I love Christmas. I love the cheesy music and the sugar cookies. I love making ornaments and hanging them on my family’s plastic “vegetarian” Christmas tree. I love the horrible matching sweaters and the reindeer socks I can buy at Target for a dollar. What I don’t love is scrambling for gifts.
It usually happens, at least once a holiday season, that there is some friend I forgot to go shopping for. They’re usually family friends, that girl who dog-sitted for us once, or the son of my mother’s aunt’s nephew. Either way, they’re on their way over and I don’t have any sort of holiday present for them. Enter Nadya’s Fantastic and Wonderful Grab- Bag of Knitted Goodies.
This isn’t an original idea, I know, but it’s still super handy for December; basically, I use up my yarn stash by making chunky knit scarves, fingerless mittens, and unisex hats that I can then give to whoever visits during the holidays. This way I get my yarn box nice and empty for the new year, I keep myself busy with short two hour projects (which is all I have the attention span for during Christmas break), and I’m ready and prepared for the unplanned houseguests.
You’re probably saying “But wait! Gifts like that can’t nearly be personal enough!” And you’re right. But remember the basic tenet of elementary school: everyone loves a handmade gift. It works even better if your handmade gifts are warm, usable, well-made, and not a macaroni necklace. The holiday season is a trying and hectic time full of last-minute shopping trips and little kids underfoot. Make your own grab-bag and let things get a little easier.
Here are the ones I’m doing right now:
Chunky Circle Scarf by People Webs
This scarf is easy to crochet and turns out pretty cute. I like it because it uses up a whole bunch of yarn – either you can double up some worsted weight or you can use chunky yarn. Either way, expect to be down a few skeins in no time at all!
Scarf of Many Colors by Sand and Sky
This scarf was made for your stash! You can use up all the little leftovers from your other projects to make this gorgeous mix of color. Also, the stitches are super simple – this scarf is a relatively mindless project.
Luxe Cowl by Nutty Irishman Knits
Can you tell I have a thing for cowls? This one is also great to use up the odds-and-ends of your yarn stash. If the color flurry is unappealing, it’s equally gorgeous in single color worsted weight. This simple design means it will be appealing to most, so you can’t go wrong!
Annie by Jane Richmond
If you want something a little harder, try Annie by Jane Richmond. It’s done on smaller needles than the rest and the texture is so pretty. Another mindless scarf project, but the results are super chic!
Honeycomb Cowl by Courtney Spainhower
I really like the texture on this one. Use self-striping or basic colors to make something pretty and cozy.
Emerald Green Handwarmers by Creative Yarn
These are the easiest things in the world to make! They’re each knit as a rectangle and then sewn up the sides with a hole left for the thumb. You could even supplement the moss and double moss stitches with your favorite stitch.
Camp Out Fingerless Mitts by Tante Ehm
These are so cozy. I especially like the coloring effects the designer used. Worsted weight should work just as well if you don’t have any Noro laying around.
Mock Cable Fingerless Mittens by Naomi Adams
Mock cables are faster than actual cables and the effect is neat. I like these because they work well as a small gift or stocking stuffer.
Rikke Hat by Sarah Young
This hat looks so European and comfy, I’ve even made one for myself. DK weight and relatively small needles, the Rikke Hat is more delicate looking than some of the other patterns listed here.
Twistin’ the Night Away by Susan Menashe
You probably know some teenage girls who would flip for this turban-like headband. Susan Menashe’s pattern takes not time at all and uses up your chunky yarn to boot.
What are your favorite quick knits?
Add comment December 16th, 2011