I’m a believer in equal-opportunity crafting. I think that knitting shouldn’t be—and isn’t—relegated to the feminine quarter of tea cozies, granny blankets, cats (and hey—cats aren’t just for women either!), and Buffy reruns.
After all, what appeals to women about knitting—relaxation, challenge, productivity, the pride in making something with your own two hands—should seemingly appeal to men as well. Lots of my customers who are accomplished knitters happen to be men. And so many are interested in learning that I’m thinking of starting a men’s class. Yes, yes, I live in San Francisco, but believe me, interest in knitting crosses sexual orientation.
I think this knitting-is-for-chicks-only stigma is not only accepted, but perhaps even perpetuated by women. There’s a dearth of men’s pattern books out there, and when you do find a good, non-goofy one, the introduction invariably starts in about “Women! This is what you should knit for your man!” Even the book I consider to be the best of men’s patterns books, Son of Stitch ‘n Bitch, takes that tone. I take umbrage on behalf of men. Why not address the guys directly, as the makers of craft?
What I am encouraged by is the recent uptick in super cool male designers. Jared Flood’s designs are crazy awesome, and bring a rustic sensibility to both guy’s and girl’s wear. And Stephen West is artful, wearable and amazing, doing exciting and very cool things with muted color work. And of course there’s Kaffe Fassett, whose autobiography “Dreaming in Color” is just out.
Back in King Henry VIII’s day, you had to be a man to be in the official knitting guild. The vest King Charles wore proudly the day of execution? Knitted by men. And there’s a very long tradition of fishermen knitting out at sea. When the fish ain’t biting, you gotta do something with your hands.
For me, a guy knitting is like a magnet (and a lot of other women I know). I will go up and talk to him, and tell him how happy I am to see a guy knit. Seriously, it’s like catnip. Although the last man I said this to dryly responded “Great. Why don’t you take a picture.” Ouch. See? You’ll attract so much attention that you’ll have to start deflecting the bright babe lights.
So to inspire you, below is a collection of some of my favorite men’s knitting patterns on Craftsy. There’s so many, and more being added every day. Are you man enough to learn to knit? Raise your sticks, your yarn, and yell “I am man! Hear me knit!” Then head right over to the Craftsy Knit Lab class taught by Stephanie Japel.