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Thursday
Apr012010

"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)

Years ago, I made my father a hat. It wasn't particularly inspired -- it was a stocking cap with khaki and blue stripes and my first turned edge. I thought he was just making a big deal over it for me when he would ostentatiously pull it out when I came home to visit, announcing, "I'm going to wear the hat you made me!" But then he lost it. I received an e-mail reporting that even though he'd spent an hour retracing the round of errands during which the hat was lost, he couldn't find it. He was so upset about it that he titled the e-mail, "Didn't Want You to Hear It From Someone Else," concerned that I would take it badly. I've since made him a pair of socks ("made to measure!" he'll crow to anyone who'll listen), which seem to have taken some of the sting from the tragic loss of the hat. I hear from my mother that he starts edging around the dryer on laundry day, wondering aloud where his handknit socks are.

April 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAuntie Maim

My husband works at a bakery and wears hats all day to keep his (longer than mine) hair out of the hot-cross buns. As a hot blonde, it's not so obvious when he ends up with flour in his hair, but the black and other dark colored hats he always wore made him look like a flour dusted hobo. We finally stumbled across a wonderful white yarn (from the new Debbie Stoller line - Son of a Sheep) and I knit him a hat with a spiral design of yarn overs to create some vents to keep him cool. I did make some mistakes that are obvious to me and I'm sure other knitters, but he wears that hat every day and when I look through my puffy eyes at 2 a.m. to kiss him goodbye and I see that hat, I smile, turn over, and go back to sleep! :)

April 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKara Z

My patience for craft projects is in the "can be completed in 10hrs over the course of 5 years" category, although the sudden onslaught of babies in my life has pushed me into a higher gear (think small sweaters, smaller booties and toques) so I've been very cautious to start a project for my man. We've been together for 7 years but who wants the half-completed sweater of an ex on their crafting roster (I'm also pathologically unable to discard an uncompleted project - envision a 12 year cross-stitch project). I do love that man so upon request, I did brave a free-form skull scarf with hugely chunky wool - and promplty ran out of wool. I MacGyverd' a hole to make a lariat scarf and presto - the scarf took up residence in the closet. He did say he loved it - he's just not a "scarf person."

April 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMishibear

Success! - I knit woolen earwarmers that slide onto bike helmet straps for my guy who bikes even in the cold!

April 8, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjava

I made this Aran Laptop Cover for my husband for his birthday. And while I pretty much knit it right beside him, he claimed he had no idea what it was and LOVED it! He actually uses it, which is probably the best compliment a crafter can get when it comes to handmade gifts.

April 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTeddi

I knit socks for my husband. He didn't wear them for three years because he was afraid of wearing them out. I told him I was ready to knit him a sweater and he declined!

April 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHilary

My sons adore my knitting, and they believe I can make anything in yarn. I have made them reversible fireman/space man hats with matching mittens; sweaters designed by them; socks; numerous straight-up hats and mittens; toys. I learned to knit because of my oldest child, my first son--I wanted him to have a special Christmas stocking, and I taught myself to knit so I could make him one.

My husband has gotten a hat. He's tall, with *really* long arms, and he likes store-bought sweaters anyway.

April 8, 2010 | Unregistered Commenteramy

My husband politely said thank you for the socks I made for him, then we never ever saw them again. I think he was afraid of ruining them (but somehow didn't mind losing them.) I have pretty much stuck to the ladies when knitting from then on.

April 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

He cried...

April 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJulie

I don't have a boyfriend or husband or anything like that to knit for. But... I did knit a hat last year for my grandfather. He was sick with cancer at the time, and he was always cold. So I tried to follow a pattern from knitty to make him an English ivy cap. It turned out looking seriously wonky, but he really loved it anyway, and was totally amazed that I could make something like that with just knitting. So even though I felt like it was a cringe-worthy hat, he totally made me feel like he crushed on it. I wish he was still around to wear it.

April 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterP

I am so glad I found this post and links to the book, blog, and ravelry group! I have been knitting for women for about 3 years now and my guy friends are starting to do the "hmmmmphhh" at me. LOL They all love my socks but they are "chick socks". LOL I've been afraid to even try something for a guy and I'm thinking now this book just might take the fear out of it for me!

April 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMargi Borck

My husband adores hand-knitted socks. He's so so happy every time I make him a pair, and he'll happily let me spend as much as I want on sock yarn as long as I knit him some. I am a very lucky sock knitter.

April 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRhian

I decided to learn to knit in October of 2008, after seeing the lovely things my best friend had learned to make. Later that month, I started dating a guy I really liked for the first time in a very, very long time. He was from the U.K., and going home for the winter, so I decided to knit him a scarf. I finished it up just a couple days before Christmas, and sent the scarf across the pond with a cheesy and heartfelt note about how much I'd enjoyed the last couple of months, and was looking forward to the new year. The package got stuck in Customs, and had a duty levied on it for some inexplicable reason. He emailed me to let me know what had happened, and told me he wasn't going to pay the duty because the package would never reach him before he left to return to the US. Instead, after two weeks, it would be returned to me.

Upon returning from the U.K., he dumped me. A couple weeks later, the package was returned to me. I opened the package, took out the note, and gave him the scarf anyway. He really liked it. We are still friends, and I am very, very glad that the British mail service prevented my embarrassing little note from reaching him.

April 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSabrina

I learned to knit this past October and wanted to do something nice for my hubby. Visiting a local yarn store, I picked a nice, thick spun wool in grey and blue. I only have time to knit during my lunch hour so I whipped up a nice long scarf because he doesn't have one. I think he's worn it twice...only at my prompting. I'd love to win this book so I can find something more appealing for him.

April 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterChristina

The biggest row I ever had with my boyfriend was when we returned home after a barbecue at which I had been knitting - a sock - for him. He thought it was incredibly rude of me to knit at a social event, BUT I couldn't see the problem. A week later I moved out. Luckily I had only knitted 3/4 of the first sock so I made them ladies size and kept them for myself! Ha ha - we were obviously NOT SUITED!

April 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJenny Hammerton

I didn't want to waste time knitting something my husband would cringe at, so I let him choose a sock pattern and the yarn for his project. He absolutely loved the end project, but I wanted to swear off knitting forever after it. Here is the problem: he picked the plainest sock pattern, he has large feet (and he asked for the socks to be longer), the yarn was of fingering weight and rough and brown, and I had to knit it on size 2 needles. Sigh... it took months!

Although I do catch him wearing the socks, mostly I find them neatly folded in the drawer. Unlike his other socks, he does not allow our golden retriever anywhere near these. He even hand-washes them! My husband never does laundry! It made me so happy that he appreciates my knitting, I decided to knit him a hat. And yes, as you might have guessed it... the hat is brown and plain but is getting lots of use, and I couldn't be happier.

April 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEna

I have to say that the chart comparing women and men in the introduction is hilarious! Nothing like a long list of worn out stereotypes to crack me up.

The best way I have found to knit for the people, men or women, in my life is to pay attention to what they wear and like or even ask them what they would like.

April 9, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterholly

I've yet to knit something for my husband: he's 6'3" and it's going to take a LOT of yarn to make him a sweater... Still, he's started asking me to make things for friends of his that are having children, so it appears that he's starting to see my crafting as something useful. I can rely upon him to be brutally honest if I ever do make something for him. So, my son is the only male recipient so far. OK, so he's only 7, but he loves the hat and scarf that he's received.

April 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterUK lass in US

I first became obsessed with knitting when I was nine. My mother was knitting a faire isle sweater for my sister who was attending college in Boston at the time. Things got really chilly hanging out in Quincy Market back then, no huge indoor pavillions for college students to escape to for an inexpensive meal off the outdoor carts.
I asked my mother to teach me to knit. The next day she had a big fat pair of metal needles and some big fat orange yarn. Her theory was, that if I could actually see the stitches being made, I would understand and learn the craft quickly, hence she could get back to her own knitting. Needless to say I had to inform my mother, the RN, the color made me sick to my stomach, actually hurt my eyes, no, I wanted beautiful tonal shades in turquoise blues, tonal greens, with a hint of pink and mauve. "And who, may I ask, will this project be for?" she asked in her most practical fashion.
"Er, me?" "No,' she replied, 'if you insist on begining a new craft with a complicated pattern, and expensive yarn, you must knit the project for someone else, that way you will pay attention, and not be so likely to pass over mistakes and keep going."

With that in mind, I decided to knit my father a sweater. He was always rolling around the house in a sweater made by my mom, but they were always so perfect no one but us knew they were handmade.

I chose a plain, round necked pullover pattern, insisting my mother edit the pattern and insert a 'sort-of-fair isle' design around the yoke in the pattern for me.

I began with a lot of just plain ole knit-purl rows, frogged, begun again, frogged, learning gauge, so by the time I had that down and had knit to the yoke to start the pattern I was past ready for it. The pattern at the top my mother had written came out perfectly. Now the only thing left were two sleeves and... voila?

I carefully measured a sweater my mother had made for Dad, using that as a measurement for length. I finished the first sleeve, cuff and all. I was psyched. I finished the second sleeve. Dug out a gift box from the stash of gift wrappings in the basement, boxed it up, wrapped it, and forgot about it till Christmas. It was easy to forget. I needed to start another project. I needed to get to the yarn store.

Christmas morning came that year, with my present sitting patiently under the tree. I handed it to Dad to open. There it was. My very own first project, in all its glory. The meduim tan body of the sweater contrasting with the tonal forest greens, with a hint of navy in the pattern my mother had formulated.

There we all sat, wrapped in scarves and shawls I had been busy with for the past six months. Swathed in my knitting we watched, as Dad, with the most incredulous expression on his face , asked "Did YOU make this?" "All by myself!" I replied, with my mother nodding (my sister scowling as she held the box with the tie tack in it she had bought for him in Boston, but thats another story). He took it out of the box and proceeded to put it on. It was only then a cry of horror excaped my throat, there stood Dad, in my pride and joy, with a right hand sleeve that nearly reached his knees..... this was no skimpy feat as he was 6'4". My mother sighed. My sister beamed. And Dad just rolled up that sleeve until it finally reached his wrist, and smiled.

To his credit, my dad wore that sweater, right through repaired suede elbow patches until the end, always with that darned sleeve rolled up.

Needless to say, forever after, when I begin to near the end of a project, I have to put it down and start something else before finishing the last legs. I can't help myself. I just become so thrilled with finishing yet another scarf, sweater, pair of socks etc.

And I still love fair isle.

April 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJoni

I was making a GREAT watch cap. I mean, it was soooooooooo much fun to knit. Black with red skulls (you might have seen the pattern on Ravelry) and I was quite proud of it. I showed it to my 18 year old stepson - whom I was secretly making it for - and he said "neat!" "Really?!?!" "Sure, if I would like one." "Really?!?!" "Of course. I would leave it my room and never wear it out in public, but it's neat."

I gave it to his female cousin.

April 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAfton

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