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**Special Note: Please play the video to use as background music while you read this post. It will make it so much better, I promise! At very least it will distract from the bad writing.

I am a teacher. An educator. A person whose life’s aim is to observe and assist children as they expand their knowledge base as well as their attitudes toward life, the universe, and everything.

I am also a man who knits in front of them.

Every day from 11:55 until 12:20 I am in the midst of a school cafeteria full of vibrant 3rd graders as I take part in the ancient educational ritual of Lunch Duty. Being new to the job this year the kids have spent a great deal of the year up to this point getting to know me. I’ll never forget the day when, during 3rd grade lunch, one student found out that I was a knitter. “Ha ha HAAA.” she said. “Men don’t knit. Knitting is for old ladies!”

I would love to say that she is the only student to say that, but she is the first of a few. Not a lot; a few. So how do you address such sadly misguided comments aimed at a man who knits? Why, I did the only thing I knew to do: I started knitting socks during 3rd grade lunch duty. Every day.

This same student, along with MANY others, now regularly checks on my progress on the socks I’m working on. You see, these kids no longer think it’s weird to see their music teacher knitting, because they see it every day. In fact, they think it’s kind of cool. They even make requests for knitted items, which I promptly turn down (“I knit for myself, family, and very close friends. As cool as you are, you don’t fit any of those categories.”).

I also have the good fortune of spending each Thursday with a kindergarten class in my school, a different one each week, as a helper. This morning when I arrived they were finishing breakfast, and those who were done were reading books on the rug. I simply sat on the rug and began to knit on a sock. Instantly 3 boys (boys!!!) were in my face asking questions and making comments (“can those needles cut you?” “how do you do that?” “Wow…you have really big feet!”). Before I knew it I had about 10 kindergartners around me. They wanted to watch, to touch the tips of the needles, to feel the yarn and the 2×2 ribbing on my sock.

The kindergartners were fascinated by my knitting. The third-graders began with some preconceived notions, but are now interested in my projects. I like to think that I’m doing my part to change perceptions of knitting in these delightful young people. Yeah, some of them have grandmothers who knit…believe me, they’ve told me! But now they’re going to go through life remembering this weird guy who taught music when they were young who used to knit all the time. I am comforted by that.

Later in the day, one delightful little girl told me “You’re really good at knitting…almost like a GRANDMA!” I couldn’t ask for a better compliment.

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