Not sure about the rest of you but this has just been the craziest week on top of an already crazy month! The kids are almost finished with school and it’s been a scramble to get as many things done as possible so that (hopefully!) next week can be a relaxing one with family (and my knitting!) leading up to the big day. In theory, I’m even going to spend all day tomorrow just knitting, uninterrupted.
We’ve been chatting over on our Facebook page about what last-minute gifts people have on the needles and aside from one extremely fast knitter who is having a go at getting a sweater finished, most projects seem to be small, portable – and manageable! – accessories. I thought it might be helpful to share some cheeky tips, and pattern suggestions, in case you’re feeling up for a challenge with only a week to go before the man in the red suit comes for a visit!
Tip #1: Hats are faster than cowls Y’know how cowls are faster than scarves? Well, hats are even faster. Even the slowest of knitters can knock one out in a day or two – if you’re not the type to manage it in a few hours in front of the telly. I think my DH is slightly horrified that his Christmas present only took me this long to make…I feel almost guilty at the lack of time it took in bulky yarn, compared to my DS’s hat made in sock yarn earlier this year.
The Inked In Hat is still one of my favourite designs from this year. It’s perfect for either DK or Worsted weight yarn, and chances are you probably have 200 yards in your stash that would be perfect for it. It works for both men and women and the texture shows off hand-dyed yarns wonderfully.
If hats aren’t your giftee’s thing, the Careen Headband is a super quick knit in aran weight yarn (and the Careen Faster Cowl knit in super bulky yarn can definitely be done in an evening – ask me how I know). Or the Sunrise Headband that looks complicated but isn’t – earning you tons of admiration from the recipient!
Of course if you really want knit a cowl, then the Song of the Sea Cowl can fit the bill – just do the snug version. It uses less than a full skein of sock yarn and it’s easily modified too.
Tip #2: Knitting for little people + smaller sizes = fast knits to fly off your needles! If you’ve got wee ones that you’d like to see snug as a bug in rug then how about the Rivuletta Cowl? If you get the IK newsletter you’ll remember I mentioned it in the December email too, but it has to be the fastest gift ever!
Tip #3: Even the smallest items are knit with love We all know that it isn’t the size of the gift, or even the gift itself that matters. The loved ones in our lives know that our knitting is an expression of how much we care. Even with the clock counting down, there’s still time to show your appreciation in a knitterly fashion around the house.
How fun would it be for your family to find their eggs warm and cosy on the table on Christmas morning? You can even add a pom pom to the Sunny Side Egg Cosy if you’re feeling particularly festive! How wintery and adorable would they look?
Or how about wrapping your best buddy’s favourite coffee vessel in a warm hug with the Sunrise Mug Hug?
And if you’ve already got a gift but want to get extra cheerful with your wrapping, there’s always Gifted – knitted gift bags that give twice, when you make a donation to MSF for the use of the pattern. Whatever you choose to knit in this last lead up before Christmas, may your needles be swift and your mince pies be warm!
Oh, and one last tip: if you’re not enjoying your knitting, don’t rush or force yourself to do it. It’s possible to gift-wrap a WIP, if necessary…the recipient just needs to hand it back so you can get it finished in daylight hours. Know that you don’t have to try to do it all.
Have a very Happy Christmas!
This is probably my last blog post until around the new year – I’ll be off enjoying the holiday with my family. I hope you do too, and I look forward to seeing everyone’s Christmas projects in the Happy Craftalong we’re having on our Ravelry board. Please share your pics with us!