Malin by Elsebeth Lavold
The middle of October is here and you know what that means.
Time to start thinking about your holiday gift knitting (and crocheting) if you haven’t begun already.
Including today, there are 73 days to December 21, the first day of Chanukah, and 76 days to December 24, Christmas Eve.
Have you ever timed your knitting? Not your stitch per minute speed, but how long it takes you to complete a project. For instance, I know a pair of socks usually takes me two weeks. A sweater for myself (an adult small), if it’s the only thing I work on, takes about a month. While a sweater for my husband, a men’s large, takes about two months.
If you are a member of Ravelry you already know that it is a great place for tracking how long a project takes, which is all important when planning your gift knitting time.
To maximize gift knitting time many people stick with simple or small projects, which makes accessories a great choice.
We have a number of books focused on accessories and other small projects that might help get your gift knitting juices flowing.
The Small Things Matter Collection (Book #17) by Elsebeth Lavold is a good place to start. This book features around 20 projects ranging from hats and gloves to shawls and bags. There are even a pair of cute decorative boxes.
Most of the projects are knit in Silky Wool, which adds eight new colors this season so it will be easy to match your recipient’s tastes.
Matching the recipient’s tastes is an important first step to make sure your gift is used and not relegated to the bottom of a closet. Don’t select flashy colors for someone who likes neutrals and don’t select a complicated stitch pattern for someone who would prefer a smooth stockinette.
For your gift to be a success you need to spend some time thinking about what the person you give it to will enjoy wearing rather than what you’ll enjoy knitting. Hopefully you’ll be able to find a project that satisfies both of you.
The Malin smoke ring, shown at the top of this post, could be such a project. It calls for just two skeins of Silky Wool and features an easy lace pattern with shaping accomplished by changing needle sizes.
With the continuing popularity of cowls, your gift with be both cozy and stylish as well as fun to knit.
Jenny Watson has put together “Mini Knits” books for several of the lines for which she designs.
Araucania Book #6 features 16 designs ranging from garments to home decor items.
For a change of pace there is also a cute teddy bear pattern. Just one skein of Itata is needed to make this new friend.
One skein of Araucania Itata is needed for this teddy.
If you enjoy making teddy bears, Debbie Bliss also has a few patterns. There are two sizes in her Booties, Blankets and Bears book that take Cashmerino Baby, which has six new colors this season.
There is also a free pattern for a teddy bear using one ball of Noro Kureyon on our website. Kureyon has eight new colors this season. That’s a lot of variety for your bears!
When making stuffed animals as gifts keep the age of the recipient in mind. Judge whether embroidered on eyes or plastic safety eyes will be better. For stuffing, it is easy to get either fiberfill or plastic beads at a craft store. Some knitters like to put the stuffing in a old panty hose that has been sewn or tied shut to prevent any from sneaking out through the fabric.
While Noro yarns make adorable stuffed animals they are mainly known for eye catching garments.
Jenny Watson’s Noro Mini Knits Two book covers a variety of garments from hats and scarves for both men and women to sweaters and shrugs for women of all ages.
Convertible mitts let you search for change.
One skein of Noro Silk Garden will make these cute flip-top mittens. This style of mitten is great because it keeps your fingers warm but if you need dexterity you can free your fingers without taking off the whole glove. The pattern is also fun to make with the challenge of the fingers to keep your attention.
K'acha scarf and gloves
The men in our lives can be some of the hardest people to knit for. To make it enjoyable for everyone it’s really important to select a style and color they will enjoy wearing. Showing them a selection of pictures of projects and yarns can help them narrow down what they would like. It is especially useful if they don’t “speak yarn” because instead of having to explain what they want they can just point.
This handsome scarf and glove set are from Jenny Watson’s Mirasol Mini Knits book. The set it knit in K’acha, a 60% Merino Wool, 25% Suri Alpaca, 15% Silk blend that comes in 12 jewel tone colors. Surely there will be one to satisfy that fussy man you know. The book also includes a men’s cabled hat and a boy’s vest.
Don’t worry, the book also includes plenty of pretty patterns the women in your life, including a cardigan, cowl, and hats.
If you get a start now, and plan carefully, you’ll be able to meet your gift knitting goals.