Why Men Are Easier to Knit For

A few weeks ago, my coworkers and I got into a debate about who is easier to knit for, men or women. Most people came down on the side of women, but I’m firmly in the men camp on this one—in my experience, knitting for men is much easier than knitting for women!

My colleague Sarah wrote a post about why women actually easier to knit for, so I’m here with a rebuttal. Here are my top 5 reasons it’s easier to knit for the men in our lives. (Note: I know I’m generalizing and that there are plenty of men out there who love patterns and color and lovely soft fibers! But in my experience, most men don’t.)

knitting for men

Men really just want simple, practical knits with subtle design elements, like Hank’s Pullover (left) or Mason’s Scarf. Photos by Harper Point Photography

#1: Men Aren’t Picky

We often think of men as being picky about clothes, but I think it’s really just that their tastes tend to be pretty simple. At the end of the day, they just want basic, practical knits. This is great for us as knitters because we can quickly bust out a simple sweater or a basic scarf and then get back to knitting the fun stuff for ourselves!

You can’t go wrong with gray when you’re knitting for guys! Photo by Harper Point Photography

#2: Men Have Basic Color Preferences

One of the most difficult things about knitting for a female friend—or yourself, honestly—is choosing yarn colors; women can be very particular about the colors they will and won’t wear. In contrast, men are easy because they only like 4 colors: black, brown, blue, and green (and “greige”). No agonizing over what color to make that hat for your brother —just pick one of those 4 hues and you’re good to go!

#3: Men Don’t Care about Fiber

Well, that’s not entirely true; I don’t think a man would want anything made out of, say, mohair, and super-scratchy wool can be a problem for fussy fellas. But on the whole, they don’t care as much if their sweater is made with a fancy fiber—they really just want something that will wear well and is easy to care for. So save the yak for yourself and get him something sturdy and inexpensive!

When you’re knitting for men, take a break from the complicated patterns you make for yourself and go with a sweater with subtle design elements or texture, like the Nelson Pullover (left) and the Timbers Sweater. Photos by Harper Point Photography

#4: Men Don’t Want Fancy Patterns

Sometimes when we knit for women, we choose lovely but complex patterns that take forever to knit. When you knit for the guys in your life, you can take a little break from the challenging knitting and breeze through a basic pattern that has a few fun but subtle design elements. If your guy is more adventurous you could go for a textured pattern, but most men are never going to wear complicated colorwork or lace.

#5: Men Aren’t Fussy about Fit

Generally speaking, men aren’t nearly as concerned with fit in their garments as women. They’re not trying to flatter a tummy or highlight a bust or create a flattering neckline—they just want something that’s the right length in the body and sleeves (and they don’t have our curves to contend with). As a result, there’s a lot less shaping involved with menswear, which means you’re more likely to get the fit right (and you’ll have an easier time with the knitting).

So where do you stand in this debate: are men easier to knit for than women?

Happy menswear knitting!

P.S. Want to make a guy in your life a sweater, but not 100% sure what he’ll like? Send him this survey!

Is knitting for men really easier?


  1. Silvia S at 11:07 am September 19, 2018

    For all of the reasons you stated, men are easier to knit for, but also boring af. Frankly, knitting a greige sweater in acrylic still requires much time and effort, so I’d rather knit something fun in colors I love, and with yarn that actually feels pleasant to the touch.

    Also, not wanting to generalize, but most of the men I know don’t really _want_ handmade stuff. Sure, they know we knit for them out of love, and they will appreciate and even cherish the feeling – but when it comes to actually wearing our gifts, they suffer through it knowing full well that their coworkers will mock the hell out of them for it, and also they’ll be nervous that they might hurt you by losing/ruining/soiling the handknit you took forever to knit them. In the end, I think my male buddies are happier – and secretly grateful – when I just buy them a really nice commercial sweater.

  2. Jeanette B at 12:33 pm September 27, 2018

    I agree that he’s “ok” with a handmade sweater or scarf, but what he really likes are handmade wool socks. A variety of colors and patterns keep him smiling and asking for more!

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