One for the boys – knitting for men

knitting for men

I’ve wanted to write about knitting for men for quite a while. Not necessarily knitting things to give men (although that too) but more about the idea of knitting/crafting and femininity. My Mum always told me that her Grandad taught her to knit, not her grandmother. I always found this pretty interesting as I’ve yet […]

I’ve wanted to write about knitting for men for quite a while. Not necessarily knitting things to give men (although that too) but more about the idea of knitting/crafting and femininity.

My Mum always told me that her Grandad taught her to knit, not her grandmother. I always found this pretty interesting as I’ve yet to meet a man who knits (though my collection of knitting friends is not huge) but it also brings up some ideas around why knitting is seen as so feminine.

cotton

Historically, knitting has been performed by both men and women. At some point knitting became more popular again for the women of the house as a way to make money and keep busy, but even as close as 150 years ago, men were the main operators of machines such as stocking wheels, creating knitted stockings for a very small income. Knitting has been a way of making money from a relatively small amount of material for many centuries. This is perhaps why it has become such a popular hobby for women, as it allowed those who could not work in the fields or hard labour to make some money. It was not uncommon for children or the elderly in the family, unable to complete hard labour tasks, to complete knitting of small items either to clothe the family or to sell.

firefighters

But a decline in knitting happened at some point during the 20th century. It’s unclear exactly why, but a good guess is the industrial revolution. Now, many men were needed to run machines that could make fabrics far quicker than a handknitter. So knitting was resigned either as a hobby or a way to make a little extra cash for the women of the house. Men focused more on jobs in factories, or working with heavy machinery, than knitting small items for small money.

Presently as part of the craft revolution, more and more men are taking up knitting. But it still comes with a stigma – one we must hope doesn’t stick around for long!

Knitting for men

One of the best things about mens fashion is that it owes itself so well to knitting. Hand or machine knitted jumpers are much easier to make for a man (not as many lumps and bumps to worry about!) and there are an increasing amount of stylish mens patterns available. Here are a few of the best.

Redford

Redford

This is a gorgeous jumper. It’s knit in a 4-ply weight which is great for men on the move as it’s not as hot and bulky as heavier weights of wool can be. Click here to buy the pattern

Java Socks

java

There’s nothing like a good pair of socks to make any man feel good! These are knit in 4-ply and have a beautiful texture. Click here to get the pattern for free.

Windschief

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This hat is sure to keep any man’s head warm this winter. The texture gives it interest but without being to fussy. It could be made up in any colour to complement a mans wardrobe. Click here to buy this pattern.

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Francesca Haselden

Francesca is the owner of EatSleepKnitUK, she also works for Toyota Home Sewing and is a web developer 9-5!

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