Gearing Up for Gift-Giving (plus two free bag patterns!)

We're having the most beautiful early fall here in Spokane. The air is crisp, the sun is shining, and all of my TV shows are starting up again. Well, I guess the TV shows are starting again everywhere, but that's still a sign of fall to me. I always knit while I watch TV, so I'm looking forward to some evening knitting time again!

And although it's just the beginning of fall, those winter holidays will be upon us before we know it. I've been giving knitted gifts ever since I started knitting, and this year will be no exception. Because of Knitting Daily, I'm busier than I have been in the past, so I need to get started ASAP. My past gift-giving efforts have included felted slippers, hats, mittens, and stuffed animals—smallish things that can be done in two or three weeks. This year, though, I have some projects in mind that need longer lead-times.

I've been so inspired by the books Knitted Gifts and Crocheted Gifts; I'm looking to those two books for holiday gift ideas. While none of these patterns are enormous undertakings, taken together, there are quite a few stitches that need to be knitted, so couch and stash, here I come!

Here are some of my gift contenders:


Ballet Flats (from Knitted Gifts)
by Marta McCall

There are lots of felted slipper patterns out there, but this one tops my list for its unique style and beauty. I would love to have a pair of these myself, but I think I'd like to give a pair as a gift even more. My sister would really appreciate these and they would look lovely on her; she has a sophisticated sense of style and a pair of Ballet Flats would suit her perfectly.




Animal Crackers (from Knitted Gifts)

by JoLene Treace

Nephew Henry loves dogs and cats, and I know he'd get a kick out of an Animal Cracker sweater. The knitted hem, cuffs, and rolled collar are such nice details on this sweater pattern and there are options for a dog, a cat, or a bear. Which one do you think is cutest for Henry?






Gentleman's Scarf (from Knitted Gifts)

by Veronik Avery

Although billed as a man's scarf, change the color (maybe) and the Gentleman's Scarf is appropriate for anyone. The stitch pattern is a zigzag and cable pattern that's knit at a fine gauge. Choose a yarn with some cashmere content and this gift will be a favorite for years! My mom's been wanting a pink scarf, and she always appreciates a nice gentleman!


Free (Gift) Bag Patterns!


Swirling Bag
by Kathryn Merrick

This one's from Crocheted Gifts, and it's a free pattern!

It's so nice to get gifts in a reusable bag, and this one is the definition of reusable. It's made from renewable cotton, and who wouldn't love to get a gift wrapped in a gift? Even if you're a novice crocheter, Kathryn's Swirling Bag is something you can accomplish. The color choices are endless—the sample is knit from Rowan Cotton Glace, which comes in so many colors it's staggering.




The Market Bag
by Vicki Square

Take a look at another free pattern, the knitted Market Bag. It's a wonderful gift for the eco-conscious shopper we all have on our list. I've "wrapped" gifts in reusable grocery bags (especially food gifts—imagine a baguette poking out of the top of the Market Bag) and the recipeints have been so happy with the ultimate in reusable giftwrap!



Why not take some time to plan your holiday gifts so you don't end up finishing things on Christmas Eve (believe me, I speak of what I know!)



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