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:

1 – 200 of 439   Newer›   Newest»
Anonymous said...

Well I think you are a hot man! and the swimsuit isn't bad looking either. ;)

Anonymous said...

right on, sexy beast.

Lilith Parker said...

Franklin, darling, you are marvelous. Thank you so much for having the guts to put yourself out there. The project came out beautifully, and you model it stunningly. If you ever *stop* being a sexy beast I will hunt you down and smother you with cashmere until you get your groove back. *hugs*

M-H said...

Thanks for these insights into what has made you the generous, funny man I love to read. And happy Christmas to you!

faerieflings said...

What the hell is wrong with people! I think you're quite attractive, oh, and nice drawers. :)

Anonymous said...

First you broke my heart. I feel so bad for your young self and your current one that you were and continue to be subjected to all that! But then you cheered me up with the photos and knitting story. Bravo! And Merry Christmas!

Anonymous said...

I think you're sexy, and perfectly proportioned. Nice swim trunks!
Connie in MA

luneray said...

Actually, I think those are rather flattering. I'm glad you mentioned the crochet edging around the leg openings. I was wondering how you got such a nice, neat edge!

I can empathize with only presenting pictures of yourself as punchlines. On my blog, I posted a photo of myself in the first (and only!) sweater I'd ever knitted for myself and titled the post "warning! Fat Lady Models Low Cut Sweater!". It became the most viewed entry on my blog with lots of traffic directed there from internet searches. The trolls were expected, but the fetishists were a surprise.

Lugarda Cappetta said...

You look fine to me (the suit, too). Have never been able to figure out how anyone can find a hairless, male body anything remotely resembling sexy.

Anonymous said...

Nice ass ... the budgy smugglers look alright too.

catmum said...

I love them, and you. You are perfect in every respect. My own Freaky Consort is exactly your height, and has much more "fur." Skin, just as with yarn, every color is beautiful.

Badgerangel said...

Franklin,

The suit is very cool. Your attention to detail is wonderful, as always. Well done, and well modeled, my good sir.

You are a wonderful person and yes, you ARE good looking. I sure as hell wouldn't kick you out of bed for eating crackers. I'm so very sorry that you feel the way you do about yourself. I'm so sorry that society is so cruel and so stupid that it's given you that nasty voice in your psyche.

THAT VOICE LIES. I promise. I pinky swear, and pinky swears are sacred.

*hug*

Sue Ann Kendall said...

I am impressed by two things. First, that suit is much less awful than I'd feared. It's sorta cute and I could see wearing it to the hot tub or whatever. Second. Wow, you look like a human being. A reasonably healthy, normal human being. Someone deserving of love and affection and friendship. As a fellow "normal" looking person (try being a woman with body hair these days EWWW), I salute you for showing what a regular guy looks like. We need MORE images that are not PhotoShopped to death and are not of hairless, emaciated people Go you!!

Michelle said...

Having never experienced any of the emotional or verbal/written abuse you describe, your post left me gut-punched. Yes, I am aware people can be inexplicably cruel, but that's head knowledge. I know it doesn't matter, but I'm so, so sorry for the abuse you've suffered, and I admire you (greatly!) for the contributions you have made to the world. Merry Christmas, Franklin!

mairi said...

You look great, the swimming trunks are fascinating, and your blog post is enlightening in several dimensions. I know it takes a whole bunch of positive comments to nullify the sting of each nastiness, but count my tuppenceworth firmly in your corner. You rock.

Bowen said...

First of all, how dare they pass judgement on your body! Second, I love the pictures!

Gracey is not my name.... said...

I'm the one who asked for a picture at Stitches East...and I think your fabulous! I made a bathing suit for a friend, although crocheted....and I had to adjust the back a couple of times, as it was way too immodest..I love how yours came out..and bravo for going forth with the pictures...those voices can be horrible...we need to learn to shut them out....hugs..and I hope you have a wonderful holiday season...

Jenn said...

You are amazinly witty, funny and always a delight to read, and damn good looking too. The last is just icing on the amazing knitter you are. Weldon was spot on with that pattern and they look absolutely wonderful on you, you delicious eye candy.
I will even admit seeing your Skacel ads always makes me smile and a little voice in my head always comments that gay men get all the gorgeous men to themselves.

Kath said...

I am admittedly surprised at how well this project turned out! You are an exceedingly good sport to have promised to model the suit, and a good man to have kept that promise.

Love you just the way you are, Franklin, inside and out. Looking forward to seeing you at Squam in the spring.

Susan said...

Dude - nice buns.

The suit pattern looks like it could use some shaping in the front (men are NOT shaped like a diaper), but overall looks great.

Seriously, nice buns. Great gams too.

Abbie said...

Haters to the left. The suit looks great, you look great, and the suit looks great on you. I know the voices can be insidious (I have some of my own) but they lie. I have always thought you were quite handsome, and nothing here is disproving me.

Cheers, Franklin, thank you for sharing such an unusual project!

m1k1 said...

Well, I give you and the knitting 5 stars.

And one can only assume you were also sporting a top hat that is not in shot.
happy new year

Cam said...

Dear Franklin, as someone who just discovered my hourglass figure is much more like a . . . rectangle, I believe you need a good dose of Amy Herzog. Give her a try -- you'll feel better!

Is there (are there) side seams, or do the button and ribbon ties take care of the closure? It's very attractive -- makes me think of knitting some woollies to wear in the winter . . . to go with the Edwardian undies I'm thinking of making!

I hope you are having a splendid, fiber-filled holiday!

Anonymous said...

I think you, this post, and those shorts are amazing. My husband is 5'6" and he is built just like you in physique and fur factor (<3). I love him for all of it. He had previously had issues with people making fun of him but me...his perfect match...never. Keep being yourself and being an amazing person and all the idiots will fall away.

Anonymous said...

The drawers came out rather nicely! I can see that they would have been serviceable, but I can also see why this is a garment that vanished as soon as better materials and construction became available.

I have always preferred furry men, but they also must be at least 6 feet tall as I'm 5'10". This, however, matters not a whit since I am already married to a rather furry old man and you don't especially get your jollies on old pasty women.

Finally, next time all those ugly words start swirling around you, remind yourself what WhoIDon'tKnow said, "What other people think of me is none of my business." XOXO

Sam said...

I can only echo, "What the hell is wrong with people?!" Lovely work - well-knitted and actually pretty dang flattering, all things considered. And there's not a single thing wrong with your body. I'm not a big believer in shame, but I'll make an exception for your critics in this case, and end with hearty "shame on them!"

deb said...

Franklin you are always amazing. I love the heart felt entry about where you were and where you feel you still are. self image is tough especially when negatively reinforced. But I have to say I agree w the crowd - nice butt!!

Linda W said...

Good lord. Who said all of that stuff? Not that I ever thought to tell you, because it flat out doesn't matter, but I've always thought you rather good looking, in a swarthy, mysterious, bad-boy sort of way - especially in your leather jacket. Anyway, the bathing suit is a hoot, as is the photo of all of those young men wearing it in the photo. And, - you have a nice butt.

Lissa Angeline said...

Well, I'm a big ol' dyke, but I've always thought you were adorable, and now I can say you have a nice tush, too! Lovely knitting work as a bonus. To hell with the rude ones, bunch of tasteless oafs.

Natalie Servant said...

People are idiots. Thanks for doing your thing & showing us that it works.

scifiknitter said...

Franklin, you are a treasure. You may consider yourself an amateur at the knitting history work you do, but your work is not amateurish in the least. The swimsuit is a lovely exploration of history. And you are absolutely fine just as you are - as are we all.

Sarah said...

I too, had people critiquing my looks since I was a young child. I know the dread of having photos taken and just how awful people can be. I think you are amazingly brave and wonderful to put yourself out there like this. The suit looks far more fashionable then I anticipated. If you had a straight twin than was as beautiful as you inside and out I would ask for you to send him my way.

Yvonne said...

<3.

Lili said...

Actually, I think they're pretty cute and -- dry at least -- reasonably flattering. Better at any rate than a Speedo, which cuts a man's body at a very unflattering level and invariably makes him appear to have a long body and short legs.

Also, you look pretty cute in them.

Merry Christmas!

Anonymous said...

Well done! Your work and historical retelling are wonderful. Your pictures are not a hazard to ocular health! Banish the haters from your memory.

Cara said...

This is ridiculous. I've seen pictures of you and quite comfortably viewed the ones in this post. Perhaps you aren't stereotypical leading man material, but you are most definitely not the beast. I don't know what the tastes were of those who cast you in that role, but I'd totally give you a second look. Well, I'm a woman and happily married, so I wouldn't but you know what I mean. Grrr - there's so much ranting I want to do here.

But, to the actual point - the knitting. Were they comfortable? It seems like they'd be itchy. They do look nicer than I expected, though.

Quinn said...

I'm sorry you got the brainless comments. Sometimes, some people seem to think equality means, "Hey, now WE can be assholes, TOO!"
I've been called humorless because I am uncomfortable with even "fun" objectification, but I think it's a slippery slope and the crap just gets deeper the further down you go.
Really just wanted to say sorry.

juliafc said...

Bravo! You are charming, hot, and brilliant. Anyone would be lucky to get to see you in those trunks, dry or otherwise. Thank you for sharing, and for illuminating part of the male psyche few are so brave as you to reveal. Most of us can identify, I am certain (I know I can, as the too tall, too frizzy, too horsey looking an Amazon that I am) Thank you!

Yaneverknow said...

I agree with all of the above. Reread the comments and know they speak the truth. The hell with the haters, as I've said before, they should learn to knit instead of hating.

Lynda Halliger Otvos (Lynda M O) said...

At the risk of sounding like a parrot--you have a great body, hair is not anything to be ashamed of anywhere it grows. I love that you are confident enough to model the article, people who make fun of others should be silenced by their own petards. You're a strong, brave man and I am so proud of you.

Kathi Wolff said...

You look damn good...wtf is wrong with some people for hating on you?
Stay brave, it suits you.
:)

Kathi Wolff said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jane S. said...

My oh my! Now that's what a man is supposed to look like! I've been looking forward to seeing how the swimsuit turned out and having some beefcake added in is a bonus.

Christmas package indeed.... ;)

Hugs to you and Merry Christmas.

Karma said...

First of all, I am in awe of anyone who posts a picture of themself on the web, much less one in which one is wearing a knitted bathing suit! Serious awe here.

Second of all, those people making comments about your body or anyone else's? Screw 'em. They're either completely thoughtless self-centered a-hats or a more insidious version of schoolyard bullies and we don't waste time or emotional energy on a-hats or bullies!

Love and righteous indignation.

Alex said...

You look the way my hubby did when we met. I'mma need that pattern for him ;-)

Terry said...

One more voice here saying you are beautiful inside AND out, and you did a right good job on those drawers, Franklin!

And it IS mind-boggling how cruel and thoughtless people can be, even people who supposedly love us. They were wrong wrong wrong. As you should know from your fan club. *g*

knittingcat said...

You were so absolutely brave to put that all out on your blog and I admire you for it. Thank you for sharing your feelings with us, and I hope you know that you are a gorgeous man! Those swim trunks are pretty damn wonderful too.

Cathy said...

Ok...The fact that I'm a woman may negate the compliment but I think you look great. Nice ass! (And I DO know how to appreciate male physique! )

Anonymous said...

Frank, you look like a man should look. Granted you are quite a bit fitter than most! Well done on the trunks. Merry Christmas!

Anonymous said...

Never let someone else tell you who you are.

MerryBrown said...

Franklin, I have always found you very attractive! I really like a hairy brown eyed guy. Makes me a little sad you don't like girls.
I was teased like that as a kid too. It was really rough.
The most important thing is not to let them convince you that you are unattractive. What is it with our society? People pick others apart all the time. I just don't understand why they think they have the right. Who said, OK unload on this person, let's really tear them down. It seems to me Very much like adolescent immaturity that never goes away.
Any way, love the swimsuit, love the chest!

Tara knitmomma said...

Your swimming drawers are really quite functional, and like you I was not expecting that! Lovely job, powerful post. Thank you.

Mel said...

Sweetie, there is nothing - NOTHING - wrong with your physique. Anyone who says differently needs to get their eyes checked. Or stabbed with pointy sticks. Possibly both.

Sue J said...

Franklin:

The drawers are WONDERFUL. As are you. I have been waiting months for the revelation and am not disappointed. See you at Madrona. Hopefully you will be modeling the drawers.

Sue

Judith said...

All I have to say is wow. People are asses. I cannot believe that you have been attacked like that. I've always thought you were an attractive man.

You are not in any way shape or form portly or unattractive in my opinion.

You are a creative, funny, and very handsome man. I love your blog and your work. Don't let the bastards get you down.

Danielle said...

What? Just what?

I am so boggled by what I've just read that I'm somewhat speechless.

Wait. No, I'm not. I'm angry. Really really fucking angry. What gives people the right to come to YOUR space and diss you like that? Holy hell, what has the world come to?

I will never, ever, in a million years understand the urge to troll.

You are a perfectly normal-looking man with an (and I can NOT emphasize this enough) EXCEPTIONALLY EXTRAORDINARY intelligence and sense of wit. I have been reading your blog for years and have seen your photo many many times. Never once, upon spying your image, have I thought to myself "Heavens, he should always wear a balaclava." Not even close, darling. Your face has character. Those eyes of yours (the ones that "should be blue"...whatever!) positively twinkle. If I saw you on the bus, I would think to myself: "I want to meet this man. He looks interesting. I'll bet he reads."

Good on ya for having the cojones to post these photos. That is hardcore and you rock.

(Also: male body hair is suddenly "disgusting"? When did this happen? My husband is basically a giant peach and we both think it's pretty funny. I call him Fuzzbutt.)

Unknown said...

I just want to ditto all the positive comments. And Merry Christmas!

Meredith said...

Wowsa! I can't believe anybody has ever criticized the way you look. Not that it would be ok to criticize anyone, no matter how they looked, but dude, you're hot. And the suit is adorable. What a way to start the holiday!

Erin said...

Hmmm, soooooo,

I could be another voice in the chorus ringing out your praises

or compliment you on your superfine ass

or even give you a boost in the "Screw 'em" category.

But I won't. We both know whose opinion matters...














(yep, mine! And we both know deep down inside that if this many of your followers have jumped out of the internet to comment on Christmas Eve, then there are a thousand strong silently standing behind each one of us. When you love you EXACTLY as you are, the rest of the world will either follow suit or wallow in their miserable lives while you cruise the high seas with as much of the man candy, middle-aged married mothers of 3, and other such swarthy, pasty, wrinkly, perky, hairy, bald, prickly, ugly, shy, obnoxious, over-loud, frizzy, flat, fluffy, bony creatures that any fabulous knitter could ever need. :) )

Jackie said...

Franklin, my fiance is taller, butbuilt very similarly. And he too is hirsute. And of Japanese descent, where there is a very strong prejudice against hairy men. When we first became friends in high school, i was sure my favorite look for men was tall, lean, and hairless. Then I fell in love with my friend, and discovered that he was very hot, as well as a wonderful person. 30 years later, he is still my best friend, and still hot. We'll get around to marrying any day now...

Now onto to the wool bathing suit. i had no doubt that a good wool could be comfortable. I wore wool cycling shorts for years. They look comfortable and practical. And well knit.

letissierdesigns.com said...

Wonderful Exercise in historical research. Very powerful blog posting. Thank-you for sharing.

Carol Wymer said...

The swimwear is great but the model is awesome. Thank you for the Christmas package.....
See you at Madrona,
Hugs,
Carol

Jenn said...

I for one think you are a very handsome man. I won't say sexy though. Not that I don't think you are, but because sexy really isn't a look, it's a feeling. And honey, I'd you feel sexy, you are sexy!

Simone D. said...

I have been hanging out for weeks to see those drawers and I an not disappointed. I know it must have taken a lot of courage to show a photograph of your body. Your story is heartbreaking but clearly your detractors don't know what they're talking about, those drawers wouldn't have looked as good on anyone else. I (bisexual cisgendered woman) have always thought you were pretty gorgeous, and unfairly talented too. Bugger anyone who doesn't appreciate your beauty, especially the blokes: they don't deserve you.

Cathryn said...

Jeez, Franklin, ease up on yourself! You look fine. Better than fine. Pretty darn hot, as a matter of fact. Nice-looking, neatly done drawers, too! Merry Christmas to you and yours!

marlie said...

I don't know what your critics are talking about because I've always thought you were incredibly handsome, and I was fortunate to meet you in Philadelphia where I can confirm that you are indeed a handsome man! And you didn't mind me fangurling all over you, AND toy were kind enough to take a picture with me. :)

Some people hide behind the anonymity of the internet and think that it gives them permission to eschew basic manners and decency. I know it can seem like it's little consolation, but know that there are PLENTY of people who think you're good looking - inside AND out.

A final anecdote... my boyfriend is a bald guy with a hairier chest than yours, and those are some of the things that make him completely and totally HAWT to me.

Merry, merry merry Christmas to you and yours, and best wishes for a wonderful 2014.

Maryanne Torgerson said...

I had the privilege of being there on the cruise and seeing you model in person, and I thought you looked freakin' GREAT. It never ceases to amaze me how the anonymity of the Internet makes people think they have the right to say inappropriate, hurtful, downright nasty things. Would they have the guts to say them in person? I doubt it. (And the more gutless they are, the nastier they get when they can hide behind a computer screen.)

Dina Scheel said...

There is only one of each of us, and we are all stunning. Just because we don't conform to someone else's standards of beauty - well, their loss. With all the airbrushed perfectness foisted on us by advertising, I always find it refreshing to see a real person in a picture. You look great and the bathing drawers do too!

PS Where my friend comes from in Spain, they call Speedos "swimsuits with a nose" Looking at your picture of the Men's Club, I think these were the original Speedos.

Gretchen said...

How sad some people's lives must be, that they feel the need to say such awful things about you and your body. Nobody deserves that sort of treatment. You are lovely, and more importantly, you're a fabulous storyteller and a great teacher. I was lucky enough to meet you in person when you were here in Seattle this September, and it was a wonderful three days. Thanks for sharing yourself with us.

RodgerPM said...

Having seen you in far less, I can only say that you have always been one of the most attractive men I've known. These pictures only reconfirm my opinion that anybody lucky enough to be invited into a compromising position with you is very lucky indeed.

Renee Anne said...

If I was a gay man, I'd hop on you in a second. But, alas, I'm female...and married.

Also, haters gonna hate. The internet seems to bring out the worst in people. ::sigh::

Kate said...

Franklin, as my sweet, 5'4", hairy hubby says, People Suck.

For what it's worth, I think you have a cute tush.

The bathing drawers look better than I expected them to. I tend to take Weldon's illustrations more as artistic interpretations than actual depictions of what the item will look like.

Aleta Stoler said...

Wow, The suit is awesome! But, it was hard to concentrate on the suit. I don't know who you have been listening to, but your body looks great!

Rachelle said...

I don't know why the term disgusting should have been used in relation to your body. You have a perfectly good one; it's not supermodel type, but then how many people can lay claim to that no matter which gender they are?
I prefer real bodies; hence why I'm married to the man I love rather than a classically beautiful man; I think he's cute though
The swimsuit is actually rather cute and fits very well too.

Deanna said...

As so many have said previously...you look great and the drawers are fun.

marthaeliza said...

Christmas Package -- heh. I shan't comment on your physique: isn't saying "hubba, hubba" just as objectifying as saying "spare me"? (Though, as with the majority of your fans, I lean towards the former.) What I want to know is, how did they fare in the pool? Did they travel south once saturated?

Marjorie M. said...

You can forget all the nasty comments. They are totally undeserved. You look great! And so does your knitting. Well-done!

mehitabel said...

Your comments about your childhood and adolescence could have been written by/about me. I'm still not happy with photos of me, and I don't much like mirrors, but now most of the time I can just say oh well, this is me. I'm glad that you were able to knit the suit and then model it for us--I will say there is nothing wrong with your body, that I can see, and I hope this round of comments can convince you of that!

jenann said...

Oh, my dear - some people are cruel, rude and invasive.
As I know to my cost, family making unkind comments are probably the most damaging. I finally confronted my 91 year old mother about the life long damage she did to me with the awful over-the-dumb-child's-head whispers comparing her ugly daughter to her beautiful son when I was as young as 5 and all through my teens. She then proceeded to do nothing to help so my very crooked teeth were not dealt with because of the cost (could have been done free on our NHS)whilst beautiful, fair-skinned, blue-eyed big bro had his teeth whitened, got beautiful bespoke clothes whilst I lived in hand-me-downs because I wasn't worth dressing well (said out loud).
Said mother cried when I brought it up last summer and said I was cruel reminding her of these things, she was young (in her 30s and 40s!) and had no idea that it would all upset me. Once again, I'm the ugly one, but this time it is my delving in the past and hurting HER that is ugly.
Well, I'm 60 now and it has taken that long for me to realize that it was insecurity about other aspects of themselves that make people say mean things about what they think about how others look. Poor quality advertizing has made it normal to feel entitled to judge others by impossible to achieve standards - in the UK it is illegal to make comments that could be construed as racist because you are not in control of how you are born, but why then, is it not illegal to use equally damaging comments re facial or bodily characteristics? We are born with those too.
As I said to Mum - it's her fault I look the way I do - she gave me some of her features and she chose my Dad who contributed the rest!I have three sons - a hetro, a metro and a gay one and all agree that you are a perfectly normal shape - if anything you are a little slimmer round the waist than most men. My husband is only an inch taller than you and he's a giant in my eyes - love him so much! We are who we are and you are a cute guy (should a granny be saying this?) Ignore the rude folk and delete them as followers as well as their cruel, pointless and rude comments. We love you!
As to those swim briefs - they are great! Very shapely and flattering. Congratulations on yet another knitting triumph!
J

Lauren S. said...

Thank you for bravely modeling! I've been looking forward to this posting for a while, your descriptions of historical pieces always capture my imagination.
As for the Trolls-of-the-internet, and the in-person kind as well, they can just hush right up. Some people's children, honestly!
You know what you look like to me? A person. One with feelings, and insecurities just like all the rest of us humans. Much love, and Merry Christmas to you and yours :-)

Sweet Camden Lass said...

You're awesome. Merry Christmas!

Rosesred said...

You are extremely brave for putting yourself out there. I deeply admire the way you face your fears. Your body looks like it should. I hop you find people IRL who will tell you the same, and that you will believe them. Merry christmas, and thank you for this inspirational post.

Kucki68 said...

Agree with the what is wrong with people comment!!! Thanks for keeping the historical patterns alive. I have found the ruffly effect of the waist tie interesting, I would not have thought of that.

Merry Christmas to you. I am looking forward to seeing what you are up to next year.

nays said...

Franklin, I'm not much of a commenter but I have to say (though this might sound odd!): from the neck down you are a dead ringer for my man, I would not be able to tell from the photos that you weren't him if you weren't missing a large birthmark on your back. And, obviously, I think you're both totally sexy :-) But it's your intelligence and wit that makes me read your blog - love the themed reveal, classic!

Pilar said...

Been someone that has been subject to a lot of disgusting coments about my phisical appearence, having even bullied in my youth because of it, and even been mistaken by a man because, in her words, no woman is so tall and ugly, I have a pretty good idea of what it feels to be on your skin. It is akward, and once you feel you are well beyond caring what others think, there's the blody punchline that makes you wish you were dead.

That said, I don't think you have a thick waistline at all, and I think your body is pleasant enough to look at. But then again, I find a hairy chest and belly a pretty sexy sight, and you are a sexy man to look at Frank :)

Diana said...

Nice bathing suit looking good on the body but wonderful man!

JaneH said...

Dear Franklin,
I'm glad you're writing again. I don't mind what you look like. Stay strong on the inside. I like the drawers. Merry Christmas.

Chris said...

WOW! Very nice! You're way too self conscious.

Vanessa said...

Excellent, you and the drawers!

Anonymous said...

Made my Christmas morning! Looking good....

boadiccea said...

Franklin, wild applause from this corner. Body shaming IN ALL ITS FORMS has no place in society. I'm sorry the worst of us have been so vocal. People disappoint me. You have my admiration for the bravery of this post, sallying forth anyway despite cruel comments and personal feelings.

I'm not sure if a stranger's opinion matters, but I think both the suit and the model look nice. (I also know that wasn't the point of the post.) :) Thanks for following up and posting about the project!

Sue said...

Well now it is time for all those horrible people to take back their comments because you look pretty good in that bathing suit. I am surprised when wet that they didnt fall off but I guess if lots of men wore them many years ago they would have come off then. I guess the wool is a lot softer too now so it doesnt itch as much. As a child I was ridiculed because I had red hair and too many freckles and no suntan at all. I still have moments that it affects me but basically I dont care anymore, as long as I can do what I enjoy and have nice friends and family that is all that counts. I would never look at you and declare any of those things those people said either Franklin, you need to be proud of what you look like!

PlazaJen said...

I love you, Franklin. You are perfectly perfect, just the way you are. xoxo

Anonymous said...

This conversation happened with my kid this week:
"Mama, why are your arms furry."
"Because I am a mammal. If you look closely you have hair on your arms and when you get bigger it will get darker and easier to see."
"Ooh, when will I be big enough?˝
"Eat healthy foods and the nutrients will help you grow into a big hairy man."
"Okay, Mama."

bittenbyknittin said...

The personal revelations in your post surprise me, Franklin. You have such a wonderful and unique sense of style, I assumed you were confident and assured of your looks (which I *love* btw). And that suit? It looks great and you look great in it.

Lisa said...

Namaste.
Your post has left me in tears, because I was reminded of how deeply I was hurt to be outside of the "norms" that the culture calls attractive.
You are, however, a marvelous, brave, bright light in this world.
(And you're damned attractive, too.) Thank you.
If someone has the audacity to say you are not enough of whatever, then I'd remind you that it says far more about his/her inadequacy than yours--YOU are far more than enough.

Monika said...

Franklin, your bathing drawers are 'da bomb'! I can't believe you've got all those negative comments about it!

soxanne said...

Thanks for the Christmas revel(ations).

Merry, merry!

Savannagal said...

Great job on the drawers. I always thought that word, drawers, was something only my southern half of the family used. I never heard it anywhere else. BTW, you look great - hair and all!

ewemaniac said...

Franklin, I'm sorry that these negative comments in your life have influenced who you are and how you react. In a perfect world where self-esteem comes from who we are, not from what we look like or do, this could not happen. You might remember the old woman who looked like a deranged bald elf at SAFF this year in your tessellation class. If my students never learn subordinate clauses or the quadratic equation, I expect them to learn that casual cruelty is the domain of lesser men and has nothing to do with them.

ewemaniac said...

Franklin, I'm sorry that these negative comments in your life have influenced who you are and how you react. In a perfect world where self-esteem comes from who we are, not from what we look like or do, this could not happen. You might remember the old woman who looked like a deranged bald elf at SAFF this year in your tessellation class. If my students never learn subordinate clauses or the quadratic equation, I expect them to learn that casual cruelty is the domain of lesser men and has nothing to do with them.

knit one, knit two said...

Oh Franklin, you're adorable. Those twits that made the comments are fools. You'll always be my hairychestedhero.

Also, nice drawers.

Anonymous said...

Oh Franklin,

You are beautiful, inside and out. Keep doing what you're doing- you're making the world a better place whether you realize it or not.

And yes, the drawers are kind of hot ;)

PinkSkatingGirl said...

Your post and reading the comments have brought me to tears. So many people are idiots. Children's self-esteem should have been shored up, not destroyed. And yet so many of us are still reeling from those early, hurtful comments. I probably will never shed the effects of all the misplaced cruelty, and probably you will not.

But you win, because you are attractive and creative and funny and talented and so interesting. You make the world a better place.

Peace and joy to you.

RoianaB said...

I remember a picture you posted on a previous cruise, of yourself in a lounger, and not only did I have to take a whip and chair to my own hormones (down, girl!), but I firmly reminded myself that Tom is a big bear of a man perfectly capable of hunting me down, LOLOLOL. Remember sweetie, a great deal of the time such unkind criticism is merely sour grapes, and not truly about any perceived shortcomings you might possibly have at all. You take marvelous care of yourself and it shows. The negative people are just jealous of all your blessings.
On the subject of the bathing drawers, they turned out better then I thought - seeing the unassembled version, the fit looked a bit - um - restrictive for a gentleman, but the finished drawers look perfect! Love the colors. Thanks for posting them.

Misty said...

I'm glad you gave the drawers a try. They came out lovely. You look great in them.

You were made perfect before you were born. You are incredibly handsome on the exterior, but more so, you are so very beautiful on the inside. You are a gift to so many.

Boston Knitter said...

You have quite a nice backside. The front reminds me of a "French maid" type apron, crossed with what we always called "slutty-man fabric" (not to be confused with slutty man-fabric) when I worked at Jo-Ann Fabric. Every season (and then later, in the novelty section full-time) we received a bolt of fabric portraying artistic interpretations of young men, bare-chested and rippling-ab'd in costumes vaguely appropriate for the time of year. Favorites include Halloween Slutty-Man, who wore a full body tiger costume that still showed his abs, Valentine Slutty-Man, who I'm pretty sure was suckered into wearing a diaper and wings, and Patriot Slutty-Man, just in time for July Fourth with his bulging breeches,open waistcoat, and three corner hat.

Anonymous said...

Honey, you look fabulous! Personally, I like the body hair . . .

Christopher said...

You have a rockin bod Mr Knitter man! I got a little weak in the knees when I saw the pics. The drawers are nice too!

Kelly Helberg said...

Franklin,
I'm so very sorry that others have been cruel. Even before seeing your photos from *this* post, may I state that I find non-hairy men to not be my preference (body hair denotes testosterone, and I find that sexy). I think you have a very fine figure.

Entirely aside from that, and so much more important, is that you have a fantastic personality! Appearances change, personalities deepen. Someone who'd say cruel things about someone else's appearance has a shallow personality and those can't deepen much. I tend to feel sorry for people who have such a limited perspective to their lives.

The swimming drawers are gorgeous! I'm so glad you did this project, and modelled it yourself (sincere Rawr!). Your notes on the process and product are really interesting and I appreciate the information and effort.

I think you're a wonderful person and hope you won't let 'those others' keep you from being the you we love!

Emily said...

Your lead-in to the pictures set me up for something completely else...and confused me, because you've always looked very hot in any pictures I've seen.

Were these commenters-on-your-looks BLIND?? I am baffled. And the drawers are extremely cool...not at all what I feared. The wonderful history lesson is beyond price, as is your courage in investigating it. You rock, my dear.

Margo said...

I think the swimsuit turned out fantastic! What a fun project. And you look wonderful in it!

Jamie Wang said...

What a wonderful Christmas gift to all of us!

You look wonderful, Franklin. Those drawers fit and flatter.

weavinfool said...

Bodies are for housing our personalities and talents! It makes me sad to know you have been made to feel badly about something you could do nothing about. I am glad your talent has come to the forefront now. Thanks for sharing your life.

Roxie said...

Franklin, just remember, everyone is entitled to their own silly-ass opinion, and just because they speak it, it doesn't make them right. Those bathing drawers are surprisingly attractive. And I've always admired a hairy man. You are exactly perfect.

Anonymous said...

I took a class from you at Midwest Folk and Fiber a couple of years ago. I was asked to describe you by my knitter friends who haven't ever seen you in person. I replied "slim, good looking, on the short side, good teacher, amusing." Don't let the voices in your head tell you otherwise.

jules said...

Franklin: you are beautiful, inside and out.

Love the swimming drawers!

Anonymous said...

It's too bad you don't have some pictures of when people made judgements about your body. I'm a six foot tall woman who has usually weighed north of 200 pounds. When I look at my high school pictures (six years of "fat club") I see a tall normal person. Wonder what you would see if you could look at old pictures.
We all fell for your mind first, the wrapping is just a nice (very nice!) bonus. Oh, nice trunks, too.

Heather Madrone said...

After that intro, when I saw the first photo, I thought, "So he chickened out and had some hot young guy model the suit for him?"

Then I looked at the second photo and thought, "Hot damn, he got someone with respectable ab definition to do the job."

Then I remembered how brave and honorable you are, Franklin, and I scrolled down to see the punchline.

Keep up the great work at the gym, Franklin. You've done awesome things with the body you were issued at birth, and you can look the mirror in the eye and say, "Not bad, old bean, never thought I'd see you looking so spliffy."

Or you can be less Victorian about it and just RAWR!

I'm trying to remember if you used sock yarn for the drawers. Seems to me that might help some with the sagging, although it wouldn't be truly vintage.

The suit is delightful as well.

Angela Medina said...

It's terrible that other people have the power to make us feel so bad about ourselves for so long after their comments or actions. I've had more than my fair share in my lifetime and I can empathize with you. Just for the record, I don't find you revolting in any way. I admire your talent and wit and I thank you for sharing them with us! Merry Christmas, Franklin!!

Marnie said...

I can recalled two occasions when I've happened upon comments by other knitters, disparaging the way I look in my photos, and I have to admit, it hurt pretty deeply even though I haven't faced even a tenth of the crappy comments you've heard all your life. I think we all have to have a zero tolerance policy for this sort of thing. Who points and laughs at another person for things they absolutely have no control over? What? Were there no wheelchair-bound individuals to kick in the groin?

Anyway, love the trunks and I think you are really a great person, too.

AngelaH said...

You are fantastic and so is your body. Truly, there is nothing disgusting about body hair – not yours, not anyones. Body shaming seems made for the Internet, and I'm sorry it has been directed at you.

As for the knitting, whoa! I am super impressed. Those fit really well and look surprisingly comfortable. Have you thought about writing up a modern version of the pattern? I'd totally knit a pair for myself, albeit, for sleeping, not bathing.

Merry Christmas to you! I hope the body snobs woke up to coal.

Eli said...

Franklin, I think you are adorable. As a chubby woman of your same height, I have had some body image issues of my own, so I can relate. You look great in the trunks!

Sandy said...

My dear, although you won't remember me I met you in PDX at the sock summit. I took one of your classes. Honestly, I remember thinking how attractive you were and how lucky your partner was! I happen to think bald men are very attractive. And you are smart, and funny, and you knit! What is not to love there!

Chin up, hairy chest out! Be proud of who you are.

And the swimming drawers are lovely too!

booksnstrings said...

Solidarity fist bump, from someone else who's repeatedly had critiques on their not-perfectly-white features.

(My favorite was being told that if I starved myself my face might become more angular and attractive. Because face shape is totally a function of fat, and not genetics. Or the many times I was chastized for not wearing makeup and hiding my very-tan skin).

You rock that swimsuit. It's awesome.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful! Believe that you have cute tush! And you do!

Mackenzie said...

I have also always wondered what the deal was with old knitted bathing suit patterns. We're having a baby soon, though, and it turns out that knitted woolen undies/pants is recommended as one additional way of keeping your babies dry when using cloth diapers. If you have a diaper leak, the wool should soak it right up without feeling gross to the baby. So you never know! They may come back in style, at least for the tiny members of the human race.

Also, mad props to you for still sticking those photos up there - who cares what anyone looks like, really? You have the courage to be you, which makes you the best-looking human.

Gail said...

Some people are cruel. You have a warm and generous heart, and a brave soul (what one does for one's knitting).

and I love that that suit is not black or dark navy.

Happy Holidays!

Hope you tell us some tales from the knitting cruise.

bfree2read said...

I think Franklin is cute and brave. (There is no way I would have knitted a bathing suit let alone model it for all to see.) Franklin gave us a great read with a critique of knitting history made modern. Plus the pictures are of an attractive man.

I may be overstepping myself but I post a poll on Ravelry at http://www.ravelry.com/discuss/franklin-habit/topics/2795096 so we can give Franklin some virtual hugs.

wendy said...

...to add to all the above you have the most beautiful hands.
And that isn't so hairy, is it? You should have seen me before the IPL treatment...and I'm a laaady.

Elsa said...

Where are people's manners (let alone taste)? How rude, narrow-minded, and cruel of people to comment on your looks that way. I am appalled. Makes me want to wear a mini-skirt and tank top to the next stitches so I can lure these folks out with my own body hair and give them a piece of my mind. If we ever meet in person, I would be pleased to take a picture of our hairy legs standing next to each other. Solidarity among the "happy hairies", yo. (Signed, a young queer woman who identifies "lots of different textures all over" as a strong factor in attraction.)

Robin said...

Awesome swim trunks, well worth the wait!

Beth said...

Some people...it's just amazing what they'll post online when most would be (rightly) embarrassed to say it to your face. And the ones who do say it to your face -- well, it says more about the ugliness inside them.

As a woman who is pretty far from the accepted size 4, I've hated every picture of myself since childhood. And yet I don't look at pictures of my family and say "how ugly, boy Aunt M needs to lose some weight, Nephew A's acne is out of control, Mom could use some wrinkle cream", etc. They're my family, and that's just how they look.

So I understand how much courage it took you to post these pictures, but honestly, you just look like a real man to me.

(On a lighter note, why wouldn't they have made the trunks from woven cotton or linen back then? It was available, and still would have dried faster and been more comfortable.)

Judy11 said...

Franklin, it is so sad what words can do to hurt, clearly as much as physical abuse. And we all know that we do a number on ourselves being hypercritical. However, I have always thought of you as adorable, handsome and sexy. You have what most women would love in a guy, cute funny, and knows how to knit!! Well at least you have a man who appreciates you for who you are. We all need to learn that it is what is inside that makes us who we are, and accept us as such. I definitely love you as a person and think the outside you is very cute too!!

thetinfoilhatsociety.com said...

Whatever dude. You look like a real man. You know, one that eats actual food, doesn't spend six hours a day in the gym instead of working, and has an actual LIFE. The real man has a sense of humor, has scars and marks, and lives in his body instead of trying to preserve some ridiculous ideal of it.

I'm very sorry there are so many judgmental people out there, both male and female, who think you are not attractive. They are wrong. It's more than just a photo that describes you, more than just an adjective. It's the whole, not the parts.

Oh, and Happy Holiday, whichever one you celebrate! And nice drawers (though I'm sure when they're wet they're not quite so nice)

patricia said...

Hubba hubba!

Merry Christmas!

Tom said...

Don't anyone think that men don't have body issues. What we don't have is a whole bunch of people talking about it magazines, TV shows, etc.

I wonder if the changes in yarns in wools and yarns made a difference. The yarn used was tightly plied, and I've found tightly plying minimized itching (for me).

cjknits said...

Franklin, Merry Christmas, I can only echo what everyone else has said, and add that usually we are our own worst enemies. Please keep all these positive post and read one a day until you start to believe us.

Jessica said...

Merry Christmas!! Thanks for rocking the swimsuit!!
It turned out fabulous (and you can pull it off!)
Loved this post, thank you.

Jane said...

Joyful. Deeply wonderful. Happy Christmas.

Sylvia said...

Franklin, I know from personal experience how powerful cruel comments are,and how hard it can be to believe compliments, but I mean this sincerly and truly, you are a beautiful person exactly as you are, and I must say very attractive. You also have a way with drawers! Merry Christmas,and thank you for sharing.

Ellen said...

You look fantastic in your bathing drawers. Thank you for sharing your story, and your photos. I'm sure most of us can relate in some measure,and this is a great reminder to be kinder to ourselves as well as others.

bethany said...

best. christmas. post. ever.

Melissa McKee said...

Thank you for modeling for us. I don't think I'd ever knit the swimming drawer's but it's nice to see how they look. I've been thinking that they might be just the thing if someone has a male runner who likes to run in cold weather to keep parts if them from frost bite without adding to much warmth. (The male in my life is suggesting that I knit these with alpaca. For less itch.)

On the front of your appearance. I have always found you striking, and since I hadn't really thought about it till now I believe based on the pictures I've seen that I would say you are handsome as well.

Merry Christmas.

Anonymous said...

People with personal issues always love to say bad things about other people to make themselves feel better. I'm glad you posted the pictures, and you (and the suit) look great!

Anonymous said...

Good job! and you look cute, Franklin! Don't let the bast*rds get you down.

Bente Simone said...

Thank you for sharing your story, even though I can't see what folk has to complain about. You have a nice and fit behind. Love Your lookks.

Nice trousers, can't imagine that they are too good when wet.

Happy holidays!

Margie said...

I think your rear end is adorable and sexy in that suit!

Emily and Laura said...

I think you look great! Or, as I said when I saw the first photo, "Nice ass!" :-) I also have no problems with body hair; I find the overly-waxed current look to be totally artificial. And you did a great job on the suit! Although I don't blame you for not wanting to take a photo of it wet. :-)

Anonymous said...

1) Of course the only thing to do with negative comments is to delete them. Would that it were possible to delete them from your memory as well.

2) You look fabulous in your knitted drawers.

3) As someone else here said, you can pull this off. I, for instance, would rather . . . well, I'm not sure what, exactly, but something, than have a photograph of myself, even clothed, posted for the world to see. And comment on.

4) In addition to you, the drawers look fabulous. The colors are just right, the lack of shaping doesn't seem to be a problem--another example of your work-of-art knitting.

5) I've been looking forward to seeing these ever since you said you were going to knit them. What a great Christmas present!

6) I hope you love them as much as we all do. I hope you love yourself as much as we all do. :)

Pearl KnitPurl

Anonymous said...

You look wonderful. Very handsome. And the knitting is a very interesting historical experiment, with superb workmanship.

I spent considerable time studying the construction of the garment. As someone who has only worn lycra foundation garments, I suspect they wouldn't have the support lycra gives.

I am a fat middle aged lady, who runs marathons. Very fit, lots of muscles, just fat as well. Bodies are like that, we come in all shapes and sizes, and isn't that awesome! My mother-in-law gave me a diet book for Christmas yesterday. I hope you can join me in shouting from the roof-tops : "Haters can suck it!"

Emma

mousiensax said...

Franklin, honey, you are a lovely man and a hot one, too. And anybody who says mean things about your looks isn't worth worrying about.
And the bathing drawers are a work of art.

gail said...

Franklin,
Reading about your childhood brought back my own. Though I'm female, I too, was mercilessly teased and picked on - in my case for being too thin, too tall and too white. (sickly was the most used descriptive) People can be so cruel. But, it is what it is and it has made us what we are. I, for one, am glad I have met you and happy you have turned out to be the wonderfully funny and generous man you are. I still struggle with self image, as I see you do, but I am now fat, not as tall as the new generation of girls (I even have a best fiber friend (bff) taller than I am!) I'm still vampire white but it goes with being nocturnal so that is OK.
I love the way the bathing drawers came out and frankly, Franklin, I think you are quite hot. Don't let the past bother you because you are one awesome man! (and I think very handsome!)

GUNTer said...

FUCK YA!
piss on haters.

Anna said...

Apparently, like a lot of people who've commented, I think you're pretty cute. And that swimsuit turned out awesome.

Lynne said...

I was going to say, "I can't believe people are so rude" but, on reflection, I can believe it. If they don't like what they see here, they can stop reading! It's your blog, post what you like (which, of course, you do -- and thank you for having the courage to be yourself).

nance needs a yarn cave said...

So many comments! That should tell you something ; )
When you reach my age (late 50-early 60) you no longer care what other people think. Life is too short so go live it.
IMHO I think those Victorian/Edwardian dudes look undernourished and under testosteroned. No hunka hunka burning love there. Your photos looked great (see everybody thinks so!)

Neeley Notes said...

Nice butt. Hope that comment wasnot too offensive. It is a good day when I se a new post on your blog.

Leslie said...

And the lord god(dess) made us all. Tell the haters to go hate themselves. Your body looks perfectly fine to me -- I am not a fan of the waxed body look so prevalent today. Thanks for giving me a well written post and some great eye candy.

Audrey O said...

Mmmmmm Can I roll around in your chest hair?

Seriously, you're a sexy MAN and there are plenty of folks out there who appreciate your qualities. I know it's tough to quiet the negative voices, but I hope the sheer quantity of supports help a little. =)

Anonymous said...

I think you look and ARE fantastic. And smart. And funny. And I think people suck.

Farrago said...

People are weird. I don't understand how people could discuss other knitters like that on a knitting website. Huzzah for putting up the photos despite people on the internet. I think they look good (although I probably won't hurry to make any).

Skye said...

Franklin, I've read your blog for years and never felt the need to comment, but on this post I shall. I am in my early 30's and have not seen one post of yon that has made you seem anything other than handsome. This post is no exception. The bathers flatter you and I notice no large behind, or larger than average waistline, in fact they seem quite proportional. As for the chest hair, I don't find it off putting, in fact if is a rug of which you could be proud, I know many men who would be envious!

Terri D. said...

hubba, honey ... hubba ... and happy holladays (p.s. thank you for putting your stuff out there in them drawers ... what a great word)

Lucy said...

Jeez. As someone born in New Zealand in 1981, it always amazes me how recently it was considered okay for adults to say ghastly things to children about their looks, often about things that either they could do nothing about, or which are bizarrely unimportant or racist. And let us consider for a moment how incredibly limited the ideal type is, and how often oblivious it is healthy variation, or indeed health itself.

Franklin, as far as I could ever tell from photos, your waistline is actually very healthy. You have a build tending to the shorter and stockier side, but there's no spare tyre that I can see, so in fact you are in good shape. People who look at average numbers as a guide to some ideal are total morons.

It's enlightening to consider that in the earlier years of the twentieth century, men with no chest hair were considered "not real manly men." Now, unfortunately, rather than release women from the extremes of vanity, our culture encourages men to join them there - largely, I think, in the name of commerce. Imagine how many more millions the beauty industry can make if men spend on beauty products like women do!

I think you have always looked healthy and attractive in photos. I hope you now have people around you who appreciate that.

Lucy said...

Well. The bathing shorts should be the real point, of course, but I think it's always worth pointing out to the body fascists that they should shut up. And many of them would never dare put photos of themselves up anywhere, or are, indeed, women who seem to think that sex-related political issues only work one way.

Those are probably the best bathing shorts anyone could hope to get out of hand knitted material, especially in a simple design. Our ancestors may not have had lycra, but they did figure out how to get the best out of what they had available.

I suspect that shorts may become more baggy and saggy over time, and I'm sure that if made out of less-suitable stuff they would have been more itchy and smelly, but these are a fine example of their type! Well done for embarking on the adventure of making and wearing them!

Otter said...

The suit is great. Thanks for being so brave. By the by, my bi husband thinks you are quite attractive (as do I, I think this new fashion for shaved bodies is weird, humans should have hair) Happy Holidays!

Alyson said...

I was all braced and ready to kind of squint and scroll and then I saw the pictures. Hello, that bathing suit is far more flattering then I would have thought from the picture of it solo. And you have a classic case, for want of a better term, of female perfect body syndrome. That is the way most of us feel about our bodies as girls even when many, if not most of us, are not nearly as offensive as we fear and or have been told by asshats. You're darn close to ripped - or are able to suck in your stomach to such a degree as to give the illusion. Good on ya.

You look great. A swimsuit model could not have done better. Go forth and continue to be brave. Also, people suck and the vast majority are trying to hide their own insecurities while doing so, which also sucks but there you have it.

Andrea Schenck McKinnon said...

Franklin, please post the pattern somewhere because I would love to make this for my hubby, who is a lifeguard on Miami Beach. If he looks as sexy as you do in it I will be a blessed woman.

Alexis said...

I think you look just fine. More than fine--quite healthy and fit. No need to be hesitant about displaying swimsuit photos on that account. Have people really gotten so worked up about your physique? Perhaps they should try to find something else to talk about. Lucy said everything I'd like to say, more eloquently than I currently feel capable of saying it. So -- merry Christmas, hope you had a joyous and peaceful holiday, and thank you for the wonderful blog!

Cindy Carpenter said...

Franklin, If I were either a gay man or you were a straight man, I would so chase after you. I think you are sexy in the most delightful way. And I thought that when you still had all your clothes on. (Prime example - your Addi ad from Anna magazine, January 2010)

But... I never expected such nice 'eye candy' reading a blog on Christmas day. (I know, that was so naughty)

Your bathing drawers are just so 'je ne sais quoi' that I plan to make a pair for my wonderful husband. I do so hope you will publish your update on this Victorian pattern.

And do a few more ads too. My copy of Anna is getting worn :-)

Jill said...

Franklin, you are one of the most handsome men I know of cuz you've got it going inside AND out. Love your blog, love your patterns, love your sense of humor, and love how you trusted us enough to share.

Sharon in Surrey said...

You are a silly man, Franklin. It takes a lot of balls - yes, I said BALLS - to wrap yourself in knitted panties, photograph it & spread it all over the Internet. Don't they have a word for that??? AND you tell a bunch of Knitters you're insecure?? Yeah, right. You just wanted to be fussed over & petted . . .
Incidentally, I was surprised at the SMALLNESS of the suit! Good thing you had the picture to prove they wore it. I always thought they had to have their chests covered in those long suits we usually see in beach pictures. Keep on knitting!!

Ann said...

I've always been curious about those old bathing costumes, too, so thanks for making one so I could see it! I think you look very dashing in it. The stripes were an excellent choice.

I am constantly appalled by the casual and cruel judgment people subject others to. And I think people sometimes forget that men are affected by cruelty as much as women are. I hope this post will make one or two people think twice before they speak.

Anonymous said...

Well, Franklin, you can stop being so self-conscious now. I have seen a few nude men in my time and wouldn't hesitate to cuddle up to you (but I'm not your type) and I think you are just a fine example of a male specimen.

Victoria said...
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Victoria said...
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Victoria said...

Franklin, I know we don't "go to the same church" but I'd be lost in a world with out dark swarthy men with big noses, I am just drawn to them. Must be the Sicilian genes in me... rock that, someone does find that beauty in that, however, deep down, I really feel like the sexiest organ in the human body is the brain and Mister, you have got one of the sexiest ones around!!! As for the shorts, I am not surprised. Excellent as always, and they look smashing on you! And by the by, I'd give my eye teeth to be as "fat" as you are!

Jen said...

Franklin, having met you in person as well as witnessed your hair on the blog, I think you're rather good looking. More importantly, you're funny, kind, interesting, intelligent, charming and Incredibly talented. People can go f right off.

Anonymous said...

Shame on those who have made negative comments about your physique! Every person (including you!) is a beautiful work of art, with each curve and hair to be cherished.

mschoir01 said...

Hmm. Yes. All of the above. Bravo.

KnitNat said...

I am sending you a knitterly hug... I can understand and appreciate that horrible voice in your head and from those around you, I hear it all the time too. Please know you are a beautiful man and you did a fabulous job on those bathing drawers. Hold your head high and be proud of the amazing man, knitter and friend you are. Hugs.

Holly said...

I have been dying to see your finished bathing drawers, and they are beautifully done! I love the color choices and the workmanship is amazing. I must admit the hawt tush modeling them was certainly a very pleasant surprise! I like men with a physique such as yours. You have absolutely nothing to be ashamed of, darling. You rock that hawt bod of yours more often! At the very least you made lots of enamored women swoon over your photographs!

tornadogrrrl said...

Franklin,
I have been reading your blog for years and you are one of my favorite internet personalities. You consistently make me laugh with delight and inspire me. I will be forever grumpy that I hit a computer glitch during registration and missed being able to take a class from you at the last Sock Summit.

I am so sorry that people in your life have been so horribly cruel. I wish there was something I could say or do that would give you comfort and joy in your own skin. That is your birthright and it is criminal that it was taken away from you.

Thank you for sharing your struggles. I hope that all of the messages you are receiving that are complimentary leave you feeling happier and more secure and not just like more strangers are judging your body.

Mother of Chaos said...

People who focus in on those sorts of things and nitpick them half to death...well, even though it rather pisses me off that they stung you...I rather pity them. It's like walking into one of those beautiful old buildings and IMMEDIATELY focusing on cracked paint, drafts, cracked window panes and doors that don't quite shut right. Like they can't even SEE how beautiful it really is, because they just can't see past the mundane and meaningless.

You're perfect exactly as you are. And I pity anyone who can't see it.

woolythinking said...

I wish I could hunt down all of those people, especially the ones from your childhood, and smack them soundly with a rolled-up newspaper.

At the risk of objectifying you, you make that suit look good. I admire your bravery, because I know (from what you wrote) that it took a lot for you to put those pictures up. And, Franklin, you've got nothing to be ashamed of.

Benita said...

All I can say to all those people who made you feel less beautiful than you are is "Those in glass houses..."

I agree, you look like you have a perfectly normal man's body. And if those who think an Abercrombie & Fitch male model is what a male body should look like, then they need to look again. Real men have hairy bods, and that's the way it should be.

As for the swim suit, it turned out better than I thought it would. I'm actually impressed with it, although I don't think the hubs would want me to knit him any. ;)

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Anonymous said...

Franklin, your words are so beautifully put together, I don't care what package you come in. Your intellect is a huge turn on. I adore you for that.

Katie said...

I would like to 100th the first person who said, "Nice buns." Seriously, you've got a butt on you, son.

Those drawers did turn out very, very well, and I'm glad to hear they don't itch. That's the one place you want as little itching as possible.

Don't listen to the haters, yourself included. You're scrumptious the way you are and those of us with brains and humanity wouldn't have you any other way.

xo

=Tamar said...

Not bad at all! I'm pleasantly surprised that the wool swimsuit works because I'd also read stories about how awful they were. PS the body is just fine too, not that my opinion should matter in the slightest.

Alwen said...

People are SO rude, I should like to smack them!

It's a very lovely Christmas package, and you are far braver than I!

NLeigh said...

And here I was completely convinced I was going to be seeing a troll in knit bathing pants in this post. I saw a fine-looking specimen of man instead. I think you just pulled a bait-and-switch on us. ;)

Merry Christmas, Franklin, and thanks for taking one for the team!

Liz Suarez said...

I had to scroll waaaay down to get to the end of the comments, and while I didn't read many, the ones that I did read were along the same lines as what I'm about to tell you. You are NOT fat. I think you happen to have a nice body actually, and a cute butt too. I personally don't like the hairless boy men that I see a lot these days. I happen to like my man with a little hair on him. My husband is hairy, and I love it. Not that there's anything wrong with not having a bunch of hair, but it's my preference. Tell that nasty voice in your head to go f*&k itself. You're not ugly. Jesus, what is WRONG with people. The internet sucks. Hugs

xoxo,
Liz

Kathleen Rogers said...

I so admire your willingness to go where a knitter hasn't gone for a very long while:) As for the prudes who didn't believe the attire of the 19th century bathing club, they would probably collapse if they realized those guys were only putting on the skivvies for the picture, and that they probably bathed, gasp, in the nude.

Angelia said...

I think the suit turned out great. I love the colors! Yours looks much better than the one in the picture (maybe, because of the colors?).

Shame on those people for being so rude and saying hurtful things! I want you to know that they're totally wrong. You look great! Thank you for sharing the pictures with us.

Anonymous said...

You're a handsome man, Franklin. Let go of the past and enjoy who you are.

Anonymous said...

What are people talking about? You are not too fat or too hairy! Am I the only person, man or woman, that prefers men to have some chest hair? What is wrong with those people?

SarahCM said...

I have been waiting with bated breath to see the drawers since we chatted at STITCHES MidWest. They turned out really well - Weldon really knew his stuff!

But what a heart-breaking post. Shut that black dog in his kennel, and remember, you are "Small, but perfectly formed".

Love,
Sarah

Anonymous said...

In issue 2of Textisles, available from Kate Davies's website, features knitted bathing suits and "When bathing became swimming". I will now have to get it and read up on the subject. I would guess that this pattern is from right before the switch.

As for the other issues, my inner strident feminist points out that judging someone's appearance is a power-grab.

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