Well, Men, what do you want in a pattern?

So reading through the new Knitty post, someone asked where the guy patterns are. I’ve been thinking that it’s hard to design for guys, since all the elements that go into a design to make them unique, - different colors, different lace patterns or stitch work - guys seem to want only a small percentage of these. Real basic designs. And those real basic designs have already been done, so I don’t know what more there is to do. :shrug: When people try to do sort fun stuff for guys’ knitwear, if often ends up looking like this:

So, Guys, tell me, what is it you look for in a design? Is there a particular kind of design you’ve been looking for but been unable to find?

I like elaborate patterns, to some extent. No really femenine cables, and I won’t wear lacework, but I don’t really like just plain, basic (boring) stuff.

I’m as dull as dishwater. I like boring. I do have one Fair Isle pullover that I really like. Mostly I like solid colors, any color is OK, including those not found in the natural color spectrum. I don’t currently own any cabled sweaters, but I’d love one as long as it was gray, natural, or some other boring color (but NOOOO bobbles, god how I hate those tacky things). I’m an odd ball who doesn’t mind a scratchy sweater, because I usually wear a T-shirt underneath.

If the pattern has young, hip, cool, trendy, etc., in the description I’m probably never going to wear it.

Some times it a bummer to be a curmudgeon.


My eyes! They burn!!! AAAAAAH! :ick: :out:

Seriously, I’ve made by bf colourful beer cosys and am working on plain grey socks. Anything else he wouldn’t use.

Yeah, I don’t like bright colors, and my favorite for arans is natural. I’m working on Tthis sweater in Wool of the Andes in Cloud, which is a natural.

Well, the link didn’t work so, here’s the sweater (it IS unisex, I asked them)

(When you linked it as a url you had a / after the .jpg)

i personally like some use of color, but in moderation, and i’m all about the earthtones. i wouldn’t mind stripes if they were in pumpkin, wine, chocolate, mustard, etc. I am also not super into cables, but appreciate the history behind them and am planning on making this sweater for myself some day as i think it’s a really neat cable and i REALLY love Durrow Right now I’m working on the manly sweater from SnB without the color changes, just a 5x1 rib, i really love it. I’ve lusted over Chambers from Noro as well which is a simple garter rib.

I think an important thing to remember is that guys love soft yummy delicious fiber too, although not all of them will necessarily articulate it using those words. :wink: and depending on the man in question, can you see them hand washing or will you be around to hand wash for them? another thing to keep in mind…

I personally like ribbing, cables and limited use of fair isle/intarsia. Mostly single shade colors, but there are exceptions.

my bf will only wear cream/beige and black - and the plainer the better - I have recently persuaded him that red would really suit him so he’s keeping an eye out for a dark red jumper, but he can’t find any he likes. Also if it’s not machine washable it will live in the heap on his bedroom floor… I am aware of the sweater curse though so I wont knit him one - he wouldn’t appreciate the two months work that it would take anyhow

Most guys don’t like wearing bright colors or something that looks too “busy”. For guys, Earth tones are always a safe bet and I am no exception. My idea of the perfect sweater is a nice, plain, olive green pull over or a friendly tan color with a little cabling for style.

Mason, I’ve been reading your blog, how is your back? .

I hate to sound like a Supreme Court Justice, but I’ll know it when I see it.

Seriously: All knitting is a variation on a theme. And yes, designs for men are more limited than those for women. I get used to seeing one sweater out of an issue of IK or Knitty; I accept that this is my lot for choosing to be born male. But the last couple issues of Knitty have had NO men’s designs whatsoever. Not a sock, not a sweater, not a plush toy.

I don’t mind certain bright or deep colors (I have blue eyes, and blues look really good on me; I made myself a pretty good-looking sweater in purple edged with bright green). I don’t mind a little color work, some cabling. Lace is probably out of the picture. Variations on ribs are also possible within the manly realm. Probably won’t wear a kilt, unless to a costume party.

I make a plea to designers: consider the limitations placed on men’s designs as challenges, like the sonnet form. Come up with something beautiful within those limitations – or by mildly tweaking them. Creativity can be spurred by limitations.

I’m not a man, but I can speak for my boyfriend. He likes things that are useful, or really soft. If they are soft he won’t wear them, but he likes to pet them haha. Like pillows or something. Right now I am coming up with a suspender pattern for him because it’s handy. Once I figure it out, he wants a bunch of them so that he can wear them underneath his shirts instead of on top. I think it really depends on the person and that you just have to listen to the guy you are knitting for.

I think it’s hard for women to design things for men because they may not actually be knitting for a specific person. Knitting designers usually knit for women because I think it’s easier to knit something with interest that is feminine or nuetral. I find that my guy usually likes pretty simple, practical things, but he also likes cables, ribbing, some lace work (has to look cool though, like flames or a dragon) and stitch patterns.

my dh likes solid colors any anything that didn’t cost me an arm and a leg to make! LOL!

Oy vey!!! :roflhard:

Did you read the last line on that page?:

Thanks for coming, and remember - only use your knitting powers for good. :wink:

Still pretty bad, but the drugs are starting to help a little. Thanks for asking.

My hubby is TOTALLY into chenille. I would love to make a fisherman’s sweater type (not too busy) with some chenille yarn!

Yes, for my DH I think cost is a factor. He can spend $$$$$ on a bike or a tool…but yarn? He just dosen’t get it.
Also he has no nerve endings (I’m sure of it) and can wear the scratchiest wool against his skin! I am an absolute wimp when it comes to scratchiness.
The perfect jumper for my DH would be a natural brown, not chunky, slim fitting plain stockinette probably V-necked jumper (aka sweater). I would love to make him one actually. I love the smell of natural wool, still with that sheepiness about it, I just can’t wear it myself.