Friday, November 26, 2010

Pattern roundup: quick gifts part one – pretty knits

Welcome to the Knitfinder quick gifts pattern roundup, 2010 edition (you’ll find the 2009 lists here). This series is for people who love to give handknits, but aren’t organized enough to get them done early. You know who you are. It isn’t too late to knit a little something for a dear friend or relation or two.

We begin with pretty things – perfect for your mother, sister, girlfriend, daughter or granddaughter, or favorite niece. Plenty of lace here. Tune in over the next week for a couple more installments, with ideas for men and home, hip and retro designs, and some other surprises.

The rules
There are only two rules: under 300 yards of yarn (or up to twice that for stranded colorwork, because after all you’re only knitting half the yardage); and available instantly online so you can cast on immediately. The yardage limit means a project can’t take too long, and increases the odds of your finding appropriate yarn in your stash. Some patterns are free; others cost a few dollars.

[Note: you won’t find fingerless gloves in these lists. They’re perfect for quick knitting, but I just did a fingerless-glove pattern roundup in September – click here to browse the lists.]

Pretty knits – for the hands
  • Sweet Robin Wrist-ees from Tiny Owl knits. A bit fiddly, but oh so adorable – intarsia colorwork bird and nest adorn simple stockinette wristwarmers in Shetland jumperweight yarn.
  • Anna’s Mittens from SpillyJane. Worsted-weight yarn, delicate knit-purl and twisted-stitch texture patterning, plus a simple floral colorwork band around the cuff. 260 yards.
  • Pitsilised gloves Free pattern from Monica Kullerand. Estonian lace-patterned back and cuff, stockinette palm and fingers. Three sizes; 275-300 yards baby/light fingering weight (heavy laceweight would work well too).
  • Sundagsvotter or Sunday mittens. Traditional Norwegian dress-up mittens with lacy back – textured feather and fan lace plus a central cable. Stockinette palm; free pattern. 50-60 grams light fingering- fingering weight.

For the neck and shoulders
  • Nancy Marchant’s Leafy Lacey Brioche Keyhole Scarf. Lacy two-color brioche stitch in tone-on-tone alpaca laceweight (Ravelry pattern page lists the wrong yarn). Uses 20g or less of each color. Also lovely in laceweight mohair.
  • Miriam Felton’s Windward Cowl may be knit in any yarn weight; 180-280 yards required for the DK version. Intricate lacy twisted-stitch texture patterning.
  • Wavy Feathers Wimple (free) features an undulating lace pattern. 220 yards fingering weight.
  • Sarah Punderson’s Sea Lace necklace was on my list last year too – but it’s here again because I’ve knit one since then. 20-30 yards of silk/stainless steel or wool/stainless steel yarn, a few beads, and a couple of hours’ knitting time equal a spectacular result. Here’s my version:

    Instead of knitting the pattern long enough to go all the way around the neck, I did just a 6” length, and attached it to a tarnished-silver chain. The recipient sent me a thank-you note saying it was one of the best presents she’d ever been given.  A free matching earring pattern was published in Knitty.

    Shawls under 300 yards? Yes indeed - and small shawls not only warm the shoulders, they make great scarves, worn scrunched around the neck.
  • Snowberry Brambles Capelet by Tori Gurbisz. Young women would love this, I think – a panel of lace with garter-stitch edging and collar. Tucks in the collar shape it to fit the shoulders; buttons at the neck. 300 yards of chunky or bulky yarn is enough for a 21” cross-shoulder measurement.
  • Tiziana Sammuri’s Fiore di Mare Shawlette features a beautiful Herbert Niebling floral lace pattern. Interesting, unusual construction; written for laceweight or fingering weight in three different sizes. 275 yards of light fingering weight is enough for the smallest size.
  • Rose Beck’s Flourish is a top-down triangular shawl in worsted-weight yarn. Heavier yarn and a geometric lace pattern give a bold effect. Written for 3 sizes; 210 yards for the smallest, 320 for the medium.
  • The garter-stitch Victorian Shoulderette by Sivia Harding is a miniature Faroese-shaped shawl with a pretty lace band and wavy edging. 250 yards of fingering weight.

For the head

  • Michele Wang’s intricate Cables & Lace Beret uses 300 yards of sport or fingering-weight yarn (written for The Fibre Company’s Road to China Light).
  • Dyah Dyanita’s tams feature stranded colorwork patterning inspired by Indonesian batik textiles; this one, the Tumpal beret, is free. Fingering gauge, about 200 yards of each color.
  • Molly from Alana Dakos is a softly-gathered stockinette beret with swirling crown decreases and a delicate lace brim. Five sizes for babies to adults; 145-245 yards fingering-weight yarn.
  • And if your recipient likes her hats close-fitting, Laura Todd’s Lana Seda hat might fill the bill – lacy mesh with a leaf lace panel and garter-stitch brim. Under 150 yards of DK weight yarn (written for Malabrigo Silky Merino).

And finally – for the feet

  • Leaf Lace Toe-Up Socks (free pattern) – 200 yards sport weight. These would make great bed socks – how about carrying a strand of mohair with a strand of laceweight yarn?
  • OK, Stephanie van der Linden’s Florenz anklets might take a hair over 300 yards total. Knitted top down, with pretty slip-stitch colorwork and a short-row heel. Free.
Come back later this week for more installments – with suggestions for men, young folks, home, and more.

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