Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Package

Around the time that Melissa Leapman's "Nautical Knitting" cruise was announced, I said that I (as Melissa's guest teacher) would use the trip as an excuse to knit up a pattern that had intrigued me for some time: a pair of men's bathing drawers from an 1880s pattern published in Weldon's Practical Knitter.

The idea of knitting bathing costumes had interested me since I first saw pictures of two made by Elizabeth Zimmermann (one for herself, one for her husband) in her lovely memoir Knitting Around. I thought it was interesting that knitted suits had been ubiquitous, and then gone. Usually outmoded styles of dress take time to fade away completely. Those who are long accustomed to a cut or style, especially those of a certain age, are often slow to give them up. But it seemed that knitted bathing suits, once other options became available, vanished virtually overnight.

Why? Could they really have been that awful?

When I announced the drawers project, several folks who had personal experience of the suits came forward to assure me that yes, they were that awful. The itched, they stretched, the stretched-out crotches filled up with sand, they smelled like wet dogs, and so forth. Nobody, not one person, remembered them with anything like fondness.

I didn't set out to make the drawers expecting them to replace my lycra suits and (spoiler alert) they sure haven't. However, I wanted to know, first-hand, what a knitted wool suit was like. This sort of curiosity about What Once Was is the reason people become historians–either the real kind, or my kind of passionate amateur.

You would not believe some of the mail I've had about this. Most bewildering were those insisting that the suit was too brief and revealing to be authentic to the 19th century. These messages persisted after I posted the photogravure from the original pattern:

bathingdrawers

They persisted after I posted this photograph of a men's bathing club in Brighton, England in the mid-19th century:

TopHatBTNSwimClub1860s

Some people will insist on re-writing the past to suit their modern ideas, even in the face of conclusive evidence. The human brain is a curious thing. I wrote about the phenomenon to a fuller extent in this post.

I promised to show myself wearing the drawers in here once they'd been revealed to the folks on the cruise. I promised it with a lump in my throat and a pit in my stomach, and my worst fears were pretty much immediately confirmed.

I am not a person who is confident in his looks. I never have been. It wasn't uncommon when I was child for adults to make critical remarks about my appearance–openly and within my hearing. Sometimes directly to me. I was described at various times by teachers, strangers, and blood relations as being (these terms are verbatim) way too dark, too swarthy, green-skinned, yellow-skinned, big-nosed, scrawny, tubby, husky, dwarfish, awkward, big-assed, funny-looking, or just plain unfortunate.

Then I reached adolescence, and things got worse. I was pimply, hairy, and oily in addition to all of the above adjectives. For about twenty years I didn't look at myself in the mirror. Ever. Not once. I couldn't bear to. I avoided having my picture taken and when pictures were taken, if at all possible I destroyed the prints when I got my hands on them. I wore clothes two sizes too large to cover as much of myself up as possible.

I fell in love with the history of architecture, but felt guilty walking into beautiful buildings. On my first visit to Westminster Abbey, I stood in the nave and thought, "It's so magnificent, and you're standing in the middle of it and wrecking the view."

I had my worst fears confirmed repeatedly by my fellow gay men. This still happens all the time. I stand five feet, four inches (which is too short). My waist is about twenty-nine inches (which is too fat for my height). My eyes are brown, when they should be blue. My nose is big, when it should be aquiline. My skin is olive, when it should be white. I am hairy about the chest, when I should be shaved. I am bald, when I should have a full head of hair.

There have been a few times in the history of this blog when I've shown some part of me in a photograph. If you go back and find them, you'll notice they were always a punchline. Always. Because that is what my physiognomy is suited to, and I know it.

I know I'm not a swimsuit model. I know that.

Once somebody, entirely without my permission, lifted an image of my chest from a blog post and stuck it up in a men's group on Ravelry. I wandered into the thread–I was a member of the group–and found myself being discussed in a "hot or not?" sort of way. The overwhelming consensus was "not." That was a fun afternoon.

With all that in my past, it didn't please me to find a pack of comments in here (now deleted, and wouldn't you?) openly discussing my disgusting body. And yes, the word "disgusting" was used. So were the words "spare us." Apparently the commenters in question had seen my chest hair (disgusting) in a photograph from the Blue Lagoon in Iceland and were hoping that any and all shots of the bathing drawers were spare them more disgusting shots of disgusting me and my disgusting secondary sex characteristics. They also noted that I didn't have the body for the bathing drawers. One person helpfully suggested I hire a male model to show them.

I wonder what would happen if I commented publicly that some female knitter's waistline was too big, or that she was far too bony to show herself in that outfit, or that I found her enormous (or tiny) chest disgusting, or pointed out after she posted a sock selfie that it was high time her legs saw the business end of a Lady Schick?

I don't need to wonder what would happen. What would happen is that within ten minutes my career in knitting would be over. Women, with good reason, are beginning to object strenuously to the constant objectification of their fellow women. Unfortunately, some of them don't have any trouble doing exactly that to the male of the species.

Yes, I am a professional in the business. And yes, being a professional means putting you work on the line for critique. Your work. However, one hopes that perhaps the ad hominem insults might be kept to a minimum.

So please, if you look below, be forewarned. My horrible horrible fat fat waistline and my disgusting abominable body hair will be on full display–along with the piece of knitting that is supposed to be the point of all this.

Without Further Ado

I gotta tell you, these things surprised me. The shaping of the Weldon's pattern is simple in the extreme–basically a large diaper. You start at the waist in the front, work down to the center of the crotch, and then the directions tell you to it all over again in reverse. That's it.

drawers-back

I expected them to be horribly, horribly droopy and ill-fitting. There's no special pouch shaping and no accommodation in the posterior for, um, fullness. The idea is that the stretch and drape of knitted fabric will do it all. And I'll be darned if it doesn't work rather well. The crocheted edge along the leg openings was quick to work and keeps the selvedges from curling. Looks nice and neat, too.

drawers-front

The pure wool Quince and Company Chickadee proved to be a perfect yarn choice. The itch factor even when wet (and no, I am not going to show you photos of that–they have proved impossible to take) was negligible, and while the suit did sag it didn't fall off. I wouldn't wear these in a situation requiring perfect modesty, but as I wrote previously they weren't intended for such a situation.

Another score for Weldon and Company. Turns out they knew what they were doing after all.

drawers-midshot

439 comments:

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Kristin Kahrs said...

LOVE the suit! LOVE the man in the suit! All perfect.

Standing next to the nutcracker(!), priceless!
...and
"Christmas Package": you're killing me! (Hurting myself laughing!) You are my favorite author, knitter, blogger, artisan...everything. So poignant, so not taking yourself too seriously, either. Big hug, fellow human!

Anonymous said...

Cute butt!

Leslie Gladney said...

My dear man, you are hardly disgusting! I would dare say that in my circle of single gay men, you would be much admired and sought after, not just because you are funny and talented and all that, but because you are the whole package, looks and brains.

pmsquirrel said...

When did hair become "disgusting"? Why are we all(men AND women) expected to look prepubescently hairless? I don't get it. I'm a biologist, and mammals, by definition, have hair. Anyway, you look great, and while the trunks also look good, I would think that getting out the water in public would be challenging, as we all know what happens to knitted items when soaking wet.....

Wendy said...

Franklin, you are freaking adorable and the suit is nice too (though I'm not sure how it will look after a trip through a hot-tub...carry a towel.) Seriously - thank you for a lovely post and putting it all (almost) out there! Carry on with your bad-self! You rock.

hivetender said...

You are rocking the shorts darling! It was worth the wait ...now don't be such a stranger and post a bit more often.....no pressure :-)

Anonymous said...

I agree with many other comments here when I say that I am sorry that you have had to endure such horrid comments in the past. And I applaud you for showing the world what a real human being looks like, not the Photoshopped pictures that we've seen our entire lives.

The swim trunks are marvelous, and so are you. Merry Christmas. :)

Allyson said...

I think you're adorable. I love you and your blog. Leave the haters by the wayside, not worth your attention. Knit on sweet man, knit on. PS - Give Delores a hug!

Katherine Devonshire said...

All I have to say to the idiots who think you're not a good looking dude is bah f*cking humbug! You are. And I'm with Lilith Parker.
And the knitting looks damn good, too!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful! (The suit looks nice, too)! The suit reminds me a little of Ron Ely's loincloth in the old Tarzan tv series.

As for yourself, there is NOTHING wrong with your figure. I thought the pictures were quite attractive. I think hairy men are very attractive (shaved body parts always make me think they look like they would be clammy feeling).

Rock on with your bad self :)

kmkat said...

Haven't read the other comments, but I suspect they all say something like, You look fine -- just like a normal man. Which is exactly what I would say. Men are supposed to be hairy to a greater or lesser degree, just as grown women's hips are supposed to be wider those of 13-year-olds. And for the record? I have seen you in person and You.Are.Not.Fat. You are brave and smart and witty and a fabulous is every way I can think of.

btw, the bathing drawers are nifty!

Anonymous said...

Kudos to the brave and knit and model on my friend

Karen said...

Very fetching. :)

threeloops said...

Hot, definitely.

Anonymous said...

Good for you! Sorry that you "needed" to write a disclaimer for being exactly as you should be. :) Loved your drawers and am soooo glad we don't have to wear knitted garments into water anymore! Hope you had a Merry Christmas!

Chelsea the Yarngeek said...

Those turned out awesome! They fit so nicely and look great on you! Thank you for having the confidence to pose for the photos. I'm thrilled to see your recreation of another Weldon's pattern. (P.S. Hairy chests are awesome. I'm pretty sure my husband is part Yeti.)

Debbie B. said...

It's sad how cruel people can be, especially on the internet.
I'm glad you were "brave" enough to model the suit. It would not have been the same just lying flat on display. Your back shot is beautiful! Very sexy. I love a man with a hairy chest.

=Tamar said...

I am bemused that it took me another day to get the pun in the title. Good one!

Riin said...

You look fine. You look like a human being. Human beings are mammals. Mammals have hair. I've never understood the idea that adult humans should be hairless.

Also, mean people suck.

And you are brave.

I haven't put on a bathing suit in...30?...years.

Rainy Daisy said...

You are a brave man. Not because there is anything wrong with your body (absolutely not - I agree with the "sexy beast" comments), but because you are putting yourself and your delicate bits (literal and metaphorical) out there for criticism. Your work is very personal, and that makes it a tough business.

You know, plenty of people say that knitters are more kind than any other sort of person, and I haven't found that to be the case at all. I've found that they are a group of humans. And some humans are nasty, and/or think they can forgo basic manners because we are on the internet, or because we are all knitters and it's all in good fun. Pardon me, but this is bullshit. There are plenty of wonderful people in this community, but there's no exam to get in, if you know what I mean.

In conclusion, rock on dude. You're great.
Cheers,
Daisy

Rainy Daisy said...

You are a brave man. Not because there is anything wrong with your body (absolutely not - I agree with the "sexy beast" comments), but because you are putting yourself and your delicate bits (literal and metaphorical) out there for criticism. Your work is very personal, and that makes it a tough business.

You know, plenty of people say that knitters are more kind than any other sort of person, and I haven't found that to be the case at all. I've found that they are a group of humans. And some humans are nasty, and/or think they can forgo basic manners because we are on the internet, or because we are all knitters and it's all in good fun. Pardon me, but this is bullshit. There are plenty of wonderful people in this community, but there's no exam to get in, if you know what I mean.

In conclusion, rock on dude. You're great.
Cheers,
Daisy

TrishD said...

Since I took your class at the Knitters Frolic in Toronto a few years ago I have enjoyed reading your blog. I thoroughly enjoyed the classes with you and think you are a great teacher. I am sad to read this post were you describe all the attributes you SHOULD have. Who says you should be any way other than the way you are? Not me. Please continue to be the wonderful, talented funny guy that you are and keep on writing and designing and knitting so beautifully. You are the best!

danielle said...

I really hate to disappoint you but I did not find anything disgusting/unappealing/repellant and whatever else would/could be said about the photos at all! I think it is awesome that you take to the time to make something "just to see"!!!

Southern Gal said...

stupid blogger ate my post.

you have always been one of my heros but today you become a SUPER HERO!

to hell with all those stupid people and their stupid comments (about your looks) as if they were perfect?

There was only one perfect person ....

anyway thanks for your wonderfulness and courage.

btw 5'4" is the best HEIGHT (from another one).

Happy Christmas!

June said...

*wolf whistle*

;)

Merry Christmas to you, Franklin. I think you look just fine. Sorry that the haters did their thing, but I hope you know that they are greatly outnumbered by those who think the best of you.

Have you ever read the sewing blog Male Pattern Baldness? The writer sews underwear (including briefs) and blogs photos of his full self in various states of undress. Before you get self-conscious, he's not a fitness model, just a man with an ordinary physique. I think you're in good company.

afewmorestars said...

Love!! The swimsuit came out great, and the pictures are awesome. As someone who shares your height (but is considerably larger - your waistline looks perfectly normal to me!), I have nauseatingly similar memories to those you've shared with us. Thank for posting the pics despite feeling the way you do, Franklin, and for being your usual rockin' self. You're always inspiring. :)

Crystal Marsh said...

Nice beefcake! Just saying.
I've enjoyed reading your blog for quite some time now. It's been a pleasure. I always thought you were adorable. My favorite picture is the one with the camera looking down on you and your arms are crossed. I think it's more the pose then anything else. You look like such a witty and fun person with a great sense of humor. One that I would quite enjoy spending an afternoon with.

Die Linkshänderin said...

These drawers are great and so is your body. I won't go into details because that might turn out indecent. *blush*

Forget the past and those stupid, empty-headed people.

Henriette

Crystal Marsh said...

Nice Beefcake. Just saying.

I've enjoyed your blog for quite sometime. I've always thought you were adorable.

Crystal Marsh said...

Nice Beefcake. Just saying.

Crystal Marsh said...

sorry if my three comments appeared. I've never left comments before and didn't understand the process. Sometimes you have to be smarter then the equipment. This is a challenge for me most days.

shelly hancock said...

Bravo!

Linda Cannon said...

Those naysayers should be horsewhipped and shunned. I think you look very nice at any time and are not all those nasty things that people said. You look perfectly proportioned to me.
The suit turned out marvelously, It looks as it should and your "tushie" looks good in it too. Job well done. I am glad you crocheted the edges so there was no fall out.

t said...

i'm sorry that people can be so cruel--i know that even one cruel comment can overshadow any number of positive ones. on behalf of all of us non-supermodels, thank you for having the courage to post these pictures. (come to think of it, even models get airbrushed/ photoshopped. i have a friend who makes a living photoshopping images, and if it weren't for the non-disclosure agreements she had to sign, she could tell you which celebrities have their pictures "fixed.")

thanks also for your historical curiosity, from someone else with an interest in historical textiles (although sadly, long before we have evidence of knitting...)



mamagotcha said...

You did good... both on your ruminations and your handiwork. Thank you.

kt said...

Those trunks are ASTONISHING! You look great! I am mentally adorning your darling noggin with a top hat so that you'll fit right in at the Men's Club.

Poop on those unpleasant people who said mean things to you. You rawk, Franklin. Thanks for sharing you with us.

Anonymous said...

Hmmmm....i like the body and the body hair, can't see why anyone would have complained.

the trunks look better then I expected they would...

SewingDiva PDX said...

So... I saw the iceland pics AND met your fine self in person, and I thought 'hot'. So there you are. Seems I'm in good company from the above comments.

I'll still have to go with 'odd' on the bathing drawers though. A fine and well-knit experiment, but I don't see it trending for 2014.

Happy New Year! Don't let the trolls get you down. :)

SewingDiva PDX said...

Titling the swim drawers 12/25 post "Christmas Package"!!!! You rock. LOL

Wendy said...

This is a crude way to put it, but in all seriousness, fuck the haters. The internet is a place where lots of people can come together over a shared interest, which is amazing, but it's also a place where hateful, small-minded people can vent all of their nonsense with impunity. I'm sure it hurts to get comments like that; I've had similar comments and some of them sting for me even years after the fact. I hope you read and take to heart each and every positive comment here, and are able to let the multitude of good outweigh the bad.

Real people have hair (or no hair), real people have a little more than they'd like in some areas (or not enough), and real people should know that not every goddamn person they see is going to look like an actor or model. And even models and actors are imperfect in real life, and even "perfect" people can have bodily insecurities like the rest of us. I doubt the commenters you mentioned would be willing to put their bodies up for public comments.

TL;DR: fuck all y'all haters.

CatMcCall said...

Dude, you're hot - I've thought so for years, but, alas, you bat for the other team...Srsly - those trunks look great. Did you go in the water with them?

Laurie said...

You and the suit are adorable. After my entire year of knitting Weldon's projects, it doesn't surprise me at all that the suit is well designed and does the job. I was amazed at how well-written those patterns are!

Rose said...

Nice body, man, and kudos to you for putting it out there!

Anonymous said...

Honey, you have NOTHING to worry about. Anyone who made rude comments is, by definition, rude, and therefore should be ignored. And the idea of a hairy chest being un-sexy? Hello? Did anyone see Kevin Kline in the Pirates of Penzance, with the white pirate shirt open to his waist? Yum!

Anonymous said...

Franklin, you look great in your knitted suit! Hairy men rock!

Lacey said...

Oh, my darling man. Should the fullness of your manly beauty be shown in the nutcracker or tree side photo, I would at once petition it to grace a calendar page for hot ass knitting men. You, my man, should be gloried for your knitting prowess as well as manly manly-ness. I cannot imagine for one instant saying anything about your hominem (btw, my spell checker wants that to be Eminem...wow) other than wolf whistles or bracing back slaps. I cannot decide if my comments run too far the other way and objectify you as a lovely slab of man, but I want you to know that your special brand of awesome is 100% appreciated in many quarters. As awesome as you are, I'm sure you know that haters' gonna hate. I say you should be Quince's new spokesmodel with that project each holiday season. Send out Christmas cards. I'd buy a pack of those to send to a friend. You in a Santa hat, knitting something festive and rocking some swimming drawers. #perfection

Anonymous said...

The old feminist in me cringes, when people seem to think, that equality means, that you are now free to objectify and bodyshame men.
I'd say you look wonderful, but my opinion shouldn't matter. I follow this blog, because you are witty, sensitive and one hell of a knitter. Your body is just the vessel that carries all that awsomeness. For that reason, it should be treated with care and respect, but it looks like, you've already come to that conclusion.
Nice job, Franklin - body and bathers both!

Liz said...

Oh Franklin. I'd love to be able to say "I can believe people are so cruel and discourteous" (leaving aside "entirely inaccurate") but unfortunately yes, yes, I can.

The bathing drawers and you look extremely good (surprisingly so in the case of the bathing drawers but I did, as a child, briefly have one of the Bad Knitted Swimsuit and approached the idea with Extreme Prejudice...).

The somewhat disturbing Christmas figure in the second picture, on the other hand...

Heidi said...

There. Is. NOTHING. Wrong. With. You. AT ALL.

I mean, I looked closely, okay? And I discovered no fat or anything else "not perfect" about you.

Ya look rockin'! And I like the stripes.

Nic said...

Well, my opinion doesn't matter a jot, but your proportions look fine to me. I have been "blessed" with a mother who is apt to say something along the lines of "My, your face is lopsided isn't it?" And it's taken a long time to get to a state of acceptance about myself. The thing that really pushed me to it was a Flickr 365 selfie project. Forced me to look at myself and others as real people, not airbrushed models. Very useful. No trolls either, which was nice :)

Marin (AntiM) said...

Oh, Franklin, you give me hope. If your view of yourself is as disparate from what I see when I look at your pictures, maybe I don't look as awful as I think I do. XOXO

wildflowers said...

I normally don't post comments. And I am sure that my comment will be lost in the hundreds of others that are posting the same thing. But I believe that we do need to raise our voices to this. It is not acceptable to say horrible things about someone.
Besides that, you know, your body is much like my husband's. I personally find body hair very attractive. I also find a bit of belly attractive. It is healthy. It is right.
So, I think it is horribly sad that people say such things to you. And I find you quite attractive.

Christina said...

I have been Waiting to see these! They look really comfortable for their simple construction, and I quite like the edging. I think if I knitted swim shorts I'd use a yarn like Fixation and make something more like hot pants/booty shorts, but I've got a lot less material, ahem... to put in there. ;-)
People can't keep their damn mouths shut and I'm sorry you had to be the brunt of their seriously inconsiderate stupidity. You're better than they are.
I think you are fantastic and I love you. Keep on keeping on and never change for a nobody. :-*

Anonymous said...

I love everything about this post, except for the evidence of humankind's stupidity it contains. You are a hero! (And incidentally, a very attractive man.)

Anonymous said...

Okay so I'm like the 255th comment-er and I'm not sure you'll get to read this post but I have to type just in case.

So I have your blog as my homepage and today I was very pleased to see a new post on it. I wanted to make sure I hadn't missed any other new posts first (having had Christmas away from my computer) so I scroll down the page. During my scroll down I noticed a gorgeous specimen of a man modelling your latest project.

So imagine my surprised when I scroll back to the top and read your post about all the horrible comments you've had.

I think you're good-looking and should be proud of your figure. Medium-build: Perfect. Not lanky or chubby - just right. Hair: Thank the Lord! You look like a real man and not a little boy. And the bathing drawers have just the right balance of style - enough to look smart but not too much to be OTT.

I hope your proud of yourself and your work and I very much hope there's a good man in your life who's proud of you too.

Dyeabolical said...

Haters gonna hate. You look awesome and so do those trunks! Thanks for doing this experiment and sharing the results.

Unknown said...

I took a class with you a while back and thought you were attractive.

A lot of people worry way too much about "model perfect" and miss the "attractive" or "interesting" part...

And most importantly, were the "swimming drawers" functional? At least we know they didn't become transparent when wet (and yes, I have seen that on the beach on an older man...and it was TMI!)

Auntie Tracy said...

I am again aghast at how humanity treats fellow man. You have modeled the bathing suit very well and you should have no shame over any part of YOU.

Pixiepurls said...

Looks like they fit perfect! All those people who ever insulated you are far more insecure then you are. My mother has always said there are people in the world who will try to blow your candle out, don't let them.

Pretty Knitty said...

I'm not going to read the hundreds of comments below to find out, but I hope that you caught every rude offender and comment, deleting them swiftly. As for me, I also don't post many photos, and I get where you are coming from. But, for what it's worth, kindness, confidence and great knitting are much more attractive than any body, in sum or in part. And you, my dear Franklin, are a beautiful person. Your knitting's not bad either! :) Please forgive my frankness and familiarity...I don't know you personally, only from your blog and some interviews I've heard...but I feel strongly about this type of thing.

Beth V. said...

Honestly Franklin, anyone who described your physique as "disgusting" clearly needs glasses--and soon! Your appearance is nothing to be ashamed of; on the contrary, it's quite attractive and lovely, and you should be proud of it. I give you tons of credit for posting the photos given how you feel about how you look. I don't know that I would have the courage to do the same.

Anonymous said...

I think you look cute.

Heather Connolly said...

Awesome post! Love the photos, love the knitting, and have nothing but love and respect for you. Nice, nice and NICE!

Corvi said...

Some people don't know how to raise their children, darling. You are gorgeous (I've met you in person and I know), and you look smashing in your suit. Though I don't blame you for sticking to the lycra - much easier to swim in that.

Caitlin said...

To the main point, the drawers were made of thinner fabric than I was expecting, honestly. Did that contribute more or less to the sag, do you think?

Body-shaming is just about one of the worst things we can do to one another, and I don't get why it's so acceptable in our culture. We all have bodies; can't we just be happy that they exist and function and let us do cool things like knit and use the internet, and stop worrying about whether our children or our married friends or people we'll never meet in real life (all of whom have no need to be attractive to us) live up to our arbitrary standard of sexual attractiveness? I'm sorry someone as awesome as you has had to deal with nasty comments. You are fantastic, don't let anyone tell you differently.

Unknown said...

Franklin,

Dont listen to anyone who thinks you are too this or not enough of that. You are handsome just the way you are. This is my favourite mantra, I find myself repeating it often whenever I feel discouraged from my own actions or those from others. Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu: All beings everywhere, including yourself, deserve to live freely and free from suffering.

Unknown said...

Franklin - you inspire me!
And, you're smokin' hot, in every way ;-)

Madame Leiderhosen said...

Wow! Funny, smart and talented is all that is required and you are all three in spades. (And mighty fanciable as well.) I may need to send you a silk top hat to go with the drawers.

Angie said...

I always wondered about those.

Also, I do not get the popular aversion to secondary sex characteristics. I like chest hair. I like men. It kinda goes hand in hand.

Kelly said...

To parrot the new feminist meme, " want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body." You look fabulous and i for one love seeing photos of you in your posts.

I once made a knit bikini out of cotton (I know, I know, novice mistake). The crotch was so.wide I had a camel toe you could see from a mile away and when I test drove it in the shower, it basically melted off of me. Great shaping on your drawers, and the purple looks great on you.

Anonymous said...

Darling, I know I'm not your type, but you are gorgeous. I married man with a similar physique to yours and he is the most gorgeous man on the planet, rounded furry tummy and all. He is also 2 inches shorter than me, which matters not a jot to me or him but does to other people for some strange reason. Don't listen to the haters, you are lovely inside and out. Incidentally, I think perhaps you would not be interested in a man who was only interested in the outside, oui?

Katie said...

I'm going to add my voice to the choir.

Franklin, I am so so sorry that you've had to deal with such horrible negativity from people on this. What the heck is WRONG with people that they think saying crap like that is acceptable?

I remember reading your blog entry where you first announced this project, and I could only think "how itchy is that going to be?" and "I can't wait to see how it turns out." I'm a history buff myself, and love to see how people lived, ate and dressed way back when. The swimsuit turned out really well, and it's so much more flattering (when dry) than I thought it could ever be. And I think you're a brave man to wear wool next to such delicate body parts. And the suit looks fantastic on you! I'd even say "Hubba hubba!"

I also sympathize with the negative inner voice (and the negative outer voices that contributed to the inner voice). It's always difficult to overcome that kind of thinking, even when you have lots of people rushing to assure you that the voice is wrong. Perhaps especially when people are saying nice things, because I know my thought is often "of course you're saying nice things, you're my friends."

In any case, keep up the fantastic work! I look forward to your next post and your next projects! :)

Adina said...

For such a simple pattern, they do seem to fit rather well.

As for your appearance, that could be my husband in those pictures. :)

Jeanne B. said...

Not that my opinion matters, but...

If I were a gay man, I'd totally think you're hot.

If you were a straight man, I'd totally think you're hot.

Alas, you are a gay man and I am a straight female, so I guess I'll just have to sit here in sadness totally thinking you're hot. :-)

Fiona said...

The swimming trunks turned out surprisingly well!
As the mother of a son, I despair every time I see the image of a muscley, hairless man with not an imperfection in sight. I don't want him growing up feeling he has to wax or shave his body (sure, it looks good on a model, but can you imagine how prickly it feels after a day?). Or worse, feel that if he isn't covered in muscles or skinny he's not normal. Thank
you for posting a photo of a normal, attractive body. I avoid being photographed too until a friend pointed out that when we look back at our photgraphs as we get older we and our friends and family will wonder why we werent a bigger part of our own lives.

geogrrl said...

Franklin, you look great in those bathing drawers. And, for what it's worth, I've always thought you were attractive man.

I don't know who the commenters were who were discussing you in such insulting terms, but they should really look at themselves first. If not ugly on the outside, they're definitely ugly on the inside.

Lou Dennehy said...

The focus *should* be on the work, however, I feel the need to add, swit swoooooo!!!!!.

Well worn Franklin, well worn. I doff my hat to your recreation of swimwear of bygone years.

Megan said...

You are amazing and brave. Reading this post made me cry because it broke my heart. People suck sometimes. I love your blog for the knitting, the humor, and the wonderful stories. Now I love it even more for your honesty. Oh, and the trunks are pretty awesome too.

Heidi said...

You have the cutest tush!

(And ha - "packages" is part of the non-robot code to type in!)

JP said...

Santa can leave that package under my tree any time.

Anonymous said...

Are you kidding? Your body looks pretty similar to my hubby's, and I am still 1000% attracted to him, even after nearly 20 years,
Ignore the jerks. We love you just as you are.

Anonymous said...

The knitted suit turned out very lovely. I like the crocheted edge.

This really looks like it'd be a fun pattern to try.

I have some questions, if I may.
1. What is the drawstring at the waist made of, please? Is it stretchy, or no? (Looks like ribbon?)
2. Is the suit comfortable enough, and secure enough, to actually swim in?
3. Will you be making more in other fibers? (I'm curious as to how the shape would hold up to swimming if done in a cotton blend.)

Thank you, as always, for interpreting and posting such excellent historical designs.

Anonymous said...

Dear Franklin: You are hearby cordially invited to relocate to New Jersey. We are all- gay men and straight women included- a version of short, dark and hairy. And please bring your bathing costume. It will rock the shore in 2014. Sincerely, all the descendents of Italian, Jewish and Irish immigrants living in the great Garden State. P.S. If you cannot bear to leave the big city, Philadelphia is nearby. Most people there are short, dark and hairy, too, and those who are not have grown to view the rest with affection, somewhat like the affection one feels for a treasured garden gnome.

Kurt said...

Okay... So what is the problem?

The bathing drawers look fine, and your body is nothing to sneeze at.

I'm a straight guy, and consider myself objective. Good musculature with consistent definition; the bathing drawers fit very well. If you had skinny legs, they wouldn't. And sure, you have more hair on your forearm than I have on my entire body, but who cares? My sister has more hair on her forearm than I have on my entire body.

I read these blogs to learn about spinning and fiber-related crafts, not to read personal attacks by people who don't have talent, brains, or personality and want to let everyone know about that.

Keep knitting, keep teaching, and for Gosh Sakes, Get another book of cartoons done, so my wife and I can buy it, and give copies to our knitter friends!


-Kurt

Anonymous said...

God! No bulgy stomach, reasonable butt, no saggy boobs and nice legs. You look a whole lot better than all those 19th century dudes in that suit although I agree maybe you don't want to offer any post swim photos. You look like you've got a good bod to me. More important, have you got someone good to love you? That's what counts!

Deb said...

Very cool!

You're brave to put yourself out there with something that leaves you feeling vulnerable.

They look great and so do you. The human body is a wonderful thing in all shapes and sizes.

Great job!

Kere, the Knitting Knerd said...

some people got no manners! (and I think you're kinda cute, in that way that would make me babble like an idiot if we ever met. Smart and sexy are my downfall.)

Anonymous said...

As my father used to say "Lots of people will want to stand in line waiting to criticize you for one thing or another. There's no need to add yourself to the queue."

Dear dear Franklin. You are a lovely and intelligent person who transcends any hurtful comment. The suit looks great. YOU look great and there is NOTHING wrong with your body. The legs are where they should be and you have one belly button. I salute you and wish I were as brave and confident but, alas, I detest being photographed.

Anonymous said...

Those swim trunks are great! And to anyone out there judging, go to hell! It takes a lot of guts to put yourself out there and you look great doing it!
Happy holidays, Franklin!

Kristen said...

What everybody else said on the topic of bodies and mean people on the internet! Line 'em up and I'll slap them for you. Thank you for being brave enough to stand up for every single one of us who doesn't fit whatever mold other people think we should.

Anonymous said...

Yummy. That's all I can say.

Oh, and hot.

Psuke said...

Whoever they were who made such unflattering comments - a) they are crazy and b) they have terrible taste. You are quite hot, and you rocks those bathing drawers. *ahem* Especially from behind.

Anonymous said...

Oh, honey, I just want to give you a hug! You are perfect just the way you are!! Your bald, bearded, knitting self is cool and beautiful!
/Matilda
Ps. The trunks look good too.

Sanny Sanny said...

Wow. Knitted wool bathing attire. Ok, so it makes sense that it existed, but no question in my mind why it vanished quickly. And no, it's not about the body IN the trunks, it's the body OF the trunks! Wardrobe malfunction waiting (or not waiting) to happen.

If one could keep the garment from getting wet, it's not a bad look. And you're rockin' it for sure.

P.S. Mean People Suck. I, too, am an image victim from way back. Knowing they suck doesn't always (ok, ever) help.

Bonnita said...

I'll take a dozen of each picture please! ;o)

Rebecca said...

ohmygosh! knitted swim trunks! who'd have thought? and i must admit i'm amazed that the swimsuits from mid 19th century werent those whole body things i tend to think of when i imagine "old-fashioned" suits. so...yeh, baggy in the crotch and catching sand in all that bagginess - that's exactly what i would imagine - yuck lol! think i'll pass ;). I'm new to your blog, though i, of course, have heard of you before! what knitter hasnt!? But i am listening to old episodes of knit picks podcast and there's an interview of you on there and you sound so personable and intersting and fun so i had to come check out your blog. oh that and i wanted to see the lacr trimmed sleep cap. Your post is very touching to me. I have spent the last 15 years of my life hearing how fat i am from my husband (i'm 35 pounds heavier than when we got married but am not monstrous i guess)so i just ... i dont know. When you said what you heard adults say near you or even to you, i just wanted to hug that little boy or that awkward transitional teen and say, "you are just fine just how you are" and as for being too hairy...hmmm...arent men kind of made that way? and too short or too this or that - we're all different thank goodness. it just makes me mad that people say hurtful things. and judge. i'm tempted to say that you actually look great in your suit but that's 1. not helpful 2. another judgement that no-one needs and 3. you wouldnt believe it anyway. But i think it's wonderful to hear a man's perspective onbody image and also refereshing taht someone is so open and honest in times when everyone is supposed to be picture perfect and yet we are all suffering in silence. hugs to you and that little boy inside of you

Juliet said...

It never ceases to amaze me how people think that they have every right to judge other peoples' appearances--and that they should share those judgments. Especially with the anonymity of the internet to protect them.

I'm constantly struggling with the pervasive and dangerous equation that a very rigid, standardized idea of attractiveness=a person's worth. I feel it creeping in to my own self-conception and I see it and hear it everywhere all the time, in the real world and online.

All that said, thank you for this excellent post, your excellent and historically fascinating knitting, and having the strength and bravery to post those pictures, despite your experiences.

EiaTheWittyKnitter said...

Franklin, oh Franklin...the next time some one says anything negative about you in any way, tell them to bug-off! Then laugh hysterically and ask them when was the last time they looked in a mirror! As for the 'past voices in your head', please tell them to all go to hell for me! You my dear man are a most handsome man..now there Eia has spoken.
God made you just the way you are and HE does not make ugly, nor does HE do wrong. Love thyself, be true to thyself only.
Remember you are beautiful and I love you just the way you are...Eia

Martha0051 said...

Mmmmm. And nice drawers, too.

Julie said...

I didn't read any of the comments. I rarely do. But I wanted you to know that I think you are very brave. Thank you for modeling these...I have always wondered what they really looked like and how they fit.

Linda said...

Franklin, Your suit looks identical to those worn by my two brothers around 1950 - 1955. Theirs were navy blue and identical in styling and shape to yours.

BTW in my opinion you look terrific, make no apologies!! I totally don't understand why anyone would think otherwise--
Linda

Anonymous said...

You look fine, your trunks are lovely work, and you're quite a bit more forebearing than much of the human race would be in your situation. That said, calling a post about a pair of swim trunks "Christmas Package" is a pun I cannot back, and I sincerely hope it was inadvertent. :)

--Jessica

robyn said...

if that is you in the photos, you're HOT!

Anonymous said...

I think you look just fine...& the knitting is great too!

FoFo said...

Franklin,

I feel your pain. I myself have been called fat by my own family members. I am overweight, by 100 lbs. But, I have a disease known as hypothyroidism and I cannot do anything about my weight. I exercise and eat right and I am a healthy person. I'm saying all this to say, I understand how others can wound with careless, stupid, mean words.

Sweetie, you are not fat and quite frankly I love a hairy chest on a man. My own dearly departed husband had a lovely hairy chest. Your butt isn't big and neither is your waist. Those idiots need to live in the real world. Not everyone has a hairless body (unless they shave, ick imagine the stubble),a tiny waist or a tiny ass. You have a beautiful body. If you weren't gay, I'd date you, I'm only 5'5". Tell them to piss off and be happy with who you are. Value yourself and ignore those jealous bitches.

MaryB said...

Damn I think you're pretty handsome. There's no accounting for some other people's taste.

Here's a curious thought. Wonder of they would sag less if you carried along a strand of that water activated lycra like some people do when they're knitting socks.?

Anonymous said...

I think you have a cute tush and I think a man should have body hair. Anyone who thinks that you look anything other than handsome is simply a troll out to stir up trouble.

Anonymous said...

Okay, ya don't got a six-pack, and you didn't have a chest wax. So what? You have a perfectly normal, perfectly acceptable, and (one presumes) perfectly functional body in which to carry around a delightful sense of humor and clever, inquisitive mind. End of story.

And the swim trunks are pretty cool, actually.

I'm a fat broad who knits. Sweaters. For myself. And shooting & posting pictures of myself in those creations is agony. If they ever showed up on an "evaluate this broad for hotness" forum, I'd probably go into suicidal mode. Seriously.

But I do post them, generally on one of the Ravelry forums for plus-size women (okay, fat broads) because I believe we DESERVE to have beautiful,well-made clothing and to share with other knitters whose bodies don't fit the general mold those tricks and techniques to make well-fitting knitted garments.

People need to get over the notion that only certain body shapes, eye colors, hair styles, etc are acceptable. Screw 'em.

Keep on keeping on, Franklin. We need you.

--Lynda in Oregon

Anonymous said...

Nice! I love me a hairy chest. Good job and thanks for the view. Ninaclock145

Awntie Spyder said...

Dood you are cute. now I am an old fat lesbian and met you at sock summit. You are a delight to meet to read to follow. Thank you

anne marie in philly said...

HUBBA HUBBA! I have never thought ill of you; I like you just as you are (and so does mister rogers)!

happy 2014 to you!

Tasha said...

I never post on your blog (and rarely on anyone else's for that matter). But your post required comment. You posted, despite obviously issues, your mostly naked body on the internet! That means you win. Congratulations.

And honestly, the bathing suit is pretty neat.

Heidi B said...

Very nice! Girls had this saying all the while I was growing up about certain men: "You know he's either gay or he's married!" This is what we said about men who were too cute for us average females. And it applies here, both figuratively and literally. Thanks for the eye candy!

Anonymous said...

Franklin, as a female eligible for the Seniors' Menu in restaurants and who is living what my mother still calls "an alternative life style," I believe I have a certain credibility as an objective observer in this situation. And my unbiased assessment is that you have a REALLY cute butt! And quite a handsome physique. That together with your intelligence, your kind heart, your eloquence and wit, and your skills as a craftsperson would put you at the top of the A-List for anyone with a whit of good sense and taste. JMHO.

lollyknits.com said...

I don't normally comment, but I'm afraid that after reading this, I need to add my two cents. I personally think that you are a handsome man, and you have a totally normal body! (and by normal I mean not airbrushed and waxed and photoshopped until there's no character left) We need more images like this to be out there, because so many people only compare themselves with advertisements and magazines that tell them that they are DEFINITELY wanting in the attractiveness department. Thanks for being brave enough to expose yourself, and by the way? Nice drawers :P

Jackie said...

Franklin, you are brave, and brilliant, and wonderful.

And know, as I have learned, that there is no pleasing "them," whoever they are. I am tall, blonde, blue-eyed--and have also been the fat girl, the flat-chested girl, the nerdy/brainy girl. Whatever and whoever you are, someone is going to dislike you for it. And someone else will love you for it. And even then, the most important thing is that you should be happy with yourself.

I can say it, but it's so hard to live it!

Ah, and while I think of Victorian men bathing, this is one of the most famed paintings held by the Amon Carter Museum in my hometown: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Swimming_Hole No drawers in sight!

And thirdly, I have, for years now, been pondering just how I might manage to fix you up with my darling brother-in-law, who fancies furry with combat boots. I admit to rather selfish knitterly motivation. Tom has broken my heart!

Nicole said...

Wow! The swimsuit looks great and I love the color combination.

Jamie Wolfer Saphow said...

I've been anxiously awaiting this post for months and although I've never commented here previously, your post has moved me to do so. People suck, but you're awesome. I find it deplorable to criticize, publicly someone's appearance. So tell them to suck it and remember, none of us are perfect...

Anonymous said...

anyFranklin, may you go into your remaining decades feeling like the good-bodied man that you are. The only change needed is in your interior perception of self - hard to do but not impossible, particularly as you leave those sensitive adolescent/young man decades behind. Best of luck. You look wonderful.

Anonymous said...

Well, I think you're on the slim side of normal (if by normal we mean average American male). And as a fellow 5'4" hairy person, you've got my waist beat by 8 inches... Apparently you just don't hang out with the right sort of people.

Anonymous said...

I like the knitting bathing costume. It is not as bare as I would have thought but still looks brief by today's standards. It reminds me of a white sharkskin swimsuit my mother had in the 50's. She said it was only for show. :-)

As for someone taking your picture from your blog and then posting it on a Ravelry group to "rate" you, that is wretched in the extreme. How completely classless of them.

However, I have always been attracted to your brilliance in writing, the poetry of your photography, the amazing breadth of your knitting skills and the charm of Doris.

And to paraphrase Jane Austen, "I have been meditating on the very great pleasure which a pair of fine eyes in the face of a striking man can bestow.''

Anonymous said...

Awesome Franklin, just awesome!

Donna said...

As someone who has had the same negative self thoughts about my looks (too short, 4-11; too fat; too old; not stylish) it saddened me to think that there were other people that felt the same way about themselves. I wish you strenth in never having those thoughts again. Those thoughts are us just being cruel to ourselves, and there are plenty other people out there that are cruel to us already. You are one of the most talented writers I have read, you found a way to make a living doing what all of us knitters could only dream of and if I ever met you in person, I'm assuming you are a wonderful person. And funny!

Anonymous said...

I'll join the group that says you have a great butt! The cut of that suit reminds me of the leotards I wore while working out to Jane Fonda in the 90's - high cut legs (up to the waist!) were supposed to make the legs look longer. That group pic of male bathers - I can't get over the top hats. "Wait - we're going to take a pic in our suits - let me get my top hat." Amazing.

As to the haters - they are awful miserable people who can bath in their own viciousness. I adore you - love your blog, love your book, love your patterns - you are smart, funny, talented and I've always thought you had a really cool look and was suprised to read you thought otherwise.

Am looking forward to taking a class with you soon! Hugs -

Anonymous said...

Some people just have no damn manners.

If you don't mind a random drive-by saying so, you have great thighs.

Janis said...

You look wonderful and as a fellow dark, swarthy, "earthy" wop, I think that's what humans are supposed to look like. I highly doubt your nose could hold a candle to the ones on most of the men in my family, and I spent most of my youth pretty convinced by those around me that I was too skinny, not busty or blonde enough, and frankly not cheap-looking enough to be worth it. Funnily, it wasn't until I moved to the supposedly appearance-centered southern California that I actually escaped all that.

Also funnily, it was as if a secret memo went out to the entire world minus me that I was in fact not an ugly, skinny, beaky little dog but in fact extremely beautiful.

And also funnily, it all came down after I had decided I didn't give a rat's ass. I still feel like dropping my drawers when someone compliments me on it and showing them the business end of my alimentary canal.

You look absolutely wonderful -- solid, strong, masculine, and brilliantly Mediterranean.

K. Hermit said...

As a straight lady, I've always thought you were rather attractive in your pictures, very nicely put together. And I have to say you do make a damn fine swimsuit model. :P Of course I've always loved the hairy chests.

I highly doubt you wrote this to fish for compliments, but I wanted to add my praise. There's no end to the trolls online, but we can do our best to drown them out. I just want you to know that of all the knitting blogs I follow, you are the only blogger that I would actually love to meet and spend time with. (No worries of stalking, I'm too far away and entirely too shy in real life.)

Keep it up, and please write more often. New posts from you brighten my day.

Melanthe said...

I was heartbroken after hearing about the cruel things people have said to you and about you. I'm so sorry that you have run afoul of so many ill-mannered people.

Your pictures show you to be fit and in good shape. Your writing shows you to be a kind, talented, and generous man.

Anyone should be proud and grateful to be acquainted with you.

Amy Bingham said...

You're perfect the way you are. Ignore anyone who says differently. I love reading your blog. Thank you for sharing with the world.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sad you have been treated that way. I know what it is like to not look at yourself in the mirror for years. There are maybe 10 pictures of me from the time my children were born to 16 years later. Please don't take yourself out of your own history by avoiding pictures or tearing up old ones. Someday someone, maybe you, will cherish those pictures.
The turning point came for me when I found someone that loved me at 300 lbs with hair down to my waist and at 140 lbs with no hair anywhere from Chemo and now. I asked him why. He said he loves who I am. Now I can look in the mirror and take selfies with pride, and it was NOT the weight loss. It was having someone see the real me and be able to show it to ME.
The knitting is lovely. The drawers fit nicely. Any picture I've seen of you, I've thought you quite handsome.
Thank you for sharing with us.
- Sara

Anonymous said...

Your bathing drawers came out wonderful. Thank you for being brave and modeling them.

Happy New Year!
Deb

The Slop Queen said...

Franklin -

(a) the drawers turned out way better than I would have expected and have led me to wonder about hand knit underwear for women.

(b) you are a stud and were I not an ecstatically happily married woman (and you a happily gay man), I'd invite you over to view my "etchings" any day of the week. Tall men give me a neck ache, thin men seem too fragile (emotionally as well as physically), and a man with no body hair says to me "teenager" not MAN. You are not fat, you have great shoulders, a fantastic chest, and a wicked sense of humor. In short, were I not already married to the man of my dreams, I'd be proposing to you right now.

Glad you're home safe.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing and modeling the suit! Lots of applause (and a woof whistle or two) from my daughter and me!

marjorie said...

Thank you, Franklin, for showing us the bathing drawers with you in them. There is absolutely nothing wrong with your body. There is, however, something wrong with people who would make such rude and mean comments about you. What a bunch of a**holes. And liers. As for the drawers, they really do fit well, even without the frontal accomodation which modern men's suits have. The knitted fabric takes the shape of the body very well.

Pamela said...

Really? People were saying you were fat? Where? In your little toe? If you can see your belt, you are doing better than most men I know over the age of 35. I just don't say anything because I can't either. And my legs could us the business end of a Lady Schick. I know - TMI.

That has to be one of the best historical knits you have ever done. Love the history of it and your curiosity. You are a true scholar - wanting to know more. Keep up the good work. Maybe I'll quote you in a paper some day.

Morenna said...

Gorgeous! The bathing suit turned out nice too. Much nicer than the engraving and it fits a heck of a lot better than expected.

With that said, I'd be afraid to wear it. My bow tying skills are such that either it would come undone at an in opportune time or I wouldn't be able to undo the knot when I needed !

*hug*

Tetrarose said...

Franklin I am sorry our shallow, appearance-obessessed culture has made you feel less than worthy, even now as a grown-ass (nice ass if I may say) man on your own blog! I am proud that you simply deleted the nasty comments and persist in your lovely way. Kudos to you, your insistence on knitting and your work as the focus, and your fabulous craftmanship and historical research.

Maureen said...

You have shown great moral fibre in writing this; and woolly fibre as well...
In the forties, my British father used to wear hand knitted swimming trunks. His were more like a little pair of shorts, with a skirt in front, and belt loops - in the pictures there is a white belt shown to hold the garment up. I suppose it must have been a knitted belt, they weren't using plastics back then.
My mother knitted it for him.

Ladona said...

Some women unsheathe their claws on each other as well as men. Those women show their own problems/issues/inperfections, not those of their victims.

Cute suit. Cuter bum!

Bonnie in FL said...

Franklin! You may grace my calendar any month, any year!!! You are wonderfully sexy! Oh, the swimsuit is awesome, too.

Anonymous said...

I really and truly think you are an amazing knitter, very funny, and quite handsome. We live in the same area, and one time I spotted you on the train and spent the ensuing 15 minutes fangirling over the fact that we were sitting in the same train car.

I think the knit bathing drawers look really nice. They definitely would be more flattering with more shaping, probably in the front, but overall they're a pretty good design. -AND- you are definitely a nice-looking model for the drawers!

Heidi said...

And now that I've read and commented on your post, the innernet, in all its wisdom, is showering me with ads for skimpy swim wear. Win-win!

Anonymous said...

Guys, do you think we've blown Franklin away a little bit with all these compliments on his buns and his handsomeness and his knitting, and general all-around awesomeness?

I hope so. :) Love you, Franklin!

miniknits said...

I come from a short family...you seem pretty much the norm for me, and I have seen you in person. And there is way too much weirdness these days about body hair; you are as you were meant to be, and as they say: "God doesn't make mistakes.
As for the swimsuit: my childhood swim teacher collected vintage swimwear (everyone has to have a hobby,right?) and at the end of the summer, we got to swim in them. It's definitely not easy, but it seems like a lot of fun if you are 10. They fell down a lot, which probably explains the popularity of the one piece. In the 70's, I sewed a bikini; it was cute when dry, but it was like swiming in a cloth diaper; I suspect these would be the same. But yours makes for a cute novelty pose, and I'm glad you showed us

dianna said...

From the funny title through the thoughtful excellent writing and great photos this is a fine post.

Plus you are very very nice to look at.

Susanne N said...

It is so wonderful that you are interested in these old patterns and knit them, even model them on the internet. Chapeau.... You are a wonderful and beautiful person inside and out, love the pictures.

Zach said...

Franklin, You are a beautiful person inside and out! It might not mean much coming from a complete stranger, but be assured the people in your past are wrong. I definitely wouldn't kick you out of my bed.

Ken said...

You are totally woofalicious.

Linda said...

Have to add my comment to those of your many admirers! There will always be jerks out there. Let them get over it! I loved meeting you and taking a class with you at SAFF. I finally, really understand depth of field! I expected you to be funny and entertaining but was surprised by what a fantastic teacher you are too! Thank you!

Anonymous said...

You, Franklin, are a gorgeous man, inside and out. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Nice drawers, too. ;o)

Anonymous said...

You are a brave man... to pose so close to the Nutcracker.

Angela said...

I suffer from some of the same issues you do (well, not the hairy chest, so much), and you should rest assured, you are not alone. I went into theatre, which is also a very judgemental arena. At my first meeting with my freshman advisor, I was told, "I'm not sure how we will cast you. You're short, and you're not exactly a model." I should have disenrolled at that very moment. I came to understand that he was projecting on me his own issues. (He could have been described with exactly the same dismissive words he threw at me.) You are much braver than I would ever be. You will never see a photo of me in bathing garb. It's rare to see a picture of me at all. I avoid them as much as I can unless I have some control of the image afterward. I'm not photogenic, I have a wonky eye that I've already tried to correct with surgery once (and I am contemplating a second attempt), I weigh more in photos than I do in my head, etc. it's a shame that we let the negative voices speak louder than the positive ones.

Christina said...

So much love for you, Franklin!!

P.S. *whistle* What a hottie!

Meredith said...

Thank you for sharing the pictures of the bathing drawers (which look quite impressive, by the way) despite all of your concerns about posting pictures of you. Frankly, I've always found you to be fairly attractive (I really like the Addi ad), and I've always thought that the attractiveness of a knitter was irrelevant to the quality of their work, and your work has always been impressive, inspiring, and often entertaining. Thank you for sharing yourself with all of us who read your blog.

Caroline said...

Nicely done! I agree - much better than anyone could have expected for woolen drawers... And I just BET that all the twerps who thought we wanted their opinions are NOT tall, slim, and svelte either. The internet brings out the stupid in some people.

Oona said...

With a few notable exceptions (my skin is pasty, my eyes are spotted... oh, and I happen to be female, so it's my chest that's too small rather than my waist being too big), your description of childhood and adolescence brought back a PTSD-esque shudder in me. So damaging, so unnecessary, and so false to who we really are. But... how thrilling to learn that you are ALSO of compact stature. Congratulations! At my currently unprintably advanced age (got to keep something secret), I can say that your physical characteristics will only become more fetching with age. Flaunt it, Franklin! You've got great years ahead of you, while the tall, blue-eyed blonds fade and drift away to have their knees replaced and their fragile faces lifted.

inkgrrl said...

a) Bravo for your courage and craft!

b) Were I to objectify you in any fashion, it would be all complements your booty, belly, and great sense of humor.

Susan Smith said...

I heartily approve of the pics of the man and the bathing drawers. Both look a-okay and just fine to me. YOU look far better in a bathing suit than do I!

Patti said...

I think you are rather handsome myself, and I thing BALD is very sexy. thank you for being you, and sharing with us, I can imagine how difficult it is to put yourself out there. and the bathing suit looks pretty darn good, which I wasn't expecting -- and not because of the handsome bald model, but because wool underwear just sounds so WRONG

Anonymous said...

Franklin, you're beautiful. You're great, and your drawers are fantastic.

Rows Red said...

Honey, you ROCK those drawers. And yes, some people don't know well enough to remember that there's a real person on the other end of the Internet. Haters gonna hate, and awesome rises to the top. Always.

I'm sorry you've been treated cruelly, but SO GLAD you posted how these turned out! My knitting friends and I were just wondering how they came out at dinner Monday night! I'm happy to see they are nicer than I expected, though I am curious how they held up to water?

Jenn said...

Franklin,
In my opinion your physique is just right. Your rear end looks quite lovely in your bathing drawers....as in it looks perfect.
Cheers to you for putting yourself out there.
Speak love to yourself. Speak respect to yourself. You deserve it.

JennHall said...

I think you look amazing. I love the colors of the suit, too.

Laurie Drew said...

I am GOBSMACKED that you've gotten that much negative feedback. I've seen you in person and I think you are a very nice looking man! I would totally flirt with you and I have excellent taste in men. Truly.

I think if you were actually not nice looking, people wouldn't say things to you because it would be considered mean but because you are such a nice looking guy, maybe they think you can handle it because you have so much going on for you.

People always like to take down others a peg or two when they truly rock it. And you rock it. Inside and out!

Fujiyamamama said...

Hubba Hubba!

KJ said...

I know I'm only adding to the chorus here, but the first time I read this post I skipped straight to the pictures of the suit (we've been waiting so long to see it!) and thought "Well of course *he's* willing to put pictures of himself in a bathing costume on the internet, he's super fit." So, f*ck the haters!

nosenabook said...

The trunks are adorable! I'm so glad you showed them "as worn" because I, too, did not Believe. Nothing else would have impressed me.
Adorable.
Now please apply the balm of these many (366 at this moment) positive, comforting comments to the hurts of thoughtless comments of years past and ... let them go.

sunspots said...

festivalsIf I were a gay man, I wouldn't kick you out of bed for eating crackers!! :)

sunspots said...

Somehow it got part of the "prove you're not a robot" code in the above post...

balsamfir said...

First I found that fabulous woven/knitted cowl on knitty, then I clicked to Amazon to look at your book(which I bought, but not available new). Although I'm pretty jealous of the box of yarn colors, I have to admit, which almost made me not buy the book...But then I went to your blog, and I have to admit I've sent it to my entire knitting group. Brave man, and I think the suit looks great!

Anonymous said...

You are absolutely hothothot! Seriously. You have nothing to be ashamed of, mister. Your swim trunks rock, too.

Amphibiaknitter said...

The only thing that would make this more perfect would be the top hat.

I'm intrigued by the ribbon (which perfectly matches the yarn).

Have a fabulous 2014.

You definitely need to stop listening to the detractors. You're gorgeous. 'Nuff said.

And thanks for interpreting all these old Weldon Practical knits patterns for us. Your patience and perseverance is amazing.

E Rijnbeek said...

already 372 posts with lots of love - so time to leave the others behind, keep deleting them. And hugs and love from NL

Sandra said...

What the heck is wrong with people? You're not fat!

Skip said...

love the drawers, the colors are awesome! Also: my hubby is 5'4" and nicely furry: these are the specs of a truly yummy man.

Knitspingirl said...

What a lovely swimsuit! It protects your modesty nicely whilst letting us see your gorgeous bum! Well done for having the bravery to put these photos out there - you wouldn't catch ME doing that!

Emma said...

Some people are idiots. So sorry you have to deal with that.

By way of cheering you up, I thought you might like to know that the University of Southampton, UK, has a plentiful supply of 19thC knitting books in digitized form. I'm accessing them from within another uni, but as far as I can see, they should be viewable by non-academics too. Enjoy!

http://www.southampton.ac.uk/library/ldu/wsa.html

Debi3735 said...

Personally I found the nutcracker a very funny, subtle addition to the pic!

Krystina said...

I am in shock that people would post such awful things about you. You're perfectly perfect in every way. And a big F-you from me to those people who say otherwise!

Margaret said...

I met you at Stitches East. I walked up to you and introduced myself and told you that I enjoy your blog and your humor. The only adjectives that I went away with were gracious and friendly. None of the ones mentioned in your post came to mind.

Anonymous said...

You're beautiful, Franklin, and I envy your humor and artistic talent.

I read your post on how people remember the past. Right on! I'm an historian, and I've seen the same thing. Just try to tell the truth about the American West and see what happens!

Suzanne said...

OH yeah.. add me to the huge list singing your praises. I think you're wonderul, funny and handsome with a great ass I might add. I wasn't aware of that until you modeled your swim drawers! People are cruel and speak without thinking, esp here on the internet. But I think you're great! Keep it up!!

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry you've had to deal with all this. Good on you for posting anyway and, for the record, there is NOTHING wrong with the way you look. It says so much about those who have felt the need to comment negatively. Wishing you every blessing for 2014 and thank you for your insights and your honesty.

Anonymous said...

You are beautiful :)

jeanniebug123 said...

First, you are very good looking - don't let others knock you down. If I wasn't spoken for, and you weren't gay, I'd do you.

Second, that suit is very cute and looks comfortable. Good job!

Kim Pinkham said...

1) Love the post title. Puns are the best.

2) The swim drawers are wonderful! Great colors, clean edges, and much more flattering than I would have ever suspected they could be. Of course, that's while they're dry. If you're willing to make the test, I'd be interested to know what they did when you got them wet? Just a description, no worries. :)

3) As to the rest, there's a Penny Arcade comic that sums it up: "Regular Person + Anonymity + Audience = Total F***wad." In my experience, it's been women and gay men who are the most vicious critics of looks and holding each other up to some ridiculous standard of beauty they themselves can't meet. Especially since the new American silhouette is more Michelin Man than Tarzan. Anyone as fit as you are, who can rock a bow tie the way you do, can tell the Veruca Salts of the world to go lie down.

melissa said...

The human body is marvelous and beautiful in all of its variety and complexity. And for what it's worth, there are plenty of men and women in the world who LOVE a hairy body, myself included. I am married to a big ginger man with a hair shirt and I think he's crazy sexy.

In other words, haters gonna hate. And I applaud you for working that shit in public. Good for you.

I also feel like I've really learned something with this whole knitted suit journey. The whole ogling a nice hairy stomach was just a bonus.

LauraRose said...

Awesome historical photos. My grandma said "Every generation thinks they invented sex." And just to add another voice to the chorus: I've never understood how people can be rude about other people's natural looks. It's not as if you go around unwashed and raggedly clothed! Bravely done. Be kind to yourself.

Anonymous said...

Oh, shush! My husband is built much like you, and I always thought he's the hottest man on the planet. I'm a bit biased here, but still. You look hot, and the swimsuit is more flattering than I thought it would be. Also, that voice in your head? That voice always lies.

Corrie B said...

I can't believe you actually did this! You are my hero.

Anonymous said...

The knitted suit turned out much more fabulous than the first diagram had led me to believe. I'm wondering, how did it hold up to swimming?
Also, I think you mentioned there's a women's pattern, too? Will you be knitting that one, as well?
I'd love to try a his-and-hers knitted bathing suit set. It sounds like fun.

Anonymous said...

Franklin, my friend, you look great. Do you have a Wii Fit? It will tell you that your weight is just fine for your height. As a completely unbiased computer, it will not comment on your body hair or tell you where you fit in the spectrum of hottie-to-nottie. I'm glad you deleted the comments from those small-minded (and probably quite insecure) people who made disparaging remarks. How rude!
And you are absolutely right about the gender inequality here. As a woman who is 4'10", I have found that people still think short jokes are appropriate, even if fat jokes are not.
Someone should go back and dope-slap the grownups in your life who told you all those horrible things about your body. What were they thinking?
The drawhs (that's how they'd say "drawers" where I'm from) are oddly engaging, at least when they are dry.
--Elizabeth

RachelG said...

Great pics of the bathing trunks. I love your versions of old patterns. The main reason I am posting,though, is to comment on the rest of your post. I am so sad that you had so many negative (and downright cruel) comments. I agree 100% that there is a double standard between what people feel they can say in regard to men's looks and what is acceptable to say about women. I think any negative comments about anyone's looks on the internet are cowardly and mean. Ditto, to what people said within your hearing as a child. What is wrong with people?! If those things had been written about me on my blog or on ravelry, I would have been devastated. I'm so proud of your great response, you are a bigger person than I. Shame on those knitters who have been so insensitive and rude. P.S. I think the pictures of you in the bathing costume look fabulous! Love your blog!

LazyLima said...

There's already a ton of comments and I wasn't going to add more, but feel that I just have to say something! I was scrolling down your post, skimming and looking at the photos. I read that you intended to model the drawers and that you felt you were thick in the waist. I skimmed more, got to the photos and was grandly disappointed - you didn't model the suit! Oh wait! You did! You talked up such a good game, I was prepared for...I dunno what I was expecting - certainly not a tushie that cute! :P
Also, let's just say that the first time I saw your photo I thought - huh. that's a good-looking man. You can butter my biscuit any day.

April P said...

I'd tap that.

Karen said...

Just found your blog through Lion Brand. Interesting post. I have just been thinking about vintage swimwear compared to today's, as I live in a warm climate. Would like to use the pool but my modestly precludes that at this time. (It's my age!) So it was interesting to see the vintage pics. I'm astounded that people will continue to insist they are right when they have proof they are wrong. A problem with today's society, I'm afraid. Last but not least, my husband is bald and hairy; not a bad combo in my opinion. I also think that bald men tend to have more body hair for some reason. I never really researched this...jmho. You rock!

K said...

Glad I happened to go read this slightly older post:
Sorry! Always thought you were a sexy guy. My hubs is 5'5", I'm an inch taller. Guess I just have good taste.
People will ALWAYS have hate. Typically, it's jealousy poorly masked. I had issues for teh first 20+ years of my life regarding my own physique, namely my rear, and guess what? That's the first thing my future husband noticed about me. That and my nose being prominent rather than diminutive.
Cool shorts. Beware the shrinkage/sag with water! Wear as you care; they're nifty.

Kate Lang said...

I'd tap that.

Also, we're not short. We're fun-sized.

SharonH said...

Personally, I like a hairy man. You don't have enough for me. Your chest hair and your belly hair should meet. The back view was cute. But, the front views were lacking in the hair department. I can't see why any may would shave his mane away.

Astrid said...

Fabulous, dahling! And the swimsuit looks great, too!

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