While many still associate knitting with women, 28-year-old engineer Sohail Nargund has spent the last few years shattering this social stereotype.
Sohail’s personal struggles began when the pandemic hit and the world came to a standstill in 2020. The Hubli native was living in Bangalore at the time, working from his home as he struggled to cope with growing anxiety.
“At first I was worried about little things, but then I started to get sicker. I was always thinking too much and my heart was pounding — partly because of the amount of work I had. Partly because of the uncertain times we’ve all lived in,” says Sohail. better india.
One day, he found an online post recommending knitting to ease his anxiety. Worried that his mental health would deteriorate, he decided to try knitting. “That’s how I started knitting. When I picked it up, I noticed how it calmed and calmed me down. I felt relaxed and occupied.” It worked for me,” says Sohail.
Soon, he started an Instagram page named “@the_rough_hand_knitter” where he started posting photos and tutorials. Today, he sells a range of handmade products through his page, breaking stereotypes and inspiring many knitting enthusiasts.
“I knit anywhere and everywhere”
“As a child, I started many hobbies, none of which worked. Then my interest grew and I reached out to a knitting coach on Instagram.
Regarding the gender stereotypes of knitting in society, he said: I expected him to say something that would offend me, but to my surprise, he was very impressed and satisfied with my work. He even said it didn’t matter, which gave me validation and satisfaction. ”
With the appreciation of her father and the support of her sister, Sohail decided to take steps to break the stereotypes.
“My father was sick and we had to put him in the hospital. It gave me the courage to knit in public.Now I knit wherever I want,just like I use my cell phone.Waiting for the doctor, taxi I knit when I’m on the train or on the bus, and it took a lot of courage to do this, but here I am today,” he says.
The first sweater Sohail made was for her beloved sister. She then decided to share her knitting creations on her Instagram.
“I received a lot of love and well wishes when I started sharing my knitting process and photos on my personal page. ,” he says.
An Instagram page dedicated to his knitting adventures is called “@the_rough_hand_knitter”.
“When I started posting the whole process of knitting, people started following me. One day, my sister’s friend said she wanted to buy me a sweater. , to my surprise, she said “No! That’s too low and I should quote more.” She paid me Rs 1,700. That was my first order,” he said, adding that this made him realize not to underestimate his work.
Sohail knits and sells a variety of products including sweaters, beanies, gloves, headbands and scarves for women and babies. “I also try to knit pieces that are inspired by something. It comes in a variety of color combinations and is my bestseller,” he says.
He continues: To date he has sold over 90 beanies and he has nearly 30 sweaters. This is something he does for fun and anxiety relief, so he takes his time and works with love. We are a slow fashion place. It takes months to complete one sweater. ”
Today Sohail earns around 30,000 rupees monthly and inspires many knitting enthusiasts through his Instagram page.
One of his customers, Lakshmi B, purchased a beanie from Sohail. She said, “It smelled good and felt great. The piece was unique and the fabric was very nice. I love how it fits me and the fact that it’s handmade.” I loved it,” she says.
What are you prepared for?
“I’m the only one who knits. My sister helps me. That’s why my brand doesn’t include sizes yet. But I’d like to make products in larger sizes as well.” I am still learning and I know I have a lot to learn,” he says.
Sohail has also started a YouTube channel to teach people how to knit. “As I was learning, I realized that there were not many tutorials that offered step-by-step methods for different designs. I hope to post detailed step-by-step knitting videos on my channel that you can learn from,” he explains.
“My focus is not on revenue or the number of products I sell. On my page, a lot of people message me and tell me they also like knitting but are shy and I inspire them.” I grew up in a gender-neutral home.I learned to cook before my older sister and my younger sister learned to drive first.Knitting in public still takes courage. We needed it, and we want to change that by popularizing knitting,” concludes Sohail.
You can purchase his products from his Instagram page.