Thursday, December 9, 2010

Quick gift knits, part 4 – Useful 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’s getting late, but you’ve still got more than two weeks - it isn’t too late to knit a little something for a dear friend or relation or two. Today, a roundup of useful knitted objects.

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.

useful1 Michelle Miller’s Knitting Project Bag (Ravelry link) in a pretty eyelet rib is completely seamless and uses just 50 grams of sport-weight cotton (164 yards). Perfect for fellow knitters. I find pincushions irresistible – Hannah Breetz’s Sea Urchin (free) looks quite like the real thing. Knitted with 15-20 yards of bulky yarn (Cascade Ecological Wool) and slightly fulled. And for Kindle owners, the Bear Claw Kindle Cover (free) a simple lace pattern, 75-125 yards of Aran-weight wool.


Felted Flower Bowls (free) from Meg Myers use just 65 yards of worsted-weight wool – a great stash-busting project. Julie Weisenberger’s Rag Doily Rug (free; Ravelry link) is knitted from one king-size sheet torn into strips (prep tutorial is here). For a bit of glitz, Rosemary Hill’s beaded wire Venezia napkin rings (free; Ravelry link) are just the thing – 24 yards of wire and 55 beads per ring. Jenny’s Tansu Table Runner (free) isn’t strictly useful, I guess, but would be lovely on a bedroom dresser or dining room sideboard.  165 yards of fingering-weight hemp in an easy seafoam lace stitch – would be nice in linen, too.

useful2For the kitchen and dining room: Linoleum Dishcloth (free) from Mason-Dixon Knitting in a fabulous slip-stitch color pattern. I know, it’s a dishcloth. Would be great knitted in kitchen-towel size, too. About 75 yards worsted-weight cotton for the dishcloth. The Biscuit Blanket would be a great gift for someone who loves to bake – to keep fresh scones warm at the table. Slip-stitch texture patterning in worsted=weight cotton, about 200 yards required. Kristi Schueler’s kitschy Towel Trio, with three variations, has a great vintage look. Slip-stitch color or texture patterning, 160-225 yards worsted-weight cotton for each towel.


The series – quick gifts 2010

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

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