Full disclosure here.
I have started to write this piece twice now and each time I have deleted it.
Why? Simply put, I have been trying to write a piece on knitting socks for men
but each time I do it sounds trite and stereotypical. There is no average man any
more than there is an average woman, and I would never dream of writing a
piece on knitting socks for women.
That being said it
does seem as though men are often under-served in the sock pattern department
and that is one reason why I strive to ensure that the majority of my
patterns are unisex. A quick whizz through the Ravelry search for 'Socks' shows
14,812 patterns (at the time of writing) and 209 pages.
|Sock patterns by gender tag, Ravelry, October 2015|
Of these only 1,848
(39 pages) have the 'male' tag as compared to the 'female' tag: 6,445 patterns
(135 pages) or the 'unisex' tag: 6,519 patterns (136 pages).
patterns, like many of mine are tagged with all three but whichever way you
look at it is seems to be that men are getting a bit of a raw deal when it
comes to choice for sock patterns.
As I started to think
about knitting socks specifically for men, a number of common misconceptions
started to occur to me:
There is an often
perpetuated myth that men will only wear dark grey/black socks. Whilst that may
be true in a corporate environment, the pattern pages on ravelry are full of
men rocking more colourful socks and I know that my husband, whilst he does
wear dark socks with business suits he loves to chill out in his hotel
room or on the plane with a fab pair of handknit socks. He has even had cabin
crew try to buy them off him before now. For every man who only wears dark,
plain socks I'm sure there are several who will happily sport a bright self
|Unisex patterns: Louise Tilbrook Designs |
Cables are generally
a winner too as long as though don't add too much bulk when worn in shoes and
aren't too "twiddly". This is my husband's technical term for
cables which are deemed by him to be over-complicated.
Cables have the added
advantage of making you look super clever. After all, not only can you knit
amazingly warm and well fitting socks but you can move the stitches about and
bend them to your will. You are a veritable sock ninja!
What do you look for in a good mens sock pattern? I'd love to know. Please do leave me a comment here or via social media.