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The Knitter refers to a superhero character inspired by a series of self-portraits featuring Tumblr user robofillet. Since the upload of his photographs in late 2011, other Tumblr users have re-interpreted them as portraits of a comic book villain and built a backstory for the fictional character, as well as other supporting characters including an antagonist and sidekick.
On December 27th, 2012, Tumblr user Rohan Salmond, known by his handle robofillet, posted four photographs of himself posing seductively with knitting needles and balls of yarn. Three days later, Tumblr user gokuma suggested that he looked like a DC comic book villain. Later that day, the user fernacular suggested that he should be nicknamed “The Knitter” and shared the first fan art drawing of Salmond’s original photos. This post has accumulated nearly 89,000 notes as of January 15th, 2013.
The same day fernacular’s fan art was posted, a user named pastellicpyro asked robofillet if he was ready to become “Tumblr’s favorite supervillian,” to which Salmon replied that he was ready for “great power.” He also noted in a separate post that his follower count had nearly doubled after the coinage of “The Knitter.” On December 31st, an ask blog for the Knitter was created by an anonymous fan artist. The next day, an audio blog called the Knitter Speaks! launched, posting several radio drama style audio stories about the Knitter.
Also on January 1st, Tumblr artist verticalthought proposed a homoerotic antagonist known as the Manipulator (shown below, left) to act as a foil to the Knitter. Three days later, artist halfaleagueonward posted the first page of a webcomic (shown below, right) featuring The Knitter and his sidekick, Purl. On January 5th, the single topic blog DC The Knitter launched to reblog fan art created for the character. Additional fan art can be found on the Tumblr tag “the knitter.” On January 14th, the history of the Knitter’s origin story was posted to the Daily Dot.
Although “the knitter” is a common search phrase, it hit an all time high on December 31st, 2012.
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