Men and Crochet

By Veronica Smith – 32 Comments

Men and any craft actually, pose a bit of a problem and I truly hate that. Firstly, there is the difficulty in finding suitable patterns for men. Then there are the ‘are they too girly’ patterns. Will he wear a crochet item? Does he feel isolated if he does crochet?

Let’s address these problems. Obviously this is only my point of view and people are more than welcome to disagree with me.

a) Difficulty in finding suitable patterns – have you tried finding nice patterns for men? When I first started to look for patterns for hubby I was looking mostly in pattern books and websites that are produced by the yarn manufacturers. If a pattern existed it was usually horrible. Don’t get me wrong there are quite a few nice beanie and scarf patterns. But try and find a sweater for a young guy. Then I discovered two male designers, I am sure there are more out there, I am still looking. Drew Emborsky and Peter Franzi, both are very talented designers who make a range of patterns for men. Excellent quality and styles. However beyond this our hands are tied. I live on the east coast of Australia so more than one jumper (a.k.a sweater) is not really a requirement because it’s way too hot, unless of course your man can’t be seen in the same outfit twice, but I know there are many places where a jumper is a must for a large percentage of the year so more than one design would be great.

b) ‘Are the patterns too girly’ – There are things I would never subject any man to. Just my opinion, please nobody take any offense, we are all individuals here. A crochet tie is out of the question, there are wallets and phone holders although some really are not suitable for a man, choose carefully. I showed my father-in-law a picture of golf club covers and he said he would write me out of the will, so that was a no from him. I suppose all this is subjective to age and culture.

c) Will he wear a crocheted item? – I have actually met men that will wear a homemade knitted jumper but not a crochet one because crochet is perceived by them as girly, even though the pattern is not feminine. So that is a state of mind that needs to be altered. Hopefully, we can work on that though.

d) Are men isolated if they crochet? – This is a tricky one, the two male designers I mentioned before are big designers and have no issues. My father, who would be 88 if he were still with me, knitted and did needlework to perfection. During the war whilst in hospitals they knitted socks for the troops, he was the only one who could ‘turn the heel’ and do the toe, so the others would do what they could and he did ‘heel and toe’. Didn’t bother him in the slightest. However when he was home and was doing any handcraft he shoved it down the cushions of the sofa when visitors came! I think we should encourage men to crochet and not hide the fact! It is 2011 after all.

What do you think about men and crochet?

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32 Comments

  1. Panya says:

    I taught my husband to crochet. He prefers weaving to crocheting, but he does like it, and is not ashamed at all. I’m making him a kufi right now, and he would definitely wear a crocheted sweater [I haven't crocheted clothes myself]. I wouldn’t worry about a pattern being “too girly” for him, as we’re against gender notions like that, but his personal style is very plain, so I would wonder if the pattern were too ornate for his taste.

    My step-great-grandfather [got that? lol] embroidered. My gramma said he learned while in the service. I have a distinct memory from early childhood of him embroidering flowers onto one of those twist-and-fold sun hats.

  2. Judith says:

    I think it is great that men crochet and I follow the blog of a male published crocheter. It is the same as male sewers. It is great to see them about and getting more visibly involved. Afterall it used to be the men who did all of this type of stuff a few centuries ago

  3. James says:

    I was taught at age 7 by my loving mom to crochet. I love it, it gives me a way to express myself, relive my stress and make something truly amazing for others to enjoy.

    Since my wife was diagnosed with cancer, it has been my quest to make and donate chemo hats to the local cancer care center she is going to so others may have nice things to wear during their battle.

    I make Baby Blankets, Chemo Hats, Slippers, Purses, Hats for winter and summer for adults and children and am making squares for blankets to donate.

    If I had more yarn I would try to crochet at least one chemo hat a day to donate.

    Crochet has helped me to endure the troubles that my wife’s cancer has put on us, both emotionally and financially.

    I also knit, sew and do other crafts, but crochet is like a second nature to me.

    I have joined an FB crochet group that is truly wonderful, check them out at

    http://www.facebook.com/groups/add1947ibba/

  4. Chase says:

    So true. There aren’t many “guy” patterns, and usually its some plain sweater, a “beer cozy”, or the standard hat and scarf. And to be a guy and crochet in public takes, um, balls cuz the looks and whispers people make, it’s like being the fat kid in school again. It’s 2011…. women can weld, men can crochet!

  5. Shelby says:

    I have a problem with finding good patterns for men. I make a gift for each of my 14 close family members, and nine of them are men/boys. I have lots of trouble every year trying to find something I can make for them. If anyone has any suggestions, I’m open!

  6. Sarah Dee says:

    No offense, I find it weird when a man crochets/knits/embroiders/sews, etc.

    • Kay says:

      To Sarah Dee: what planet are you from? Do you also find it “weird” when a woman can fix cars?I can only assume you’re a backwoods homophobe, since any real man would not have an issue with it. Women who can weld are usually proud of it. Men who can knit/crochet should be proud too.
      As for some of the original points, I agree that there aren’t many good patterns available for crochet. Men generally don’t like to wear the typical openwork/knotty crochet look, unless it’s slippers or something like that. Tunisian stitch seems to be a good option because it looks clean and streamlined. Honestly, I think knitting is much better for men’s clothing, but that’s just me.
      And NO – I don’t think men will be isolated if they crochet. Only insecure or very closed-minded men (or boys I should say) have issues with this sort of thing because they aren’t comfortable with their sexuality and worry that people might think they’re gay or something. I think it’s attractive to see guys craft because it shows that they’re comfortable with themselves.

  7. Veronica Smith says:

    James, My thoughts are with you and your wife during this stressful time. Are you able to put a notice up at a local shopping center, at the hospital or maybe a church asking for donations of yarn for your chemo caps, baby blankets etc. The hospital might be happy to have a notice in the oncology wards or premi-unit. There are people out there who would be happy to help out in some way. All the best.

    Sara Dee – I find it absolutely FANTASTIC when i see a man doing any hand-craft or dance or ANY art form. Remember that wood-working and black-smithing are art and ‘manly’. There is a T-Shirt out there that says “Real Men Crochet”

  8. James says:

    Sarah Dee says:
    August 16, 2011 at 5:14 PM
    No offense, I find it weird when a man crochets/knits/embroiders/sews, etc.

    No offense taken, I know a lot of guys that find it weird for women to vote, wear pants, do plumbing, electrical, drywall, painting, carpentry, drive buses, drive taxis, drive 18 wheelers, operate heavy construction machinery, drive tractors, become doctors, become dentist, actually do anything other than house work and child bearing. To me they are entitled to their opinion, but I believe all humans are equal in any thing that is humanly possible to do. I never get offended by the thoughts of others, just by their actions. :)

    If a women can do the job and is best qualified for it, she deserves the position, if a man can do the job and is best qualified for it, he should train a woman to be his successor. (Anonymous 1959)

  9. Roo says:

    My brother is extremely talented at crochet. One Christmas, he crocheted beautiful afghans for me and my sister. He even crocheted a bedspread and shams for my niece. I will always treasure the afghan because he took the time to make it for me. I hope I can meet his skill level one day!

  10. Jeremy says:

    I am a man who crochets, and I truly enjoy it. It’s very relaxing flow work, and definitely beats vegetating in front of the television in the evening. I haven’t looked for sweater patterns, but I haven’t had a problem with afghans, hats, or scarves.

  11. Karin says:

    My Dad learned to knit when he was younger…he doesn’t do it anymore, but that’s just the way things were done way back in the 50’s. I don’t see why it has to be any different now.

    As for gifts I’ve crocheted for men, I’ve made the standards, toques and scarves. I’ve been working on a sweater vest for my husband for awhile now, but it’s kind of boring, so I usually cast it aside for things that are more fun. I also made, for a friend who’s into classic cars, a crocheted truck. Even though he’s in his 60’s, he loved it! My brother in law, who’s a self proclaimed rig pig, loves the pig with sunglasses and an earring that I made him. He gave it a place of honour on his dashboard.

    I don’t see why we should be limited by so-called “manly items” or “manly arts” for that matter. Everyone should do whatever sort of craft they enjoy!

    James: Good for you to be crocheting chemo caps for the cancer ward! My step-mother had breast cancer, and she was very thankful for items like that (I would have made her one, but I didn’t learn to crochet until a year ago, when she was already four years cancer-free). I made one for my husband’s aunt, who was just diagnosed, and my mother in law seems to think I should make oodles of them to sell online. In my opinion, wanting to sell chemo caps seems tacky to me, and if I could afford to, I’d make a boatload of them to donate!

  12. Jane says:

    I taught my son how to crochet granny squares. He caught on pretty quickly! He also made a series of needlepoint pictures of video game characters–Mario and the like–using a large grid. The pixels made this easy! And the topic (video games) made this yarn craft more appealing to a teen.

    I think it’s great to see men knit and crochet, so yay for you James and Chase.

  13. Lisa says:

    Frankly I wish more men would take up crotchet, knitting, or needlework. It is a constructive, relaxing outlet; instead of some of the other activities one can get into that are more harmful that helpful. God bless you James for the work that you are doing for others. I understand some of what you are going through for I fear my husband and I are about to embark for the second time cancer treatments for me. Right now I am crocheting, knitting, and quilting, gotta keep busy or the mind wanders into places you just don’t want it to go. Just wish I could get my husband to do some.

  14. Judy says:

    Shelby: Here is a free pattern site that has several patterns for men: http://www.crochetpatterncentral.com/directory/men.php.
    They have the usual scarves and hats, but they also have vests, sweaters, and a tweed jacket!
    Some of the patterns I make are from one of the several free crochet pattern sites I’ve found. I also have quite an extensive crochet library.
    As far as men doing crochet, my niece asked me to teach her so she could teach her fiance. It seems he’s wanted to learn for years, but being left-handed it was hard to find someone to teach him.
    And I’m all for anyone doing what they want to do; my granddaughter is going to college for automotive engineering.

  15. Mandy says:

    I’m teaching my 6yo son to crochet. He’s a bit too young to really get it so far, but he loves doing what Mommy does. I make things for him all the time – hats, jackets, bags, etc. It’s easier when they’re young, they’re less picky about “manliness” in their gifts. For my husband, I’ve made a couple of cell phone cases and a bag for his D&D dice. I’m also making him an afghan in his family’s tartan for Christmas.

    When I moved in with my old roommate, I found a bag in his basement with an unfinished afghan and the yarn needed to finish it. Turns out his stepdad had crocheted it. I finished the last couple of rows. It was a gorgeous afghan. I think it’s awesome when men knit or crochet. It’s a lost art!

  16. Judi G says:

    I love a confident person, man or woman. I say to any man who knits or crochets…..be proud of your talent!!! If someone else has a problem with it, let it be their problem and not yours. I applaud you!

  17. Sherry says:

    Its funny, just today while I was waiting for my son to finish with his physical therapy and 12 year old male patient came up to me asking all sorts of questions about crocheting, how long it took (I was working on a hat for the homeless), how easy it was, etc. I got the impression that he wanted to learn but he and his mother were on their way out. I may very well keep one of my many crochet hooks and a skein or two in the car just in case I see him. Perhaps I can show him the chain and single crochet so he can start with a scarf or dishcloth for him mom.

    I taught my middle son how to crochet but unfortunately it didn’t last. I don’t think it was because of lack of interest, he just has had too many things going on in his life. He was really good at it. He did do a few plastic canvas pictures though for myself and his brother.

    I love it when I see a man crocheting. I also think a man showing his softer side make him much more masculine then a man who thinks he has to show a tough side all the time.

    I have until recently stuck to afghans so I don’t have much experience with making sweaters, hats etc. However, it has been put on my heart to make hats, scarves, mittens and slippers for the homeless and I must say that so far my pieces have been turning out quite well. I would love to learn how to make socks though, does anyone know of an easy pattern?

    James, I think its wonderful what you are doing, make the chemo hats etc. I also think that Karin is right. If you belong to a church or even someplace like “Wal-Mart” may donate the yarn to you or a “cash” amount to finance you items. About ten years ago I had a “Blanket Ministry” through my church and I was given a check every so often to provide the yarn to my group. Unfortunately I had to stop because I got sick. Anyway good luck to you and your family.

  18. Richard Rose says:

    I’m a man and I crochet, anywhere and anytime I feel the inclination. Whenever anybody comments I tell them that it was men that invented knitting and crochet and I’m just claiming it back.

    I agree that there seems to be a lack of patterns for men, although I’ve managed to find a few. I made a sweater for myself a few years back and even won 2nd place at the Royal Canberra Show. I also won 2nd place for a tunisian crochet afghan and 3rd for a filet crochet centre piece.

  19. Steve says:

    I don’t care whether anyone thinks it’s strange that I crochet — Seriously, life is too short to worry about it!

    But I absolutely hate the fact that patterns for men are so scarce. I have written to all of the magazines that I subscribe to begging them to look into including a pattern for men in every issue — and not just the standard stocking cap & scarf! If other people were to write to these magazines as well, maybe we can get something to change. In the meantime, I’ve looked at ways that I might alter patterns to make them less “girly.” But I fear that I want to crochet far more than I ever actually do!

    Just FYI: my grandmother used to crochet, and we all loved the footie-slippers she used to make us, and I thought it was a shame that the next generation wouldn’t get to enjoy these; plus I have hopes that crochet will help keep the arthritis at bay in my hands and fingers. Of course, I have to start crocheting regularly to do that!

  20. Veronica Smith says:

    5 excellent men’s sweaters – and scarves etc can be found at – http://hooker-bear.com/

    I must admit that the site is difficult to navigate so here are some pointers that may help you.
    Firstly – I have purchased heaps of Peters patterns and they are extremely well written and he answers any queries rapidly. There appears to be a sale on now, the details will show up when the introduction page loads. I have NO affiliation with him – just an excellent source of patterns.

    Get past the introduction
    Click on “Sweaters and Outwear”
    There is a main picture of a ladies top – in the bottom right corner there is a flashing ‘cross’ type thing – click on that it will take you to a big picture in a new window.
    At the base of the new window there is arrows – use them
    For men there is items 4, 6, 8, 9 and 10

  21. Edwin says:

    I have crochet since sixth grade and that forty years ago. I love it and my only problems is that their is not enough men patterns out there. I look at crochet magazine and get mad because not one pattern for men. I glad I brought the Crochet Dude book for men and even thought I have not got to any of his pattern yet. I glad that he gave me options. I just entered the county fair where I live and made a crochet baby granny square blanket with Noro Silk Garden yarn. It took second place and its my first time entry. My goal is to combine crochet and knit a garment together. I alread found a pattern using both skills. I will never give this hobby up, because I just love it.

  22. Nancy says:

    James, Richard, and Steve Thank you so much for commenting on this subject. I admire you for speaking up. I appreciate anyone skills, no matter the craft or the gender. Drew Emborsky is a very talented crocheter and knitter. He is a featured guest on a daily Detriot program. I second the idea that Drew has a lot to offer – check out his patterns. I love the suggestion that seek donation of yarn – an excellent idea Many would like to help but lack the ability. I make 30 chemo hats and couldn’t donate them to St. Judes (the intended recipient) or any of the local hospitals. Finally, someone from church told me she had an outlet. I prayed over each recipient as I crochet the hats.

  23. Bethintx1 says:

    I think Men who crochet are sexy! ;)

  24. Janie says:

    I absolutely agree with Bethintx! I also think it is sexy when men crochet, or do any sort of crafting, really.

    I think part of the problem of the scarcity in male-oriented patterns may lie in the fact that a large portion of the male population doesn’t crochet, and some men like to criticize men that do crochet because it isn’t “tough” or what have you. I have seen more and more men become comfortable with crocheting, so I think the more men publicly embrace it, the greater the resources will be for them. Keep on hookin’, guys! : )

  25. Janie says:

    Also, I forgot to add- I actually learned many crochet techniques from Mikey Sellick. He has online videos that are among the MOST helpful I have ever seen! I wouldn’t be at the skill level I am today were it not for him.

  26. Michael says:

    I’m a man and I crochet. In fact, I am crocheting and playing on the internet at the same time and just had to rip out an entire round because I wasn’t paying attention and counted wrong.

    I was taught several years ago by a coworker. I wanted a gift for a relative that wouldn’t get thrown or given away (not uncommon for this relative), and I realized if I made something, the relative would appreciate the time and effort and hang onto it. So for my first crochet project, I made a really ambitious blanket. Since then, most of my projects have had a somewhat better effort-to-satisfaction ratio, but I’m just about done doing a baby blanket that looks very un-baby-blanket-like. (Black and bright colors – no pastels for me!)

    I think if a guy doesn’t want to learn how to crochet because it doesn’t appeal, that’s one thing. But I bet there are plenty who wouldn’t mind learning and are afraid of the impression it would give people…and that’s a little ridiculous.

  27. suzanna says:

    my husband just learned to crochet about 3 months ago and he is getting pretty good at it. he even takes it out in public. some people laugh when they see him crocheting but most people just think it is awesome that he knows how

  28. Edwin says:

    Suzanna,
    Good for your husband!! I hope he continue to crochet in public. I have done it at work and in public. I just let the people laught and said to myself “They’re jealous”.

  29. Kay says:

    I think men should be encouraged to knit/crochet, and women should be encouraged to do jobs that were once considered man’s jobs (carpentry, etc). If you’re good at it and enjoy it, why not? The only men who scoff knitting/crocheting are insecure, backwoods homophobes who wouldn’t dare try it for fear of others thinking they’re gay – how ridiculous is that? And women who scoff men who enjoy crafting are just idiots, plain and simple.

  30. Kay says:

    Unfortunately, the likely reason there are so few good men’s patterns available is because there are too few men who crochet to give their feedback. I’m sure many a guy has received a nicely crocheted gift but didn’t have the heart to say they didn’t like it. I think the general look of crochet (lots of holes and large knots) isn’t what guys are looking for, unless it’s for slippers or beanies. But there are stitches that are more neat/close together (like Tunisian stitching) and could be implemented more often – with the help of male feedback of course.
    Something I find terribly irritating is that the most of the patterns that actually are available for men are either unflattering or outright stupid. I see a lot of beer cozies and other useless junk like that, and with titles like “the man hat” you really have to wonder what these people think of men. They aren’t ogres that like looking like slobs. Most guys I know like to wear nice clothes and find it offensive when males in general are just seen as beer-drinking pigs.
    Honestly though, I find knitting more versatile in general and there are tons of great patterns for both men and women. Just a preference. I enjoy both crafts but knitting is tops :)

  31. Veronica Smith says:

    Kay,
    Thanks for the feedback on my blurb – you are Soooo right. We have 2 daughters now 15 and 22 and they have never been really frilly and girly. They do a myriad of handcrafts however they both took what we call ‘woodwork and metalwork’ (Shop?) in the early stages of highschool and both were the only girls in the class – sad state of affairs. There were however a few boys in home economics (cooking, sewing) The girls loved them there!
    We are semi rural here and both my kids know how to weld, basic carpentry and cut rust out of an old vehicle – and they love it.
    You are spot on when you say there should be no hang up on ‘boy’ or ‘girl’ activities!

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