Gift knitting is all about generosity, of course. But it should also be about the joy of the project: a way to nourish your own creative heart. Most gift guides are all about the recipient, but this year, I thought I’d do something a little different. A gift guide that starts with the giver.
What do YOU want to knit right now? Consider that first, and then look for a pattern that meets your wants and needs as a knitter, while also being perfect for the lucky person who will unwrap the finished object.
The Knitvent 2022 collection is just around the corner, but it’s never too early to get started on your gift knitting. This guide should help you kickstart your gift inspiration.
And because we’re focusing on you today, you deserve something free and lovely. So I’m running a buy one get one free sale on Ravelry from today until Monday, October 3rd.
Just put two or more Curious Handmade Patterns or collections in your Ravelry cart, and use the code KNITVENT22BOGO when you check out. The least expensive pattern will magically become free!
Now, on to the inspiration!
If you are…Craving simplicity:
One of the most exciting things about being a new knitter is finally being able to make gifts for your favourite people. But there’s nothing worse than starting a project with a deadline and getting stuck on a tricky bit in the middle! The answer is to pick something super simple and easy to make. But simple projects make incredible gifts no matter what your skill level. If you choose something relaxing that you can knit in stolen minutes in front of your telly or while you wait for appointments or kids’ activities, you can enjoy the process and finish in time.
My newest pattern, the Simply Curious Shawl, is perfect for this. It’s got a great, satisfying rhythm and an easy-to memorise stitch pattern. I always say that socks make perfect handmade presents, and the Simply Curious DK Sock pattern is so straightforward (and lightning fast, thanks to the bigger yarn.) The Rewilding Shawl features a body of extra chill garter stitch with a darling band of extremely simple lace and tassels to finish. And, of course, the Easy Bobble Hat is my ultimate almost-mindless gift knitting project (and the pattern is free, too!)
If you are… looking for a showstopper
Simple is beautiful, but sometimes you really want to push the boat out and make a statement. These are gifts for the most knitworthy of all, but they will also nurture you creatively as you knit them. All of them look more impressive and complex than they actually are, with simple but effective stitch patterns and wonderful opportunities to play with colour.
The Inkling Shawl is heirloom knitting that’s actually relaxing: the pattern is quite intuitive. The Wild Bees Wrap has an interesting construction and a very wearable shape. The Surprise Party Shawl is as fun as its name. Extremely potato-chippy knitting, and past knitters have called it “delightful” which is exactly what I was trying for! And the artistic Impressionists Shawl is a beloved design, originally a MKAL but now a perennial Curious Handmade favourite.
Images, clockwise from top left:
If you are… loving lace
Sometimes, you just crave the lovely rhythm and interest of lace knitting. When you think about gift-knitting, lace isn’t always the first thing that comes to mind. It has a reputation for being slow and fiddly. But that’s not necessarily true! Knitting lace can be a great way to hit flow states, and with a simple, easy-to-memorise pattern, you can fly along. The right project can hit the sweet spot where it’s relatively quick and giftable, but also absorbing to knit.
The Jewel Cowl was one of my earliest published patterns. So early that it’s not even in the Percentage Checklist format! (I hadn’t invented it yet.) It’s such a sweet, single-skein lace project, and in the right yarn, it’s almost like a piece of jewellery. The Asana Shawl has a great, interesting lace pattern, but just at the border of the shawl, so you’re not committing to a huge lace project. The Learning to Cry Shawl strikes a great balance between soothing garter stitch and delicate, easy lace. The Lavender Fields Socks have just the teeniest touch of lace: enough to keep your lace-brain happy without slowing down the project at all.
If you are… short on time
I mean, who isn’t, right? Knitting isn’t the fastest way to make a homemade present, but it is possible to whip up something lovely in a hurry. Most of these projects could be made in a long evening or two. If you have more knitworthy people in your life than there are hours in a day, look for small patterns that use thicker yarn and bigger needles. It’s no coincidence that all the patterns in this section come from past Knitvents: I aim for simplicity and speed for most of the collection designs so that you can knit them up in time to wrap them up!
The Ice River Snood uses one of my favourite bulky yarns ever and has a simple lace pattern that mimics cables without the fuss. The How Quiet Mitts are easy and elegant in DK yarn (or hold a sock yarn together with a strand of mohair lace for extra luxury.) The Homebody Socks are also knit in DK and the little cable detail makes them extra special without adding much difficulty. Finally, the Tchaikovsky Hat is a fast, firm favourite for gift knitting.
I hope you’ve found some inspiration and a treasure or two in this guide, but this is only the beginning! There’s a whole world of Curious Handmade patterns to choose from, and any of them would make a beautiful gift.
Pattern browsing is one of the great joys of knitting life, so get yourself something lovely to sip and a quiet half hour, and treat yourself to a free pattern or two!