Knitting for Men
Are you one of the many women who like to knit for the men in your life? Do you have a boyfriend you would like to make a cool jumper for, or a teenage son who has always wanted that totally unique and awesome beanie?
Maybe you have spent hours creating a sweater with a complicated pattern for your boyfriend only to find that he won’t wear it?
Or you are one of the growing number of men who have discovered knitting and find that there are far more patterns for women than for men?
One of my all-time favourite books on that subject is “Knits Men Want” by Bruce Weinstein, a knitwear designer and knitting teacher from Connecticut. In his straight-forward, conversational and often very funny style, Bruce points out the differences between (most) men and women when it comes to clothes in general and knitting patterns in particular and makes helpful suggestions for how to knit clothing that men will actually wear.
While the book was written with women in mind who want to knit for the men in their lives, it is a great book for any knitter, including male knitters looking for inspiration on what to knit.
The book includes a range of pattern ideas for jumpers, cardigans, hats and socks that are easy to adapt to suit your personal needs. Each pattern comes in different sizes and for different yarn weights (gauges), so they are all easily adaptable. This a great bonus compared to so many knitting magazines and books that specify one particular yarn brand and then leave it to the reader to work out how to translate the pattern for the yarn they actually have.
Some of the main points I took away from Bruce’s book are:
- Many men are not that interested in clothes and won’t engage on choosing colours and patterns.
- If men feel uncomfortable in a sweater you made, they won’t wear it, no matter how much time you spent on it and how much they really want to please you.
- Keep it simple. Most men prefer functional clothing over complex colour schemes or fancy patterns.
- Beware of feminine patterns and styles. Fancy edges, bobbles, lace knitting, wide cables or neck styles involving shawl collars or rolled necks are generally not a good choice for most men.
- Most men don’t wear bright and cheerfully coloured clothing. Subdued colours and a maximum of two colours in a jumper is usually preferred.
- Men tend to sweat more than women, so choose yarns that are breathable and only use chunky yarns for sweaters that will be worn on their own. Choose lighter yarns for anything that will be worn under a jacket.
- Choose a pattern and size that fits his body shape so he doesn’t feel fat and bulky in his jumper. Pick a jumper from his wardrobe that you know he likes and choose that to size your project.
- Men don’t care as much about fashion as women do – they want comfort. Pick soft yarns that don’t scratch and patterns that are comfortable to wear.
- If in doubt, make him something small. Most men will wear hand-knitted socks or a beanie, even if they don’t wear the jumper you made.
Of course, there are always exceptions – and if you are a male knitter who loves fancy knitting or the man in your life does not fit these general rules, go for it and create something awesome, colourful and totally different!
However, if you think you or the man you are knitting for is more the average male, then this book is a real treasure trove of ideas.
Knits Men Want : The 10 Rules Every Woman Should Know Before Knitting for a Man Plus the Only 10 Patterns She'll Ever Need is available from bookdepository with free delivery.