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Knitting For Men: A Survey

Jan 7, 2008

Ah, Knitting Fearlessly. It sounds so adventurous. It gives one that delicious thrill, that tingle, that little buzz that says: Go Knit Anything You Want To Knit. (Yay!)


Cobblestone Pullover

However, if you're knitting something to be worn, then part of Knitting Fearlessly is also Knitting Intelligently: Know For Whom You Are Knitting Before You Casteth On. If you're knitting for yourself, as I've said before, this in part means knowing your REAL measurements, not the measurements you fear you have!

If you are knitting for someone else, however, Knowing For Whom You Are Knitting Before You Casteth On takes on a whole new meaning: Will the Other Person want to wear what you want to knit for them?

This can be an especially tricky question if that Other Person you want to knit for is male.

Knitting for men is always a bit of an adventure. From yarn choice (Is it a "manly" yarn? What the heck is a "manly" yarn, anyway?) to pattern choice (Is this something a guy would actually wear? Why or why not?) and right on into choice of buttons for a cardigan (plastic? metal? wood?), we agonize and dither and wonder what we should knit for the dudes in our life.

So I decided to cut right to the chase:

Men, please, give us a break and help us out:
Take this survey and tell us what kind of sweaters you like.

This survey is meant to be filled out by men, so if you are a woman who knits for men, go grab your guy and see if he will answer the questions himself. Read them to him over the phone, if you have to. Read them to him whilst he is watching the game. Send him the link and promise him a beer when he gets home. Whatever it takes. (If you know lots of guys, like, you have five strapping sons, then maybe try to get them each to fill out a separate survey.)

 


One Sweater We Know Men DO Like!


We do know, of course, that a lot of you are knitting, or planning on knitting, Jared Flood's Cobblestone Pullover for your guys (or even for yourself!). And no wonder! I've seen dozens of photos of the finished sweaters, on men of all shapes and sizes, and it simply looks terrific on everyone.

Many of you have written in or called to ask if we can recommend a yarn to substitute for the now-discontinued Classic Elite Skye Tweed listed in the original Cobblestone pattern. The kind folks at Classic Elite have let us know that Renaissance, a 100% wool yarn that comes in 34 colors, works up at the same gauge as Skye Tweed, and will give a similar fabric to the original yarn.

The Cobblestone pattern is now available in the Knitting Daily Store.

 




I loved some of the comments that said you felt fearless enough to try this or that type of knitting, as long as you knew you had support.

Well, that's what Knitting Daily is for, isn't it? To help provide the tools, the tricks, the patterns, and the community so that you can be as fearless as you want to be.

So: Kat made a couple new Fearless buttons, including one for crocheters, and one that is a generic yarn ball in case you are multi-craftual (like me!). Get blog buttons! (Instructions and other sizes and designs are included.) Enjoy!

 




 

What's on Sandi's needles? I'm almost done with the cable on the front of the Gathered Pullover. I did not finish my husband's pullover in time for Christmas (oh well), but I did finish the hood and am halfway done with the sleeves.



Sandi Wiseheart
is the founding editor of Knitting Daily. You can find her blogging here on Knitting Daily every Thursday. Want more? Visit Sandi's personal blog, wiseheart knits. Or, if you're on Twitter, follow her tweets: alpacasandi.

 



Knitting for MenDownload Your Free eBook Today


FREE Downloadable eBook: Knitting Daily presents: 7 FREE Knitting Patterns for Men! This wonderful collection of knitting patterns for men has something for everyone. The functional cable knit for your handy man, a warm knit gansey for winter days, and a handsome scarf for that extra touch. So guys, this one's for you—seven free knitting patterns for men!
Download your FREE eBook Today!

 Download Your Free eBook Today


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Comments

Doodledaddy wrote
on Jan 12, 2013 2:20 PM

I am a straight man, just to let everyone know from what general perspective I am coming from, but hold on to your  expectations, because I certainly DO NOT LIKE BORING!  This whole idea of colors being "masculine" or "feminine" is insane!  Just turn on the TV, and you are sure to see guys wearing pink shirts, pink ties, and even occasionally, pink dress pants!  In the 1980's, Miami Vice made pastels for men's wear VERY popular, and there is NO reason for men to avoid color, or texture, for that matter!  I know that there are a lot of men who still have their minds in the "dark ages" and just don't have the intestinal fortitude to wear anything that makes them unique,  but there are just as many of us that DO want to be unique, and show some personal style.   I am basically an "old fashioned" guy, but I don't want to be in a crowd  and always look like a carbon copy of the majority of other men out there!  I do wear some typical "male" colors,  but, like all other human beings, I like to change things up from day to day and wear what I like, whether or not it is "approved" as "manly" or not!  Believe it or not, guys DO like color, and patterns, and details, but are usually too afraid to break out of the "mold" in which society has placed them!  Our feelings and moods change on a dime just as often as women do.  I can honestly say that men, when told that they look good or sexy in something by women, we are going to tend to gravitate in that direction.  I guess it takes a while, for older men, at least, to get used to expressing himself in his own style if he isn't used to doing so.  Those of us who have determined that we are going to wear what we like have had to suffer the loss of options as a direct result of this, because there are too many men out there who are just too much of a little boy to be bold enough to decide for himself.  We DO DESPERATELY need a larger variety of patterns to choose from, and we do need a lot more quality yarns that are priced cheaper, due to the fact that our sweaters require A LOT MORE YARN to complete than the average sweater for women!   It is usually cheaper to buy a man's sweater than it is to make one yourself!  THAT IS INSANE!  We really DO need a more comprehensive survey of what men like in knitwear, as has already been stated.  Ladies, encourage the men, and boys in your lives to be more daring and expressive in their choices, otherwise, you are stuck with the guessing what men want, and patterns more boring than watching paint dry!  I have been crotcheting since I was in the first grade, which is now roughly 36 years ago, along with various types of needlepoint and, just in the past few months, knitting.  I have already knit a few things, socks included, ( it just seems to come very naturally to me) and I plan on making my own patterns for men (sometime in the murky future) as my knowledge increases.   I want to show the world that "manly" doesn't mean boring!  I LOVE color and details!  I LOVE jewelry and good skin care, and even a little makeup, when called for, to make me look more handsome (NEVER feminine) , and I have always LOVED shopping for clothes.  As shocking as this sounds, I also LOVE women, and never wish to dress like one.  All this said, as a man, I will NOT be boxed in with ANYONE else's ideas of what is or isn't appropriate for me, as a man, to wear!  To be absolutely as blunt as possible, men need to "grow some" and stop cowering into the background of blandness, and express their OWN personal, colorful style!  I don't mean to be offensive, but some men only seem to respond most readily when the source of their masculinity is addressed, so I put it as mildly as possible, as plainly as I could.  Bring MORE detail and color to men's knitting patterns!  

mmhoover1 wrote
on Feb 10, 2010 10:46 AM

I am a male knitter even though my name is Morgan (a traditional Welsh male name). and I highly suggest that if the purveyors of knitting patterns and knitting magazines are short of ideas beyond scarves and sweaters for men...

They could get join Ravelry (costs nothing to join if you are a knitter, weaver or crocheter and want to see what the men (straight and gay) are knitting, weaving and crocheting for themselves, for the women and/or the men they love, partner with, marry (yes men can marry men in 5 US states, Mexico City and 7 different countries including neighboring Canada), befriend or have as relatives.

There you will find various men doing and wanting everything knitwise from the conventional to the "unusual". Things called "willy-warmers" for warming "certain male body parts" in the winter that just won't find their way into a national knitting mag anytime soon, ha, ha! Some gay guys have knitted that sort of thing and also some have knitted thongs or underwear for themselves or for their boyfriends.

Some of you ladies might like to surprise your boyfriends or husbands with something like that for a Christmas or Valentine Day gift.

Some men have different tastes for stuff beyond the usual scarves and sweaters,   Things like handknit ties, handknit man purses (simple, non-frilly, in traditional male colors, with a strap around shoulder, across his chest and position the bag (simple square or rectangle shaped like a briefcase style) to the opposite side of his body so he can easily reach his hand into it if he doesn't want to take it off), blankets and laprobes with male colors and designs, something called a "mawl" (short for man +shawl) yes some men (the slimmer ones) look OK in a poncho in male colors or in a simple knitted non-frilly shawl wrapped around their upper bodies in male colors or southwest inspired brown, red and yellow and orange shades.

Handknitted T-shirts, handknitted polo shirts look great on men. Also male -style neck warmers or short neck scarves. Knitted hats, chullos etc. Some guys love love 7 foot long scarves. Some guys wouldn't mind getting a simpleknitted market bag in male colors or a knitted dice bag with a draw string, or maybe if your guy is into yoga, etc and has a rollable yoga  mat, knit him a mesh yoga mat bag to make it easier for him to carry. Such an idea I saw in a Stitch N' *** book of knitting patterns. If he is a young guy going to college and loves colorful things to wear, maybe a striped hoodie type of sweater for the cooler months.

Maybe a simple hand-knit and washable bath mat. (cocoknits had/has a pattern for that)

So just a list of ideas for the favorite men in your life (or for yourself if you are a male knitter).

Just knitting ideas from a man who loves good-looking men and who has seen some cool ideas beyond the same old sweater and scarf, scarf and sweater ideas for men that the knitting magazine just can't seem to break free of. Just ask the men (straight and gay) for ideas as to what turns them on knitwise.

If a male knitter into manly things, check out " Manspun" yarn for yarn spun in Canada by a straight man named Mathieu who declares himself and his yarn "manly". He is on a crusade same as I am to promote knitting and patterns for men everywhere in the knitting world (which needs to hear from men and provide what they want and need in patterns for male knitwear fashion and male-oriented knitted accessories and more photos of men young, middle-aged and older and male teens modeling knitwear, man bags, handknitted neckties, robes, man-shawls, laprobes and blankets, shawl-neck and cardigan and other sweaters. And show men with men and boys with boys when modeling knitwear instead always the usual heterosexual parings. Vintage as well as modern designs.

Let's have ideas and let's shake up the world of knitting and crocheting fashion.

And include the males more often, PLEASE! They are just as deserving, needing and wanting of a variety of ideas in knitting fashion.

Tiffny wrote
on Feb 7, 2010 3:10 PM

ok. so Im having such an issue finding a Zipper hoodie pattern for a 13 yr old guy. My boyfriend refuses to let me knit him anything but a black or grey beanie for the winter, but his son wants a black hoodie with a big design on the back which i can do but all i can seem to find is little kid patterns that are very boxy.....not good for a trendy teen. HELP!

on Sep 23, 2009 5:23 PM

Could this be the ultimate guy sweater? I just never know what I am going to get when I post a survey

on Sep 21, 2009 3:44 PM

Could this be the ultimate guy sweater? I just never know what I am going to get when I post a survey

JamesP wrote
on Feb 24, 2008 10:56 PM
I was wondering how to make this a while ago, and i found it, lucky for me. These are comfortable
JamesP wrote
on Feb 24, 2008 10:56 PM
I was wondering how to make this a while ago, and i found it, lucky for me. These are comfortable
AaronL wrote
on Jan 18, 2008 4:22 PM
I am a 55 year old guy that knits. I knit because that is how I can get things that I like.

I like a firm fabric, that holds its shape, and drapes nicely. I want my patterns and textures presented on a neat field of fabric. I want a garment that is warm for its weight.

As a result, mostly I end up knitting much tighter than recommended on most yarn bands or most modern patterns. I usually knit on US # 1 (2.25 mm) needles. Knitting that tight, I have to use a knitting sheath or pouch to protect my wrists, and to help me knit fast enough to finish projects in a reasonable length of time.
KathrynW wrote
on Jan 12, 2008 6:11 PM
Knitting for my guy proved very easy.
He only wears black, so that left the onlyyarn choice to be the type of yarn. He's quite hardon jumpers, so I went for a machine washable wool mix.
After that, a quick rumage through his drawer of 'dead' clothes revealed two jumpers with cable on them (and considerable holes where they had worn out).
I used the old jumpers as a guide to size, and his jumper was competed in time for Christmas.
Previously I had knitted him a very plain crewneck jumper in a very heavy wool-alpaca mix, which is kept for the very coldest of cold days (he says it is 'industrially warm').
ROBIN WALKER wrote
on Jan 11, 2008 6:52 PM
Iam the luckiest person. My son -in-law loves wool and sweaters knitted by me.I've made him wool half-mitts (which are felted at the palm) and hats. The only thing I have to watch is the front neck- it has to be a crew-neck,just not too high.
DorisW@2 wrote
on Jan 11, 2008 6:49 PM
My Grandson wanted his hoodie knit with stripes.It is almost done. Colors are off white, red, yellow, moss and purple. He said brights. He is 22 and I am 72..What a hoot
JanieB wrote
on Jan 11, 2008 4:02 PM
I would love to knit for my man who is one of the 30% that want a cardigan and he is a big guy. Where can I find a pattern for him that is pretty basic.
Eve wrote
on Jan 11, 2008 11:30 AM
I shared this with my boyfriend and he said that the survey looked like it was written by a woman who didn't understand men, because it should "show men pictures of sweaters, containing the aspects such as colour or ribbing and ask why they like or do not like the sweater."

Thanks for the survey! Now I know what he likes.
AmyP wrote
on Jan 10, 2008 10:25 PM
I made the Cobblestone for my hubby for Christmas. He fell in love with the yarn I was using for a sweater for myself. So he knew he was getting a sweater - in the same yarn and color as mine - he just didn't know the design. He loved it! He wears it all the time. And he doesn't mind "matching" me. He likes to show it off - and the fingerless gloves I made for him with the two-too-many balls of yarn that I bought.
TamaraK@3 wrote
on Jan 10, 2008 12:28 PM
i made the cobblestone pullover for my husband for Christmas, and it's fabulous! The first thing I've made him he wears - a lot!

There were only two challenges here ;realizing that I needed two circular needles for the sleeves, since they had to be knit at the same time. The other was working on the sweater in secret - when my husband works from home. He thinks I developed a coffee addiction, with my many trips "to meet friends for coffee."

I used Queensland Collection Kathmandu DK, a tweed blend of merino, silk and cashmere. Same gauge and wonderful feel!
KatieE wrote
on Jan 10, 2008 9:19 AM
good idea for a survey, but not enough questions... Currently designing a pullover for my husband as he doesn't like any patterns I've found. Neckline is important (crew neck only), as is fit (loose fitting) and type of sleeve (you'd have to draw diagrams, but he specifically told me he didn't like some of his tops because of the way the sleeve joined (raglan). He's another one who gets hot too - his Grandma knitted him an aran sweater years ago, and he loves it but rarely wears it as it's rarely cold enough.
madnitter wrote
on Jan 9, 2008 9:32 PM
I completed the survey for my husband, but as he is mostly colour blind, the colour of his sweater, socks, or scarf is up to me, and a few times he has a red garment that he thought was brown.
DianneR wrote
on Jan 9, 2008 9:01 PM
I made the cobblestone pullover (from the pattern in the magazine) for my son for Christmas. It fit him perfectly and he loves it. VERY easy to work up eventhough I had never done shaping before and had to sort it out on my own. Where there is a will there is a way! My son is a slender 35 year old and the small size fit him perfectly. I would have made the sleeves a bit shorter than the pattern suggests but he likes them that bit long. It is hard to obtain measurements when one is trying to suprise the recipient.
Anonymous@2 wrote
on Jan 9, 2008 5:18 PM
Nice to see you've finally gotten around to thinking about us guys.
LollyL wrote
on Jan 9, 2008 4:54 PM
My fella did the survey and asked me to add that he prefers v-necks, can't stand more than one colour, and you know where you can stick those cables and bobbles. And the only beanie he'll wear is one with very deep ribbing that he'll pull down around his ears. Cardigans are for the old and infirm, but v-neck sleeveless vests are very popular with all the menfolk I've asked, and I've churned out a few. They're great because you can work hard in them and still have your arms free.
YavannaR wrote
on Jan 9, 2008 12:51 AM
Hi Sandi and everyone,

Since I noticed that there wasn't anywhere to write in additional comments on the survey, I figured I'd post my comment.

One thing my husband and I have noticed about patterns for men is that they usually don't come in a more figure conscious size. My husband is a very fit man in his mid 30's. His chest only measures 38". Most of the sweater patterns for men start at about 44". While he does like a little bit of ease in his clothing, he doesn't need 6" of it! and many of the women's patterns are just too feminine to do for men.

So what do you do for a smaller sized man? What about Young men (guys aged 16-25) who are usually a bit narrower?

My husband's other complaint is that either the patterns look too busy (too many colors, too many cables etc.) or they look unfinished (he thinks the cobblestone sweater looks a bit under finished for his taste).

I'm am really interested in seeing the outcome of this survey.
Cindy wrote
on Jan 8, 2008 8:58 PM
My husband believes that real men don't wear sweaters. He'll walk around the house with his coat on to stay warm, but wouldn't be caught dead in a sweater. That's ok though. I don't have to worry about wasting my precious knitting time on him!!
Libraryhag wrote
on Jan 8, 2008 6:45 PM
I always ask my husband, "Look at this, would you wear it?" He has learned to answer honestly. This is not a "does this make my butt look big" question. I ask 2 or 3 times and then let him pick the color. He will go to the yarn shop with me so I guess I am lucky about that.
JoanneK wrote
on Jan 8, 2008 5:22 PM
I had my husband give me his answers. The one thing the survey didn't ask was "V-neck, crew neck or turtle neck". My husband prefers v-neck, but patterns for that are hard to find.

Jo K.
AudreyD wrote
on Jan 8, 2008 4:37 PM
On the issue of men knitting, I realize I'm hopelessly prejudiced. I think every man I knit for (except my father, who knits himself and thus Can Be Trusted) is a fiber moron. Thus, dad gets the alpaca and the llama and the cashmere. The other guys get it only if it's machine washable. Even then, I include notes *begging* them to at least let items air dry. If yarn companies wanted to make a great deal of money, they could make more superwash fibers: A coworker wanted a hat (blue with a pompom). It took me more time to find a nice, blue, superwash DK wool than it did to actually *MAKE* the hat!) As for cotton blends, forget it. Hard to find. An all cotton sweater, in some of our guys' sizes, would weigh about as much as a pony. Not to mention how quickly it would streeeetch from sweater to tunic to wedding gown. The men of the knitting world should rise up and demand a light cotton blend yarn!

Colorwise I've never gone wrong with a good neutral or something that can be worn with both denim and khakis. I look at what the guy I'm knitting for normally wears, and knit in the same colors. My semi-sweetie wears only shades of khaki, brown, olive green and grey. He's 'afraid' (his words) of lots of 'busyness' in his sweaters, so no all-over cables for him. He also hates sweaters with ribbing at the bottom that pulls in too much--says it makes him feel like a deflated basketball.
EmilyB@3 wrote
on Jan 8, 2008 3:14 PM
I just wanted to say that everyone here inspired me - when you asked how many UFOs we had, I was totally shocked to find that my number was over 22. I really had no idea. So "knitting fearlessly" for me meant learning to rip projects that were never going to be finished and finishing the ones that I still liked. I am proud to say that as of today that number is down to FIVE. Okay, so the five are all big sweaters, but I will get them done.
And I don't knit for my husband. He is a furnace and goes through Ontario winters with nothing more than a light sweatshirt under his coat. Terrible, eh?
MarieR@2 wrote
on Jan 8, 2008 1:25 PM
I love the daily news and all the wonderful patterns and idea.
There are many beautiful patterns that can be downloaded, but i am graphically challenged so I would like to know in the pattern description more about the format of the directions. It would be helpful if you could add info as to whether the directions are printed out in worods, shown by graphs, or both.
SeannaL wrote
on Jan 8, 2008 1:13 PM
I sent the link to my husband, and he wrote back to me that he'd filled it out but there wasn't an option for knitted geeky toys (like the knitted companion cube, a katamari or other oddities of the geek roleplayer). Of course, clothing-wise he was pretty normal - no bright colors, no hoodies.
StacyW wrote
on Jan 8, 2008 1:03 PM
The Cobblestone has been one of my "knitting fearlessly" projects for 2007-2008! Adhering to the same wisdom expressed by so many others, I cleared the pattern choice with my beloved before knitting (he loved it!), and took him to the yarn shop to select the materials. And yes, indeed, the 3 rules were: soft to the touch, not too thick/hot, and one of his favorite colors (in his case, the exact color of pumpkin pie). We ended up with a choice that is more of a DK weight, and I had to swatch 3 times, then do lots of math, to adapt the pattern to the yarn and size 5 needles. Yes, he examined the blocked swatches and made the choice of texture and drape he preferred!

Here's my favorite tip: don't guess on proportions, just use existing garments as your guides. I took out 3 of his favorite sweaters, measured them like crazy, and matched his favorite proportions in making my calculations. I also re-knit sleeve #1 3 times to get the shaping to be similar to an existing garment.

One final change that I made to the Cobblestone pattern was narrowing the cuff by just a few stitches; my beloved doesn't like anything too loose around his wrists, because he plays keyboards. Always think of what the wearer will be doing in the garment and adapt the design to their activities!
on Jan 8, 2008 11:58 AM
OK, I have tried adding a button to my WordPress blog but no luck. Can you please check the instructions and re-post them?
MarthaS wrote
on Jan 8, 2008 9:40 AM
I've been making small afghans for the men in my life -- my son and now for my grandson's dorm room. I'm also making wrist warmers from a WW2 pattern for the guys in my reenactment group. I'll also be making using WW2 patterns scarves and sleevless vests for the same group of guys.
on Jan 8, 2008 9:22 AM
My husband completed the survey, but did have some comments: "Very little demographic data was collected and I wonder if that's not a concern because personal colouration and local climate may affect choices. For example, it won't surprise you to learn that I prefer dark colours. And, because I tend to wear sweaters in Canadian winters I like long sleeve sweaters. However, if I golfed or lived in Florida I might prefer light coloured sleeveless sweater-vests."
127679547 wrote
on Jan 8, 2008 8:24 AM
I just hope many people get the men in their lives to do this survey, I really want feedback in this area! Just for motivation, I asked the questions to both my son and my husband over Skype. One lives in Qatar and the other in Scotland, so hopefully those who have these people in the same house can take a few minutes and get our answers.
EliseFerer wrote
on Jan 8, 2008 8:07 AM
The stitches n sticks game sounds like a lot of fun. It makes me wish I lived in Colorado too. I don't suppose that other games are being planned, say in New York?
HeatherS wrote
on Jan 8, 2008 7:52 AM
My hubby is one of the warm type who doesn't wear many sweaters. How about ideas for knitting smaller stuff for guys? I'd really like to see a good "guy" sock pattern other than plain or ribbed!
LauraW wrote
on Jan 8, 2008 7:45 AM
Regarding Classic Elite's Skye Tweed and replacing it with another yarn: IT'S WORSTED WEIGHT! Puh-leeze, like we need to buy another expensive Classic Elite yarn to replace it. It's a worsted weight wool, 4.5 st. to the inch on size 8 needles. Half the yarns manufactured today will fit that gauge! Perhaps a series on yarn replacements is in order. BTW, Elann.com is coming out with a new tweed yarn--worsted weight. It's coming out January 15 and Jared's sweater would look great made up in this yarn.
Ellen W wrote
on Jan 8, 2008 7:10 AM
Knitting sweaters for men is challenging for me because they are so big and I tend to get bored halfway through the project. Still, last year I knit Dylan Goes Electric for my husband and the pattern was so interesting that I finished it in a respectable amount of time. It looks great and he loves it, although I would say that it's important to use a yarn with some stretch to it because it runs a bit small.
MalkieS wrote
on Jan 8, 2008 5:57 AM
My husband loves warm sweaters. I made him a cobblestone, and he wears it all the time. But he is VERY picky about designs. Cables are okay, but "they cannot look like intestines". And no sweater can be "effeminate." And as for the woman who posted that all the men in her family insist on v-necks-- all the men in my family insist on crew necks, lol! Nothing constricting still holds for us.
As you can imagine, I knit nothing he has not yet approved. No knitting surprises for him!
on Jan 8, 2008 5:52 AM
My husband just did the survey (with my help) and doesn't like the close neck in the front of the Cobblestone sweater, oh well! Maybe I could knit it for my son! Maybe he will take the survey? My life is lived in constant suspense.
on Jan 8, 2008 5:43 AM
Another yarn to substitute could be Queensland Kathmandu Aran- same gauge.
CathyR wrote
on Jan 8, 2008 3:24 AM
The survey didnt have one vital question!
necklines...all the male members in my family prefer V's and nothing constrictive!But they dont mind a bit of colour!!!
KerryB wrote
on Jan 8, 2008 1:36 AM
I endorse many of the previous comments. My guys all prefer very lightweight yarn plain-styled garments - and they're all over 6'. That's a lot of stocking stitch. The main condition is that the yarn has to be ultrasoft with not a hint of scratchiness. You'd never guess to look at them that they would be so sensitive. Thanks everyone at knittingdaily, I look forward to each email. Kerry B
MistyH wrote
on Jan 8, 2008 12:20 AM
After a few years of being told "no", I was given the go-ahead to knit him a sweater. You see, he's a sweatshirt kind of guy and was afraid to wear a sweater for fear it would be ruined. But, after seeing some of the sweaters I knit for myself, he relented. And, to make sure this sweater was something he would actually wear, I've learned to let HIM choose the style and color.

As a typical male, though, he didn't really know what he wanted. So, we used the process of elimination. "Which sweater DON'T you like?", I asked. This proved to be a very reliable way to narrow the field, so to speak. The same went for color and pattern. He even went so far as to point to a sweater a man on TV was wearing and said, "I DON'T want anything that bright and busy." He even picked out the yarn (softness, not brand). I was leaning toward something utilitarian, something he couldn't hurt while he was working outside, but the yarn proved to be too scratchy and rough for his tender sensibilities. We settled on something softer.

The sweater HE chose is "Fractured Diamonds" from Fair Isle Simplified, using Cascade 220 in black and gray.
KarieK wrote
on Jan 7, 2008 10:30 PM
I dove in to knitting a sweater for my man jumping right past the myth that you should never knit your man a sweater before marriage(or any other variation of this myth). i even brought home a skein of yarn which is my interpretation of his favorite color. To my delight I was dead on! (He later took me to the yarn store for something else and I wandered around pulling out skein upon skein that he said no to, all ending up back at the original!) I am 2/3 finished. I should note that somewhere in between the 2nd and 4th skein he asked me to marry him. :) This sweater project if approached like the rest would be done by now. However, I save it for those nights he visits me and we cuddle up nice and tight next to each other while watching movies. It may be taking a bit longer to finish, but every time he wears the sweater (and I know he will wear it proudly, with that dimple shinning brightly as he says "my girl made it for me") I will see all the love we share together all wrapped around his body. All thousands of stitches worth......

Oh, sure I will tell you which pattern. The Retrograde Pullover. Winter 2006. I voted for it in the favorites survey. Here's why: (which was missing from the survey)
No seams!
Very manly
He doesn't have to wonder if he put it on right. Assuming of course a man pays attention to this.
Which leads to the next reason I like it....
He will put it on care free and I get a delight in seeing him wear it, followed by the delight of noticing my talent, followed yet again by a notice of which side he chose (or didn't) to wear out.

Oh so much fun. I just may have to go knit a few rounds of myself into his sweater to hug him when I am not near.
PRE wrote
on Jan 7, 2008 9:08 PM
I was hoping this was a survey about men who knit! THAT'S fearless knitting. Alas, I answered anyway. My survey:

Favorite place to knit: Coffee shops

Favorite thing to knit: Hats

Favorite yarn: Fine, feltable wool

Favorite colors: chartreuse and purple

Favorite person to knit for: My daughters, nieces and nephews (my wife is too intimidating).

Person who taught me to knit: my wife

Favorite knitting web site: Knitty.com (knittingdaily.com is a close 2nd)
Katy@2 wrote
on Jan 7, 2008 8:41 PM
I used Beaverslide Fisherman's Weight in Fringed Sagewort for my husband's Cobblestone, and it turned out to be almost a dead ringer for the Upland Green Skye Tweed used in the original. Plus, using it supported a small-scale yarn producer. :)
CarolS@2 wrote
on Jan 7, 2008 8:26 PM
A tip for preserving mens' sweaters....

I've knit a few sweaters for my husband/boyfriend of over 32 years. In the early days, a beautiful Aran, cabled number out of cheap nasty yarn (college days). Most recently, a nice Gansey ??? chest pattern sweater of some beautifully soft wool tweedy yarn. Because I found it on the floor in a heap once too many times,I actually hid it from him, hoping he'd miss it. He didn't. I recently caved in and let it reappear. He's worn it almost daily since then, never questioning where its been, on our cold Massachusetts winter days. I recently confessed that I had actually taken it away from him and why. He laughed and said "I love this sweater". I haven't found it on the floor since. It is sometimes stuffed in the closet, NOT neatly folded, but it is loved and worn. I'll start another for him out of a bit sturdier grey heathery wool as soon as American Idol starts. I like to have a sweater to show for all the hours spent watching that silly but fun show with my kids.
Marchwind wrote
on Jan 7, 2008 8:24 PM
Hi Sandy! I finally finished what I called the dreaded sweater for my son this year. This was the first big project for me since I spun all the yarn from a fleece that a friend gave me. The pattern was horrific and it took me 3 years to complete. Talk about fearless knitting, phew! Anyway, in the end the sweater turned out great and I am very proud of the whole thing. But one thing my son complains about, and I notice it in the patterns in todays (1-7-08) post, is that the necks on all these sweaters tend to hit the guys in the adam's apple. My son says it chokes him, but not enough to keep him from wearing all the time. I wonder if the neckline on men's sweaters is one of those areas that is ignored and caused out guys problems?

Just a though and one comment from my 21yo son.

Thank for Daily Knitting, I always look forward to opening my mail each day.
JeanneM wrote
on Jan 7, 2008 8:17 PM
The man that I knit for is my hubby of 54 years. He WILL NOT wear anything other than a plain v-neck cardigan in conservative colors. Boring! He has sat at a workbench for so many years that he has rounded shoulders. I put short rows in the backs of his sweaters to make them fit well, 2 to 3 inches longer than the fronts. He doesn't know this, just says he likes the way they fit.
JeanneM wrote
on Jan 7, 2008 8:17 PM
The man that I knit for is my hubby of 54 years. He WILL NOT wear anything other than a plain v-neck cardigan in conservative colors. Boring! He has sat at a workbench for so many years that he has rounded shoulders. I put short rows in the backs of his sweaters to make them fit well, 2 to 3 inches longer than the fronts. He doesn't know this, just says he likes the way they fit.
MinnieO wrote
on Jan 7, 2008 8:14 PM
i had my 15 year old son answer. when do they stop liking colors?
ColleenD wrote
on Jan 7, 2008 7:49 PM
Many good thoughts; please allow me to add my two cents. I second the thought that men don't like really warm garments. I'd like to knit a sweater for my dad, but he starts sweating when it's about 60 degrees! Cardigans might work better since they can open them up and get more air circulation :) I also feel like another stumbling block with knitting for men is not just that they want SIMPLE designs in neutral colors, but they also seem to really oppose the thought of me spending lots of $$$ (and time, for that matter) on them. My husband and dad want INEXPENSIVE yarn, lightweight garments, simple pattern, neutral colors, and washable. By the way, can you make lightweight garments that don't look too delicate for a big guy? I like the more rugged look of the bulkier yarns...sigh.

Another question/comment I have regarding knitting for others is I'd like to knit for some of my more womenly friends, but I'm rather petite. Do you have any ideas of broaching the subject of bust measurements, sizes, and fit with women who may not be very comfortable disclosing that info and saying, "knit me a size XL, please!" Am I doomed to just knit scarves, hats, and bags for my more shapely friends?

Thanks!
CharlesV wrote
on Jan 7, 2008 7:37 PM
I think that the weight of the yarn and fibre it's made out of is very important. Many men are used to fleece and therefore like the lightweight man-made fibre feel. Men with the luxury of buying and wearing lambs wool and cashmere are fortunate, and I think most of us would wear those kinds of garments if we could afford it. Cotton is always popular. Because many of us are relatively warmer because of metabolism or whatever, finer gauge is a must. I think that everyone kind of knows what men would like to have knit for us, but the drudgery of fine-knit solid stockinette keeps us hopeful that there will be something different. I don't fit the mold and will wear almost any colour and prefer natural fibres, even low-quality wool, and any weight of yarn. But then, I knit for myself.

StitchStud (Charles)
jenwollesen wrote
on Jan 7, 2008 7:29 PM
Most of the men's sweater patterns I see are for worsted or bulky weight fibers. I don't know that many men who would be cold enough to wear a worsted weight. Why not design something in a DK or Sport weight?
KatherineH wrote
on Jan 7, 2008 7:28 PM
This is something I've been thinking about since I started knowing men who want to learn how to knit, but feel "shut out" (ie: the last ten years or so). Have you noticed how pretty much all the pattern books (even those exclusively consisting of styles for men) assume the knitter is a woman? If I were a guy picking up the average knitting magazine or book, I'd feel like an eavesdropper at best and unwanted at worst. Stereotyping hurts us all, folks. I am a woman, and some of the colour text for patterns is too "girlie" for me (and I'm a rather girlish girl). Could we aim a bit more towards neutrality, please?
LuannE wrote
on Jan 7, 2008 7:24 PM
I was really interested in what you'd have to say in this post. Several years ago, just a few months into a relationship, I decided to knit my boyfriend a sweater. He was really into cardigans, so I scoured the Internet for that special pattern and found a yarn in his favorite color. The sweater was for Christmas, and I began the sweater in July. In October, he began to experience rapid weight loss... and I mean rapid. He lost about 60 pounds in three months, and was promptly diagnosed with a very aggressive form of diabetes. And I had the sweater. The enormously huge, not going to fit him anymore, I'll be darned if I'm ripping it out sweater. I figured he couldn't have lost THAT much weight, so he still graciously received it for Christmas, tried it on, and pretended not to notice that it came to his knees. Know what? He married me anyway. Some men aren't picky. They'll love whatever you make for them if they truly are "the one."
CathyS wrote
on Jan 7, 2008 7:13 PM
Even though my son helped me complete the survey, my husband and sons generally do not wear sweaters because they are usually warm. The advantage is that there is more time to knit the things I like.
Cathy B Wisconsin
JudeM wrote
on Jan 7, 2008 7:10 PM
Sandi--About the survey: My husband wanted to know if you also want to ask about style--stuff like type of neckline, type of yarn (wool, cotton, etc), fit (baggy, form fitting, etc). I think he's got a point. Do you?
BarbaraH@3 wrote
on Jan 7, 2008 7:04 PM
When I saw this pattern, I knew that it would be perfect for my son, and that I Had to Knit It Immediately. Thanks for the tip on a yarn substitute for the Skye Tweed...but I, too, am hoping to find a cotton that would work. I am very "Fearful" about just randomly substituting for it as I had a very bad experience subbing a cotton yarn for a wool on a recent project - even though my local yarn store assured me it would knit the same. Not!!! I'll be anxious to see if anyone has a suggestion. I did find a cotton/merino blend on-line, but am holding off on ordering it. Thanks for this great site!
JulieF wrote
on Jan 7, 2008 6:29 PM
Here is the problem with knitting for men, and particularly where I live, western Oregon, where it doesn't get very cold -- wool is too hot! Any ideas on substitute yarn for Cobblestone? I have been at the computer for days, trying to find something besides 80% acrylic.... Plymouth Stone Cotton looks perfect, but is discontinued. Sirdar Denim Aran? Tatamy Tweed Worsted?....
SaraK wrote
on Jan 7, 2008 6:25 PM
I need some help: I'm a decent knitter, but I've only ever knit for my children and mom, and now it's time to tackle a sweater for my husband (speaking of knitting for men...). But he's a big guy... as in 6'5" and wears a 44XXL. (Those two XXs make for very very long arms and legs.) I really like the cobblestone sweater, but can I just knit a little more into the arms and body to make them long enough, or do I need to find a pattern that will accomodate Chris' lengthy limbs?
KayA wrote
on Jan 7, 2008 6:24 PM
Forget men. I want to knit a Cobblestone for ME. =D
LisaB@3 wrote
on Jan 7, 2008 6:22 PM
Just want you to know that I'm about 75% done with the cobblestone pullover (size XL, PHEW!), and it's a good pattern with wonderful shaping. The only hard part for me so far has been changing the stitch count since I used a chunky yarn for the torso and an aran weight for the cuffs and now the yoke. But it's quite fun to knit!
AaronO wrote
on Jan 7, 2008 6:15 PM
Excellent idea for that survey. As a guy, and a knitter, I'm usually looking for dark to warm color to knit with. As do most of the other men in my family. I can't wait to see what the feedback is.
KarenM@2 wrote
on Jan 7, 2008 6:06 PM
Thank you for DOING THIS-- I am currently DESIGNING one because I have to knit fearlessly and so I am knitting for a good friend (male) who has been a major support to me my whole life.

The last sweater I knit for him was a conservative oatmeal color and a very simple garter stitch pattern.

This time what did he ask for? Bright, bold colors-- I chose a very pretty candy apple red-- and CABLES!

Imagine....
Thanks for encouraging me to get out my stitch dictionaries and design one!

Karen M =)
Joan wrote
on Jan 7, 2008 5:18 PM
Made these for a co-worker's hubby whose hands are always cold..he loves them. AND then I was at Border's and I noticed a lady making the same for a friend!!
AnitaM wrote
on Jan 7, 2008 4:08 PM
Thanks for this Sandi - it will be interesting to see if others have the same problem I do - dark colours and little texture for my guy! I'll be getting him to fill in the survey shortly. And very sneaky - putting in the fabulous fingerless glove pattern, without any reference to it. It's wonderful! Now, to see if I can get DH to wear that much patterning.....