OK, trying to stick to my Monday brief about these gift knit suggestions being pulled from relatively new patterns (i.e., those I haven’t managed to get into the blog yet this year) means these are perhaps not the world’s quickest cowl patterns. You could certainly find faster ones out there (ahem) but these are situated comfortably on the fast <–> interesting continuum! For the previous gift-knitting installments this week, see Hats and Fingerless Mitts.
TOP: Mason by Julie Hoover is a simple stockinette funnel at chunky gauge with a little slipstitch colorwork for interest
MIDDLE LEFT: Flying Solo by Espace Tricot is written for two strands of shifting shades to create an ombré but could also be done in a single strand of worsted. This one I actually favorited and forgot at the end of last year, which is hard to believe since it ties right into the whole dickey conversation (free pattern) — pardon me while I cast on
MIDDLE RIGHT: The Shift by Andrea Mowry is the biggest commitment of the bunch, an oversized bandana shape, but seems like it would be so much fun — more slipstitch action
BOTTOM: Sten by Renate Yerkes is double-knit in contrasting shades of worsted for a two-sided cowl
I hope that all gives you some ideas, whether for yourself or others!
PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites / Gift Knits: Fingerless mitts
Next up in this week’s short series of quick gift-worthy knits: fingerless mittts! My favorite snack-sized knitting. Mitts are beloved by all (or at least most!), although they can be a little more knitting than yesterday’s hats, due to there being two of them and all. But if you have a little more time—
TOP: Giving Mitts by Jenny Sauselein — look it’s right there in the name! I absolutely love these striped unisex cuties [UPDATE! And I somehow failed to notice they’re written for Lettlopi, so if you’ve got assorted balls for Solbein/Steekalong swatching, this is the perfect use for them!)
SECOND, LEFT+RIGHT: Log Cabin Mitts by yours truly — but really, what could be more perfect? They’re addictively fun to knit, the perfect use for leftovers or mix-and-match skeins, and lend themselves to an endless array of solids or color combinations (free pattern)
THIRD: McKenna by the Berroco Design Team are super-simple cable mitts at bulky gauge (free pattern)
FOURTH: Weekend Walking Mitts by Dianna Walla are a little bit more of a commitment at DK gauge but still cabled only on the back of the hand, this time with a helpful foldover top and a bit more of a wow factor (For superbulky gauge, see Dianna’s Chuckanut Drive)
If you’re really pressed for time — like Christmas Eve knitting — the cutest, quickest mitts are Hannah Fettig’s 70 Yard Mitts.
PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites / Quick Knits: Hats
With gift-knitting season upon us and my having a backlog of eye-popping knitting patterns I haven’t squeezed into the blog yet, I decided to do a sequence of New Favorites alternatives this week: recent killer accessory patterns that also knit up quickly and would make great gifts. Starting today with hats, the ultimate unisex gift. These patterns have enough going on that they’ll be fun to knit and make an impression, but not so much as to slow you down too much!
The particular beauty of hats — or any small-scale gift knits, really — is that it’s a chance for you to have fun rotating through different techniques while you’re at it. A definite win/win—
TOP: Tamitik by Shannon Cook shot straight to the top of my hat list when I first saw it on her Instagram* — cute, simple and bulky is a perfect gift-knit combo
MIDDLE LEFT: Diamondback Hat by Mary Jane Mucklestone was on her needles when I saw her in September and it gave me instant cast-on-itis — rhythmic 2-color stranding at worsted gauge
MIDDLE RIGHT: Adam by Rachel Atkinson is a fitted cap in DK on 8s with gorgeous knit-purl patterning
BOTTOM: Pabst Blue Ribbon by Thea Colman is a striking use of cables on a simple cap at aran gauge (see also: Wild Dandelion)
You guys, I picked these thinking “slip-stitch, colorwork, knit-purl texture, cables,” something for everyone, and didn’t realize till I saw the photos together that I unconsciously assembled a collection of diamonds! But then isn’t that the ideal motif for a gift knit?
(Disclosure: Shannon has since sent me the pattern.)
PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: Wearable superbulky
Here I am in the middle of winter wardrobe planning, having gone through my mood board and gap fillers and to-knit list, on the brink of putting together some outfits and carrying on with my winter, and suddenly I am 100% distracted by these chic little superbulky raglans from Tara-Lynn Morrison of Good Night, Day. I mentioned the incredibly fabulous mixed-sleeve-stripe one in the last Elsewhere, and can’t get it out of my head, and then yesterday Tara-Lynn kindly sent me her latest ebook of her Minimalist patterns, since which time I cannot stop looking at the photos seen here: three variations on a simple top-down raglan. Top to bottom, above to below, they are Moosonee Sweater (abbreviated turtleneck), Kingston Cropped Sweater (solid or mixed-stripe crewneck) and Trefann (textured yoke).
The world is full of people hawking superbulky sweater patterns, and they often lead to garments that appear to have swallowed the wearer. Plus who has the closet space for some of those?! But what T-L gets so right is the proportions. Yes they’re superbulky (you can knit one in a day!), but the scale of them is wearable (even in my climate!) and every detail is just right — the yoke depth vs body length and sleeve proportion … they just work. And the way she’s styled them here has my name written all over it. Cozy sweater + slippery little dress + knee-high boots is one of my all-time favorite combos, and these pics are making me not only want to knit one or two of these sweaters to wear with pants and jeans right now (it’s 31 degrees as I type), but to actually dust off some of my dresses to go with them on our seasonal dissonance days. So yes, I’m slightly rethinking my day-old Queue.
PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: the Two-Point Cowl
I have two chief concerns right now, winter wardrobe-wise, being opposite sides of the same coin: First, how to knit myself a couple of sweaters that aren’t too warm for my climate and work well with my collection of pants. (What shape? What yarn? The internal debate is interminable.) Second, what to do with the assorted beautiful wool in my stash such that it is wearable in my climate. Of the two, the one I’m trying most to focus on is the latter, since it makes use of stash — and specifically of yarn I have because I’m dying to knit with it! So I keep going back to my dickey and what I said about Brandi’s neck pieces — the notion of sewing myself a couple of simple things that would fill in for lighter-weight sweaters (e.g., a sweatshirt instead of a pullover; a kimono jacket instead of a cardigan), and layering them with wool neck accessories that are easier and more flexible to wear than were I to commit the same yarn to a full sweater. Which brings me to Churchmouse’s Two-Point Cowl, pictured above in two different gauges. The simple but effective pattern — which wears more like a wrap than a cowl, and also looks great more bunched up — is easy to adapt to any gauge, making it a good candidate for the variety of yarns I have in waiting. And it’s a great pattern for just letting a good yarn shine.
(p.s. Sorry for my unintended absence yesterday. I was sick all weekend and didn’t get a post written. All better now!)
PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: All square
I’m endlessly amazed at how musicians can be given the same limited set of musical notes and yet come up with an infinite number of new tunes and melodies. I feel a bit the same about these two shawls — oversized rectangular wraps — both of which are based on the simple concept of squares knitted in alternating stockinette and reverse stockinette:
TOP: Ippen Shawl by Claudia Eisenkolb puts two twists on the classic big-basketweave effect: the squares give way to wedges at the center, turning the rectangle into a U shape; and there’s a stripe of color running the length of it that shifts depending on whether you’re in a stockinette or reverse-stockinette block, from a solid line to a ticking stripe [Link updated 11.13, original Ravelry pattern listing was broken]
BOTTOM: Sjal by Antonia Shankland is a subtle collection of nested squares that change scale along the way
PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: Brandi’s neck sculptures
Remember back at the end of last month when I said “Or perhaps I’ll cast on a Grete, if there’s a suitable yarn for it in my stash”? So that happened, and I’ll show it to you as soon as I take some pics, but it’s amazing. And between that and the situation with my too-warm sweater collection and my short attention span right now, I’m kind of obsessed with the idea of a winter wardrobe plan that consists of some very simple long-sleeve tops combined with statement-making neck accessories that also fend off the coming cold, and would be immensely satisfying to knit. I’m once again reminded of the loop stitch Markham Collar (which Tara-Lynn has since sent me and I just dug out) but am also newly fixating on Brandi Harper’s sculptural, convertible head-and-neck-ccesories, the Hoodie (above bottom) and the Shawl Collar (above top). Both would be great with yarns held double or triple, making them great stash busters, as well.
PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: Building blocks