Knitting for Presents part 2 - Hands and Necks

Hiya Rachel!

I hope things are going well with you. I feel that we are into the end game. The shortest day is nearly on us, and Christmas is just a few carols away. Fear not! I bring you glad tidings of knitting joy. There is still time to whip up a little something to show how much you care. I can't think of a better reason for knitting a gift. If the recipient is knit-worthy, they will understand the love that gets knitted into the stitches of a project. I've got a hat on my needles for the teacher of my youngest - a more knit-worthy recipient you could not wish to meet.

Tupelo cowls from Twist Collective Winter 2014 Image © Crissy Jarvis

I simply adore your latest pattern for Twist Collective! I spotted it when @KnitOTD tweeted it yesterday (have you followed them yet? They have amazing taste in patterns!) and it's been stuck in my head ever since. Luckily if you fancy it for a quick pre-Christmas knit, there's a short version as well as this stunning wrap-around one. Tupelo is knitted in Indigodragonfly Mergoat Sock - a merino cashmere nylon 4ply yarn, the like of which many of us have to hand. Ahem.

Carthorpe mittens from Coop Knits Toasty volume 1 Image © Coop Knits

Your cute little Carthorpe fingerless mittens would be a super-quick knit if you're desperate to whip up a gift and really short on time. Even I could manage a pair of these before the turkey leftovers are finished for another year, and my knitting time is currently extremely scarce! You can buy the single pattern through Ravelry for £3.50, or treat yourself to the whole Toasty eBook or print + eBook for £12.

I've had my eye on the Lerryn mittens from The Scrumptious Collection volume 3 for some time. The Fyberspates Scrumptious DK that they are knitted in is true to its name, and if you've not seen it in cables, then really take a look. I love how the cables look like fishes swimming up your sleeve. There are a few other lovely designs by you in that collection, aren't there? You can buy the eBook through Ravelry for £12 or a print copy (also £12) from your local Fyberspates retailer.

Last on my suggestions list is one of your early patterns - sadly too easily overlooked now that it's on the last page of your many patterns on Ravelry! But I shall happily highlight it here: The Rosaleen Shawl (there's also a Rosaleen Cowl if you fancy a quicker knit). I have just the yarn for this and it's all queued up and ready for me to cast on as a quick gift to myself, once I've finished all my chores. This is another DK pattern, which when you're more used to knitting with 4ply, really works up in a flash. The shape is perfect, and I've seen you wearing yours so often that I know it is the perfect shape for keeping your neck snug in this bitter weather we seem to be having of late.

I hope you have a lovely Christmas with your family, and I look forward to catching up in the New Year.

Bye for now, Jen x

Vital statistics:
Tupelo from Twist Collective Winter 2014 $6 or approx £3.93
Carthorpe fingerless mittens from Coop Knits Toasty volume 1 eBook single pattern is £3.50 or the eBook costs £12 for 10 patterns
Lerryn Mittens from The Scrumptious Collection volume 3 eBook costs £12 for 13 patterns
Rosaleen Shawl from the Winter One eBook £3 for single pattern or £8 for the 7 pattern eBook

Knitting for Presents, or How Not to Go Crackers at this Time of Year!

Hi Rachel!

We are well and truly into the Christmas season, aren't we? The kids have gone from saying that Christmas is ages away, to taking every opportunity to point out all the preparations everyone else is making… "Mum, when's our tree going to arrive? Mum, when will Father Christmas come? Mum, is it Christmas Day yet?"

It is very tempting at this time of year to suddenly embark upon a frenzy of knitting presents for EVERYONE! This way lies madness… Don't ask me how I know! Instead, the secret is to pick one or two small accessories for the most knit-worthy people in your life, and try not to worry too much if they aren't finished for the 25th.

With this plan in mind, I thought I would round up a few of my favourites among your patterns, just in case anyone else is struck with a last-minute desire to wrap a loved one in wool… First up are a few hats. No-one can ever have too many hats! I'm convinced of this (don't try to talk me out of it…)

Dessa from Twist Collective Image © Jane Heller

Dessa is a beautiful hat (and cowl set), knitted in Fibre Company Savannah DK (which Ravelry lists as a sport weight yarn). The patterning isn't too challenging, so I reckon even my tired knitting brain would manage to knock one of these out in a few evenings in front of the TV. I love how the rib grows into the patterning on the body of the hat!

Adela beret from eBook Winter One Image © Rachel Coopey

You can buy the pattern for the Adela beret as a single pattern for £3, or treat yourself to the whole Winter One ebook (with a number of other excellent gift knits!), for just £8. It's knitted using 160-223m of The Knitting Goddess's DK silk and merino wool, which makes it great for a single 100g hank of DK that you might just have to hand...

Grania from Twist Collective Image © Linus Ouellet

If you have a little more time on your hands between now and THEN, what about one of Rachel's glorious 4ply hats? There is a lovely selection of colour work and cabley hats in Coop Knits Toasty volume 1 (if you've been looking for an excuse to buy, then now's your chance!). These are all knitted using Baa Ram Ewe's bouncy Titus 4ply. Or what about Grania (shown above) from the Fall 2014 Twist Collective? This is a hat and mittens set, and I adore the zingy colour work and massive pompom.

I hope that those hats have given you some present knitting inspiration (you could also cast on for one for yourself you know?!). I will be back next week with some ideas for mittens and neckwear to keep you snug as a bug and not too crackers.

Take care, Jen x

Vital links:
Dessa - hat and cowl set from Twist Collective Winter 2013 $6 or approx £3.93
Adela Beret from Winter One eBook single pattern costs £3 or Winter One eBook for £8
Grania - hat and mittens set from Twist Collective Fall 2014 $6 or approx £3.93
Coop Knits Toasty Volume 1 eBook £12 or print & eBook £12 + P&P