Tag Archives: free pattern

Knitting for Dudes (or, the ticking timebomb)

Knitters are a giving bunch. After all, a gal can only wear so many of her own creations. It’s only a matter of time before the men in a knitter’s life start to look suspiciously in need of a handmade sweater.

So, after weeks of hard work, you hand your man a masterpiece. You picture delight, gratitude, and awe for your knitting prowess. “Aw, shucks,” he’ll say, as his friends ooh and ahh over his new oversized alpaca hoodie. After weeks of tireless knitting, how could you expect any less?

Here’s the thing; non-knitters will never appreciate the amount of love and anguish in every stitch. More importantly, few things are worse for the knitter than shelling out big bucks and lots of time on a project for a guy that rejects them.

So, here are my suggestions for gift-knitting for men without the heartbreak.

The Guy Friend: Scarves are the perfect gift for friendly guys of all non-romantic varieties, from your next door neighbor to the barista slinging lattes for your weekly Stitch and Bitch. While they’re super easy, scarves tend to take FOREVER, and are best saved for someone who’s going to be around awhile.

The Hey-I-Might-Like-You Guy: You’re fresh in the throes of love. He’s everything you dreamed, he treats you like a queen… but you’ve only been dating three weeks. Do yourself a favor, and stick with a Simple Hat for this one. A nice crocheted beanie will show your affection and skillz without scaring him off. Avoid fancy patterns and pompoms, and show the depth of your feeling with the caliber of yarn you choose. Try an inexpensive cotton for your summer fling, or spring for a sumptuous cashmere blend for a real keeper.

The Serious Boyfriend: He knows all your friends’ names, he waters your plants, he uses the words We and Our. This one gets an Afghan. An afghan you say? Isn’t that the most committed project ever? Well, yes and no. Yes, afghans are gigantic. BUT, with a simple pattern and large needles, toiling away on a collection of squares or strips will ultimately cost you far less pain and heartache than weeks of sweater shaping. Besides, if he’s around long enough for you to finish a blanket, he probably deserves it. I like Granny Square Afghans for the endless variety.

The Husband: He shelled out for the ring. He’s danced with grandma. You share dental bills. This dynamo deserves a Fisherman Sweater. Now that he’s stuck with you through thick and thin, knit him something that will keep him warm in all kinds of weather and last for decades.

All pattern ideas are clickable links to free patterns. Knitting With Balls is another great resource, as are vintage patterns. Choose your own adventure!


Daisy Buchanan Earwarmer

The 1920s were all about hats, but I can’t imagine the famous cloche being very kind to your hair. This quick little project is made for the modern Daisy Buchanan who hates hat hair as much as I do. The Great Gatsby is set during a broiling summer, but I imagine the Golden Girl herself might wear this come winter.

Simple, charming (if I dare say), and simply adorned with a bold flower, this earwarmer has all the glamour of a cloche without the hair-smushing. Turn one out in a few hours and give to a chilly fashionista. Or yourself.

You will need worsted/Aran weight yarn in 2 colors and a 5 mm hook.

Abbreviations: HDC = half-double crochet. ch = chain. sl st = slip stitch. DC = double crochet.

Row 1: Begin by chaining 73 stitches. Half-double crochet (HDC) in 3rd ch from hook and each ch across. Turn. 72 HDC. Alternatively, measure around your head with a piece of yarn, make a starting chain of that length PLUS 2 stitches, and carry on.

Row 2 and following: Ch 2 (counts as first HDC), HDC in each chain across.

Work even for 3 1/2 inches.

Fasten off, leaving a long tail for sewing. Thread tail through a yarn needle and sew the short edges together with wrong sides facing.

To Make the Flower:

Work loosely! Or you will be sorry once you hit the spiral bit.

Row 1: Begin using the magic loop method. Ch 3, make 7 DC into ring. 8 DC.

Row 2: Ch 3, 2 DC in each st all the way around. 16 DC.

Row 3: Ch 2, 2 DC in next st. *1 DC in next stitch, 2 DC in following st* all the way around. Join with a sl st. 24 DC.

Row 4: Ch 1, *(hdc, dc, hdc) in next DC, sl st in following DC* all the way around. 8 petals.

Row 5 and continuing: You will be working in a spiral in the front post of each DC. I made this flower as an experiment but I will make another so that I can post a photo tutorial soon.

Continue in pattern (HDC, DC, HDC in next stitch to make a petal, sl st in the next stitch to anchor it down), but work petals and sl stitches in the front post of each dc. Have fun with it, and space the petals out however you like them. This WILL make more sense as you try it. Just slowly curve them inward, and don’t worry too much about which loop you are working in.

I am super proud of how this flower turned out. Working the middle of the spiral takes some finagling, but it’s really not so bad.

When you get to the middle, stop with a sl st and fasten off. Pull yarn through to the back of the flower.


Place the flower over the seam of the headband on the right side. Pull both ends (the magic loop tail and the fasten-off tail) through to the wrong side. Tie them in a square knot and weave in ends. With some scrap yarn and a yarn needle, sew the edges of the flower (the third row of DC) to the earband.

Block flat if desired and get those ears toasty!

::Note:: I will eventually have more pics up. My model made off with this one, but I’ll make another.

Manly Hat

Men are notoriously hard to craft for, but damn it all if I don’t get the warm fuzzies whipping up something toasty for my man.

This pattern is for the kind of solid, fitted beanie popular with foxy snowboarders, college kids, and boyfriends. This is a great portable project, easy to remember and you only have one ball of yarn to truck around.

Yarn is 2 balls of Debbie Bliss Rialto Dk in 23020, a slate blue, 100% Merino extrafine superwash. Hook is an H/5.00 mm. Nice and warm, but still fits under a helmet.

Begin using the “Magic Loop Method.” Click the link for a quick tutorial. This cast-on was new to me, but easy to learn and wonderful for hats, small toys, or any project where you want an invisible start rather than a hole.

Abbreviations: DC = double crochet, sl st = slip stitch, DCtog = Double crochet together. To DCtog: *Yarn over, insert hook in next stitch, yarn over, draw yarn through stitch, yarn over, draw yarn through 2 loops on hook* twice, yarn over, draw yarn through 3 loops on hook.

Round 1: Chain 3 (acts as first double crochet), 9 DC into magic loop. Sl st into top of first chain. You now have ten DC in magic loop. Pull loop taut, and be in awe of how the hole disappears!

Round 2: Chain 2 (see note at bottom), 2 DC into every stitch all the way around. End with sl st into first chain (20 DC).

Round 3: Chain 2. *1 DC in next stitch, 2 DC in following stitch* all the way around. End with sl st into first chain (30 DC).

Round 4: Chain 2. *1 DC in next two stitches, 2 DC in following stitch* all the way around. End with sl st into first chain (40 DC).

Round 5: Chain 2. *1 DC in next three stitches, 2 DC in following stitch* all the way around. End with sl st into first chain (50 DC).

Round 6: Chain 2. *1 DC in next four stitches, 2 DC in following stitch* all the way around. End with sl st into first chain (60 DC).

Round 7: Chain 2. *1 DC in next five stitches, 2 DC in following stitch* all the way around. End with sl st into first chain (70 DC).

Round 8: Chain 2. *1 DC in next six stitches, 2 DC in following stitch* all the way around. End with sl st into first chain (80 DC).

Round 9 and continuing: Work even until hat is desired length. For me, this was 23 rows total.

Optional: Folded Brim

Round 24 (or whatever. Folded brim will be flipped up, so begin these instructions after working to your desired final length.): Chain 2. *1 DC in front loop only of next 12 stitches. DCtog* all the way around. End with slip stitch into first chain (75 DC).

Round 25-28: 1 DC in each stitch all the way around. Fasten off.

The brim should turn up naturally with the front-loop-only row.

* Chaining only 2 stitches at the beginning of each round makes for a smaller, neater seam. If you’re used to chaining 3 stitches, it takes a bit of getting used to but it looks much nicer.