Skip to main content

Stephen Colbert Doesn’t Understand Knitting

Krysten Ritter gets shit done and she’s a proud knitting nerd. She was on Stephen Colbert to promote all her latest projects: her knitwear designs, her latest book, Bonfire, and of course the new season of Jessica Jones. You can tell she’s legitimately excited to teach knitting to Stephen in this video. Perhaps it was a bit overly ambitious to teach him while on his talk show, but she’s legit happy. (Really, CBS, you couldn’t have setup an overhead camera so we could see their hands?) Stephen Colbert, however, does not pass the basic politeness to a knitter test. He’s so close though!

He admits that he doesn’t know anything about the knitting community and that that’s on him. Good job, Stephen! He admits defeat at learning how to knit. (Very relateable for new uncoordinated knitters.)

So close to a great knitting segment all around…but then he ends on “more appropriate if you were 80.”

Wah waaah.

No, Stephen. The woman knitting in front of you right now is not 80. She’s trying to make “knitting cool.” (To be fair, what’s not cool about being 80 and knitting all day?) He previously mentioned having no knowledge of the knitting community, so maybe don’t assume we’re all 80-year-old ladies? Just a thought.

You know who doesn’t have to deal with crap like this? Male crafters. For example, Nick Offerman. He has had a similar career to Krysten Ritter, except honestly he’s a bit less accomplished. He’s an actor who I’ve always enjoyed, and is famous for his role on Parks and Rec playing Ron Swanson. He, too, has written books. He, too, is also famous for discussing his “hobbies” on late night talk shows. But because he makes “manly” things like canoes, his efforts are treated with more respect. Sure, Colbert makes fun, but Offerman is in on the joke.

Krysten was not in on the joke on knitting. And the reason people make fun of knitting is because the majority of knitters are women and it’s considered a feminine craft, not an art. Which, as we all know, is crap – because there is some amazing, beautiful knitted art out there.

I know Stephen Colbert is not the enemy. We have far larger feminist fish to fry. However, I think it is important to remember that these small everyday slights can be seen in a larger context of how the work of women is disrespected and seen as lesser than.

To salve that wound, I’m going to be picking up Vogue Knitting with Kristen Ritter on the cover. So excited!

Click cover to buy on Amazon!

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a commission if you make a purchase using the links above. These commissions help keep Knit’s All Folks! running and are at no cost to you. I only link to products I genuinely love. Thanks for supporting the website! My affiliate disclosure can be found here.


My name is Monica Rodriguez and I can’t stop fidgeting with yarn. I live in Albuquerque, NM with my husband. We belong to two terriers who manage to cuddle us just enough to keep us from revolting.

4 thoughts to “Stephen Colbert Doesn’t Understand Knitting”

  1. Ugh. Yeah. It was good until the ’80 years old’ comment. Honestly, I don’t think -most- knitters are 80! I saw a presentation once on the demographic breakdown of knitters, and according to the data they had, the largest group of knitters are apparently in their 50s to 70s, with the next largest being millennials.

    So not only is it a stereotype, it’s also inaccurate. /grumble/

    And, also, I feel like she wasn’t in on the ‘joke.’ She ran with it, sure, but she wasn’t in on it.

    Why, oh, why does there persist this idea that knitting is only for ‘grannies.’? (The answer is probably for a whole bunch of reasons, but still. . .)

    Well, alright. I’m going back to my own knitting now. 🙂

    1. Don’t you know, once women are older than 50 they’re just old women? 50, 80 what does it matter?? I hate that the stereotype is somehow also a dig at older women too. Knitters aren’t all grannies, but grannies are badasses too!

  2. Well I know one thing that separate Knitters from people who don’t knit, is sheer cussed perseverance. Steve quit after thirty seconds. A Knitter keeps trying it and trying it until they do it. I have less respect for people who make little or no effort and then complain about it, then for people who tried like Hell, and then gave up.

    But yeah, the devaluation of women and all the actives is pervasive. It’s everywhere, and the yes, it’s foundation is misogyny.

    1. I try to give him the benefit of the doubt that watching him struggle was probably not great TV…but actually I would have loved watching that!

Let me know what you think!