My current work in progress:

Sundew,by Martin Storey, knit from Rowan Softyak DK, using 3.25mm and 4mm needles.

You May Commence Groaning Now

Why? Because I have named my new shawl pattern “Faro-Easy Shawl.”

How easy is it? I finished it in under a week. Gotta love knitting with DK-weight yarn right after knitting with laceweight!


But I’ve not blocked it yet, so the official FO post will have to wait til Sunday. The color in that photo is way off because I was shooting into the sun.

In the meantime . . .

Book Review!

I have in my hot little hands (and have had for a week or so) a copy of this book:


Men’s Knits: 20 New Classics by Erika Knight. The publication date is September 1 — next Tuesday.

As the title suggests, this is a collection of classic designs for men. I love how the table of contents has photos of each design:


And there are some accessories as well as sweaters:


For each design, there is a photo of the sweater being worn by a “real” looking guy, as well as a photo of the sweater lying flat, with arrows superimposed on it to show you exactly where the size measurements were taken.

Of course, most of the models were young and cute:


But there are a couple of older guys in here too. Here’s one of them:


For the most part, the sweaters are indeed classic and non-fussy — perfect guy sweaters. This is the only one that gave me pause:


But I think it is just a matter of a too-big sweater on the model. Your mileage may vary, but most guys I know would not wear an oversized sweater like that.

Well, the back cover photo made me stop and think as well:


The cardigan looks rather ill-fitting but then, the pants do too.

There’s a range of sizes — from small to xxl. But a word of warning: the small is generally a 36″ chest, and the xxl is 44″. When I think of xxl for a man’s size, I think of 50″ or so. If you are knitting for a big guy, these sizes might not work for you.

There’s a wide variety of yarns represented from chunky to fingering, all of which could be swapped out and subbed with little problem, I think.

Okay, who would like my review copy?

If you’d like to be entered in a drawing to receive this book, leave a comment to this post by noon Eastern time on Sunday, August 30, 2009. I’ll draw a name at random then.

Lucy sez:


“I can’t wait!”


  1. Yeah, I realized that I am officially ‘old’ when the ‘cool’ trends (like baggy cardigans and tight jeans on young hipsters) just look silly to me.

    Please count me in on the book drawing! It’s high time my husband got a handknit sweater from me, and it looks like this book is a winner 🙂
    .-= Jackie´s last blog ..Sabbatical =-.

  2. Oh, I’d be more than happy to have to fit a sweater on the mature male model. Hubba hubba.

  3. Alice Moisen says:

    My husband wouldn’t wear a sweater on a bet, but I have a SIL who would and is due. He’s a classic kind of guy. Even if I don’t win, I may just have to buy it

    Alice in Portland

  4. Love the shawl. Would love the book so I could knit for my husband.

  5. The book might give me some ideas to knit something for my husband (all he has ever gotten was a pair of felted slipper socks). Have a wonderful weekend!

  6. Maybe not as interesting as a review copy of the Joy of Sox, but the models are cuter.

    I KNEW you’d be finished the shawl by today. Ha!

    My car died this morning, so I had to drop it off at the car place and then decided to walk to work rather than wait for the shuttle. On my walk downtown, I passed a retail merchandising store and went in on a whim — lo and behold I am now the proud owner of a model hosiery leg. It will be perfect for testing and photographing socks in progress, so the Easy-Faro shawl may have to wait a week or so.

  7. Nice to see a new book of patterns for men. Thanks!

  8. Oooh- men’s knits. Sometimes I feel like i’m friends with more guys than girls, and i’m always trying to find things that i can knit for them. I would love this book!

  9. Pleasae use this post for the book drawing. Thanks.

  10. Amy in Oregon says:

    Hmmm… there may be something in there that I could finally make for my dad!

  11. Love Faro-Easy! Neat sweaters that would fit my husband who would be quite surprised that he’d need an XXL.

  12. Please add my name to the drawing. Hubby is always in need of more sweaters!
    .-= Celestial´s last blog ..Niddy Noddys =-.

  13. I’d love to knit something classic for my DH — Those look like some interesting options.
    .-= Rete´s last blog ..My Little Ballerina =-.

  14. The book looks really great, and I think my husband would really look good in some of the sweaters… Please enter me for the book.

    Also, the Faro-Easy shawl looks great. I’d really like to make one of those myself.

  15. I’d love a copy! My husband is always looking for a great sweater pattern.
    .-= Sandra´s last blog ..what amuses us at work =-.

  16. Great Shawl!! I spent a little while looking up Faroese shawls yesterday after you mentioned the shoulder shaping — looks like exactly what I need right now (I have some Lion Brand Wool Ease Sport – older stuff, not made anymore – in a lovely autumn colorway — using part of it for an adaptation of the February Lady Sweater but still have gobs and gobs for a beautiful, functional autumn shawl)!

    Also, the mens’ knitting is fabulous. My DH is wanting me to knit him up some classical, functional pieces. He says that my knitting skills ought to be good enough to handle it — so, I’d love the book.

    Thanks for the entertainment and the inspiration you give me through your blog!

  17. With 3 men in my life I would love a copy of this book.

  18. I’d be happy to take the review copy off your hands! Thanks for sharing.


  19. Love the shawl and its colorway. So pretty!
    Even though the older gentleman looks less than happy to appear in the book, I think the book looks interesting.

  20. OMG! I need that book!

  21. Love the shawl! In DK…woo-hoo…will it be available to purchase as a download…pleaseeeeeeeeeeeeeee???? I purchased the last one and can’t wait to start. But knitting a DK weight shawl would be so satisfying because of the timeframe involved.

  22. Always interested in ideas for sweaters for men.
    .-= Sue V´s last blog ..Vested Interests =-.

  23. There are 3 men in my life who would fit the XL sizes in you review book. Thanks, Wendy.

  24. Love your new shawl, and the way the details shine among the solid parts.

    Yes, I’d love to have that book. Some of the features you described, like the arrows showing the measurement spots, are really spiffy!
    .-= Barbara-Kay´s last blog ..A birthday present received =-.

  25. kathy perron says:

    Hi Wendy,
    I’ll take an Erika Knight book anytime!

  26. Ditto Stacy’s comment! I haven’t had the nerve to tackle something for my husband, yet. It’s a fear I’ll have to conquer.

  27. Hurrah for a shawl that is beatiful and can be completed in a week!

  28. Beautiful shawl, and the book looks amazing too. given I have men to knit for. Men can be so fussy.

  29. I’d love it. I’ll cross my fingers.

  30. Lauren Barrett says:

    I’d love a chance at the book! Love the shawl!

  31. Can’t wait to see the shawl. Like you said it looks super easy.
    .-= Ana ´s last blog ..In the Navy… =-.

  32. Decent looking sweaters!

  33. Joan Neal says:

    I love Classic Men, hum, I mean Classic Men’s sweaters….
    I have a classic man in mind too. Just like Lucy, “I can’t wait”….just love that cat and oh the knitting is wonderful too.

  34. Cheryl S. says:

    My son is 25 and will not wear anything that is not two sizes too big!! He refuses to wear anything that is form fitted. My husband likes plain sweaters so this book is perfect. Love the shawl.

  35. the book looks awesome! i really wish i could find some patterns that are sized for actual guys though. My boyfriend is extremley barrel chested and I havent found one pattern within my knitting ability that would fit him. Not that i want to think of how long it would take to make a sweatter of that size 🙂

  36. Sarah Flowers says:

    Put me in the drawing for the book!

    Sarah Flowers

  37. I have 6 men in my immediate family and all of them would look great in a sweater.
    .-= B.J. Kelly´s last blog ..Our daughter is now Mrs. Swaggard. =-.

  38. My husband has been bugging me for years to make him a sweater, but he’s so picky about clothes I haven’t found a pattern he’d be happy with. I’d love a copy of this book!

  39. Hello Wendy,
    I would LOVE that book!!! It is perfect for my husband: classic, no nonsense knitting for everyday wear. I would be very happy to be part of the draw!!! In the mean time, I’ve started my first toe up sock using the “8” method to start my project. I absolutely LOVE it!!!! It’s my first time with double needles too for socks!! I’m knitting the “false cable” pattern of your book for a colleague at work. My husband is so envious that I’ll have to knit a pair for him too!!! Thank you for publishing your book!!! It is perfect for me!! Can’t wait to order the new one next spring!!

    Catherine from Quebec, Canada
    .-= Catherine´s last blog ..Le retour de la Bergère =-.

  40. I love the shawl!
    I have heard that this is a great book! I would love to have a chance at it!

  41. Tracy Armstrong says:

    My first comment on your blog!! I love the shawl. Can hardly wait for the pattern. I love you blog and have recently purchased your books too!!

  42. It’s always nice to have classic knitting patterns for men. Thanks Wendy!

  43. Seems like a good book to check out for men specific patterns. Thanks for the opportunity to win it! 🙂
    .-= Logan´s last blog ..Tour de Cure 2009 =-.

  44. Looks like an interesting book. I’d love to win a copy.

  45. AmyP in Montana says:

    The Men’s Knits looks interesting. I like fairly simple, classic sweaters for men and women.

  46. Pretty, shawl, Wendy. How fun that you finished it in just one week!
    Great men’s book..I have two good sized men to knit for these look great!
    Thanks for sharing!

  47. I’ll take the book! Have a good weekend Wendy!

  48. DK yarn is always a treat after lace/fingering weight! :o) lovely shawl!

  49. I would love to have that book — if nothing else, I could wave it in front of JZ the next time he moans that I will never, ever make *anything* for him.

  50. I couldn’t pay my husband to wear a sweater that looks like that. He still likes the wide ribbing that hug the waist. If it is too loose….fuggetaboutit!
    .-= Cindy in Happy Valley´s last blog ..Potpourri =-.

  51. My 3 sons are big guys and like big sweaters. (So does my daughter).

  52. Me too, me too., oh random number generator. Haven’t ever made a sweater for my dad, and I think DH might actually wear one after 21 years of being married. What cute little graphics. I guess I might read comments once in a while instead of just your entry.

  53. Most of the sweaters look like something my husband might wear. He is pretty conservative. The models are nice looking too. I wouldn’t mind having the book!

  54. Pattern book for guys! Yay!

  55. I would like to knit something for my big guy who has become shrinking big guy as he is losing weight and changing dimensions due to a change in diet and workout routine.
    He is fitting in the XL size range which means, to me more patterns to peruse so I can make him another sweater and … more wool…… yeah…..
    I am throwing my name into the hat for this review book, Men’s Knits : 20 New Classics,.

  56. throwing my hat in the ring. Thanks, Wendy!

  57. Absolutely! The men in my life appreciate hand knit gifts and this would be great!

  58. I would love the book.

  59. Thanks for the review! I’d like to take a closer look, too, so please do enter me. 🙂

  60. Thanks for the contest Wendy! The shawl looks great, even unblocked.

  61. Love to knit men’s sweaters for DH and Dad, as well as all the sons-in-law! Hope it picks me!

  62. I probably owe my husband a sweater or two by now…

    Lucy emailed me and said that she wants some treats.

  63. My nephews are long & lean. I would love the smaller sizes in the book. Shawl is beautiful!

  64. Faro-Easy is a great name! Very much enjoyed the book review. Thanks for sharing!
    .-= jayaycee´s last blog ..What’s Cookin’ – Zucchini Bread =-.

  65. I don’t know, it’s not so much the hugeness of the cardigan on the back page, it’s the whiteness of the sneakers and the stripeness of the tie.

    BTW I love the name of your new shawl. Puns are my favorite form of humour. I realize what that says about me but that’s me!

  66. I would like a copy. I agree, the sizes are rather limited. My knitting boyfriend is a 44-inch chest and wears a large.

  67. I think that Faro-Easy is the first shawl I’ve seen that I can actually picture myself wearing. I love it!

    The book looks good too and I do agree that poor man didn’t get the best fits for his photo shoot.
    .-= Dorothy´s last blog ..Seven Years… =-.

  68. I can’t resist a new knitting book!

  69. Oo oo! I would love to possibly pick up a good sweater-vest pattern for the boy. He’s so skinny and tall, nothing store-bought really fits him.

  70. Thanks for reviewing and for sharing your copy. I may have to hunt this book down.
    .-= Rosemary´s last blog ..Tour de Fleece Wrap Up =-.

  71. Woot, a men’s pattern book! With sizes that will fit me! And the sweaters look decent! Thanks for the review. 🙂
    .-= Dave´s last blog ..Sacrificial Sheep =-.

  72. Well, I’ve not been successful yet, but I’ll try my hand at one of your contests again. I’m sure one day the odds will be in my favor. ;o)
    .-= Cristi-Lael´s last blog ..FO: Couvercle =-.

  73. Men’s sweaters? Sounds delish! I will have to look for this.

  74. oooh, always looking for new knit wear for men – thanks

    i love the colorway of the newest shawl – perfect match for the design in mho

  75. Nice job on the shawl, and that’s nice you’re giving away that book!
    .-= Rachel´s last blog ..Green Beans =-.

  76. Hi Wendy,

    Thank you for the opportunity to get this book. Please enter my name in the hat.

    .-= Rosane´s last blog ..Happy New Year!!! =-.

  77. I agree with Lucy. But I could make great use of the book because I knit sweaters for young men for charity.

  78. Please pick me oh great and mighty random number generator!

    The vest looks like the exact pattern I’ve been looking for to make my hubby his Hufflepuff vest (and while I could probably design it myself, I’m lazy and slow enough that it would take forever!).
    .-= Seanna Lea´s last blog home in the kitchen =-.

  79. Some of the patterns look interesting. Please throw my name in the hat for it!

  80. I’m ashamed to say how long it took me to get the name (hanging head). I’m sort of fascinated with men’s knitting patterns, so I’d love the book.
    .-= Julia´s last blog ..Just the Facts =-.

  81. Groaaaaaaaan! Love that name!

    If I win, maybe I can find a pattern that hubby will like!

    Thanks for the contest! Have a great weekend!

  82. I’m with you on the XXL size – XL was a 44 back in the day.

    My first job was selling Men’s Suits at JCPenny. At 16. What the hell were they thinking?

    And hey, the more mature *coughcough* gentleman isn’t exactly ugly… 😉

  83. I could use some manly patterns!

  84. I’d love to look through the book Wendy!

  85. I’d love a copy of the men’s book!

  86. Looks like a really great book. My husband would just fit into that size range and I’d like for him to have a couple of nice classic sweaters. All my favorite store-bought sweaters for ME are men’s styles in the small, skinny versions. I bet the 36″ or 38″ from this book would work great for me too!

  87. Old guys rock! Pick me, O great random number generator!
    Blogless Mary Lou

  88. I’d love to receive a copy of the book!
    .-= Tammy´s last blog ..Back to where I was… =-.

  89. Wow, looks like a great book, would love to try some of those patterns!
    Thanks for the drawing —
    Kirsten V

  90. I think the oversized men’s sweaters are geared toward the 20-something crowd – I can see some of the guys I know wearing them with no fuss.

    Love the lace pattern!

  91. Ooh! That book looks sweet! My boyfriend needs something new!

  92. Wendy,
    I am looking for a guy pattern for a sweet older guy. This book would come in handy.

  93. It’s amazing how fast you crank out those shawls. I would love the book to knit something for my dear husband!

  94. Love the shawls. Can’t believe how quickly you’re knitting them
    I could use some men’s pattern books. So I’ll “throw” my name in the ring!

  95. I’m always happy to see more men’s patterns. yay!

  96. Oh, yes please…always in need of good guy patterns. Thanks for being so generous!

  97. Love the concept of the book design. I’m very visual I guess. Love you blog and am on my 4th sock of yours. Great stuff. Keep it up.

  98. Dr. Jackie says:

    I know a man-knitter who would like that book!

  99. Would love a chance to win the book–I have very few men’s sweater patterns.

  100. Pick me, pick me! I have 4 guys to knit for.
    .-= ann´s last blog ..Right Down To the Wire =-.