Monday, December 7, 2009

Quick gift patterns: color

Every year come November, I swear not to commit to knitting holiday gifts. But come December, I inevitably find myself casting on for at least one gift that must be done by Christmas. Just can't resist. If you are in the same boat this week, thinking you could still cast on one or two things and get them done in time, here are 50+ ideas for you. There's something for everyone - men, women and kids; color, lace, texture, or plain and simple. Today: ten twelve fabulous patterns featuring color in one way or another. Check back each day this week for my top ten lace, texture, and plain and simple patterns.

All these patterns use less than 300 yarns of yarn; most of them much less. (Double that amount for stranded colorwork - because that comes to the same thing). That means you should be able to get them knitted in a week without too much trouble. All are easily available, either instantly online or in magazines currently on the newsstands. Many are free; others cost a few dollars. Some are widely known, others are unsung gems or rediscovered from past years. Here we go!

TODAY'S TOP TEN: COLOR (in no particular order)

  1. Thorpe hat from Through the Loops (free pattern). Chunky-weight wool, uses 130 yards each of two colors. Stylish unisex earflap hat with bold stranded colorwork crown in stockinette stitch, solid-color garter-stitch brim and earflaps. Worked from the crown down.
  2. Selbu Modern beret from Kelbourne Woolens (free pattern). Uses two 175-yard skeins of Koigu or other fingering-weight yarn. Lovely, feminine stranded colorwork pattern.
  3. Little Entrelac Bags by Susan Lawrence, from Interweave Knits Holiday Gifts 2009 (on newsstands now). These little felted drawstring bags each use half a skein (55 yards) of Noro Kureyon. I cast one on this morning.
  4. Adult vertical stripe Noro hat from Chicken Stitches (free pattern). Uses two skeins of Kureyon (220 yards total). An undiscovered gem - the garter-stitch crown is knitted flat, sideways, and joined; brim is picked up from crown and knitted downward in the round. There's also a baby version.

  5. Furrow mittens from Through the Loops in three colors of worsted-weight wool. Boldly-striped hands in two colors, cuffs in a slip-stitch pattern with a third color added.
  6. Red right hand stockinette fingerless mitts from Weaverknits (free pattern). Uses 100 yards each of two colors of sock yarn, one solid and one striping, for an edgy mismatched colorblock effect.
  7. Scandinavian footlets by Marilyn van Keppel (free patterns). Two versions: Faroese footlets in solid color or with simple stranded colorwork; Eli's Footlets constructed from multicolor garter-stitch squares and felted. Uses a small amount of unspun Icelandic or other worsted-weight wool.

    Easy house slippers are another version of the Eli's Footlets pattern, also free.
  8. Kate (free pattern) This cute, simple, Japanese-looking stuffed kitty toy from Knitty uses worsted-weight wool in three colors.
  9. Short-row Hat by Véronik Avery. I knitted one of these with 150 yards of Patons Soy Wool Stripes - love it. It's knitted flat on two needles, using short rows for a diamond entrelac effect.
  10. Athena's Owl bag by Laura Andersson. Available on Ravelry (originally published in the newsletter Stranded). Stranded colorwork owl design reminiscent of ancient Greek vases - in sport or DK wool. OK, this might be more work than anything else on this list, but beautiful! Be the first on Ravelry to knit one up.
  11. And one more for good measure: Alpaca Baby from Pamela Allen - a super-cute baby hat in sportweight alpaca with a modern polka-dot colorwork band.
  12. Added 12/8/09: Here's one more great fingerless mitt pattern - Diamondback mitts from Westknits (pattern available on Ravelry). Colorful stockinette mitts with contrast-color diamond trellis overlay and garter-stitch edges. Great for men, or anyone. Uses 120 yards total of worsted-weight wool in two colors.

Tuesday: top ten lace patterns
Wednesday: patterns with texture
Thursday: plain & simple patterns
Friday: miscellaneous gems

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