Friday, August 1, 2014

Thoughts on Knitting for Boys

Since I began designing last year, I've worked a lot with my own son in mind. There are a lot of patterns available for women and girls. While there are patterns for boys and men available, these are far fewer and often they aren't as modern or wearable as women's patterns are.



So it probably is no surprise that I am working on a collection of sweaters for men and boys. I know what I like, and what my husband prefers (D has no opinion, yet). But I'd love to hear what all you other knitters out there prefer. Whether you knit for men, or boys, or are a male knitter yourself please share with me what kinds of patterns you look for, what kind of yarn weights, details, etc.

In thanks for sharing your opinion I will give away three individual patterns from my collection of  self-published designs (check them out on Ravelry) to three commenters next week (probably Friday the 8th). Be sure to leave your Ravelry name with your comment so I can gift the patterns to you later! Thanks for sharing your thoughts what you love! 

27 comments:

  1. First I look for seamless patterns. I really really hate seaming. If I can make it seamless like your Oacific Grove vest that's totally fine. Otherwise I'll avoid seamed patterns.
    Then I look for the construction. There are tons of boring plain raglan sweaters for boys an most times I can't think of spending $6-8 for a plain raglan pattern that I'd have to change a bit anyway. Also I prefer top down sweaters to bottom up ones.
    What I love are little details like elbow patches, garter stitch accents, I love stripes. And what's really cool is when the pattern is unisex enough to be also suitable for girls, as I plan to have a second baby and it would be cool to use the sweaters from my boy for the next baby. I'm not particularly keen on ruffles and lots of lace and bling for girls, so a nice cable or some garter details are cool.

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  2. Like Mia, I also prefer seamless patterns and top down, that way I can try it on my boys as I go. Generally I prefer a 4ply or a DK weight because that's easy to find in the UK and we tend to find thicker weight sweaters or cardi's are just too hot. Personally I don't like them to look too fussy but I do like cables and/or texture. I also look for a pattern to be just as good for a 10 year old as a 2yr old. That way I can make it for both of my boys (5 and 10) and also for any friend's children or babies. Unisex is also a good option but not high on my list of priorities. How a sweater is styled in the photographs is a big seller for me, if it looks big or shapeless then I won't buy it, if it looks really good on a child then I probably will :-). ZaraD on Rav.

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  3. I love you patterns and the feeling and images that they provoke. Each name seems fitting to their style.

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  4. It's gotta be pretty plain if it's for my hubby or teen son.

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  5. Mona (montraix on Rav)August 1, 2014 at 1:43 PM

    I cringe even as I type this as I have to knit size 7-8 for him now, but in the interest of knitting something my son will actually wear, it has to be lightweight, meaning fingering weight (yikes!). Anything heavier, he will take off within 1/2-hr. The other thing I look for when knitting for my son is I prefer a design that is truly boy-ish. A lot of sweaters I knit for my son is something my daughter can absolutely wear too. I usually don't mind as I can extend the life of the garments longer, but every now and then, I really want something that is truly "just for him", if that makes any sense at all... :)

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  6. My hubby likes very plain designs, yet is very picky. I think my biggest problem with a lot of designs are that they're shapeless. I like classic shapes but not oversized and not with heavy yarns, because the hubby would rather something lighter. Thanks for asking us!

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  7. I think what turns me off from some boy patterns is the neckline. A perfectly nice boy pattern can be ruined for me if it has a wide ballet or boat neckline. I get that a wide neckline makes it easier to get over big heads, however it makes the pattern look either too feminine or too sloppy for me, so I pass. I have one son who loves hoodies, however so many hoods have a pointy top, which has turned me off from them. In general, I like a simple design, however there has to be some element of interest to make me want to purchase it (a nice cable, nice looking hood, etc). Lastly, I like the gauge to be knit on US 8 needles or smaller (preferably smaller). Also another vote for seamless.
    I am Steph79 on Ravelry. :)

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  8. I think a lot of guernsey and fisherman sweater patterns could do with new transcribing.

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  9. I look for easy (no sewing) and quick but with some style. And most of all, it has to be comfortable or it won't get worn.
    wahoomerryf on Ravelry

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  10. I love simple, classic styles for boys with texture, cables, or colorwork. Like some others who've commented, I favor top-down, seamless pieces. I prefer a crew-neck (with buttons to fit over my toddler's head).

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  11. I'll echo above comments and say patterns without seams. Men's sweaters go quicker too as you don't have to track waist shaping.

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  12. Top down, seamless, dk weight or lighter, garter stitch accents, cables, stripes, boyish texture accents...v-necks are nice.

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  13. My husband likes plain things as well. I like seem less but will knit whatever they like. They seem to like Helens, collared patterns, color block--not just plain round neck sweater. Cables are nice to spruce it up.
    Ravelry ID brhuth

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  14. I prefer a top down, seamless pattern. I will consider bottom up as long as it is seamless. I prefer dk or worsted weight yarn. I also like patterns that have a wider range of sizes so I can make NB gifts or use it for my boys (3 and 5). I prefer a classic design with an interesting design element, like cables. The ultimate test is showing the pics to my boys and asking if they will wear it.

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  15. I love textured sweaters for my little man. I prefer seamless patterns, with a preference for top down but I will do bottom up also. I like to work with dk or worsted weight yarn. I like round necklines with buttons to help the sweater fit easily over my little man's head.
    I'm Kimpiewimpie on Ravelry :)

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  16. I like DK weight with a little cable detail, but not too much. For mens sizings I like seams to stabilize it cos my man is XL sizing; for kids no seams is good. My boys both like vests; zip front vests are great; oh and don't stop the sizing at 10; boys come in bigger sizes too.

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    1. Oops, forgot my Rav name - sewsable

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  17. I am so glad I saw your post on ravelry. ALL of your children's patterns are adorable! ~~~lemonmoon

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  18. I like classic and/or modern elements. Info on intended fit and a good schematic. The size I need. I'm WordLily on Rav.

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  19. 1) an adorable model always catches my interest. 2) I like simpler knits with some interesting detail (for example, the blackrock vest). 3) a range of sizes is appealing because if I successfully knit a 24 month old project, I want to knit it again at age 3, 4, etc.

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  20. I like most others prefer seamless for my boys, and some sort of interest (cables or stripes). Definitely in a lighter weight yarn and I would prefer something male in style, rather than unisex. My husband doesn't wear knits so I don't worry about him! (I am lucybowen on Ravelry)

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  21. Ok seriously this is the last time I try.... I don't know where my comments are going.
    Outdoorsy sweaters and that pretty plain, no shawl collars over hear unfortunately.

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  22. I like to see FUN designs. Granted, I'm speaking out of interest in knitting for a toddler rather than for a grown man (I'm not patient enough to knit for my 48* chest husband, no thanks!) but when a design catches my eye it is NOT a plain, seamless top down raglan. I can do that without a pattern! There was a kids' sweater designed to look like a robot- that's the kind of stuff I'm talking about. Things where you definitely need that designers notes in order to make it happen. Designs where my child can sit on my lap while I browse Ravelry, see the sweater and point at it and know that he wants that! He wants it because it is awesome, and it is SO COOL and he can't get it in a store: only mommy can make it.
    I have been trying to work on a shark sweater for my son. That's the kind of fun I'm talking about. Like, not a sweater that has a shark motif, but a sweater that is the coloration of a shark with a hood that has shark teeth, so that when he wears it, hes a shark. I really enjoy reading everyone's comments on here and I'm really glad to hear there are so many people voicing the fact that, well, there just aren't enough boy sweater patterns!

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  23. I am not male, however I knit for one and have been planning a reluctant sweater. Requests are as follows: seamless, detailed/tailored, deep muted colors, soft yet durable and windproof. Iknorite?
    Top down would be ideal for trying as you go. I'm all for classic cabled and plain sweaters in bright colors for toddlers. Teach them to love color young.

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  24. My husband and son (only 3, but already has a very decided opinion) prefer simple henley or crewneck pullover styles with a small amount of texture. No cables, unfortunately for me since I enjoy knitting them. Something in a full range of sizes could be nice too for a little father/son knitting. I usually look for Worsted or DK weight as we have cold winters, maybe down to sport. Something with a full zipper (for my son, not my husband) may get more spring/fall use. I think that it's wonderful that you are designing for the guys and asking opinions, there just aren't enough options out there for the men in our lives and so many for girls/women. Looking forward to your designs. My son still enjoys his handknits, so I need to take advantage while I can. :)

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  25. I think the appeal of girl's sweaters is the details (usually lace) so that means a boy's sweater should have some sort of detail as well. Also, the boys do seem to hear up quickly so light weight but they can also be rough on their clothing making fingering less practical. Yes,I see the challenge but I'm sure you're up for it as you have many wonderful designs! Johnston4kids on ravelry

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  26. First of all top down and seamless so much easier to try on the fit as you go even on a wriggly 2 year old. I think nice construction details help to make the garment rather than shapeless boxy sweaters. Necklines my DH prefer's the 'fleece' style openings; collar with a part zip or something simple, personally I like shawl collars. Also because you can't go fancy with boys I think a nice yarn that will give good stitch definition to texture patterns. Lastly it's great your planning to design for men and especially boys stuff as good designs are thin on the ground!
    Ravelry ID: littleberry

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I'd love to hear from you!