There are only two rules: under 300 yards of yarn (or up to twice that for stranded colorwork, because after all you’re only knitting half the yardage); and available instantly online so you can cast on immediately. The yardage limit means a project can’t take too long, and increases the odds of your finding appropriate yarn in your stash. Some patterns are free; others cost a few dollars.
Today, a baker’s dozen of knits for men. Patterns conservative enough for guys, but interesting enough to make the knitting pleasurable.
For the head
- A Weekend in the Country by Mimi Hill – I love the tweedy rustic look of this stranded colorwork hat. The accent color vertical stripes are worked with separate lengths of yarn. 220-275 yards worsted weight.
- Flintshire – bold yet intricate cable patterning, 180 yards Aran weight yarn. From prolific designer Ashley Knowlton.
- Den Arend hat by Mary Joy Gumayagay. Knitted from the crown down in stockinette stitch with an interesting curvy cable panel and a garter-stitch brim. This hat looks like it belongs on the slopes at Gstaad. 145-150 yards DK weight yarn.
- Clara Parkes’ Hill Country Hat from The Knitter’s Book of Wool. This one is also knit from the crown down, in a knit-purl texture pattern with ribbed brim. Uses just 120 yards of chunky-weight yarn (free pattern).
For the neck
- Burberrish Cowl (free) by Marion Crick. Knitted flat so the cables run around the neck, ends joined with a three-needle bindoff – easily made narrower or wider. 240-280 yards Aran weight yarn.
- Purl Ridge Scarf from Westknits (free). Really a cowl knitted in the round in stockinette with purl ridges and garter-stitch edges – perfect for showing off a multicolored yarn. 56” circumference is long enough to wrap twice around the neck. 300 yards worsted weight.
- Thermis – shown on a woman, but this fairly close-fitting neckwarmer would be great for men too. Waffly texture stitch with ribbed edges; worked in the round to the halfway point, then flat with a two-button opening. 210 yards worsted weight.
- This Way Up (free) is a 60” scarf with textured chevron stripes. 250 yards of bulky-weight yarn, or work it in DK weight doubled.
For the hands
- Douglas Mittens – stylized fir trees in stranded colorwork. 250 yards worsted weight yarn. The optional laceweight alpaca lining will take you over the 300-yard mark, but it sure would make these cozy.
- Ringwood Gloves by Rebecca Blair from the current issue of Knitty (free). Textured broken-rib stitch for the hands, seed-stitch buttoned cuffs. Check the Ravelry page for comments – these apparently are very stretchy and a smaller size than you think may be big enough. 225-300 yards worsted weight yarn.
- Night River Mittens by Ashley Knowlton combine simple cables with stranded colorwork. 218 – just over 300 yards Aran weight (written for Lite Lopi).
- Cruiser Mittens by Cailyn Meyer (free). Simple bold chevron cables, ribbed cuff. 130-170 yards worsted weight (three sizes).
For the feet
Socks for men are pretty much out for procrastinating knitters – 300 yards isn’t enough. But these Aran bed socks would come in under 300, even sized up for big feet. How about a 50/50 wool/alpaca yarn? Perfect for curling up on the couch. Pattern calls for 220 yards worsted-weight yarn for women’s large; or could be knitted in Aran weight at slightly larger gauge to increase the circumference a bit for a man’s feet.
The series – quick gifts 2010
1. Pretty knits
Come back over the coming week for a couple more lists featuring youthful, simple, and useful patterns plus a few surprises.