Men’s knitting roundup #10

It’s been several months since we peeked into the latest men’s knitwear designs. Let’s go exploring…. Today we’re all about color.


Looking for new men’s designs can sometimes be an exercise in despair—frankly, most of what I see is either awfully frumpy or is really designed for women and has been questionably tagged for men. (Mind you, I have pretty wide-ranging beliefs about what looks great on men, but even my liberal limits are frequently tested by overzealous tagging.)

And then, like a bolt out of the blue, you come across something like this…

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PINCH ME but that is luscious. This is Wester Ross by Welsh designer Jane Howorth and knit, of course, out of Noro Kureyon. Pictured here on a teenager, the sizing ranges from 34.5–53.5 inch chest. I absolutely love the way the cabling and knit-and-purl texture plays with the striping effect of the yarn, the way the saddle shoulder cleverly travels across the top back (see below), the extra-long ribbing and thumb holes at the cuffs, and the impeccable shaping (no slouchiness!).

Jane has designed some other gorgeous men’s sweaters that you should also take a gander at; I will definitely be keeping an eye on her from now on.

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Bristol Ivy’s Quoin cowl is worked in three colors of worsted-weight wool—potentially yarn you already have in your stash. I love how she has combined asymmetrical striping and deep chevrons into a simple-to-knit but bold design. It’s like a Color Affection Shawl for your neck … with a lot less knitting.


Looking for a more ambitious knit to occupy the long summer days? I love this Mayan Ouroboros scarf pattern from Tania Richter. The instructions can be purchased individually or as part of an eight-pattern e-book called Fantasy Art Knits—all double-knit scarves with fantasy creatures fabulously charted out (in both senses of the word fabulous!). Five patterns have been released so far, including a Nine-Tailed Kitsune that is screaming my name.

Men’s knitting roundup #9

Many of you in the northern US are blanketed under snow right now, so it’s a good moment to check in on the world of men’s knits. As it happens, most of my favorite recent patterns for men are for your neck, so let’s warm up that throat!


First up is another fantastic shawl pattern by Josh Ryks, called Tailspin. Originally knit with Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light, this would make a great project for sock yarn scraps, as you only need one full skein of one of the colors. The remaining colors only require anywhere from 50–200 yards each.

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If you are as charmed by Josh’s style as I am, you should also check out his video podcast, Sword of a Knitter.


Speaking of keeping your neck warm, here is an unusual but very wearable style for your next men’s cowl. This is the Neckwarmer Cowl with Toggle by the prolific British designer Ruth Maddock. The toggle can be tightened to snug the cowl up around your neck for extra warmth.

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The original uses an Aran and DK yarn held together, but you could also substitute a bulky yarn.


If you’ve got some handsome buttons burning a whole in your craft drawer, check out the luscious Garfunkel cowl by Polish designer Justyna Lorkowska. This piece requires about 250 yards of a worsted-weight wool. It buttons just at the bottom so that you can wear it either buttoned and scrunched around your neck, or open and spread out to protect any part of your chest not covered by your coat. Very stylish.

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I’ve published a new pattern for men as well! My husband (pictured below) has a very handsome, but often chilly, shaved head, so when Bijou Basin Ranch sent me a skein of their delicious Lhasa Wilderness yarn, I knew just who was getting a hat. Lhasa Wilderness blends yak down and bamboo, giving the fiber an incredible softness and luster that are perfect next to the skin.

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My Aftershave Hat pattern uses a simple textured pattern to show off the drape and luster in the yarn. You’ll need 160–180 yards of a sportweight (depending on which size you make), and any drapey luxury fiber such as alpaca or cashmere would make a fine substitute.

Men’s knitting roundup #5

It’s hotter than blazes here in central Texas, and it will be for a while. Still, we knitters have to knit into the future, don’t we? This year, I’d really like to be that knitter who has made the mittens before they’re needed.

In that spirit, let’s take a look at some of the newer men’s sweater patterns for this fall….


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Ann Budd is a master of the classic design, and her new Goat Herder Pullover showcases that talent perfectly. There’s just enough texture here to please the knitter, while still maintaining an unfussy look that will appeal to many men.

I also appreciate how well fitted this sweater appears to be around the shoulders. (On both men and women, sweaters are much more flattering if they fit snugly but not tightly across the shoulders.)

This is originally worked in Brooklyn Tweed Shelter, but you could readily substitute a less costly worsted-weight wool if you wished.

Plus: hello, adorable floppy mohawk. Good to see some variety in the modeling.


Speaking of a well-fitted garment: look at what happens when you make the ease on a men’s sweater 1″ instead of the standard 4″ …

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Meow, that’s what. This is Ann Weaver’s James Dean Verdant Pullover, published in the recent collection Silver Screen Knits: Volume Two, edited by Kathleen Lawton-Trask. The book includes 11 other luscious designs—two more for men and nine for women—all inspired by classic film stars.

The genius of Ann’s pullover is all in the details. The shaping is impeccable, with an emphasis on PEC. If you’re knitting for someone with a muscular chest—perhaps it’s yourself?—this will look fantastic. The fitted sleeves and not-too-deep V-neck also emphasize a muscular shape. Some nice twisted ribbing details at the cuff and hem elevate the design further. You’d want to take the wearer’s measurements carefully before knitting this, because fit is everything here.


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I have a new sweater pattern for men out as well! This one, called the Colonel Henley (Ravelry link), was commissioned by the lovely people at Spud & Chloe, and designed with Sweater, a cozy blend of wool and cotton that’s perfect both for transitional weather and for the warmer internal temperatures that men often have.

I’m especially proud of the construction on this garment: it starts at the neck, building out the saddle shoulders and working down from there in one piece. The instructions include some waist shaping, and the overall effect is slimming. I was going for a kind of “updated retro” look. Finished chest sizes range from 35–55.5 inches.

Men’s knitting roundup #4

Since the holidays are rapidly approaching, today’s men’s knitting pattern roundup will focus on accessories – that is, quick gifts that can still be accomplished between now and possibly even Hannukah, though that comes quite early this year!

ImageFirst up: some beautifully designed socks by Jennifer Beever, a relatively new designer based in Calgary. The pattern, called Josh, has some fine features, including a false rib pattern down the back of the leg that merges seamlessly into the heel flap. It’s a great, classic sock that even men with the most conservative clothing tastes could appreciate. Josh can be yours for $5 Canadian on Ravelry (that’s just a little less than $5 US).

Jennifer also recently published a pair of garter-stitch mittens that would be perfect for men living in cold climates.

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ImageThis next duo of patterns, the Tolt Hat and Mitts by Andrea Rangel (available together for $8 on Ravelry), would make a perfect gift set and would appeal particularly to younger men, I suspect. If you are new to stranded colorwork, this would make a great pattern to cut your teeth on, as the stitch pattern is fairly simple, quick, and satisfying at a worsted-weight gauge.

When choosing colors for your own project, just make sure to select two colors that have some significant difference in light value. (That is, choose one color that’s relatively light and another that’s rather dark.) Otherwise, all your hard-won colorwork will be difficult to see.

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ImageAnother design that’s likely to appeal to younger men (and boys!) is Elizabeth Murphy’s Goblin Hat. I love the clever construction on these: if you’ve ever been baffled by how to wear a slouchy hat, you will love how this buttoned-down version makes the wearing of a slouchy hat simple. And what a great stash-buster for leftover bits of worsted-weight yarn. Plus, the pattern is free!

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If you need a super-quick knit, try the Courage fingerless mitts (also free) by another new designer, Elizabeth Davis. This pattern includes instructions for three sizes and two lengths (short length shown here), so you can whip up several pairs for people on your list.

Men’s knitting pattern roundup #2

Let’s check in again on the world of men’s knitting patterns.

(If you missed the first men’s knitting pattern roundup, you can find it here, along with an explanation of what these roundups are about.)

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Interweave Press just released a delicious magazine of Harry Potter-themed knits, a full third of which are suitable for men. My favorite of the bunch is Hagrid’s Sweater by Anne Podlesak. Like the other two men’s garments in this collection, this one is beautifully cabled and comes in a good range of sizes (34.5-50.5″ finished chest in this case).

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Such a thoughtful use of cabling, including some strategic yarnovers that will keep this pullover from getting pulled off an over-heated body.

But what really sells this for me is the fact that it’s modeled by a bearded, handsome bear of a man. You know how excited we plus-sized women get when we see actual, plus-sized models? Same applies here. Big men like sweaters, too, and it’s great for a change to see how the finished garment would actually look on said big men.

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While we’re on the subject of magazines, the new Cast On (Aug-Oct 2013) focuses on men’s designs — 11 patterns in all, including sweaters, vests, socks, hats, and scarves. (Not all of them are listed in Ravelry yet.) I’m particularly fond of this scarf by Jennifer Donze.

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Finally, the supremely talented Veera Välimäki (the genius behind the Color Affection Shawl) just published in Finnish the pattern for this well-tailored men’s sweater. In this garment, Veera does what she always does best: takes a few simple elements (basic knit and purl stitches in this case) and combines them in a new, stylish way that is utterly appealing. That neckline is not quite cowl and not quite yoke. And those buttons! An infectious shot of color on what is already a gorgeous neutral backdrop. Those patches of reverse stockinette complement the texture of the hand-dyed yarn. Gorgeous.

Veera’s Ravelry page promises an English translation at a future date.

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Oh, and not that he needs any help from me, but in case you haven’t heard, Brooklyn Tweed has recently issued a men’s collection as well. It’s classic and beautiful in the way that all Brooklyn Tweed productions are.

Men’s knitting pattern roundup #1

If you’ve stumbled across my blog, then it’s no doubt because you are searching for men’s knitting patterns — and you’ve probably also noticed that they can be hard to find.

If you’ve been around my blog for a while, you know I sympathize … and that I frequently write knitting patterns for men myself.

The patterns are out there, so I thought it might be time to do a little curating of my own — bringing you weekly roundups of some of my favorite patterns for men that I’ve found around the interwebs.

I’ll favor new patterns, but will probably include some older patterns each time as well. Your tastes may not be the same as mine, and my reach is not perfect, so please feel free to share your own favorites in the comments.

(I’ll also start doing a weekly boys’ pattern roundup — stay tuned for that in a few days.)

Let’s get started, shall we?

First up are the fabulous Rock Strata fingerless mitts by young, up-and-coming designer Josh Ryks ($6 on Ravelry):

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The unusual shaping in these great-looking mitts is created modularly — easy to execute but much more fun than your average brown mitt. I always say that the biggest challenge with designing men’s knitwear is to create something wearable while still providing the knitter with something fun to make. Josh’s design hits that sweet spot perfectly.

If you’re looking for more graphic accessories for men like this, check out Josh’s other designs as well.

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If you’re looking to get a headstart on sweater season, check out this beauty from Kirsten Johnstone:

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This design, Sankai Man ($8 on Kirsten’s website), is worked in the luscious yarn Brooklyn Tweed Shelter. The designer’s architectural training shows itself in this sweater’s impeccable construction. Don’t you just love that yoke? (The pattern also comes in boys’ and women’s versions.)

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And finally for this week, I can’t resist including a shawl. We largely have popular knitwear designer Stephen West to thank for making the geometric shawl a cool menswear piece. So while the Nangou shawl by Melanie Berg (€3.90 or about $5 on Ravelry) may be modeled by a woman in the photos, I can readily picture this on a man as well, especially worn scarf-like as it is in the photographs. These simple, classic knits can be a real pleasure.

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New hat pattern! or, another way to cable without a cable needle

There are some great tutorials out there about how to make knitted cables without using a cable needle. The hat above represents a completely different way of thinking beyond the cable needle: use colorwork to create a faux cable. The next photo shows the effect even more clearly:

See how the sage green sections look like cables crossing over each other? I think it would be lovely on socks, too. If you have Luise Roberts’ wonderful little colorwork stitch dictionary called 1000 Great Knitting Motifs, you will find this stitch pattern on p. 105.

I just made this hat pattern available on Ravelry, and it will soon be up on the KnitPicks web site as well. It’s a quick knit, so if you’re looking for something last-minute for the holidays, this might just be the ticket.

On an unrelated note, I would just like to note that we here in the Land of the Large Eyebrows do not believe in trimming our eyebrow hair. No, we do not.