Tuesday December 10, 2013
I love the knitting genre of Christmas ornaments that look like little clothes. There are miniature knit stockings, of course, and long ago I knit a little vest for the tree, too.
This little sweater is great for the tree or a small doll. © Sarah E. White.
I thought that I had knit an ornament-sized sweater before at some point, but I guess I hadn't (or if I did I never wrote about it). So I decided to make one this year.
This is a super simple project you can make in an afternoon, and it's actually pretty good sized for something billed as mini. In the off season it will make a great little slouchy sweater for a fashion doll or another small doll, or you can slip it over a glass bottle for a cute little cozy.
Check out the project on Ravelry, and let me know if you have any tiny knits on your tree!
Monday December 9, 2013
I love a Christmas ornament knitting pattern that builds on something else, whether that means literally using a material for structure (as in my Christmas wreath ornament) or just as inspiration.
This Fair Isle band is a perfect way to easily make a glass ball ornament more interesting. © Sarah E. White.
Through the years I've used the Christmas ball as a literal frame for ornament patterns and as a shape to work with without a real ball underneath.
Both my Cat's Eye Lace ornament and the Fair Isle Christmas Ornament Band use a glass ball underneath to give them structure, and I think they're both fun ways to jazz up plain balls.
On the other hand my Christmas Ball ornament takes that simple shape and knits it in stripes to form a ball that's stuffed and then hung from the tree. That one may actually be my favorite, but they all go to prove that it's easy to add a bit of knitting to your tree!
Saturday December 7, 2013
Knitting gifts given when it's cold outside usually need to be adept at keeping the recipient warm. It's a bonus for procrastinating stitchers everywhere that projects worked in bulky yarns are both really warm and really quick to knit.
by Tanis Gray. Interweave Press.
Tanis Gray has collected 50 such options that are great gift ideas for the women (and babies) on your list in her book Cozy Knits. A couple of these projects I'd really like to cast on for myself right about now (in the middle of day four of being snowed in as I write this).
A lot of the projects in this book are accessories, which are of course a great choice for gift giving because the size doesn't have to be that exact (I made fingerless gloves for a bunch of people last year, but I think I'm taking this year off from gift knitting). If you're looking for more fun options for knit accessories, check out Cathy Carron's awesome book Hattitude, Nicky Epstein's Signature Scarves for some really fun embellished projects (naturally) or Judith Durant's One-Skein Wonders.
I'll have plenty of quick knitting options throughout the month, but some of my favorites include the bulky fingerless gloves you can knit in an afternoon; the super simple Roll Brim Hat for women; and the fun stash-busting Horizontal Scarf. Still kind of regret gifting that one.
Have a favorite go-to pattern for gift giving? I'd love to hear about it.
Thursday December 5, 2013
It doesn't take much to make knits and purls look a little different. I love stitch patterns that throw in just a little bit of texture or a slightly different way of doing things that makes a big difference in how a project looks.
Horizontal Dash Stitch swatch. © Sarah E. White.
One example of that is Horizontal Dash Stitch, which is mostly Stockinette but has little sections of purl bumps on the right side at regular intervals. This breaks up the smoothness of the fabric just enough to make it more interesting without adding too much difficulty for the knitter.
I used this pattern in a preemie-sized baby blanket, which is a great charity project for the holidays or any other time. I used a multicolored yarn for that project, and those purl bumps break up the colors a bit in a way I really like.
Do you like simple texture patterns like this or would you rather stick to Stockinette? I'd love to hear your thoughts!