So you enjoy doing crafts and want to make homemade gifts for Christmas. Women always need dish towels and dishrags; there are lots of colorful things you can do for children. What about men? Most men, of course, would rather die screaming than appear in public wearing something a loved one made them. It’s a man thing.
Nevertheless, there are a couple of easy-to-make items that men can use – and, if the weather gets cold enough, will. The most obvious is a knit muffler. No matter what kind of coat you’ve got, your neck is going to get cold. The muffler in progress in the picture is made of really cheap acrylic yarn I picked up at Michael’s. I chose it because I had never seen that particular color combination before. It is called “hunter” and is definitely a manly yarn.
For a muffler of good width, I cast 40 stitches onto size 9 knitting needles. Then I began with four rows of seed stitch (kint a stitch and purl a stitch alternatively). To keep a border around the scarf, I seed stitched four stitches at each end of the succeeding rows and filled in the middle with stockinette (knit one row, purl the next). I am using a seed stitch border because an all-stockinette piece will roll up to half its size unless you block it. Even with a border, I will have to block this acrylic scarf using the wet block method. I’ll let you know how it turns out!
Another item men might use is a glasses case. This can be made even to accommodate dark glasses, which have a nasty tendency to get crushed in pockets. The glasses case in my slide show was crocheted using two yarns at once – the cheap acrylic “hunter” yarn I’m using on the scarf and a ball of brown acrylic I got on sale. I used my own glasses to make the case an appropriate size for prescription lenses. I chained 29 using a size 12 crochet hook and made my case seven inches long. On the top row, I chained two stitches in the middle to make a button hole.
Then I discovered something important: the glasses earpieces will stick out through the spaces between the stitching. Obviously, I needed a liner. Since I wanted this project to be washable, I used some left over fabric from an Aunt Martha’s Floursack Tea Towel I had used for another purpose. I pinned and stitched the lining much as I had with the hosiery case discussed previously, but I was careful not to make the lining go to the edge of the crochet. We want as little bulk as possible in a project like this!
To finish, I sewed the crocheted sides together with pearl cotton, an embroidery thread heavier than sewing thread but still not bulky. Then I added a shank button to close the case. In my experience, if you have a case with one end open, as some are, the glasses will weasel out of the case at every opportunity.
I’m also including a picture of what I did with the rest of the Aunt Martha’s Tea Towel. That’s a project for very special ladies. This article should help you with the men.