At some point in her or his yarncrafting career, every knitter or crocheter decides that a handmade holiday sounds like a good idea. Until the night before Christmas, when all through the house is heard the furious clicking of knitting needles, a bit of hair tearing, and the angry grunts of somebody getting all stabby with pointy sticks.
With exactly one week (seven full days), you still have time to crank out a gift or six, but you’re advised to choose your patterns wisely. When time is of the essence, go big (superbulky yarns and needles size 17 and up) or go small (coasters, headbands, fingerless mitts) or go (Tosh) Home.
Here are seven patterns, one for each day, that you can whip out in a few hours each. (I’ll also note here that we’ve beefed up our in-store stock of jumbo sized circulars, both Chiaogoo bamboo and hollow stainless steel. Yes, we were thinking of you.)
Last-Minute Cowl (pictured at the top of the post)
Knit on size US17 (12.75mm) needles and three strands of yarn held together, you can whip this up in a day. And we’ve done the hardest part — picking out colors — for you. Stop by the store to grab one or three of our preassembled kits, containing the pattern and two skeins of Cascade Eco Cloud and one of Cascade Eco Duo. There are plenty of options in both neutrals and brights. If you make the cowl slightly shorter or cast on fewer stitches, you could probably manage two cowls out of one kit, making it a time and budget bargain.
Calling for Madelinetosh Home (Tin Can knows!), this classic skull cap features simple cables. The pattern comes in sizes baby through adult large — and all but the largest size need only one skein!
Worked in an an aran or worsted weight cotton yarn (with lots of pleasingly harmonious shades, Cotton Supreme is a good one if you want to do a full ombre), this set of coasters would make a great gift alongside a jar of homemade hot cocoa mix.
This pretty little cowl is almost like a knitted necklace — not too chunky for our moderate L.A. winters. Worked in exactly one skein of Malabrigo Rasta (that’s 90 yards), it will be off your giant needles in no time.
One of our favorite designers, Tiny Owl Knits, has offered up this versatile slipper pattern for free. Embellish it as shown with ribbon and lace for a whimsical touch, or work it in a dark color and leave it plain for a more guy-friendly version. With its color range and durability-enhancing features (touch of nylon and chainette construction), Mirasol Ushya would be an excellent choice for this pattern.
This was the first “official” pattern I ever followed, and I have to congratulate my then-new-knitter self on making such a good choice. Really, it doesn’t get any easier than this. It’s a short garter stitch scarf jazzed up by a clever seam (and no, I didn’t know how to do the mattress stitch at that point — and it still came out cool looking). Use size 13 (9mm) needles and one (example here) or two skeins of a superbulky yarn like Woolfolk Hygge for the ultimate in a stress-free handmade holiday.
This might be the most wallet-friendly choice in this bunch — a stockinette rectangle with seven strands of light fingering weight yarn held together. You can probably stash dive to find some combination of yarns to get the suggested gauge, and even if you don’t, it’s a scarf — you’ll be fine if your gauge isn’t spot on. Just make sure to use a needle size that gives you a fabric you’re happy with in combination with your yarns.
These types of marled fabrics are often best with low-contrast pairings or some pops of similarly-hued bright colors against a neutral background. You can see this at play in the pattern’s accompanying color suggestion swatch photos. If you need help selecting colors, come into The Knitting Tree, L.A., and ask any of us our staff. We love picking out colors!
All images via Ravelry.