Hairy-Armed Men, Cont’d

If you are squeamish about lifestyle-design choices, look away now.  If you aren’t, here’s another in my series of hairy-armed men.  This one is a little different from the others.


This is Stephen West, a knitting designer and knitter, and a hairy-armed man.  What he coddles and protects is not baby animals but yarn.  This photo makes my heart beat at least as fast as do photos of SFShiba and the guys with the baby farm animals. Also, Stephen here is not afraid to show his face.  He is also not afraid to cut up polite old fair isle sweaters and make ballet tights out of them, with artfully-positioned, colorful – I don’t know what they’re really called but I’ll call them jock cups.

When I saw that he was hosting another summer knit-along, which is a thing where lots of people knit the same thing – in this case a choice of three shawl patterns – in different yarns during a certain period of time and compare notes along the way by “talking” on the website, I threw down my present (18) projects and went directly to “download now.”  Ravelry is notorious for being the only knitting website to have received a cease and desist letter from the august Olympics committee when they promulgated the idea of a knitalong during the Olympics to be called Ravellympics.  The idea was that Ravelry members would have a knitting competition while they were watching the Olympics competition.  Seditious, no?  I can see why that had to be quashed.  Who knows what would have happened next?  But that’s off-topic.

Stephen West has had the good sense to remove himself from the USA where he was born, and settle in the Netherlands which doesn’t take him as quite the danger some here might.  Our loss;  his designs are divine, he has a sense of humor about himself and he will stand on his head at random, without warning.  Plus of course there’s the eye makeup and the come-hither expression.  Knitters as a class are promiscuous anyway;  Stephen West comes out with a new pattern and you can hear needles drop all over the country while their wielders decide that the present project can wait, and the new Stephen West project cannot.

(Note:  Actually the above isn’t entirely true. Actually it isn’t true at all.  I’m the promiscuous knitter.  Not everybody is.  I know people who won’t start anything new until they’ve finished the previous thing.  I also know people who won’t start a new book until the old one is finished no matter how much they hate it.  Ditto with cookies.  Why am I talking about this?  Subject-promiscuous too.)

Actually I’m in love with several knitting designers, and I feel there’s a sort of erotic power….etc.  Kate Davies, for example, and a whole bunch of women connected to Quince and Co., Jared Flood, Veronik Avery, Veera Valimaki.  But there’s something about a hairy-armed man making shawls that I just can’t resist.  So I embark despite promises to myself that I wouldn’t.  Hairy-armed man wins again.


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