So I’ve been musing about upcoming Yule/Xmas/Hannuka/Kwanza/It’s December and people give gifts so just chill out about the religion already presents. I’ve also been thinking it might be nice to send something to some of the professors and staff who supported me most while I was in school…who happen to be almost all be men (yay, SCIENCE!)
Of course as every knitter knows, knitting for men always presents a conundrum, because most men (especially most of the ones who share my DNA) want REALLY DEATHLY DULL patterns in REALLY DEATHLY DULL colors. Sigh. Although one of my school colors was maroon so I might be able to swing that for some of the profs.
I’m further hampered by the fact that most of the men I know have just enough homophobia to insist on their clothes being REALLY REALLY MANLY-MAN-MANNERSON HOO-RAH I’M A LUMBERJACK manly. (Made even more amusing by the fact that they’re all also really, really fastidious. Seriously, Dad and the GHMC spend more time in the bathroom than Mom and I do). So anything remotely decorative, or complicated, or childish, or even slightly hinting towards feminine is out. Even simple cables/twisted stitches can look too much like braiding, and I can’t see any of the men I know wearing something that spirals/is too diagonal. Or handwarmers, or knitted gloves/mittens, or cowls, or vests. Because they’re MANLY MEN WITH SQUARE CORNERS AND RAW KNUCKLES HOO-RAH.
…so I went to Ravelry and did a search for patterns matching “Male,” “Knitting,” “Has a photo,” (who in their right mind starts a pattern when they haven’t seen what it looks like?) and “Free.”
49 pages later: Most patterns were REALLY DEATHLY DULL and in REALLY DEATHLY DULL colors, or for little kids, or not manly enough for my MANLY MEN. There are some which are only SLIGHLY DULL or even THIS COULD BE OKAY IF NOT THE MOST THRILLING KNITTING EXPERIENCE EVER. I should mention now that I’m a hardcore process knitter, and nothing kills me more than endless rounds/rows of stockinette, garter, or ribbing.
I’ve found some successes (now in my favorites under the helpful tag of MANLY), but I also found some…uh…FAIL. Lots and lots of FAIL. I’d like to share some of my favorites(?) with you now…
DISCLAIMER: It is not my intention in any way to insult any of the designers whose works are featured below. This is my opinion and my opinion only, highly influenced by my (slightly punchy) mood at the time.
First of all…willy warmers. I do NOT understand this phenomenon. In what universe is that remotely attractive? Not that knitting can’t be sexy, but willy warmers? NO. I will link to this one because it made me laugh–and it’s not supposed to be sexy. (I hope not!)
Also, if you were a male professor and received a willy-warmer from a female ex-student…I can only hope you would sever all communications with her and never, ever, EVER try it on. Oh Gods now I need eye bleach…
Next…the Crack-Lovers Socks. Apparently it has something to do with rock climbing, but it looks vaguely rubber-hose-like to me. Like an IV mixed with a caduceus mixed with an I don’t even want to know. I actually do like the idea, but in execution it comes off a bit too medical for my taste.
I think these gloves are actually kind of a win, though the pattern could be tailored better.
Then there were the large collections of sweaters that should have died with the 80s. I actually sort of like this Arrowhead Pullover because of the optical illusion…maybe in grays for an optics teacher…
Also, why do all male knitwear models look so strange? I mean, okay, the guy above has the whole turn-of-the-millennium bleach-blond thing going on, but just look at this disaster:
I keep wanting to take a baby wipe to that smudge on his chin. (Pattern)
Since we’re on the subject, I figured we might as well get all of the disturbing pictures out of the way.
The up-nose shot really makes this photo of the appropriately-named Blakchoke.
…he kinda looks like the grumpy Russian kid who lived down the hall from me my freshman year. Though thankfully that individual never wore an old-timey bathing costume. I actually kind of like this pattern, and kudos to any woman (or man) who can get their man to wear it, but I don’t think I could get any of my menfolk into this Man’s Knitted Bathing Costume.
Maybe if you’re good he’ll let you meet the Pope.
Darn those willy-warmers; now everything sounds like a euphemism to me…
Anyway, we’re done with the really disturbing (to me, at least) stuff now.
I actually kind of like this, and I love the method of placing the cables. But hey, kid, I think Bill Cosby wants his sweater back…
To be fair, I’m all for men and women wearing whatever they want. And I can think of a couple of guys who would wear this–but these are also two individuals who pride themselves on being ridiculously flamboyant. Which is half of why I love them, but the other 99% of my male acquaintance wouldn’t touch this Easy Giselle Shawl with a ten-foot pole. And yes, this pattern really is tagged as ‘male.’
So I hope you’ve enjoyed this slightly hysterical journey through Ravelry’s “menswear” selection. (It occurs to me that this is basically a much less professional version of threadpanda‘s Friday Finds posts, which are much more respectful than this…) Maybe I’ll do a calmer post about the nice patterns I found…or maybe not.
Very cute, and not in any way a fail. Just a wee bit small for the men in my life…