The Joy of Mutually Consensual Knitting

Not to brag or anything, but my wife Z is also a knitter. This provides our marriage with a significant number of fringe benefits:

  • We get to knit together in the evenings while we talk about our respective days.
  • We get to knit together on Saturday mornings while we listen to Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me.
  • We get to knit together before going to sleep each night.
  • We get to knit together when we’re travelling.

Z’s stylistic sensibilities are a lot different than mine, so I often consult with her on my designs for another perspective. She’s a lot better with color than I am, so she’ll encourage me to pick out yarn that I’d never have chosen on my own, and I’ve never been sorry to have taken her advice. Almost every shade of green in my yarn stash is the direct result of her influence; I can claim responsibility, directly or otherwise, for her increased use of purple.

And did I mention we get to knit things for each other?

Okay, Z actually knit both of these handwarmers, but you can still see my point (for a few examples of stuff I’ve knit for Z, check out the knitting gallery). Truth be told, this whole yarn boy thing was her idea in the first place. I was just a guy knitting sweaters before I met her.


  • Elemmaciltur says:

    Awwwww….that’s just way too sweet.

    I should convert my beau to start knitting….although I don’t think he would. :-p

  • Marg says:

    Sniff….sniff….. beautiful! I love the hand/heart-warming picture!

  • Ninabeena says:

    Yes, I really do mean to yell that whole sentence out- it’s just so freakin’ sweet. Cute handwarmers too.

  • tiennie says:

    Delurking to say “aaahhh!” that’s too much! I can just picture the two of you in your rockers many many many years from now knittin’ away!

  • David says:

    I think I just got a cavity…

    I kid. My sarcasm is borne from envy. Honestly, that’s too cool for words. Knitting is about the last thing about myself I would ever tell a girl.

  • Paul says:

    Awwww…. What a great post! I can’t stop smiling! Thanks!

  • Sean says:

    So you knit English style and she knits Continental? Congrats on making a “mixed marriage” work!

  • Julie says:

    I love your site for so many reasons… but this post transcends them all. Thank you for sharing the ‘mingled yarn’ of your lives with us.

  • Lori says:

    That is so lovely. As a warning, if you are considering having kids, enjoy evenings of knitting and conversation in the evening all you can now. My husband and I are lucky if we can eke out a semi-coherent adult conversation before we pass out around 11 pm.

  • Brenda says:

    Excellent post. My husband will hold skeins of yarn for me as I wind them into balls (I have no swift or ball-winder). But unless I can find a form of kniting that uses a table saw and his Porter Cable Router, I think the actual knitting will be a no-go for him.

    I notice your wife knits Continental and you knit English style; that’s cool. Will we ever get to see more of her finished works? I like the handwarmers. Especially, as you say you have different stylistic sensitivities, it would be neat to see some of her work, too. I have a question as a Continental knitter. I love seed stitch, but my understanding is that many English style knitters hate the quick change from knit to purl and back again (same for ribbings). Why is that, and is it true for you?

  • yarn boy says:

    A little clarification: Z isn’t actually knitting continental. She’s knitting English left-handed. An understandable mistake, since all you can tell from the photograph is that she’s holding her yarn in her left hand.

    Now, Brenda, to answer your question: both seed stitch and ribbing are a pain in the butt when knit English style. For that very reason, I switch to Continental for any pattern that requires a lot of back and forth.

  • alana says:

    your thumb is so much bigger than z’s thumb.

  • i really really love those photos. they should be treated as family photos hung with care in the foyer…or dining room or what have you.

    perhaps we will meet someday….i’m a neighbor of yours….right in the heart of the rice o’ roni.

  • Rainy says:

    Funny story about boys knitting. I work at a middle school and there’s some homework time/down time once in a while so I usually bring my knitting bag and a book. I have your “boys knit” button on my bag (though I’m not a boy myself) and it’s caused quite a conversation among some of my group. The boys are convinced that boys don’t ACTUALLY knit, except for “this yarnboy person,” and the other day one of them came up to me and jokingly said, “Oh I looked it up in the encyclopedia; boys don’t knit. It said, ‘Knitting: a hobby done only by girls because it’s unmanly.'” I laughed and told him he must be right then since he looked it up in the encyclopedia. The best thing is though, all the boys still get excited about “helping me” and argue over who gets to turn my counter next. ;]

  • Jen says:

    Okay, so I’m jumping the gun, but I just have to. I love your new pattern in Knitty!!! I’m thinking it would look good on my boyfriend, but I am a little nervous about the sweater curse! I’ve knit him a hedgehog and a pig-bunny (don’t ask!) but the sweater… Would the curse still apply if I get him to knit a bit of it? He’s not a huge knitter, but he knows how to knit and purl continental style (I’m english myself…)
    Thanks for continuing to create beautiful patterns!

  • yarn boy says:

    I’ve actually addressed this issue in “ask yarn boy”:

  • Sunshyne says:

    Dear Yarnboy,

    I LOVE your new pattern in Knitty, thank you for making a fashionable non-bulky men’s sweater.


  • That is SO SWEET! i am jealous of your wife! 🙂

  • carole says:

    Now, that was a sweet post. I love the photos, too.

    Thanks, as well, for the great pattern in the new Knitty. I’ve finally found something to knit for my husband that I know he’ll love!

  • carole says:

    oh, and I HAD to buy the button– my seven-year-old boy just learned to knit!

  • pipefiddle says:

    I love your post, and I love your new sweater in Knitty (Avast) I will definitely be making that!. Oh, yeah, I’m a big fan of Wait Wait don’t Tell Me too. I knit to that every Saturday.

  • jay says:

    Aw… that is so cute. And how handy (no pun intended!)… Wish my partner knitted…

  • Lindsey says:

    I agree with everyone else, this post is way cute.

  • LaVerna says:

    Awwww…the is so very sweet!You are both very very blessed!

  • Monika says:

    This hands foto is sooooo cute! I can feel the love.

  • Zaz says:

    haha that photo is fantastic. i knit and my husband watches and helps me when am stuck with decisions. i am parisian, do check my blog.

  • Che' says:

    PS Jesse-

    You have perfectly lovely hands, no wonder why your knitting so is perfect…

  • Tara says:

    I love that you and your wife knit together, thats awesome 🙂 wish I could get my husband to knit with me!

    I just had to know what pattern you used for the fingerless gloves, those are wonderful, basic but so nice looking.

    Of you remember what pattern you used for them could you email me and let me know, pretty please 🙂

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