For the Boys: Crafting New Paths in Men’s Crochet

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Thick, warm, and durable, crochet has always been a versatile garment creation method. This has been particularly true for men throughout history, as crochet was a practical solution for enduring harsh seasons.

With crochet’s versatility and long-wearing nature, why is it so hard to find modern designs for the men in our lives? We’re unraveling the mystery and equipping you with the knowledge to create jaw-dropping pieces for your beau.

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Bridging the Gap in Men’s Crochet Wear

Men's Nishio Sweater by Peppergoose Designs
Nishio Sweater by Peppergoose

In crochet fashion, there’s a noticeable preference for women’s designs, leaving men with limited options that are more practical than stylish. This disparity has resulted in a significant lack of crochet patterns specifically designed for men.

Shining a spotlight on men’s crochet, this article explores project ideas, crafting tips, and a carefully curated collection of patterns tailored for men. Ready to uncover this often-underrated niche? Let’s begin our journey!

Resources for Men’s Crochet:

If the thought of creating your own pattern seems daunting, fret not! Websites like Ravelry, LionBrand and Hobbii are brimming with inspiration and patterns, making them ideal for anyone eager to create fashionable men’s clothing.

Prominent male crochet designers, such as Charles Voth (aka Stitch Stud), Erik Hansen, Thomas Hamilton (aka @gregorystitch) and Vincent Greene-Hite (@knot-bad), are at the forefront of introducing male-inspired crochet designs and patterns. They offer plenty of inspiration for crocheters at all levels, from beginners to advanced.

For those who love the tangible feel of browsing through a book, consider exploring essential titles like Crochet Makes for Men by Michelle Ferguson, Made With Love by Tom Daley, and Son of Stitch ‘n Bitch: 45 Projects to Knit and Crochet for Men by Debbie Stoller. These books offer a wealth of insights and patterns specifically for men’s crochet projects, making them invaluable resources.

Tips for Customizing Patterns for Menswear 

While there is a notable lack of crochet pattern options for the fellas, there are dozens of techniques and stitches to give your custom pieces a masculine feel. Simple customizations can go a long way to add the style you want to any project. Take, for instance:

  • The use of darker colors and earth-toned palettes can completely change the personality of a project from feminine to androgynous to masculine. 
  • When styling a pattern, you can’t go wrong with a Tunisian cable stitch, the herringbone stitch, or a single crochet foundation with diagonal ripple stitches, which gives visual interest while still keeping things simple.
stitch for men's wearables

Tips for Sizing Men:

When searching for sizing guides, you’ll often find information on sizing women and children before finding guidance on sizing for men. This lack of emphasis on men’s wear has directly contributed to the limited availability of crochet patterns, which can make this craft appear less accessible. To tackle this issue, I have compiled simple tips to help you adapt crochet patterns specifically for men.

Understanding how to properly size men is essential when crocheting men’s apparel. It’s important to note that men typically have longer torsos, broader shoulders, longer arms, and wider hands and heads when compared to women. The yoke of the shoulders is wider, and the gussets in the armpits are deeper, among other differences. Taking these factors into account will greatly contribute to creating a well-fitted project.

When Making Larger Garments, Such as Sweaters or Tops:

  • Add Extra Width:
    • Incorporate an additional 2 to 3 inches of width in your patterns.
    • This allows for movement without excessively stretching the garment, ensuring comfort as guys typically prefer a looser fit.
  • Understanding Positive Ease:
    • Positive ease indicates a loose fit, allowing the garment to drape comfortably on the body.
    • In contrast, negative ease results in a tighter fit, where the garment conforms closely to the body’s contours.

When Making Accessories, Such as Hats, Gloves, or Socks:

  • Accounting for Width:
    • Allow for 1-inch positive ease to accommodate the extra width of the body part.
  • Maintaining Contact Points:
    • Keep points of contact, such as the wrist or ankle, snug with 1 inch of negative ease to prevent shifting and rotation while wearing.
  • Understanding Sizing and Measurement Basics:
    • Familiarize yourself with the fundamentals of sizing and measuring for different types of garments.

Measuring Tips for Men

Sweaters and Tops:

Measuring for men
  • Measure arms from the armpit to the wrist hem.
  • Measure body length from the neck to the bottom hem.
  • Determine torso circumference by measuring across the widest point of your torso (chest or belly) and multiplying by two.
  • Remember to account for positive ease.

Gloves and Mittens: 

  • Measure the circumference of the wrist.
  • Measure the hand from the wrist to the tip of your middle finger.
  • Measure the thumb from the wrist to the outside of the thumb to the tip.

Hats and Earwarmers:

  • Measure the circumference of the head starting from ear to ear.
  • Increase the depth of the head piece, making it taller than you typically would for a women’s head piece.

Men’s Styling Tips

Men's Styling Tips

Layering is an excellent technique to enhance any outfit, providing depth, texture, and versatility. For instance, you can combine a button-up shirt with a crew neck sweater, a long-sleeved shirt with a sweater vest, an oxford shirt with a v-neck, or simply add a jacket. These additions bring depth, texture, and variety to otherwise plain outfits.

If you’re planning to layer, here are four tips to achieve a flawless look:

  1. Start Light, Finish Strong: Begin with lighter fabrics close to your skin, such as a crisp button-up or a thin cotton tee, and layer on heavier items like chunky knit sweaters or structured jackets. This ensures comfort and prevents bulkiness.
  2. The Rule of Three: Ideally, aim for no more than three visible layers to maintain a sleek silhouette and ensure mobility. This might include a tee, a cardigan, and a coat, each complementing the other in color and texture.
  3. Color Coordination and Contrast: Use the outermost layer to make a statement. Darker, more neutral colors on the outside can frame and enhance the visual appeal, especially when paired with lighter shades like white, beige, or pastels underneath. A pop of color, such as a vibrant scarf or a standout piece in Happy Place Blueberry, can add personality and flair.
  4. Each Piece Stands Alone: Ensure every layer is something you’d be proud to wear on its own. This versatility adds value to your wardrobe and prepares you for any situation, whether it’s warming up or cooling down throughout the day.

Let me share a quick story about layering: I once made a sweater for a friend, fully expecting him to wear it with an undershirt. After all, that’s the usual practice with sweaters, right? To my surprise, he chose to wear it directly against his skin, without an undershirt, enjoying the softness and warmth it provided. When I gently mentioned the typical approach of layering, he simply shrugged it off, appreciating the simplicity and the sentiment behind the gift. And, believe it or not, he managed to pull off the look effortlessly, disregarding fashion norms (refer to tip #4 above).

Additional Styling Recommendations:

  • Texture Play: Incorporate different textures to add depth to your outfit. Pairing a smooth leather jacket with a cable-knit scarf or a wool blazer with a silk shirt can create an exciting and dynamic look.
  • Accessorize Wisely: Accessories like watches, belts, and hats can complete an outfit. Choose pieces that complement the overall theme of your layers without overwhelming the look.
  • Footwear Matters: The right shoes can tie your layered outfit together. Consider the occasion and the bottom layer of your outfit when selecting footwear, be it boots, sneakers, or dress shoes.
  • Experiment with Patterns: Solid colors are easier to layer, but don’t shy away from mixing patterns. Stripes, plaids, and checks can coexist harmoniously if balanced correctly, with one pattern taking dominance and the others serving as accents.

Remember, the key to successful men’s styling, especially with layering, is confidence and comfort in your choices. Let your personality shine through your fashion decisions, and don’t be afraid to experiment and redefine your style.

Top 10 Essential Men’s Crochet Patterns:

Unleash your creativity with these top selections for men’s crochet, ranging from essential wearables to useful accessories:

by TL Yarn Crafts

Simple stitch pattern creates endless texture and visual appeal. One of TL Yarn Crafts’ Signature beanie patterns. This hat is a staple for your crochet pattern library.

Get the Pattern in all sizes HERE.

Men's Mega Pom Beanie by TL Yarn Crafts
Grandpa's Unisex Sweater

Designed by Jane Green for Hobbii

A contemporary take on the classic Grandpa sweater, crafted with Granny Squares.

Get the Pattern HERE.

by Two of Wands

This unisex chunky scarf is a timeless classic that belongs in every closet!

Get the FREE Pattern HERE.

Men's Scarf by Two of Wands
Men's sweater vest by Michelle Ferguson

by Michelle Ferguson

This pattern features a rich texture and is constructed from two panels that are stitched together, with trim applied as a final touch.

Get the Ravelry Pattern HERE.

by Vincent Green-Hite

This versatile unisex crochet pattern is designed for speed and simplicity, utilizing the plush and cozy Joann Big Twist yarn. Perfect for crafters of all skill levels, it offers a quick and satisfying project that results in a stylish and warm accessory suitable for anyone.

Get the Free Pattern HERE.

Men's scarf by Vincent

by Missy Marshall for Lion Brand

The Man-Ghan is an easy-to-follow crochet afghan pattern crafted with bulky weight yarn, designed for crocheters seeking a straightforward and enjoyable project.

Get the Man-Ghan Kit HERE.

by Vickie Howell for Yarnspiratioin

Keep your hands warm and your fingers nimble with these unisex fingerless gloves. They offer the perfect mix of comfort and practicality, ideal for anyone who needs to stay connected or busy on the go. A stylish, versatile accessory for your everyday adventures.

Get the Free Pattern HERE.

by Adriana M.

Using only basic crochet stitches, these beautiful slippers for men are easy to make and are sure to become their favorite due to their warmth and coziness.

Get the Ravelry Pattern HERE.

by Clair Blowers

A crochet pattern for simple socks in larger sizes, in 4-ply sock yarn with stretch. Designed for men but of course women can wear them too!

Get the Ravelry Pattern HERE.

by Briana K. Designs

Crafting a crochet tie indeed requires more effort than simply buying one off the shelf, but the value of high-quality handmade clothing is immeasurable. There’s a profound sense of care and consideration in selecting the perfect yarn and meticulously forming each stitch, infusing the tie with love and personalized attention.

Get the Ravelry Pattern HERE.

Gift Accessories and Other Quick Crochet Projects for Men:

  • Holders for headphones or cords, keeping them organized and tangle-free.
  • Coasters, adding a handmade touch to any table setting.
  • Coffee sleeves, for that eco-friendly and stylish grip on morning beverages.
  • Wine bottle cozies, elevating the gifting of a simple bottle of wine.
  • Messenger bags, combining functionality with bespoke style.

Each of these projects presents an opportunity to explore the versatile world of men’s crochet, allowing you to personalize and adapt patterns to suit the tastes and needs of the men in your life.

Men’s crochet patterns might be tricky to fine, but that doesn’t mean we’re stuck in a box. There’s a whole universe of ways to give your projects that masculine twist, and I’ve barely scratched the surface. Let’s kick open the doors to men’s crochet and see what we can create!

Got any cool ideas, tips, or tricks of your own for adding a bit of guy flair to your projects? Share them below!

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