Designer Highlight: Josh Bennett
A few years ago, I decided to get in shape. All my life I had been more of a “head” person, and now I wanted to be more in touch with my body and male physique. Over the course of 2 years, I lost 30 lbs, did cardio and weight training about five days a week, and even hired a personal trainer for several weeks who helped me tone up, bulk up a bit, and reach 11% body fat. As my physique improved, I bought clothes that accentuated my new found male form. But what I found in terms of men’s knitting patterns was by and large not flattering to the fit male form. The designs tended to be boxy, shapeless, often called “roomy”. Comfortable maybe, but not flattering. Sometimes a sweater of ribbing stitch was the exception. I began to search out designs and male designers whose patterns were strikingly male, and I plan to highlight such male designers by pointing you to their work.
Josh Bennett can take a traditional garment for men, like a houndstooth vest, but make it form fitting in a slate blue/charcoal color combination that makes it pop and a tricolor hoodie that looks comfortable but still shows off the waist to shoulder “V” shape most guys want. Check out these designs and a short article in Vogue Knitting, Winter 2009/10. Also take a look at his Ravelry site, and website, boy meets purl. I especially like the Unikat Zippered Cardigan, Shawl Collar Pullover, and the Striped Cardigan. Clean lines, trim fitting, very male. And most recently, pp. 30-31 of KnitSimple, Fall 2010, there are hat and scarf combos — not just for guys — but the green/gold/olive striped one is definitely one a guy would wear.