Women And Men Who Knit For Men and Men Who Might Care

By Megan Goodacre

Women And Men Who Knit For Men and Men Who Might Care

Warning: this post may contain wild generalizations about men and women.

I was updating the site with the Trestle Hoodie that just came out in Knit Issue 45, and it got me thinking about men. Or rather, knitting for them.

Oh men. We are drawn to knitting sweaters for them, despite the fact that they are sometimes ambivalent about it. It's such a puzzle that Bruce Weinstein has made a book titled Knits Men Want: The 10 Rules Every Woman Should Know Before Knitting for a Man. And you've heard of the curse of the Boyfriend Sweater. The Mythbusters should do an episode on Knitting for Men, its mystique has reached such notoriety.

Some men are easy to knit for, they'll wear whatever is made for them. (But I suspect that many of them would be just as happy with a $20 sweater from WalMart as long as the sleeves were long enough). Some will act like they are easy-going, will nod and smile as you show them yarn, but will never wear the sweater. Others are fussy and have to choose all their clothes, but only some of this group have any style-sense (of course, this applies to women too). I did warn you that I would be generalizing. We need a Venn diagram for this.

Men are sadly neglected in the pattern arena. If you search in Ravelry for men's sweaters, jacket and tops, you'll find about 2,700 patterns. It's interesting to notice that many of the patterns on that first page (sorted by popularity) are designed by men. Men who design, knit and wear sweaters provide key clues for what kinds of sweaters they like.

Side note: Is that Jared Flood modelling Veronik Avery's Cassavetes, and Stephen West in Todd Gocken's Expedition and Ragnheiður Eiríksdóttir's Oinn Odin Icelandic? Is there some kind of man-sweater-conspiracy going on? A secret but tiny cartel of men who knit and wear sweaters?

If you do the same Ravelry search for women, you'll get about 32,300 patterns. That's about a 1 to 12 ratio for men's to women's patterns.

Have a story to share about knitting for men? We'd love to hear it!