Knitting for Men: the Good, the Bad, the Sexy

I am extremely selfish.

I’m always concerned about myself. I don’t like to share (especially when it’s the last cookie). I love buying presents for myself.

When it comes to knitting, I almost always start new projects with myself in mind. Unfortunately, having a significant other means an unending loop of puppy dog eyes and pouts when the newest thing on the needles isn’t for him.

I just can’t resist those faces…

Although I do love giving the men in my life presents, knitting for the other gender isn’t as easy as expected. One wrong gift giving move can leave both the giver and receiver of the present unhappy.

There are three things to keep in mind when knitting for the other team: personality, functionality and intimacy.

Personality

One of the biggest mistakes in knitting for other people is, well, forgetting the other people.

This happens the most frequently when a female knitter, used to knitting frilly scarves and things, knits for a male.

Take this sweater for example:

Yes, please.
Pattern courtesy of Debbie Stoller’s “Son of Stitch ‘N Bitch.”

The man is sexy. The sweater vest is sexy. I’m a big fan.

I spent weeks trying to convince Jake that this would be the perfect sweater. However, I was trying to turn him into the male model instead of giving him something he would like and wear.

Instead, he requested a Freddy Krueger sweater.

Cuddly yet murderous. Only the best.

As much as I didn’t want to knit an eternity of stripes, it was what he wanted. Because of this, he wore it for four months straight, despite the evil combo of wool and warm weather.

Through this, I learned that the knitter must make presents the person actually wants. One has to keep in mind the recipient’s interests and likes, not their own. It is not worth the time and effort, just like dropping $150 on a Sex and the City Complete Box Set would be a waste on anyone but myself.

Functionality

Another mistake in knitting is making pointless presents. I have found that many men do not understand the simply decorative or superfluous gift.

Knitting toys is one of my favorite things to do. While cleaning my room, I found almost three boxes worth of stuffed animals.

Only three boxes are toys… The rest is only half of my book collection.

Although I have found that most of the guys I know appreciate a good Spiderman toy or stuffed Brian Wilson, they don’t get my obsession to make three boxes worth.

For this reason, when knitting for men, I make sure every present has a purpose. A few questions can be asked:

  • How can he use this?
  • Why is this present relevant?
  • Will he be excited when he opens it or will it get re-gifted to his crazy aunt?

This can save the knitter some time, some embarrassment and the label of the creeper girl who gives awkward presents.

Intimacy

The last, and one of the biggest, mistakes is not considering how much that person is worth to you.

No, we’re not talking cash value here:

The issues are really how well do you know this guy and is the relationship you have worth the hours of effort you will spend on the present?

Once upon a time, I had a huge crush on a guy friend of mine. He asked me to undertake a sewing project for him. What started as one favor escalated into making him almost 10 things, which took up at least 40 hours of time and caused me to neglect many more important things.

Me, if I were a garment worker. In the 50s. In New York.
Photo from Kheel Center, Cornell University.

What was the reward in the end? He said, “Thanks, but they aren’t really perfect. Never mind.”

I was heart broken, and I had wasted huge amounts of time and effort, leaving me drained and upset.

One must really take in to consideration how close of a friend the recipient in question is. Don’t be a pushover. If they aren’t worth your crafty time and effort, Starbucks gift cards are always useful.

Any dog of Alex’s has his priorities straight. Coffee = life.

Knitting for men is not an easy task, but when all works out well, I find that they appreciate handmade gifts much more than many of my girl friends do with the infinite amount of flowers and foofy scarves they have received.

Jake has also learned how to be a good recipient, although he is currently begging for a Spiderman ski mask…

My future…
Photo by Eneas De Troya.

Oh, boys…

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8 thoughts on “Knitting for Men: the Good, the Bad, the Sexy

  1. Awesome Freddy sweater! Did you use a pattern and if so where did you find it? My knitting skills are currently limited to scarves, but my boyfriend has been searching for the perfect Freddy sweater for years with no luck, so Im considering taking on the challenge. Help! Yours looks so cool!

    • Thanks! It was actually the pattern from a kit I bought on KnitPicks.com. It’s a really simple top down raglan, so if that pattern isn’t on their site anymore, I’d suggest delving in to the realm of Elizabeth Zimmerman, as she has some amazing pattern books with brilliantly simple top down raglan instructiond! Good luck!

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