Knits Men Want: fingerless mitts

tealmittsBruce Weinstein’s Knits Men Want is subtitled “The Ten Rules Every Woman Should Know Before Knitting For A Man.” Most of the rules proceed from a heavily stereotyped place.  Women like knitted stuff fancied up and colorful and men like only simple knitted stuff in shades of brown, gray (and possibly navy blue if they are daring). It’s not true in my world. But once you get beyond the point of view, Weinstein’s patterns are compellingly utilitarian. For me, there’s not anything to not like regardless of the gender of the wearer.

These are his Fingerless Mitts, knitted in Berroco’s worsted weight version of Comfort. It’s an acrylic/nylon 50/50 mix that is enjoyable to work with even though it tends to be splitty. For the wool adverse we knit for, it’s an excellent choice.

My only modifications were to shorten the top ribbing and the thumb ribbing to five rounds.

Before you buy Knits Men Want, you might want to read up some on Weinstein’s idiosyncratic pattern writing. Everything was correct, in both patterns I’ve knitted from this book. He provides directions for just about every weight of yarn, by gauge, and for a variety of sizes. This is a great feature. But, to handle the variant gauge issue, he uses multiple charts, with multiple columns, for every step in the pattern. It’s confusing until you get in the swing of it. It works, after you think about it for awhile. Making a copy of the pattern and highlighting the direction in each step for the size and gauge you are working helps a great deal.

Steve’s hoodie

Steve’s hoodie is really Bruce Weinstein‘s “Hooded Sweatshirt” from his book Knits Men Want: The 10 Rules Every Woman Should Know Before Knitting for a Man. For me, Weinstein’s 10 Rules manage to be insulting to both men and to women. Stereotypes don’t move “the conversation” much forward. But his patterns, including this one, are quite nice.

I was anxious to post, so this is the unsteamed/unblocked version. And I am going to be re-knitting the hood.  It suffers from a few flaws I don’t want Steve to have to deal with. The pattern calls for a very simple hood. In this size, knit 14 inches, divide the stitches, and do a three-needle bind off.  That would create a hood that’s fit for a gnome. Way too cute for a grown man. Speaking about avoiding stereotypes. I’ll try that again, way too cute for Steve’s taste (or mine).

So, I started decreasing stitches on either side of the center two stitches a bit beyond half way up the hood. That helped a lot with the pointiness, though it’s still got a point (just way smaller). But the hood is also very wide at the neck. Lots of room for the chill winds that blow. I don’t know how to fix that, but I believe it would be helped by making a tighter fit. We all have big heads in this household, but 14 inches just seems way too loose. Maybe a tighter fit would tug the hood a bit at the neck so there wouldn’t be a fold of extra fabric that makes it look so monk-like. I’ll likely reknit the top half of the hood.

But first I have to lick my wounds for a bit. I know that, in knitting, not everything turns out as planned.

I’m also smarting from the fact that the sleeves are too long. I suppose it’s too much to wonder if maybe Steve will grow into them. I measured sleeve length from a sweatshirt with a fit Steve likes and added a half inch to the length the pattern called for. The only thing I can figure is that the armpits are lower in this pattern than in the sweatshirt I measured.

All that whining aside, it came out not half bad. Steve looks good in it (as long as he doesn’t try to wear the hood). And in cold weather even an ill-fitting hood is still better than going without.