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Crochet is not just for girls

Needlework is very meditative

David Cayood-Hernandez says crocheting is good meditation for men.
David Cayood-Hernandez says crocheting is good meditation for men.

“It’s a very trending hobby right now,” says David Caywood-Hernandez. I have spotted him at a 901 bus stop, crocheting away at something pink and aquamarine and woolly. He’s poking a single hooked needle into the knots he’s already tied, then hauling a loop through, using his left index finger to guide the new thread. Nothing dramatic or unusual, except I’ve been conditioned to think of women when it comes to crocheting. But Caywood-Hernandez, who works in a clothing store downtown, says that these days, both men as well as women pick up the skill. “California is a very artsy state,” he says, “and people are into being entrepreneurs and independent artists.” 

He says he’s always been in the arts. “I find it gratifying, creating something with my own hands. I’m not sure why crocheting is taking off, but TikTok and social media point people in that direction.” Chalk one up for social media: helping the old become new again. “I have a friend whose daughter is no older than 10 and is interested in it,” he says. “And I’ve taught my best friend, who’s a year younger than me — I’m 26, she’s 25. And her granny, who crochets, is in her seventies. When I taught my friend how to crochet, the granny was so happy to see the craft come back to life, she was jumping off the walls.” 

Only one needle, but you’ve got to be dexterous with your hands to make this work.

But why crochet, why now? Is it the stress of life? You read how high-powered German businessmen (and businesswomen) de-stress by joining knitting clubs. “Yes!” agrees Caywood-Hernandez. “Knitting and crocheting are very meditative. Crocheting is like knitting, but simpler. I mean, crocheting can get really complex, but I don’t do anything too crazy. I just do simple things.” 

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So what’s he making? “I’m making a bonnet for my friend to wear to an EDM festival in Las Vegas, so this is supposed to go on top of her head and wrap around her chin. And I’m also going to attach bunny ears.”

One of the simplest things to make, he says, is a hexagon cardigan. “I’m usually wearing one. You create the shape of a hexagon [a six-sided panel], and use it to make half of a cardigan, then you make another, and then connect the two, and they make one. If you’re working on it at least five hours a day, you could do it in maybe three or four days. You can get the materials at any craft store like Michaels or Joann or Hobby Lobby.”

Could he make money crocheting commercially? “Yes. Yes. Definitely could. One of my hexagon cardigans should sell for something like $150, maybe $200. The product will be more expensive than a mass-produced item, because we put many hours into making it.”

And how unusual is it for a man to be doing this? “I feel like now it’s a 50-50 man-woman thing. And there are very masculine men and feminine men who are equally interested in artsy things like this.” 

Does he get looks when he’s crocheting in a public place? “For sure, every now and again when I’m sitting in a coffee shop, or at a bus stop. But when I am wearing the cardigan I crocheted, people are interested. They’ll usually compliment me. It is a retro thing, and I’ve always been into vintage retro types of styles. There are a lot of people my age who are getting into it.”

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David Cayood-Hernandez says crocheting is good meditation for men.
David Cayood-Hernandez says crocheting is good meditation for men.

“It’s a very trending hobby right now,” says David Caywood-Hernandez. I have spotted him at a 901 bus stop, crocheting away at something pink and aquamarine and woolly. He’s poking a single hooked needle into the knots he’s already tied, then hauling a loop through, using his left index finger to guide the new thread. Nothing dramatic or unusual, except I’ve been conditioned to think of women when it comes to crocheting. But Caywood-Hernandez, who works in a clothing store downtown, says that these days, both men as well as women pick up the skill. “California is a very artsy state,” he says, “and people are into being entrepreneurs and independent artists.” 

He says he’s always been in the arts. “I find it gratifying, creating something with my own hands. I’m not sure why crocheting is taking off, but TikTok and social media point people in that direction.” Chalk one up for social media: helping the old become new again. “I have a friend whose daughter is no older than 10 and is interested in it,” he says. “And I’ve taught my best friend, who’s a year younger than me — I’m 26, she’s 25. And her granny, who crochets, is in her seventies. When I taught my friend how to crochet, the granny was so happy to see the craft come back to life, she was jumping off the walls.” 

Only one needle, but you’ve got to be dexterous with your hands to make this work.

But why crochet, why now? Is it the stress of life? You read how high-powered German businessmen (and businesswomen) de-stress by joining knitting clubs. “Yes!” agrees Caywood-Hernandez. “Knitting and crocheting are very meditative. Crocheting is like knitting, but simpler. I mean, crocheting can get really complex, but I don’t do anything too crazy. I just do simple things.” 

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So what’s he making? “I’m making a bonnet for my friend to wear to an EDM festival in Las Vegas, so this is supposed to go on top of her head and wrap around her chin. And I’m also going to attach bunny ears.”

One of the simplest things to make, he says, is a hexagon cardigan. “I’m usually wearing one. You create the shape of a hexagon [a six-sided panel], and use it to make half of a cardigan, then you make another, and then connect the two, and they make one. If you’re working on it at least five hours a day, you could do it in maybe three or four days. You can get the materials at any craft store like Michaels or Joann or Hobby Lobby.”

Could he make money crocheting commercially? “Yes. Yes. Definitely could. One of my hexagon cardigans should sell for something like $150, maybe $200. The product will be more expensive than a mass-produced item, because we put many hours into making it.”

And how unusual is it for a man to be doing this? “I feel like now it’s a 50-50 man-woman thing. And there are very masculine men and feminine men who are equally interested in artsy things like this.” 

Does he get looks when he’s crocheting in a public place? “For sure, every now and again when I’m sitting in a coffee shop, or at a bus stop. But when I am wearing the cardigan I crocheted, people are interested. They’ll usually compliment me. It is a retro thing, and I’ve always been into vintage retro types of styles. There are a lot of people my age who are getting into it.”

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