Oh, the things people do to impress a potential new love interest: Knitter JR Carrillo tells GSN that the first time he created a hand-knitted jockstrap was to woo a guy he had a crush on.
Back in 2016, Carrillo was figuring out how to make a scarf. His talent impressed the object of his affections.
‘He joked that I should hit him up, when I figured out how to knit a jockstrap of all things.’
Never one to shy away from a challenge, Carrillo set to work.
‘There are very few places that you can find a knitting pattern for such a garment as I am sure you can imagine, so I just decided to take a stab at doing it without. After a couple of prototypes I was finally happy with the end product and took it to Instagram to see if folks approved and, to my overwhelming surprise, they loved them.’
Carrillo, 40, was born and raised in Southern California’s San Gabriel Valley. By day, he’s a call center manager. He says he only took up knitting two years ago purely because he wanted to have a go at knitting a scarf.
‘I had no idea what I was doing. I just went to the craft store, bought some needles and a ball of yarn and went straight to YouTube!’
Encouraged by the feedback he received, he has continued to produce the jockstraps – creating unique pieces and getting different sorts of guys to model them.
‘Since then I have tried to make it my mission to be as diverse as possible on my page, showing that you don’t have to look any certain type of way and that everyone has the right to feel fun, flirty and sexy!’
Are all the jocks unique?
‘I certainly try to keep that in mind when working on a new piece, unless I am being commissioned to do something specific.
‘It is challenging when you have such a small surface area for every piece to be 100%, but even when someone wants something that they have seen me do, I definitely try to tweak it a little bit, to ensure they are receiving something special.’
‘The first question I always get is … Are they itchy?’
Carrillo makes all his underwear to order. He can be contacted via his Instagram page.
‘I do make all jocks to order, because if someone is going to spend their hard earned money on one of my pieces, I want to make sure it fits just how they want and for them to be happy.
‘I love when people know exactly what they want, but for that very reason, I don’t have a back stock of inventory waiting to be embellished.
‘As far as time is concerned, since I work a full time day job, I can crank out a couple Monday-Friday, but on the weekends is when I get most of my work done. I can double my productivity on the weekend.’
But aren’t they… well, itchy? And can you wash them?
‘The first question I always get is … Are they itchy?’ he laughs. ‘No, they are very cozy and until I get the request for something made out of burlap, I imagine they will remain comfy.
‘And yes, they are supportive and they are definitely washable. I always recommend hand-washing, just because some designs are more intricate and I wouldn’t want anyone to accidentally ruin their piece in the rinse cycle.’