It's not news to knitters that there are men who like to knit, but there aren't a lot of books devoted to men who knit or geared toward teaching men to knit.
Michael del Vecchio's Knitting with Balls: A Hands-on Guide to Knitting for the Modern Man aims to change all that by providing clear instruction, a variety of patterns and a ton of techniques designed for male knitters.
Down to Basics
A good 18 pages at the beginning of the book describe all the knitting basics a new knitter would need to know, from reading a yarn label and the basic tools to casting on, increasing, decreasing, binding off and knitting in both English and Continental styles.
Clear drawings illustrate each step of the process, making this one of those rare books that you actually could learn to knit from (with the help of an experienced friend, if you've got one) if you wanted to.
Where this book really shines, though, is the patterns. Twenty-two patterns are included, divided into accessories, sweaters and jackets and home gear. Patterns use a wide range of techniques including knitting in the round, cable knitting, color work, felting and more.
A sampling of the projects includes:
- A cable-knit laptop cover
- A beer bottle cozy
- A wallet and business card holder
- Two pairs of socks
- Two vests, including an argyle pullover that uses duplicate stitch to make the job a little easier
- Two hat and scarf sets
- Five sweaters, including a hoodie and a long coat
- Utility cloths, which can be used to clean yourself or your house
The patterns are very well illustrated, and each time a new technique is needed, instructions are provided.
Going Your Own Way
Acknowledging that there aren't as many knitting patterns out there for men as there are for women, del Vecchio provides advice on how to resize and reshape patterns to suit the male knitter in question.
These easy guidelines help knitters of either gender figure out how a pattern works and how to change the number of stitches needed depending on the gauge of the yarn you're using and the measurements of the person you are knitting for.
All of the stitch patterns used in the book are helpfully illustrated and recapped at the back of the book, so fledgling designers can use these basics as inspiration for their own designs.
Whether you are a male knitter or a woman who enjoys knitting for men, this book is a good guide to the basics that offers a wide range of patterns for all skill levels and all kinds of men.