WENTZVILLE, MO – Bart Larsen is breaking stereotypes with his hobby: he’s a man who knits.
Larsen has been knitting for most of his life. He took it up while serving as a lieutenant in the Air Force.
Men who knit run in his family. His grandfather knit socks for soldiers in WWI while working on the railroad.
"The Red Cross would hand out enough yarn for one pair of socks and that was it,” Larsen said. “So he would come back the next day with a pair of socks and he wanted more yarn. So they'd give him another ball of yarn and he did that three or four times and they finally realized this guy was serious so they gave him a whole bunch of yarn."
Larsen estimates he’s knit about 500 items over the years. He’s made everything from socks to shawls, from balls to dolls.
“Everybody thinks I knit really fast, so I don't knit really fast, I knit all the time,” Larsen said.
He mostly makes things for his family. Larsen has 10 children, including his kids’ spouses, and 20 grandchildren.
Originally from Utah, Larsen now lives in Wentzville. He knits while on his morning walks, while waiting in traffic, and in movie theaters.
“I knit in the theaters, but in the theaters, movie theaters I use wooden needles because they don't click. So I'm a polite knitter.”
Larsen explained there are some plus sides to knitting in public.
“It's a babe magnet. It's better than a puppy,” he said. “You know if you're a guy at the park knitting, you are totally not dangerous. Grandpa could have told me that, like, 'dude start when you’re a teenager. Don’t wait until you’re in your 20s.'”
Larsen says knitting isn’t hard. You just have to keep going.
“No matter how difficult a pattern looks, there's nothing to it. Do one stitch at a time and that's it.”
So Five on Your Side's anchor Rene Knott gave it a try.
WATCH: Rene Knott learns to knit
While Larsen knits on his own, he also attends meetings with The Greater St. Louis Knitters' Guild.