Monday, November 3, 2008

Knitty Professors Holiday Gift Guide, Part 2.

Things to Make for Others: For Your Boyfriend/Husband/Brother/Dad/Insert male relation here

These are all small projects that should be quick to make and well appreciated by their receivers. Men’s knits are particularly tricky, in my opinion, because they have to be masculine, practical, and comfortable for men’s oh-so-delicate skin. Further, you should also gauge the project with relation to the amount of knitting required in order to avoid the dreaded boyfriend + sweater curse. Accordingly, we use the following rating system for each idea:

image - Low risk project. Acceptable for male friends, boyfriends, relatives, etc.

imageimage- Moderate risk project. Not recommended for new boyfriends, but acceptable for all other male friends/relatives.

imageimageimage- Somewhat risky project. Not recommended for new boyfriends, but acceptable if you’ve been in a serious relationship for a while.

imageimageimageimage - High sweater curse potential. Knit only for non-boyfriends, or if he’s your husband. Even then, he should be begging for it.

So here are our ideas.

1. Toques

imageToques (or what some people call “knit hats,” “toboggans” or “stocking caps”) are generally acceptable for any type of male gift-giving. The only risk is that some guys do not like toques and refuse to wear them. This may be for style or comfort purposes (i.e. “I’m too cool to wear a hat” or “My body temperature is such that I never require a hat, even in sub-zero temperatures.) Toque aversion may also be due to the phenomenon that my sister and I used to call “itchy toque head” syndrome. So be sure to use extra-soft wool or perhaps some kind of blend. Malabrigo would be extra nice.  On to the patterns.

There aren’t any patterns Jared (aka Brooklyntweed) designs that we don’t like, but the Turn a Square Hat is especially nice.


For boys, this great new pattern just went live at Knotions:


Of course, while we are listing toque patterns (yes, I call them toques), I wouldn’t overlook Mr. Fatty, which Katie designed:


2. Scarves

imageimageScarves are a quick and easy knit, but (as with the case with hats) they need to be super-masculine, unless you are giving it to a guy who is European or otherwise somewhat metro in persuasion. Even then, go for simpler styles and patterns in subdued colors. Here are some ideas:

The Randall Herringbone Scarf.


This one is made with DK weight yarn, so it looks a little less bulky.

The Moss Rib Stitch Scarf from Cashmereblend. This one is not only designed by a boy knitter, but modeled by boys on Ravelry. So I’m thinking it passes the test.


And finally, as the Knitty Professors we can’t help but love the DNA Helix Scarf.


3. Mittens/Gloves

imageimageimageSome guys consider themselves too manly to wear gloves. Like my dad. Others will only wear leather gloves. Like most other guys I know. So knitted items are a bit risky. On the other hand, handwarmers/fingerless gloves seem like a possible bet for some guys. I’m really not sure though… Do guys really wear these?

Take Dashing for instance:


Or Knucks (without the letters):


I guess they may be good for men who are guitar players or who otherwise require finger dexterity in cold locations? Proceed with caution.

4. Sweaters

imageimageimageimageThese are fine for your dad, grandpa, your brother, your uncle, your cousin, husband or whoever else you can think of. But boyfriends must not be given sweaters until/unless they are begging for it.

First up is Durrow (first published in MagKnits and now available at Knotions). It’s free, it’s fitted, and the ribbed body shows off a manly physique.


Check out this version from Laurie M. who knit it seamlessly.

Also check out this boys’ version.

Next, it is Jared to the rescue again with the Cobblestone Pullover.


This sweater looks great in subtly variegated or tweedy yarns. Again, the fit is key:


The cabled or fisherman’s style sweater is a bit riskier yet. I’d only recommend this if you are knitting for a man who is a dedicated sweater wearer. If you can get your hands on this Phildar pattern, though, you might have something suitably sleek and fitted:


Otherwise, there’s Dylan Goes Electric from the Summer 2005 issue of Interweave Knits:


Also, look forward to a new men’s sweater pattern from the Knitty Professors in our Winter 2009 Collection… which we hope to have ready for you in January!

1 comment:

Courtenay said...

Nice roundup. I'm currently knitting Beau from Rowan's Vintage Knits. I would rate it at 4 bears...too bad I'm not knitting it for a husband!

Ummm, Katie knit that sweater for Michael? Why isn't it in Ravelry? It looks great! More pics please!!!