Manly Stripe

I am in search of a manly sweater pattern that I would be proud to wear and that would look nice on me. It must be comfortable and noble in nature.

Ok, that’s all I know about that I want. Not a lot huh, but I do know what I don’t want in a sweater. Or should I say, I know what is available in the knitting magazines/internet sites/ books. The sweaters are all variations on the following themes:

Manly Stripe: I think this became popular with my generation in the early nineties with the Abercrombie & Fitch era. Seriously, is there no other way to switch colors on a man’s sweater?

Bumpy Pattern / Ribs / Chording: While I like some of these techniques and they can look pretty cool, I feel like this is a cop-out. As if to say, men can’t possible handle some of those other knitting patterns.

Argile: Sorry, I am just not flaming enough to pull this off. That would require a lot more working out than I currently do.

Single MUD color: This is the most offensive part of the majority of man sweaters that I have found so far. Men have been known to wear more than one color at a time, and sometimes that color can be something other than grey, heather grey, black, tweed grey, or khaki.

Cosby Art Sweater: Bill Cosby wore them well, but I think I would get dizzy staring at my own chest in he mirror and never make it out of the bathroom in the morning.

I’ll let you know when I find anything I do like.

16 thoughts on “Manly Stripe”

  1. Anything against arans, fair-isles or Norwegian sweaters? You could do one up in a nice dark red or blue, with white and black accents. Or you could pick an overall texture pattern out of one of the Barbara Walker books. There’s no reason to restrict yourself to boring mud-coloured sweaters unless that’s what you happen to like.

  2. hey! great podcast this week and much improvement! i noticed the better sound quality right away, but also that you seemed more organized.
    i have a young friend named mason (age 7) who knits and wants to know more boys who knit. he is very anxious to feel like he has more company! i interviewed him on my website a couple of weeks ago, and now i will pass on your podcast to him. i think he will love it!
    has anyone mentioned to you that when searching iTunes, and plugging in knitting, your podcast does not come up in that long list? maybe putting the word knit somewhere on the site description or in the search criteria for iTunes would help . . . just a suggestion.
    and finally, rowan and jaeger knits offer a lot of great sweaters for men. it’s true that a lot of the samples are knit in mud colors, but that’s easy for you to change, just use your (obviously active) imagination.
    anyway, you’re doing a wonderful job! thanks!

  3. Hi; I found this fun and witty blog of yours via Grumperina. My guy is clamoring for me to knit him a Cosby-esque sweater, and while I think the idea is a little nuts and would rather knit him a nice gansey or something, it might be fun. I haven’t run across a pattern for this kind of knit yet, though – have you seen one?

  4. Check out Durrow from Magknits, Issue 6 ( The body of this sweater is ribbed, but you could eliminate the ribbing and just do ss, although this sweater is designed to be less snug than other ribbed sweaters. I think the sleeves are awesome, look great on a man, and are really quite unique. Good luck finding the perfect pattern!

  5. I just picked up Inspired Cable Knits by Fiona Ellis and there are a few mens sweaters in there that I really was impressed with. Nice shape, not baggy, cables that give interest but aren’t overly bumpy.

    Check it out. I’m in love with about 4 sweaters in there.

  6. Men have been known to wear more than one color at a time? Hmmm. Probably shouldn’t mention that to my husband. How about something in fair isle?

  7. have you thought about converting some of the more ‘androgynous’ female sweaters out there? usually, with the right yarn substitution and some minor modifications (ditch the waist shaping, add length to the sleeves and get a neutral, sturdy fiber) you can make some pretty great stuff!

    i like to make up my own patterns, but i also like taking cool women’s patterns and adapting them. i’ve pretty much given up on men’s pattern’s in general. hopefully some day that will change, but for now we can fend for ourselves. isn’t it better that way though? we get much more customized pieces and learn more by forcing ourselves to adapt and use our brains during construction.

    (listened to your podcast, thanks for sharing it!)

  8. What about some Alice Starmore patterns? I’m thinking of her Aran Knitting book, which is out of print but can be gotten from many libraries. There are 2 or 3 manly cabley sweaters in it that I REALLY like and will probably make for my BF some day.

  9. Here, here! And while we’re at it, I’d like to underscore the “comfortable” part. As in, “not bloody boiling hot”! Why do knitwear designers think men’s sweaters should be warm enough to survive the next ice age? My partner refuses cables, because he knows they are just a fancy way of doubling the fabric … he likes lace because it’s knitting with ventilation, so he won’t smother. He can’t possibly be the only man who overheats easily, yet I have yet to spy a single sweater for men using openwork.

  10. Hi, just jumped over from Grumperina’s blog. I’ll be checking out the podcast too… I loves me a podcast

    I realize it’s not multi-chromatic, but there’s an absolutely gorgeous saddle-shoulder sweater in the new Interweave Knits. It’s in a heather grey monochrome color, and I realize you were looking for stripe and my answer doesn’t respond to your question, but it does have this really great textured chevron pattern that’s groovy looking.

    Your don’t list was pretty clear, but I’m not getting what it is that you’re actually wanting – I see what you don’t want….. So what’s in the ‘yes’ column? Just wondered. :)

    -The Whimsy

  11. Oh yes! I do wish there was a larger selection of men’s sweater patterns out in the knitting world too. And yes, I think we should leave the Cosby Art Sweaters to the man who wears them best …

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