"During the Middle Ages the famous "knitters' guilds" - which were, of course, composed entirely of men - brought the art of knitting to a very high degree of refinement. A young man who wished to become a member of such a guild had to serve as an apprentice to a Master Knitter for a mimimum of three years, and spend another three years in travel, learning foreign techniques and patterns. After this he had to pass a grueling examination, knitting a number of original "masterpieces" of his own in a very short time, and then was admitted to the guild as a Master in his own right. The men of these guilds made exquisite garments that were worn by kings and princes, and every member of the nobility had his or her favorite Master Knitter, as well as a favorite tailor or dressmaker.
The time-honored tradition that knitting is a manly art, rather than, or as well as, a womanly one, still persists in areas of northern Europe and the British Isles....The men of the Aran Isles in Ireland, who made their own "ganseyes" or jerseyes...believed that it was the duty of women to spin the wool, but the privilege of men to knit it. It is possible that at various times knitting has been considered an unwomanly activity, just as more recently such things as smoking or wearing pants were considered unwomanly."
found in another knitting community under a topic about teaching b/fs to knit