Survey Results: The Sweater Men Want

Could this be the ultimate guy sweater?

I just never know what I am going to get when I post a survey here on Knitting Daily. It's always a little scary—will anyone answer? Will people think the questions are dumb? Will I end up having to make up the results because I only got six responses, and five of those were from folks wanting to sell me things I can't talk about on a family website?

Fortunately, you folks are extremely generous with both your time and your thoughtful replies. In particular, I'm tickled to death that a whopping 52% of the folks who filled out the survey (What do men want in a handknit sweater?) were non-knitting men.

Non-Knitting Gentlemen: I thank you. What stars you are to take time away from whatever else you were doing to follow your spouse, your daughter, your sister, the total stranger in the next cubicle, over to the computer to answer my little survey. Your contribution to the greater good of knitting is deeply appreciated.

OK, heeerrre we go!

What Men Want In A Sweater

The Perfect Men's Sweater is a long-sleeved pullover (80%), without a hood (64%). It is dark in color (90%), preferably solid blue (82%). It has minimal texture (68%), although something subtle, such as a bit of ribbing, is acceptable (58%).

Cables were a popular second option (46%). Second choice color was black (76%), followed by brown (72%). Charcoal grey was a big write-in winner (how I managed to leave that one off my color list is beyond me). Heathers and tweeds had very respectable followings, as did forest green. Camoflauge and sports team colors were also mentioned a number of times, as were (curiously) puce, lime green, and pastel pink.

Perfect on all counts: The Cobblestone

(Puce? C'mon, guys. What's up with the puce thing?)

One gentleman badly wanted a flourescent green or yellow sweater, but was concerned about the possibility of divorce if he pushed too hard in his request. Several other men also mentioned that their wives were very, um… influential… in their color choices. (Perhaps marriage license applications need to include color preferences as part of the questionnaire?)

Other interesting bits:

• Yellow, orange, and bright colors each got a 10% vote share.
• Pastels were favored by less than 6%.
• 39% said they would like "a little bit of bright color".
• 45% liked beige/cream/white; 34% liked red; 15% purple.
• Cardigans were favored by 30%; pullover vests, 14%; zippered or button-up vests, 8%.
• 8% did not like to wear any kind of sweater or vest at all.

As mentioned above, 52% of those who answered were non-knitting males. 11% were male knitters; 38% were women answering on behalf of someone male. 28% were age 30 to 39; more than 130 were under the age of 20, and there were two lovely people who checked the 90+ box.

Once again: Thank you to all the folks who responded to the survey, particularly those who are not fiberfolk and thus weren't really sure what the heck was going on. Personally, I would MUCH rather give someone exactly what they REALLY want, rather than spend hours knitting someone a purple cardigan only to later find out that their heart's desire was in fact a flourescent green pullover.

Manly Pullover Patterns

Now that we've heard from the men about their sweater preferences, I thought I'd go through the patterns on Knitting Daily and find the ones that met their masculine criteria:

For sale in the KD Pattern Store

Tan textured pullover shown above: Cobblestone Pullover, by Jared Flood
Subtle texture: Anniversary Pullover by Kathy Zimmerman
Fisherman-style pullover: Old Way Gansey by Ann Budd
A bit of color and texture: Tree Bark Pullover by Fiona Ellis


What's on Sandi's needles? I cannot tell a lie. I made a big boo-boo in the Gathered Pullover, and shall be calling Cap'n Frog in for help. And I'm working on a new Secret Project for Knitting Daily!

Sandi Wiseheart is the founding editor of Knitting Daily. You can find her blogging here on Knitting Daily every Thursday. Want more? Visit Sandi's personal blog, wiseheart knits. Or, if you're on Twitter, follow her tweets: alpacasandi.


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