As the first chill enters the air at Interweave HQ in Colorado, we turn our attention to planning handmade gifts. For those special friends and family members on your list who have proved their knitworthiness, may we recommend a selection of colorwork knitted gifts to enchant and delight? The Interweave Knits Fall 2020 issue is loaded with autumnal colorwork that would make excellent gifts . . . whether for a loved one or as a gift to yourself!
With projects ranging from a small but intricate hat to a seamless cardigan, you’re sure to find knitted gifts that fit into your handmade holiday time budget. You might even be able to bust some scraps!
Moby Hat by Amy Gunderson
If you’re hoping to make your recipient audibly gasp upon unwrapping their gift, the Moby Hat is the perfect showstopper. It’s also perfectly in that “quick but not yet frantic” gift category in terms of time investment. If you do need some really quick gifts, though, we have some ideas!
In the Moby Hat, you’ll work with two colorways of color-changing skeins in a traveling twisted-stitch/colorwork hybrid. As raised stitches of one colorway wind their way across a smooth backdrop of the other, it creates an almost embossed look on the surface of the hat.
In the sample, we used two colorways of the same yarn: Freia Fine Handpaints Shawl Ball Fingering. Looking for a stash-buster? You could use two different yarns (we recommend swatching!) or get creative with coordinating mini-skeins or partial skeins for a different look.
Alpine Wrap by Moon Eldridge
If you’re looking for a luxurious gift that the recipient could use every single day, the Alpine Wrap is perfect. The stranded colorwork makes it plush and warm, and at 64″ long and 18½” wide, it’s just the thing for keeping a chill off the arm and shoulders.
This sample used Cloudborn Fibers Highland DK, which is now discontinued. Cascade Yarns 220 sport (used in the Palmer Cardigan below) or Knit Picks Wool of the Andes are decent affordable substitutes, or you could treat yourself to something like Lana Grossa Cool Wool Cashmere or Brooklyn Tweed Arbor.
Because you’ll be able to see the back of this project, it might be a good opportunity to practice locking your floats. Kyle Kunnecke is the master of this, and he offers an excellent Interweave workshop where he’ll show you how to do it. This workshop will also help you keep your gauge consistent as you knit—important for this project, as gauge variations will be pretty obvious over the course of a long rectangle.
Morgan Top by Kate Scalzo
Have someone on your list who is definitely knit-worthy—sweater-worthy, even—but you don’t want to make a full sweater? May I suggest the Morgan Top, for a small sweater project? You could go for a crop if you wanted to knit even less fabric for the same impact!
We used Universal Yarn Bella Cash, a gorgeous blend of superwash Merino, nylon, and cashmere which we love for garments. Talk about next-to-skin softness!
This sweater also has an option depending on your comfort with colorwork. You can either work with all three colors together, or use duplicate stitch to fill in the third color.
Palmer Cardigan by Renate Kamm
Queue the Palmer Cardigan if you want to knit a garment worth of colorwork, but with simple finishing. This project is worked flat (no steeks) and stitches are picked up (no seaming), but it’s definitely a challenge. If you set out to bestow this cardigan as a gift, you’ll want to give it to someone special.
We chose the colorway for the sample, inspired by the colors Northern California and Bavaria. Cascade Yarns 220 Superwash Sport comes in countless colors—choose six to create your own colorwork palette. If you’re making a garment for someone else, though, it’s sometimes best to eliminate the “surprise factor” and have them help pick out the colors.
Here’s hoping you strike the right balance of sanity and challenge in your holiday knitting plans this year. If you knit one of these gorgeous colorwork projects from Fall 2020, be sure to tag @interweavecraft on Instagram. Don’t forget to follow these tips so you don’t accidentally spoil your knitted gifts for the recipients!