Festive Holiday Motifs for All Winter Long

From caribou to candy canes, twinkle lights to snowflakes, flipping through pages of AlterKnit Stitch Dictionary there are so many festive holiday motifs to choose from when knitting stranded-colorwork. Pick symbols that speak to the entire winter season and you’ll have projects you can wear for several months instead of just the month of December.


Forget pumpkin spice everything, I’ll take peppermint over that any day! Whether it’s a simple candy cane or peppermint spiked coffee, I just adore the crisp flavor of peppermint all winter long. When my children were younger, we used to make a holiday treat with miniature candy canes that turned them into small hearts filled with chocolate. The Plated motif seen here reminds me of those little goodies. Use it as the featured motif on hand-knit mittens and you’ll be throwing snowballs in style from December through March.

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A couple of Christmases ago, I started tagging photos on Instagram #twinkleknitting. Every year I look forward to hanging strands of lights around my living room, turning on White Christmas, and knitting the evening away by the soft glow of those pretty little lights. Andrea’s Beacon motif twinkles too. Row after row of lights gleam side by side. I can picture this worked with a background of deep gray and the diamonds stitched in white. It would make a beautiful trim detail on the neckline and cuffs of a cardigan, keeping the joy of twinkle lights going for just that much longer.

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For as long as I can remember, my family has bundled up and headed out the weekend after Thanksgiving to cut down our Christmas tree. At first, I went with my parents when I was little, and now it’s with my own children. Some years the tree is so tall that our star touches the ceiling. Other times, the branches are so thick and full it’s hard to fit the ornaments. The Escher Trees motif in AlterKnit Stitch Dictionary is the perfect holiday motif—they won’t drop a single needle. I’d love to see this motif used on a pair of socks; I’d wear them when sledding!

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No two snowflakes are exactly alike, unless you’re knitting them of course. Work these detailed snowflakes in a beautiful band around the chest of a pullover for a fantastic snow inspired sweater. It will keep you or a loved one warm the entire snowy season.


Do you know the differences between reindeer and caribou? According to the researchers at PolarTREC, “Caribou are large, wild, elk-like animals which can be found in northern North America and Greenland and have never been domesticated. Reindeer are slightly smaller and were domesticated in northern Eurasia about 2000 years ago.” I think it’s safe to assume that it was Santa doing the taming 2000 years ago when he was looking for animals to guide his sleigh. The animals featured in this motif however, are the larger, wild caribou. At first glance, it’s difficult to tell they aren’t reindeer, and they would make a great motif for a colorwork hat to wear while skiing or snowboarding. The wearer can channel their inner caribou as they hit the slopes.

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For these motifs and others perfect for any season, be sure to grab a copy of AlterKnit Stitch Dictionary today!

-Kerry Bogert
Editorial Director, Books

Stitch original designs for any season with AlterKnit Stitch Dictionary!

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