STC Craft sent me a copy of their newly released title, Knit Men Want, The 10 Rules Every Woman Should Know Before Knitting for a Man by Bruce Weinstein. I admit, I was intrigued. I have knit Fatty a total of three sweaters in the 16 years that I have known him. I have knit myself the same number in the last year. I'd like to even that out a bit, but it's hard to find patterns for men that appeal to both me, the knitter, and him, the wearer. This book is my answer.
Bruce does an excellent job explaining how to go about choosing knits for the men in your life. His approach is intelligent, practical and witty. The book includes 10 patterns. It doesn't sound like a lot, but the real value here is that Bruce gives you instructions and yardage requirements for six sizes and six gauges. You choose your yarn, knit your gauge swatch, measure it and then follow the instructions for that gauge. Brilliant! He also gives you guidelines for figuring out what style sweater will appeal to the man you are knitting for along with what fibers to use and how to choose a color.Color is tricky, in my opinion. It's no secret that I tend to favor green and would probably knit green garments for everyone that surrounds me. Fatty likes green enough, but when he buys clothes, he tends to choose blue first. I asked Bruce some questions about color and here is what he said:
Erin: In your book, you
address the reasons men often don't wear the sweaters women knit for
them. One of the reasons is bad color choices by the women knitting.
Why is choosing the right color so important?
Bruce: Nature is funny. I just came back from a local organic farm, picking up
some duck eggs for dinner and the turkeys chased me from my car to the
barn. Not the females. Those plain, drab, and quiet birds stood back
while their guys, loud, aggressive, and highly decorated with
mutlicolored feathers came towards us. Us being my partner Mark, myself,
and Jeff, the farmer. The three human males each dressed in either
black or navy shirts and sweaters with no fuss or decoration. While in
the wild, males tend to pack on the color—reds, greens, purples,
yellows, and pinks, civilization has trained men to tone it down. The
basic black suit, perhaps a navy pinstripe, or khaki. Sure, there are
some men who'll wear pink hats and orange scarves but they are few and
far between. Most men just won't put it one if it's not dark and subtle.
And if I had a dollar for every time I've heard a gal say that she
won't be caught dead knitting with drab dull yarn, I'd be rich. It's
also amazing how many brightly colored hand knit men's garments I've
seen over the years at goodwill shops and garage sales. You do the
Bruce: The only thing to consider is the wearer. If it's for a man in your
life, and you're not sure, then go to his closet. Take inventory. Whats
there? Are there half a dozen navy sweaters and sweatshirts? Great.
make it seven. If all the blues are dark, you can consider another
shade, like brown or green, but keep it in the same hue. If he likes
navy, he might like deep cedar green.
Here's where the difference between men's and women's perspective
comes into play. I actually think the dark yellow scarf and green socks
are quite colorful. Maybe some women would say they are only starting to
lean towards bright, but from this man's point of view, they are as far
most men are willing to go. It's not that we're not adventurous, I just
thing that in general, men don't like to call attention to themselves.
The like to blend in. And it's in socks and scarves, which are just
accents not the main event, that we're willing to go out on a limb in
terms of color.
I highly recommend this book. I had Fatty take a look through it and
he asked for the baseball sweater, in you guessed it, blue. I'm happy
. . . . .
STC Craft|Melanine Falick books is conducting a Knits Men Want sweepstakes. For more information of the contest and to view the great prizes, go to this post. You can learn more about this fantastic book by following Bruce's blog tour. Details on his stops can be found here.