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"Cringe or Crush?" The KNITS MEN WANT Sweepstakes

Crafting for a man can be dangerous territory, but author Bruce Weinstein has come to the rescue with his new book Knits Men Want: The 10 Rules Every Woman Should Know Before Knitting for a Man. To mark the occasion, we're hosting Cringe or Crush? The KNITS MEN WANT Sweepstakes.

Think about a lucky fella for whom you have made something. Did he cringe and recoil when you presented him with your labor of love?  Or did he totally crush on it?   If you have a humorous, embarrassing, heartwarming, or tear-jerking tale about crafting for a man, this is your chance to share it! Spin us your best yarn and be entered to win one of four great prizes.

To enter, share your Cringe or Crush? story in the Comments section below before noon (EST) on April 30th, 2010.

After the deadline, we'll choose four entries at random.  All winners will receive a signed copy of Knits Men WantIn addition, the prizes below will be awarded in the same order winners are chosen--it's luck of the draw in this sweepstakes!

First winner: This print from Knits Men Want by photographer (and Brooklyn Tweed blogger!) Jared Flood.

Second winner: Two projects from Knits Men Want, knitted by author Bruce Weinstein: the Watch Cap (in red) and Fingerless Mitts (in olive).

Third winner: The Thick and Warm Socks (in green) from Knits Men Want, also knitted by Bruce.

Fourth winner: From ShibuiKnits, two skeins of their gorgeous Hand-Dyed Merino Worsted yarn, in “Stone.”

Think hard about your crafting history and be sure to check out these links!

Download the Knits Men Want Introduction for inspiration and advice.

Join the Knits Men Want Ravelry group to post photos of your crafting hits and misses and swap tips with fellow crafters.

Read the Knits Men Want blog for funny commentary and unique insight from author Bruce Weinstein.

Check out projects from the book in the Knits Men Want gallery.

Follow the Knits Men Want blog tour for book reviews, interviews, and special posts from Bruce.

Please note all entrants will be added to our e-mail list unless you tell us that you do not want to be added. For a full set of rules, click here.  Thanks--and good luck!


Reader Comments (280)

I haven't actually knit a sweater for any of the men in my life yet. No husband or boyfriend, my father has told me, "No thank you, don't waste your time." And my nephew doesn't wear sweaters. However, he'll be graduating from high school next year and I'm GOING to make him a sweater. I made one for my niece when she graduated and, darn it, I'm making one for him, too. The thing is ... I'd really like him to, well, wear it. I want him to love it. I know he'll appreciate it, but I want him to LIKE it. So, I'm trying to avoid the cringe factor!

April 1, 2010 | Unregistered Commenter--Deb

I knitted my boyfriend a hat this past winter. In fact it was Jared Floods turn-a-square hat. It wasn't perfect and had some mistakes that were obvious to me and I'm sure to any knitter. However, he wore it everyday to work and whenever it was cold out or snowing. He always,always had it on. He told me that he was happy that I took the time to knit him a hat. I love him so much for appreciating the time and effort that I put into it, and even though it wasn't perfect, he told me that it was.

April 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKimberly

Ah, the hubris of a (relatively) new knitter! I picked out a complex Norwegian cabled pattern to be knit on size 3 (!) needles and purchased the required $100 worth of yarn for my new husband. Four years later, I realized I was short about one skein. And the yarn had been discontinued. I actually hunted it down online, crossed my finger about the dye lot, and finished the sweater. Although it took four full years, it was, if I do say so myself, totally crush-worthy.

April 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTricia

My husband definitely falls into the "crush" category. I made his first sweater the Christmas after we were married, and he's gotten one every year since. He loves them, flaws and all... and flaws there are many. I have yet to perfect the neck of a bottom-up sweater, but I keep trying. On a Valentine's Day trip to New York, he even made sure to build in time to take me to a yarn store and picked out some wool for me to one day make him mittens. Don't worry, he also makes sure I have plenty of "me" yarn and the time to do something with it...

April 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAshley W.

I just began knitting about a month ago. My first project was a 100% wool scarf. I chose beautiful grey wool. It has a nice feel to it. I decided a scarf would be easiest. I asked friends at work how to cast on, how to knit and purl and cast off. The DVD entitled the Art of Knitting and crocheting 2, was very helpful. I started out just knitting, about half way through I tried the purl stitch. It didn't look good because it was lower in depth than the knitting section and decided to knit. It came out lovely. I took it home and wanted to check the length on my husband. I put it around his neck as he sat on the couch. I asked him if he wanted fringe or not. He wanted fringe. I thought having no fringe would be manlier. You have to ask to find out what men want. I was glad he asked for fringe because it gave me the opportunity to learn from my friend how to do this. He also said "maybe you should put fringe around all the edges." I had a quizzical look on my face as I imagined a scarf with fringes along all it borders and thinking what? He explained "that way you wouldn't see the scarf was uneven." I started out with 27 sts and ended with 30. Not too bad. I just laughed.
Whether he wears it or not next winter remains to be seen. I have been married for 20 years and maybe saw him wear a scarf two times. He also only uses an umbrella in a downpour and then only if I hand it to him as he goes out the door. Hopefully it will be a knit he will want. If not I can always wear it. I am interested in reading the book to find projects that my husband would like.

April 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSiridatar Khalsa

The first hat I ever knit was for my one-day-to-be-husband. I bought the yarn when I still had a crush on him--we hadn't even started dating yet. 6 months after we got married I finished the hat, and he still loves it 3 years later.

April 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterWendy

I only ever knit for men (other than my father) if they ask for something specifically - my current boyfriend requested a scarf for Christmas in a specific green and he's been wearing it daily during the cold weather! I'm glad I matched the green right!

April 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLauren

I made an andean-style hat for my ex-husband, complete with ear flaps and pom-poms hanging from the top - yes, he loved it, and wore it all that winter. Sadly after one season he lost it (I was devastated) and since he'd also lost a pair of mitts that I had sewed for him (now that's hard work!) I lost interest in knitting him anything wearable. Now after 8 years of fruitless dating I have a wonderful new man in my life, who is extremely interested and supportive of my knitting passion, and I'm thinking I may actually attempt to make him a sweater. Several designs in Bruce's new book look highly promising! this could be very exciting and I'm looking forward to giving this a shot.

April 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJudy

I knit a scarf for my husband; it was on small needles and it took quite a while to finish, but finish I did. Unfortunately, it was knit out of alpaca and it bothered him, so there was a definite cringe factor there. Luckily, my son agreed to take it; though he doesn't wear scarves very often, alpaca is fine around his neck!

April 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCarol Perecman

I knit a lot for my sons who seem to appreciate and love all the handknits I have made for them. I have knit them each a pair of socks, each a hat, one a tie, one a scarf and now the youngest wants a tie as well but with a celtic knot design in the tie. My husband always makes fun of my knitting so I have refused to make him anything!!

April 2, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterelise

The very first "thing" I ever made was a crocheted blanket for a boyfriend. I was sixteen years old, knew one stitch (single crochet), had one hook (I believe it was a "D"), and lots of chunky acrylic yarn. I did not yet understand gauge. What resulted was something akin to a starched towel--the hook was so small and the yarn so thick that the blanket felt like a series of tight little knots. By the time I finished it, me and the guy had broken up (of course!). I gave it to him anyway once we'd become friends again. He was very gracious, but we both had to agree that the thing was a train wreck. It went on to live its life in the trunk of his Ford Galaxy, only to be pulled out as a "mat" to sit on occasionally at the beach. I highly doubt it ever saw the likes of a couch or a bed.

April 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLiana

My husband liked the first scarf I made him, so he asked me to knit him one that he could wear with his military uniform. I created a monster. It had to be black, so he inspected every black yarn that I had and bought to make sure it was actually black. Then he wanted it to be as plain as possible, so I knitted miles of 2x2 rib with black yarn. He loved the scarf, and I loved that he loved it, so it was all worth it.

April 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKelley

I have made lots of sweaters for my husband over the years, most of which have not been worn too much--they have that bulky look and I don't think he feels right in them. A few years ago, he started working at a company that has business casual dress rather than suit and tie. I made him a vest in DK weight, and he LOVED it. He probably wore it once a week in the winter. He then wore it on Thanksgiving with his whole extended family and it got raves! So I made him another one, this one a windowpane pattern, also DK weight (the lighter weight is the key). He's now asking for a third vest--how can I refuse!
Would love this book!

April 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDeb

A couple of years ago at Christmas, I knit a scarf for my boyfriend -- forest green, cabled, lovely. He liked it just fine, but apparently the hat I made for myself around the same time was what he was really crushing on (a tweedy brown button-tab winter hat). One day, I was getting ready to go out and just couldn't find the hat anywhere. I thought I'd lost it, until my boyfriend got home later, wearing it! Obviously, I let him keep it - if a man likes something hand-knit enough to swipe it from you, I think you kind of have to just go with it :-)

April 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterChris C

the very first sweater I knit was for my son ... he's really very particular about what he wears (he's an artist) so I was kind of worried about it when I started. It's dark gray and a top down V-neck so I thought that would be good for him. Once I got it all finished I was so worried it wouldn't fit him that I didn't give it to him for quite a while. He knew I was making it for him so one day he asked if I'd finished it ... I gave it to him and IT FIT!!! and he loves it ... all that worrying and it was for nothing! I've done a lot more knitting for him and he loves everything I give him! He's asked for a cardigan, so need to find a pattern ...
would love the book ... thanks for the opportunity!

April 2, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterelsa

My husband is a big fan of my knitting, so several years ago without hesitation, I jumped into the biggest project I had ever attempted as a new knitter - a cabled cardigan. He's a big guy, so the fact that it was huge didn't bother me. I soldiered on, and it took me four years to finish. He thought it was beautiful - it was also too big. The sweater was the size I meant to make, and it was the same size as one of his sweaters (the largest one, of course), but there was too much ease to wear it with style. It took a year to face up to it, but rip it out I did. The happy ending is that I'm halfway done with sweater number two for him after just three months, and the yarn reclaimed from the too-big disaster will become a cabled hoodie - for me. At least I'm guaranteed not to run short on yarn.

April 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDonna

Plain and Simple. That is what my husband likes. He has liked everything I have ever made for him, including the labor intensive size 15 socks on size 0 needles, because I made them plain and simple. To get around the monotony, I chose a high quality, heavenly to the touch yarn (in very plain colors!) so that each stitch was a treasure to knit. I always have my family go through each new knitting magazine and book with a stack of sticky notes nearby so they can highlight what they would like. This not only gives me gift ideas but I see a definite thread of what each person likes so that now I can make each person something as a surprise and know it is going to be well received. As soon as I got the email about this new book, I ordered it. Too many men's knitting books are trying to add patterns and color combinations that are simply not going to work for the men in my life but the preview here is dead on for what they love so I am very excited. Thanks, also, for publishing the book so I have time to knit gifts for next holiday! I look forward to receiving this book in the mail.

April 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJane

I had knitted my husband ( who weighs 230 lbs) a beautiful cotton sweater by Rowan . He and 3 of my sons were coming to work to have lunch with me. Meanwhile well at working at my desk someone came up to me to tell me my car was being towed. I rushed down to the parking lot and saw " Norm" under my car trying to hook it up to the tow truck, I explained he was on private property and therefor could not tow. I jumped in my car and moved it to another spot. Norm then came over and tried to hook it up again and I sat on the hood of my car. Just as Norm yanked me off my car ( breaking my arm) my husband and 2 of the boys drove up and see Norm do this. Dick ( the man with the great sweater, a retired cop) leaps out the car and runs ( actually lops - he is not lean) toward me growling and telling Norm his intent.I in fear for the sweater scream " the sweater, the sweater, take it off", and yes fear for Norm's nose . Dick peels the sweater off well lopping and hands it to my son ( I really love him at the moment - knowing he knows how the sweat of my brow was precious. After allot of snarling and Norm being arrested - my love put his sweater on and we all went to lunch ( after I got my arm set) - true love reigned. Char

April 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterChar

I have been knitting hats all winter for my husband. The trouble is, each time I knit one, there's something not quite right with it, according to the wearer...too loosely knit, I can feel the wind...not long enough, my ears will freeze...what did you knit this with, steel wool? it itches.... Result: I get to wear a lot of variations on a theme of a black watch cap.

Version 3.5 seemed to work, though. I took the Marsan Watch Cap and lengthened it significantly, because it had to go over his ears and cover them completely. I knit it in Classic Elite Ariosa, which has cashmere in it and is really luscious. It's long enough to go over his ears, the fold over the ears is very deep so there's no wind factor at all, and it does not itch. So, what did he say when I gave it to him?

"Where are the skulls? I thought you were going to make me a hat with skulls..."

I can't win. But I'll be happy to have a little guidance in the direction of failing better...

April 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLee Ann

I started knitting 4 years ago and knit every day (as well as dye and spin) . So everyone around me has been knit for at one time or other. Hubby has on occasion asked me to knit something for someone and supports my addiction but not been truly excited about it. I have some yarn and patterns set aside to someday knit his aran irish sweater for his familys namesake but not yet. Last fall he came to me asking if i could knit him a beanie hat and put the name of the band we play in on it. He was very excited about this and of course he gave me a days notice to have it completed. I knit it up quickly (though not really as i wanted it finished) and he happily wore it out when playing that weekend. I just had to smile as it was the frst time he was excited, truly excited about my knitting. I don't think he even jokingly referred to me as gramma for a couple of days!

April 2, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterturtle

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