Men knit too: Studio aims to show benefits for all
- Credit: Knithub 24
Not even a global pandemic can halt Knithub 24's mission to help more men learn how to knit.
Asif Dhanani and Farah Govani, the co-founders of Knithub 24, have run men-only hand knitting classes since the start of the year, in a bid to make knitting a gender-neutral activity.
Knitting is a “source of relaxation as well as a form of mental health”, Asif says, adding that the men’s classes are his favourite because “for a very long time, knitting has been regarded by many people as a craft which is feminine”.
“I think that it’s about time that we broke some glass ceilings and we made it more gender-neutral," he said.
"The more I see the men’s classes fill up, and the more I see men interested, it makes me smile because I realise that we’re moving towards that goal.”
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The Islington-based knitwear design studio, which launched in December 2019, was forced to move online following the national lockdown in March 2020 but the founders hope to get back to the studio soon.
Despite the challenges of bringing everything online, Asif and Farah have been determined to encourage more men to take up knitting classes.
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The men’s class, which is pitched at a beginner’s level, teaches how to knit a beanie hat, as well as a crash-course on the basic stitches: cast on/off, knit, purl, stocking and rib.
The course has two classes running over two consecutive weeks, with each class lasting for an hour and a half.
Farah describes the class as a “nice group” where men can talk to one another.
But like all new skills, she says knitting requires “perseverance and practice”.
Farah teaches some of the hand knitting and machine knitting classes and says being on Zoom means “sometimes you may have to repeat things more than once, twice, three times, and making sure they're grasping the technique”.
While knitting may seem daunting, Asif encourages men who are looking for something different to do before lockdown ends to “just dip your toe in the water and try”.