Gift Knits: 10 Quick Projects for Holiday Knitting

Knitter's Gift Timeline via PinterestIt’s that time of year again! Time to start thinking about the holiday gift knitting. Unless you’ve been in our Spring and Fall Giftables Club, in which case, you have already completed several quick projects and have them tucked away, ready for the holidays! I came across this Knitter’s Gift Timeline on Pinterest and thought it was a perfect description for how I go about getting gift knitting done. For those of us still thinking about what to make for the different people in our lives, here are 10 different project ideas (with a few options for each one) for quick knitting for Christmas gifts. (71 days. Did you need to know that? I didn’t.)

1. Hats – great for males and females, young and old! Here are a few of my favorite hat patterns: Wurm, Windschief, Koolhaas, CrosscheckWho?, and Felicity.

2. Scarves – also great for all ages and stages. A few ideas: A Little Jazz, Black Cherry Lambic, Cerus Scarf, Palindrome, Favorite Scarf Ever, and Strangling Vine Lace Scarf.

3. Fingerless Mitts – great for kids and adults alike. Check these out: Fetching, Treads, Cafe au Lait, October Leaves, Part Deux Mitts, and Felicity Mitts.

4. Mittens – for those who prefer their fingers covered! Try these: Bella’s Mittens, Horatio and Oren, Grove, Wood Hollow Mittens, Basic Children’s Mittens, and Waiting for Winter Mittens. Add a tub of Lavishea to keep their fingers soft!

5. Gloves – these take a little more time, but there are some beautiful patterns out there. A few ideas: Knotty Gloves, Froot Loop Gloves, Spice Route (ok, not quick, but beautiful, right?), Finlay, Absinthe Gloves, and Char.

6. Small Shawls/Wraps – typically knit up with one or two skeins of yarn, and used around the shoulders or around the neck. Check out: Jadyn Shire, Granlibakken, Amaranth Shawl, Boiseau Wrap, Andromeda Shawl, and Allis.

7. Dishcloths or Facial Cloths – it’s always nice to pair these with handmade soap (like TwentySeven Soap). Some pattern ideas: Leafy Washcloth, Double Bump Washcloth, Shaker Dishcloths, Pinwheel Flower, Lacy Mock Cable, and Ballband Dishcloth.

8. Cowls – quicker than a scarf, but just as warm around the neck. Here are some of my favorites: Song of the Sea, Zuzu’s Petals, Willow Cowl, Calm Cowl, Pretty Thing, and Lila Blue.

9.  Vests – usually a bigger investment of time, but leaving off the sleeves makes it quicker than a sweater! Try these: Vine Lace Vest, Angostura, Memory VestCloud Chaser, Mondo Cable Shell/Vest, and Dr. G’s Memory Vest.

10. Socks – the heavier the yarn, the quicker they knit up. Ideal for all ages. Here are some sport/dk/worsted options, to they knit up quickly: Simple Skyp Socks, Blueberry Waffle Socks, House Targaryen Socks, Diagonal Rib Socks, Tern, and Mudslide Socks.

Or how about a kit that contains yarn/pattern/fun extra, all ready to knit up? We have a few August Giftables Kits (with an exclusively dyed skein of Biscotte & Cie Self-Striping yarn and a pattern for fingerless mitts and ear warmers) and a few September Giftables Kits (with an exclusively dyed skein of Dream in Color’s Wool/Alpaca worsted weight yarn and a pattern for The Path Less Traveled hat) still available. We’ve also put the patterns from last spring’s Giftables up on the website: Lila Blue infinity cowl, Crosscheck hat, and Allis shawl/scarf, which are all great patterns for quick gift knits, which is the whole premise behind our Giftables Club! (The October Giftables Kit will be out at the end of the week, for those of you who have signed up for it.)

So how are you fixed for gift knitting? Done? Haven’t started? Halfway there? Pick a pattern and pop over for some yarn. We’ll get you fixed right up and on your way!

Sheri stillneedingtomakealist.That’sagoodplacetostart.

Second Quarter Challenge

second-quarter-challenge-flocked-mittensWe’re ready to jump into our Second Quarter Challenge! Join us for some knitting fun. This quarter, we’re working on simple colorwork projects.

Project: Use two colors of yarn, 500 yards total or less, for this month’s project. Your pattern needs to mix the colors with stranded work (so just doing solid stripes doesn’t count).

Dates: You can start as soon as you have your yarn. All projects must be completed with photos uploaded to our Loopy Ewe Second Quarter Photo Gallery by July 1st.

Yarn: If you need to buy yarn for your project, we’re offering a 20% discount on the yarn if it’s purchased between today and Wednesday, April 10th. Yarn must be Sport, DK or Worsted Weight, and the discount is valid on two colors, up to 500 yards total for your project. In order to get the discount, you must leave us an order note telling us which two colors you will be using for this project. We’ll apply the discount after your order comes through to us. If you’re going for free shipping in the U.S. (over $75), please make sure your discount won’t take you below that amount.

Need some fun ideas?

Mittens & Mitts: Snowfling Mittens, Northman Mittens, Houndstooth Check Mittens, Flocked Mittens, Bird in Hand, Bird and Vine Mitts, Vanamo Mitts, Rigmor’s Selbu Mittens, Meta Mittens, and Bacon Mittens (ha!).

Hats: Norwegian Star Earflap Hat, Marius Hats, Flora, End of May Hat, Moose in the Woods Hat, Sequence Hat, Double Diamond Argyle Hat, Diamonds on the Mind, Modjeska Hat, Min Ulla Hat, INSULATE! Hat, and Opus Spicatum Hat.

Other: Luvbots, Snowflake Boot Cuffs, Norwegian Star Slippers, Gyre Cowl, Snowflake Christmas Stocking, Easy Fair Isle Headbands, and Japan Cowl.

Yarn possibilities: Cascade 220, Cascade 220 Superwash, Cascade Superwash Sport, Stonehedge Fiber Worsted, Stonehedge Fiber DK, Amy Butler Aran, Amy Butler DK, Blue Sky Worsted Hand Dyes, Spud and Chloe Sweater, and more. Just be sure to use solids or semi-solids so that your colorwork shows up well.

See that mitten up there? That’s my attempt at colorwork, awhile back. There is a reason the mitten is not on a hand. It turned out way too big! I might just re-do that same pattern (Flocked Mittens) for the Challenge. I really want to get this colorwork skill down. There are so many fun things you can do with colorwork. I figured starting out with a two color project is best.

Sheri who,admittedly,didnotdoagaugeswatchforthatmittenupthere

First Quarter Challenge

We have a lot of fun with our Quarterly Challenges each year. Be sure to take a look at the projects completed last year in the challenges for First Quarter, Second Quarter, and Fourth Quarter. (During the summer we do Camp Loopy instead, which involves a monthly challenge for 3 months in a row. You can find those photo galleries here, here and here. Lots of beautiful projects in there!)

Before I announce the First Quarter Challenge for 2013, we need to vote on a Reader’s Choice award for our Fourth Quarter participants. Take a look at the Fourth Quarter gallery and email us your favorite project (support@theloopyewe.com) and we’ll announce the winners soon. Thanks for your voting help!

Our first challenge project for 2013 involves 1 skein of yarn and cables. You’ll need to pick a one-skein project that features cables in the design. You can use any weight of yarn, but just a single skein. You might consider Hats, Cowls, Socks, Shawls, or Mittens/Mitts/Gloves. One of my favorite cable projects was my Camp Loopy 2011 mittens (All the Water by Through the Loops, shown above.) At that time, I mentioned wanting to make a pair of red mittens, and a pair of yellow mittens, too. Of course I haven’t done that yet, so maybe now is my time. Although I could use a new cabled hat, too. And I saw some really cool sock patterns with cables. Choices, choices.

Details:

– The challenge runs from today through March 31st. All projects must be done and photos uploaded to our First Quarter Challenge 2013 Gallery by 3/31.

– If you’d like to order yarn for this project, you can get 20% off of the skein you choose to work with. This discount is available between now and next Friday, January 11th. You must leave us an order note, letting us know which skein you will be using for the project so we know which one to apply your discount to.

– If you purchase this project yarn between today and 1/11 and finish your cable project and upload a photo of it by 3/31, we will double your Frequent Shopper points for that skein. So if your skein is $18.50 after discount, you will see 18.50 added to your point tally when we ship the yarn, and another 18.50 added to your point tally when we have received your completed photo (by 3/31). With our new Loopy Rewards Program, the extra points accumulate to earn you even more rewards!

– You are also welcome to participate using stash yarn, as long as it’s a line that we carry here at The Loopy Ewe. You won’t be eligible for the double Frequent Shopper points, but if you finish in time and upload your photo to the gallery,  you’re still eligible to win a Reader’s Choice award or our random drawing done with all entrants.

Do you need some pattern suggestions for one-skein cable projects? I’ve started a list for you! If you have other ideas, please feel free to leave them in the comments below.

Hats: Princess Lace Beret, Soft Shimmers Hat, Koolhaas, Antler Hat, Declans Hat, Claudia, Gretel, and Iced Hat.

Mittens/Mitts/Gloves: Bellas Mittens, Fetching, Knotty Gloves, Vancouver Fog, Eugenia’s Mittens, Wanderlust, Yummy Mummy Wristwarmers, and Wood Hollow Mittens.

Socks: Owlie Socks, Java Socks, BFF Socks, Neely Ohara, Katniss, Sunshine, Aragorn, and Smaug.

Shawls: Marin, Creekwood, Batik, Sunset ShawlTheia, Dubliner, and Lafant Wrap.

Cowls: Cream and Sugar Cowl, City Creek Cowl, Lava Flow Cowl (shown here), Nennir, Cabernet Infinity Scarf, Heart on a String, Tom’s Crossed Cowl and Caera Cowl.

Are you up for the Challenge? And if so, what are you going to make?

Sheri contemplatingyarnchoices

Toasty Mittens

One of the classes we’re teaching this quarter is “Your First Mittens”. I wandered by the class while it was in session and decided I needed to make those mittens, too. They are incredibly thick and toasty feeling. Made from a bulky weight yarn, they really keep the chill out. You can find the pattern free (Super Bulky Mittens for Women) and I made it with 1 skein of Malabrigo Rasta. I did add a total of 4 extra stitches to the mitten to make it a little larger, and I also did 10 rows on the cuff to make them a bit longer. This pattern would be equally stunning in The Fibre Company’s Tundra or Spud and Chloe Outer. I made this pair for a gift, but since it only took me one evening of knitting, I’m planning to make a pair for myself as well.

While I was looking for that pattern on Ravelry, I came across a few other fun, bulky (quick to knit) mittens and mitts you also might want to check out: Raglan Mitts, Axel Mitts (I like the turn-down cuff), Highly Regarded Mitts, Chunky Cables Wrist Warmers, Shelburne Mittens, Basket Weave Mittens, and Herringbone Mittens.

Of course as long as you’re making mittens, you might as well make a hat to match, right? So check out these cute bulky hat patterns (and remember – bulky usually means quick-to-knit): Garden Gate Mittens and Hat, Super Chunky Super Quick Toque, Thorpe, and Bella’s Hat. With just under two weeks until Christmas, it’s probably time to do a few bulky projects. Do you like to knit with bulky yarn? Those needles (size 11) seemed so big when I started, but by the second mitten I was whizzing right along with them. Plus, I really like that the mittens are so warm and thick. I imagine it’s the same with anything you knit out of bulky yarn. There are definitely a lot of pluses in using it.

Sheri whomightbeanewbulkyfan