knitting it up in a big way

Tag Archives: gifts

lifeline mittens by belletrism

lifeline pattern ($4.00USD) another fabulous example of how the knit doesn’t need to be intricate to have wow factor. handspun or special yarn really elevate a knit, or a gift! i can’t tell you how frequently i stop back to stare at this picture. so beautiful! i think i’ll tear out my handspun cowl that i was never really sold on and use that yarn for a pair of these mittens…

hellskitsch‘s chocolate bark mittens

from the splitbark pattern ($6.00USD). i love the unexpected juxtaposition of the garter stitch with the offset honeycomb cabling, all amplified by this perfect yarn choice. neutral and unexpected!

cozy mittens pattern free from

these quick and rustic mittens are a free pattern from i’d be willing to bet you could crank out a pair of these in one evening. set the tree to twinkle, pop in ‘it’s a wonderful life’, and i bet you could have a pair of mittens to show for it!

timothy hay & fluffy bunnies by urbanizer (blog post)

early grey mitts ($2.00USD) are sweet and simple. little mitts to warm your hands and give a chance to use up partial skeins and play with colors! i have a pair of these (made by the self same urbanizer!), and these get loads and loads of wear! last year, when it was bitterly cold, i found out the ease with which they slip under other mittens/gloves, and how much that extra layer of insulation helps!

thoroughbred mitts designed and knitted by aliciaplum

thoroughbred mitt pattern ($4.00USD) a lovely parallelogram textured mitt pattern. a totally neutral knit, i can’t imagine anyone they wouldn’t work for!

need more ideas? check out last years quick knits: mitts & mittens, or the year before!

if you wanted some cabled mitts, i’ve been loving the vancouver fog mitts forever (free!), and still intend to make them. if you want a little more of a challenge, there’s the cam cable mitts ($6.50USD), with an unusual cable, and patterning on the front and back. other textured mitts include raw honey ($4.00USD). if you’re jonesing for a bit of bobble in your life (but not too much!), there’s the emerald mitts. the most unusual techniques i’ve seen are on these cool zimtstern mitts (free!), which are started at the thumb, and use surface crochet to give the effect of radiating stars. if you’re looking for something a little more feminine, there’s the lovely katinka mitts ($6.00USD), or astri mi astri.


i’m a little later getting this party started than i would have liked, but let’s see just how much of this party we can fit in before christmas!!! (for you chanukah celebrators, i apologize, the deck was stacked against me this year.) hopefully you will see something to inspire and delight!

lane's mojave
mojave by lane

$6.00USD. the cowl shown above is a modified version of the original mojave pattern, so make sure you take a peek at the original. but lane’s is a great shorter (therefore faster!) substitute. this is a good project to use up skeins leftover from projects that didn’t take as much yarn as you originally anticipated. i love love love the muted palette shown, and i have a hard time picturing it in anything other than muted dusty tones, or warm jewel tones.

neil by dandiliongrl

$4.00USD for the neil pattern. this is probably going to be the fastest pattern of the bunch, clocking in at a low 240 yards. break out the chunky yarn and the bigger needles, and buckle in for an easy ride to a handmade holiday present! did i take that too far? i like the diamond pattern, and this looks both quick and fun to knit!

shandon by beatka

free! shandon pattern, featuring a fun chevron stitch. textural, gender neutral, what more can you ask for? this could also be easily modified by knitting it flat instead of in the round, if that’s a thing you’re interested in! the chevron ribbing is great for showing off a more complex yarn. it obviously works well with a gorgeous semi-solid, but i think a multicolored yarn would really shine in this pattern, too!

mesa view by rainydaygoods

$5.00USD for the mesa view pattern. a nice textural cowl, with a scarf option and the bonus of buttons! the buttons are great, because depending on your choice, you can really change the aesthetic of this cowl. the boldly teal yarn with cherry red buttons shown is very quirky and contemporary! but in wispy cream yarn with crystal buttons? quite feminine! imagine it knit up in a muted dark green with some natural wood buttons. sounds pretty masculine friendly to me!

gentille by hupsis

€4.50 ($6.35USD) for the gentille pattern, which is part of the feathery delights, all of which i find quite lovely. even this cowl, which features lace, could work for a guy. when scrunched layered around the neck, the lace in this pattern reads more as a textural elements than a lacy element. lately, that’s been something i’ve really been drawn to. i can picture it in a dark dark grey, almost black, so that it really amps up the element of shadow and texture.

not enough cowl inspiration for you? visit my first cowl round-up! or my second cowl round-up! i still like every single one of those patterns!

colorwork cowls seem to be my favorite. more that i’m currently in love with: the flambeau cowl ($4.00USD), has a short and a long version. the pine bough cowl is maybe a little intense to take on as a christmas gift right now, but it’s free and so so gorgeous. i also love triangle loop (free).

stripes can be super addictive and make knitting easy! tilted shadows cowl (free! and i especially love this one) is fun. or if you’re feeling the striped cowl, there’s also the… striped cowl (free!), and ships & seaside ($5.50USD, and so so so addictive, y’all).

if you need something quick, this lovely lace ptarmigan cowl is less than 200 yards ($6.00USD). if you’re feeling lacey & ambitious, solaria ($6.00CAD) and rivendell smoke ring ($6.00USD) are both beautiful. if you’re feeling another option for a textured cowl, cocoon me cowl ($6.00USD) or avery ($5.00USD).

i feel like i overused the word textural in this post. and exclamation points. but that’s besides the point! which of the above is your favorite? have you found any new patterns that look perfect for some quick gift knitting? or any tried & true cowl patterns that you always turn to in a pinch? share in the comments!

i say it everytime, but it’s still true: hats are my favesies. they are my idea of a good time. you can splurge a little when buying yarn for a hat, you don’t need that much.

[gin and tonic hat by knittedblissjc. worsted weight yarn on US size 6 (4mm) and US size 8 (5mm) needles.]

gin & tonic hat (free)

a pretty hat for a fun skein of yarn. good for multi-colored yarn, as the changing stitch will ensure it won’t pool.

[little scallops hat by missc. sport weight yarn on US size 2 1/2 (3.0mm)]

little scallops (free! scroll to the bottom of the post for the english translation)

i LOVE these hats. i became a little obsessed when i saw this. what an amazing stash busting opportunity for all those partial skeins! what a fun way to play with color combinations! make them in school colors for all your school spirit oriented peeps!

[bristol hat by savoryknitting. fingering yarn on US size 1 (2.25mm) and US size 3 (3.25mm).]

bristol hat pattern ($5USD)

i found this before visiting bristol, and i love it! chevrons, geometric patterns? what’s not to love. get on my needles, hat!

[pup tent hat by caterpillargreen. worsted weight yarn on US size 8 (5mm) needles.]

pup tent pattern (free!)

love this pretty textured gender neutral allover pattern.

[snowberry hat by ilukuduja. aran weight yarn on US size 7 (4.5mm) needles.]

if you need more ideas, visit last years quick knits-hats edition. of course, there always this free pattern i released earlier this year, as the leaves begin to fall, or chunkeanie is a free pattern that is pretty basic, nice and masculine, but with just enough knitterly details. last minute slouch (free!) has a great texture. if you’re feeling bobbles & cables, or if you know someone with a mad crush on andrew garfield, there’s always gwen stacy hat (free), noll (€2.90) if you want something a little more intricate. and if none of these work, give melissa labarre’s hats a perusal.

what’s your go-to, last minute, everybody loves it hat?

welcome to round 2 of quick knits leading up to the holidays! if you are anything like me, and knitting pairs of things means you need to knit something in between the first and the second, you should probably start working on your pairs now! thusly, it is time for the mitts!

[annepaalandet‘s mitts; worsted weight yarn, less than 200 yards, on size US 6 (4mm) & US 7 (4.5mm) needles.]

pattern is in the blogpost in the original norwegian, or, for those of you who don’t read/speak norwegian, translated care of google. the translation is a bit rough, but between the translation and the pictures, you can get all of the info you need. i have faith in you! anne is working on translating the pattern, and i will update this post as soon as it becomes available! (free free free!)
these are awesome and basic mitts. the nice thing about such basic mitts? you can modify them any which way you want! toss some cables on those puppies! how about stripes? embroider initials or flowers. or duplicate stitch some polka dots on the stockinette body (ooh, i want those!). sew a couple of buttons that serve no purpose but add a little style! or, heck, toss a random offset buttonhole near the edge of the ribbing, and give your buttons some function! why not?

[sushipie‘s hornet mitts; worsted, less than 200 yards on US 5 (3.75mm)]

bramble mitts (free!)
for those of you who get the cable urge, but don’t feel like going to the fuss of figuring it out yourself! feeling a little pressed for time? shave off a repeat at the beginning and save some yarn.

[redribbonfox‘s latte mitts & blog post; worsted, around 200 yards, on US 5 (3.75mm)]

susie’s reading mitts (totally free-stylin’! as a quick note: this project was made using an archived version of the pattern, but the pattern link is to the current version.)
love these mitts. they are the perfect mix of engaging and mindless. they start out with a fun picot edge, transition to a bit of easy stockinette, and end with the same fun edge.

[lolotte1409‘s plomb mitts, sport, 210 yards on US 4 (3.5mm)]

dustland mitts. $6 (USD).
i love these textured gender neutral mitts. these are another one, where if you are feeling pressed for time, or unsure if you have enough yarn, you could subtract anywhere from 1 to 5 of the different textured stripes from the arm.

[antler mittens; aran, around 200 yards on US 8 (5mm)]

antler mittens ($5 CAD).
excellent gender neutral cozy cabled mittens, for those of you who like over the finger coverage (nothing like grabbing the steering wheel in a cold car that has sat out overnight to make you want finger coverage!)

want some more suggestions? try last years post on quick knits: mitts & mittens. or, if nothing has caught your fancy yet, check out zombie vixen (free pattern, for your cousin/brother/niece who llllllloves the walking dead), muckle mitts ($5 USD for some colorwork fun), straightforward mitts (free, with a fun undulating twisted rib pattern), the woodsy association ($10 for 5 different options. make the badger ones for a hufflepuff friend!).

did i miss any of your favorite go-to quickly knit mitt patterns? share in the comments! thanks to all the knitters who were so accommodating with permission for me to show their work!

whoo! welcome to the first in a series of quick knits in preparation for the holidays! over the next several weeks, i’ll give you guys a small selection of easily accessible knits that (in my opinion) would make good gifts, and should knit up fairly quickly!

first up: shawls!

shawls are nice dramatic layering pieces, good for looking chic whilst bundled up in your winter coat, or good at home on chilly evenings, or as mini lap blankets. but this isn’t the spot for multiple lace patterns on cobweb yarn, we need shawls that knit up a little faster, so:

[textured suri by wovenhand, a little over 600 yards of blue sky alpacas suri merino on US size 9 (5.5mm) needles]

textured shawl recipe (free ravelry download, y’all! holla!)
while 600+ yards is a little hefty for a quick knit, i have heard from multiple sources that this shawl knits up quickly and is pretty addictive. if you are feeling flush with cash (a la tom haverford and jean-ralphio), go for this yarn. it is every knitter’s dream. ALSO: it doesn’t have to be this big! the original is actually just 330 yards. so. easy-peasy, lemon-squeezy!

[hey, good eyes, this is totally my knit. lavendulus marina by ifandany, clocking in at about 410 yards on US size 6 (4mm) needles.]

schieffelin point shawl (free ravelry download, what-what?!)
this shawl isn’t too much of a time investment. with a garter based body, this starts out as a great TV knit. then the lace border is knit on perpendicularly, which adds a little bit of excitement, and you really don’t need to worry about binding off too tightly.

[annis by anneleterme. approx 240 yards on US size 6 (4mm) needles]

annis (free pattern from knitty!)
shawlettes are great bang for your buck. they use less yarn, and can be styled like a scarf, which some recipients might find more accessible. i also think this would look great in a heavier weight yarn. or, if you’re feeling adventurous, use the crescent shaped stockinette base, and add a different edging, like perhaps this one with the echo flower edging.

[sometime before midnight by juneberrystar. two skeins of malabrigo, or 420 yards, on Us size 11 (8mm) needles.]

sweet november shawl (free free free)
this is one of jill’s most worn knits, and i really love how dramatic it is, with the bulk and the fringe. the yardage above includes the fringe. i’ve been meaning to make one for a couple of years now. open & airy, all-over lace on large needles means this will knit up fairly quickly. just be sure to give it a really stretchy bind-off!

bonus round: these are only a few ideas among the dozens and dozens of patterns available to you! the ishbel shawl is incredibly popular, and it is addictive and intuitive (though not free). the echo flower shawl in it’s original form is a little intense for a last minute knit, but i think this worsted weight version is an absolute knock-out, and it makes me want to cast on this very moment. the citron (free, and makes for fairly mindless knitting), gingko shoulderette (free, and i love kessanlin’s version), holden shawlette (free, lovely, xanniex made a beautiful, sunny version) are all fabulous options!

what about you guys? do you have any quick shawl patterns up your sleeve? share in the comments for anyone seeking inspiration!



this year i tried to use mostly recycled materials for gift wrapping. newspaper, seasonal paper shopping bags, leftover postcards (i like postcards, but i never send them…), scrap yarn, or reused wrapping materials.


the tree has never really reached a state of completion. we just keep adding things to it. some silver tinsel garlands… and then i decided to make the owl more seasonal and made a leetle silver pipe cleaner halo.

i have a hard time figuring out what to wear to certain kinds of events… cocktail parties, weddings, church on christmas eve. i stress about it. so here, for my own records, is what i wore to to church on christmas eve this year:

(forgive the photo quality. it was the evening part of christmas eve.)

gifts both necklaces
target grey cardigan
jones new york ruffly blouse from eons ago
forever21 belt
j crew, thrifted grey wool skirt
h&m tights
it’s a mystery! boots
dkny, thrifted my seasonally bright green coat

i thought i’d better sneak cowls in while we still have a bit of time. less time intensive than scarves, with no chance of ‘second sock syndrome’, but still substantial, and completely in the round (okay, not all of them, but the ones below), cowls are a great present to knit. i have, just this year, succumbed to the fun of cowl knitting.

botzy‘s rococo cowl (state street cowl)

does anyone else immediately get arcade fire stuck in their head whenever they hear/read the word ‘rococo’? this cowl could be even pretty last minute, it uses super chunky yarn and size 15 needles.

tanisfiberart‘s stockholm scarf, using her own gorgeous yarn (free pattern!)

this one would be the most time intensive of the ones up this week. but i see no reason why this pattern wouldn’t work just as well knit up with fewer stitches on a heavier yarn and still look fabulous, if you need a wee shortcut.

wovenhand‘s asheville cowl (honey cowl, free pattern!)

i’ve had my eye on the honey cowl for a while. the results are consistently beautiful and wearable. and you should know by now that i’m a sucker for any project in the ‘old gold/fancy mustard’ color range.

barefootrooser‘s handspun eternity cowl (eternity cowl)

oh handspun! it elevates any project. i can tell you from personal experience that this cowl is easy to memorize, and totally addicting to knit.

have you made any of these? have any of these been waiting patiently in your queue? which is your fave cowl?

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