Wednesday 15 April 2015

What to knit Wednesday: Quick gift knits

The Sabi Hat that I knit with Sublime Yarns Baby Cashmerino Silk DK
Hooray, we're over the illness hump and I'm bringing 'What to knit Wednesday' back. I've just finished knitting a present for my SIL so I thought I might take a moment to look at some quick knits that are great little gifts.

1. Mitini Mitts by Colleen Powley.
This pair of dainty mitts is what I just finished for my SIL. I love how the simple cables across the back of the mitt creates texture and a subtle elegance. I received this pattern as a freebie when I purchased a ball of Blue Sky Alpacas Royal Petites, which is a super soft 100% alpaca yarn. One ball of the Petites is meant to be enough for both mitts but my gauge must be off because I was yards off. After knitting the right mitt I found it to be too big for my hands and I knew that it would be even bigger for my SIL's hands. It was also clear that I wasn't going get both mitts out of the 1 ball so I knew I needed some MODS. I CO 50sts (6 less than the pattern's instructions) and to ensure I had enough yarn to BO I made the thumb shorter. Full details of my MODS can be read on my Ravelry project page.

My SIL's birthday is next week so I hope she'll like these little mitts through the winter.

2. Chibi Maruko by Mari Chiba.
I knit this cowl a few months ago as a birthday and farewell present for a friend who was moving back to NZ. I thought a cowl would be a nice way for her to stay cosy during those Kiwi winters and she would be able to remember us whenever she wears it.

The cowl is a lovely textured stitch that is easy to remember and since it's not a fitted garment it is easily adapted for desired size. I chose to knit it with some Quince & Co. Owl Tweet in Boysenberry and I think the texture suited the darker coloured yarn well. The yarn itself is an alpaca/ wool blend with some nubby bits to give it a slight tweed feel. 

3. Honey Cowl by Antonia Shankland.
This pattern is a free Madelinetosh download and it is so easy. It uses a slipped stitch to create a honeycomb pattern that is really easy to memorise. It can pretty much be knit with any weight yarn even though the suggested weight is DK/ 8ply. The pattern gives suggestions for a long and short cowl and these instructions can be used as a guide for modifying the pattern. I knit it with 2 skeins of Madelinetosh Pashmina Worsted for a long cowl.

4. Sabi Hat by Olga Buraya-Kefelian.
Hats are another one of those small projects that are quick to knit up for gifting. I made this last year for a church friend and it took me just a few days. It's a stylish hat that uses directional ribs to create a zig zag pattern. The ribs also makes it quite a stretchy hat and can fit lots of head sizes and shapes.

5. Windschief by Stephen West.
Here's one for the boys. I made this as one of my Christmas gifts last year and it was such a quick knit with the worsted-aran weight/ 10ply yarn. The design is not overly fussy which appeals to the guys and the rib panel gives it a bit of stretchiness to fit a variety of head shapes and sizes.

Not that it's necessary to point out the obvious but small projects are best for knitting up last minute gifts. I have a preference for cowls, hats and mitts but small softies, socks and small household items like mug cozies are also great gifts that can be knit up quickly.

Also, patterns that have easily memorised instructions are ideal. Once you memorise the necessary steps of the pattern you can sped through the rows or rounds without constantly needing to look up the pattern. Another perk of memorising the pattern is that you can knit on the move without needing to fiddle with checking patterns on paper or on tablets and phones. When knitting to a deadline you can maximise your knitting time by having your projects at hand for any spare moments of knitting. I can usually knock out a row or two while I'm supervising bath time or during a car ride to the grandparents.

Leave a comment and share your quick gift knits.

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