I don’t know if it’s just me, but all the time spent indoors and 8 feet apart on patios this Fall has me in a serious gift-knitting frenzy. Beyond the simple need for busy hands to soothe an anxious mind, it seems like a good year to give handmade gifts to a wider circle in the name of thrift and spreading the love in tangible ways. In the past, I’ve suffered from a major follow-through issue when it comes to planning and executing on me-made gifts, but I can say with certainty that this year is my year! My secret to success? Making SMALL knitted gifts. Not earth-shattering, but effective.
I recommend picking a simple, quick project that a lot of people will want, and which will bust a lot of partial skeins. I kicked off my gift-knitting foray this year by making a large batch of brioche headbands with a twist.
I don’t have a pattern for these, because I made it up and I’m not yet skilled at writing knitting patterns, but I basically followed Joni’s instructions for making a grafted brioche ring as in the Unified Field Cowl. It uses a two-pass method for grafting that is really worthwhile to learn if you like brioche! Be sure to cast on for an odd number, however wide you want your headband. Then, a few inches into the knitting, I divided the stitches in half, adding a stitch in the middle so I ended up with two odd-number sides, and knitted two strips until they were long enough to cross. I crossed one over the other and rejoined into one row, combining the two center stitches back into one. You can do one-color or two-color brioche!
If you’d like to batch-knit some gifts from actual Interweave knitting patterns (highly recommended) rather than my incoherent notes, I’ve got some recommendations for gift knitting patterns I’ll be moving on to after I knit my last two brioche headbands!
These small knitted gifts are perfect for friends and neighbors, are sure to help you stash-bust before the new year, and are really, really cute. From hyper-practical to precious and whimsical, you’re sure to be able to cross a bunch of people off your list—people you’d love to knit for, but who you aren’t sure yet are quite sweater-worthy.
For the Cute: Mended Heart Hat
knitscene Summer 2019 | Cheryl Toy
While this hat is knitted in fine sportweight yarn, there’s no faster knitting than stockinette in the round! When you finish up, you’ll get to play with a fun embroidery/visible mending technique to create an adorable heart motif. Bonus: the Mended Heart Hat pattern also includes a matching sock pattern.
For the Crafty: Spectrum Pincushion
Interweave Knits Spring 2016 | Vicki Square
It’s always difficult for me to pick handmade projects for my crafty friends. I always tell myself, “They could just make this themselves if they wanted it.” I think I’ve figured out a solution: handmade notions! I love the idea of stash-busting to make cute projects like the Spectrum Pincushion. Plus, I can stuff them with the yarn scraps I store just for such a need!
For the Cool: Agate Hat
Quick + Easy Knits No. 1 | Krista Ann
Have you checked out the new Quick + Easy Knits No. 1 collection yet? It’s free for a limited time, so don’t miss your chance to download all 10 patterns, including the Agate Hat. The original uses a Blue Sky Fibers Woolstok Bundle Kit, but this would also be great for stash-busting. This hat is a great unisex design, and it will be so much fun to pick out colors!
For the Chilly: Budding Branches Hot Water Bottle Cover
Interweave Knits Gifts 2010 | Kendra Nitta
If you know someone who seems to always be a little chilly, a knitted hot water bottle cover is an unexpected, quick, and thoughtful gift. This classic Interweave pattern has a gorgeous cable tree on the front that is an absolute pleasure to knit, and it uses minimal yarn!
For the Tech-y: Comfy Cozies
Interweave Knits Gifts 2019 | Uma Padu
This fun pattern is a two-fer, with a pattern for a tablet-size device and for a phone. Garter stitch makes for quick knitting, and I think the Comfy Cozies might just be your batch-knitting secret weapon this holiday season. I know I’ll be knitting cute cozies for at least three people!
Feeling inspired to knit some gifts? I know I am! While you’re feeling motivated, download this calendar freebie and make a plan of action. This year has been a difficult one, but I encourage you to put a sweet ending to it with a wave of simple but impactful handmade gifts.
Want more ideas? You can find a complete selection of gift pattern ideas from our editors in the Interweave Store! I also made a list back in 2018 that I love that has gift ideas for host/hostesses—and while we might be doing less visiting this year, these are great gift ideas anytime!
Wishing you happy holiday knitting, and a safe winter season for you and yours.
Yours in Stitches,