a few colorways that I make sure that my husband would like for my shop There are also many other people who dye yarn and sell it on Etsy ( in a variety of different colorways. They are located all over the world and ship all over the world. Definately something worth checking out.

    Comment by Yvonne | 7 December 2006

  12. Thanks for a great show, I’ve enjoyed them all so far! I’d like to back Liz up on the accent thing – while I still do live in Oz, I was overseas last year teaching, and I picked up some ‘international English’ habits. I struggle to remember to put the ‘s’ on the end of ‘math’, and I use ‘daiper’ interchangebly with ‘nappy’, ‘cellphone’ as often as ‘mobile’. Sometimes I don’t mind, but I’ve noticed that while I would never describe a garmet I’m wearing as a sweater, I’ve started tell people that that’s what I’m knitting. Thanks for reminding me it’s a ‘jumpah’ ;P

    I also commiserate on the bag issue. I hate pink, and while a flower here and there is not a big deal, I am soooooo not interested in something floral patterned, or with, say, puppies and kittens all over it. And while I am in lust with some of the simpler bags out there – Jordana Paige is a case in point – there is just no way I’m going to spend that much money. If I did, I couldn’t afford the wool to put in it! Besides, I am not really a handbag type of gal.

    This extends to the type of clothes I like to wear. I’m with the boys on the simple and boring, although simple and boring for girls is always open to accessorising. I just don’t want to wear multi-coloured instarsia patterns. End of story. And I personally think there should be a very low maximum put on the use of eyelash yarn – by law. No more than 5 metres per garment, say. 🙂

    Finally, I wanted to tell you that I recently had a similar LYS experience. I went a long way to get to a particular shop, only to find it was closed while the owner had lunch, or something. I waited ages for her to get back, and when she did she was extremely patronising, and acted like I was a great inconvenience to her, and all she wanted was for me to leave. So I did. I thought maybe it was because I was young, but she treated an elderly lady who came in after me the same way. The long and the short of it is, I won’t be going back there any time soon. Some people are just unpleasant and condescending, and that’s all there is to it.

    Keep up the good work, it’s a pleasure to hear from an Aussie bloke knitter with some good thigns to say. Good luck making it through to the holidays!

    Comment by kate | 7 December 2006

  13. You mentioned knitted ties for men; wanted to show you one I made for my now-ex boyfriend just a few months ago. It was fun and simple to knit! A lot of people reacted negatively when I said I’d knit him a tie (though he asked for it), but once they saw it they agreed that it looked great. Click here.

    Comment by Mintyfresh | 9 December 2006

  14. love the podcast, keep it up you’re doing a great job.
    On the subject of knitting bags, you need the Namatse Messenger

    Comment by taryn | 11 December 2006

  15. Hello there:
    I live in a big city and am a bicycle commuter. A standard ladies shoulder bag or purse would not cut it biking because of weather, etc. I also wanted ONE bag, not have to have a knitting bag or purse inside a typical bike messenger style bag.

    So I found a local company that makes %100 custom bags, for cyclists and everyone. You can have custom pockets, colors stay simple or go crazy and even a hand sewn graphic of your dreams!
    (They get a lot of international orders, no worries.)

    My bag is here, with an extra knitting pocket inside and NO VELCRO to grab my fiber.
    It cost about the same as those J. Paige bags, but it is custom one-of a kind!


    Comment by Sherry W | 20 December 2006

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