Misters Are Knitting It For Themselves

Posted by on Nov 28, 2012 in Crocheting, Fiber Arts and Felting, Knitting | Comments


Knit Too: Equal Opportunity Crafting

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.

Comments

  1. Kattididit says:

    Oh how I long for patterns for men’s sleeveless sweaters opened down the front with buttons..Nice stylish pattern sweaters..not a pull over the head but sweater without sleeves. I live in a climate where our winters are desert chilly but not frigid cold. You need a sweater but not a coat and gloves. My dear husband loves sweaters without sleeves with the traditional buttons and front opening. Would love some new patterns with cables or whatever.. some nice stylist stuff…

  2. MiLinda says:

    My good friend Onix Terevinto is an amazing knitter and because of him I finally got knitting. He also started a group on FB for fiber loving folks called Fiber Minds.

  3. Carl says:

    I’ve been knitting since I was 8 years old.

  4. Laura says:

    I love it when I hear about men knitting. I know they are out there, but I’ve yet to see one myself! If only I could meet one… ;)

  5. Yvonne says:

    The idea of guys knitting is a great thing. I love seeing it. This means that patterns for guys are going to be more. I have a boy friend who I cant see knit but loves my handmade stuff. He knows what it takes to make this stuff. Finding a simple sock pattern or a guy size fingerless mitt pattern proved to be a challenge for me. I have found several but if a guy designer is around more this will make finding patterns for guys easier. So go GUYS lets see ya.

  6. Melissa says:

    I would love to see the idea of men knitting embraced more by the general public. As a mother of 5 boys, I know that learning to knit has a multitude of benefits. Besides teaching patience, math skills, fine motors, it gives them the ability to produce a one of a kind useable work of art. That being said, not only are quality knitting books for men few and far between, knitting books for children that don’t have an abundance of hair bows, purses or girly scarves patterns are almost impossible to find. Ravelry has been our savior. Nothing like finding other star wars fans to find much needed ” boy” patterns.

  7. Chuck says:

    I’ve been knitting for a number of years and often get the furrowed brows from knit. I knit, I cable, I can turn a heel and Kitchener stitch, and all that jazz. I experience the same apprehension at the idea of steeking. Jared Flood is amazing and Mathew Gnagy inspires me. Knits for men designed by women often miss the mark. Maybe that’s the true cause of the sweater curse?

    1. Chuck says:

      …furrowed brows from knit shopkeepers. I meant.

  8. fanoftheallmans says:

    I’m coming out as a heterosexual, male knitter. I’ve only been knitting for 6 months and can’t get enough of the craft. My wife wanted to learn but struggled with the instructions and pictures in Stitch n Bitch. I offered to see if I could figure it out and have been knitting ever since. She got mad and give it up because she wanted it to be her thing. Oh well, her loss.

    For me, knitting is the perfect stress reliever that is highly productive. I love learning new stitches Nd techniques and my work is pretty impressive, if I say so myself. Finding good male patterns has been a little challenging but with a little patience I can find cool stuff. I’m chomping at the bit to make The Dude’s sweater from The Big Lebowski.

    Thanks for the blog post and hope you’ll consider giving more press for us menfolk.

  9. Prakash Manandhar says:

    Knitting is art…its purely art of mind and hand. No one can create art without perfect concentration and enthusiasm. I am a male from Nepal I have learnt knitting when I was 7 or 8 years. When I started it was just enthusiasm. After learning it was kind of my profession for many years. Now, I still love knitting although I can not give enough time for it. I love knitting and one more thing knitting has nothing to do with gender.

  10. Alan says:

    I am male and started knitting about a year ago. I wanted a large afghan, but didn’t want to pay $200+ to buy it. So, I decided to make it myself. I finished that project and found I was enjoying my work with yarn and needles. I’ve made scarves, hats, cozies, blankets, socks, etc. I just wish there were more patterns for men OTHER THAN sweaters and scarves. How about a lightweight summer tank top?

  11. Richard Guay says:

    I have been knitting for about 3-4 years and enjoy it. My wife is a better knitter and she is teaching me. I’ve found out that ladies are interested in what we are knitting and how we started knitting. As for patterns for guys each of us has their own likes and go from there. I tend to knit in freeform style and try things out sometimes it works other times not. So far my journey into the knitting world has just begun…

  12. Doni says:

    I live in a Chicago Suburb and on my former 2 hour commute to work (my office moved closer to my home thank heavens!) I used to be fascinated by this guy knitting and crocheting on the train, He made these adorable little people very urban cool little guys and girls and he even made different outfits for them ! These were so not just kids toys they were uber cool! So guys keep knitting we ladies really like it! :)

  13. Alex Reynoso says:

    I love this post! Many people dont know that knitting was actually a mans job until WWI. I Crochet and Knit and Spin and im a guy, None of theses involves a vagina so obviously its a unisex craft. That guys would actually benefit from knowing ;D

  14. Kerry says:

    I am so jealous! I have never managed to meet a man who will share my love of yarn. My current partner appears to be allergic (mentally not medically) to even touching my yarn. He constantly complains about how much I have. I dream of having someone to take an interest in what I am making or doing little things like winding the yarn as I untangle it. (Something about the wool catching on his hands, so he can’t do it, bla bla bla.) I will say, though, he DID do a wonderful job of converting some of my million-and-one needles to sets of dpns when I first learned to knit in the round.

  15. Absolutely right. It would be a great idea to knit wool to make any desired pattern for yourselves. Thanks for encouraging peoples here.

  16. Mickey says:

    My husband has been wanting to learn how to knit for ages. At first I laughed but then I thought, why am I laughing? Why have we been conditioned to think that it is odd for men to knit when the truth is that knitting is for everyone? So for Christmas I have put together a beginners knitting kit for him and bought a craftsy voucher so he can take the knit lab class. I think men should be supported and encouraged to take part in the craft activities that give so many women so much joy and satisfaction. I love this post very much and I thank you for sharing. I also think my husband will enjoy reading this so he can see that there are many guys out there who want to knit too!