Never Knit Your Man a Sweater (Unless You’ve Got the Ring) Review
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Time and time again, well-meaning knitters fall prey to the Boyfriend Sweater Curse. The story is always the same: you meet a guy, you fall head over heels for him, you decide to knit him a sweater to show him you care. But the act of knitting a sweater for a guy who’s not legally bound to you by marriage sets the curse into play—and not long after you put all of your blood, sweat, and tears (not to mention your time and money) into the sweater, Mr. Right will inevitably turn into Mr. Wrong. And he—and your beautiful sweater—will disappear for good (or, even worse, you’ll see him on campus, wearing your sweater, with his arm around someone else). Whatever the case, knitting a sweater for a guy before the wedding is just plain bad luck. So what’s a girl to do when she meets a wonderful guy and has an overwhelming urge to knit for him?

In Never Knit Your Man a Sweater (Unless You’ve Got the Ring), Judith Durant provides a number of relationship-appropriate projects for those of you who just can’t help but express your feelings with needles and yarn. The 22 projects range from quick and easy coasters for the guy you just met to a deeply involved sweater for the guy who’s committed enough to shell out the cash for a ring—and everything in between. There’s the simple yet cool Burger and a Movie basketweave scarf—or the elegant He Made Me Dinner (and It Was Good) scarf (there is, however, no consolation scarf for the man who can’t cook). There are also cases for his electronics, as well as hats, socks, mittens, gloves, and more. Durant’s writing is witty, and the patterns are very detailed (often spanning several pages, taking the knitter through the pattern step by step). You’ll even find a few tips and new techniques along the way (and I love how she includes both the pattern’s gauge and the suggested gauge from the ball band—to help with substituting yarn). The book features a number of cool patterns that will impress any guy who’s worth keeping around. (And, just for the record, they’d also make good gifts for guy friends, brothers, dads, or any other guys you know.)

My greatest concern, however, is with the patterns later in the book. I checked with a few guy friends, and they agreed that some of the patterns that are meant for more committed relationships could actually do more harm than good. The book includes three patterns for vests—and I was informed that, were a woman to give two of the three to her boyfriend and ask him to wear them, he’d have every reason to break up with her. And if, on the other hand, he actually wore them without being forced, my girl friend and I agreed, he’s probably not worth keeping after all. The sweaters, however, are much better—and if my husband actually wore sweaters, I might just make one for him (just not the last one—because he’d never wear anything with bobbles, which is fine by me).

I love the idea behind Never Knit Your Man a Sweater. Unfortunately, though, the best patterns in the book are the basic ones—the hats and scarves and things that you can most likely find elsewhere. So while it’s better than most of the knitting books that I’ve seen for guys, there still aren’t enough distinctive (and still practical) patterns to make this book a must-have.

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