Thursday, December 2, 2010

Quick gift knits, part 3

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.

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.

Simple knits

Sometimes stockinette or garter stitch is all you need – it’s enough to show off a luxurious fiber or beautiful color. Here are a few ultra-simple designs that do just that.
  • Dolores Park Cowl (free) – stockinette stitch with rolled edges, narrows gently towards the top. 110 yards chunky/bulky yarn – designed for one skein of Malabrigo Chunky.
  • Robin Hood Hat from Grace Akhrem has a wide, buttoned, sideways garter-stitch brim and stockinette crown.
  • Kristina McGowan’s Hillcrest Cloche (Ravelry link), also written for Malabrigo Chunky, is knitted top-down from the crown with a single-crocheted brim. 208 yards required.
  • Age of Brass and Steam kerchief/scarf/shawl (free) – top-down triangle in stockinette punctuated by eyelet rows; 230-240 yards DK weight yarn.
  • Fletcher Mittens by Amy Swenson – garter-stitch chevron stripes in one color of a worsted or Aran-weight self-striping yarn. Simple knitting, complex effect. 200-220 yards.
  • Laura Nelkin’s Flip-Top Mittens (Ravelry link) are written in 8 sizes for children and adults. Stockinette stitch with a loop at the tip of the hand so the mitten top can be buttoned to the cuff. Worsted weight or fingering weight yarn; 110-360 yards depending on size and weight. Larger sizes will take you over the 300-yard mark.
  • Simple yoga socks (free) are just the thing for yoga class – and a great stashbuster. 140-170 yards fingering weight for a women’s medium; pattern includes instructions for custom sizing.

Retro knits

Lots of great designs with a vintage vibe are to be found on Ravelry. First, a quartet of hats:
  • Easy Virtue (free)  - Stockinette ear-covering cloche with turned-back brim, knitted from the crown down. Just over 100 yards bulky yarn. This hat would look great felted or slightly fulled, too.
  • Vinegar Hill Hat by Rachel Maurer has a great retro-ski look, especially in the colors shown. Fingering weight yarn, 50 g each of three colors.
  • Portsmouth Skating hat (free) – 40-50 yards of bulky or super bulky yarn. This 50s-looking headband in a pretty texture stitch ties under the chin. Fast, and perfect to keep head and ears warm, but leave a bun or ponytail unencumbered.
  • Amelia Earhart Aviator Cap  (free) is knitted flat, shaped with miters, and seamed at the back. Handsome ridged texture stitch. Written for 220 yards worsted weight yarn, but be sure to check the Ravelry projects pages – many nice versions have been knitted with lighter-weight yarns at smaller gauges.
And for good measure:
  • Fan Neckwarmer keyhole scarf – 210-250 yards DK yarn
  • Mimosa Neckwarmer (free) – this oval cable-edged neckwarmer is accented with a few bobbles and pins closed. A vintage button or brooch would be great too. 220 yards bulky yarn.
  • Lauren Bacall Gloves by Miriam Felton have fabulous chevron-pleated cuffs and a buttoned keyhole at the inner wrist. Written in two sizes, for a sportweight merino-cashmere-silk blend. 288-330 yards (larger size is a bit over our limit).
  • Beaded Belle bag. This little wrist bag uses about 110 yards of worsted-weight cotton and 380 size 6 beads. Here’s a better photo:

The series – quick gifts 2010

  1. Pretty knits
  2. Manly knits
One or two more lists to come in the next few days – with useful, playful and youthful patterns. For more ideas, last year’s lists and a fingerless-glove pattern roundup can be found here.

No comments:

Post a Comment