Just because I am not doing any Christmas gift knitting does not mean that I cannot enable you, my lovely KnitBritishers!
When I turn my laptop on each day and open up Ravelry, the first thing I do is check my pattern highlights. Do you do this? I love to see the things that clever Ravelry knows I will love. If you don’t know where to find these recommendations go to www.ravelry.com/patterns and the highlights are on the right hand side, about halfway down the page.
The highlights have been jam-packed with great accessory patterns recently and I thought I would share some of my favourites with you over a couple of posts. If you don’t need gift ideas, you still gotta keep your own head/hands/neck. etc warm! I also would be no kind of enabler, or host, if I didn’t recommend some lovely gift-worthy yarns to go with them.
Jaala Day’s Gradient Stripe handwarmers will add a welcome splash of colour, fun and warmth to the chilly weather. The best bit is that the self striping yarn will do all the talking and the hard work for you, while you just knock off a bit of TV knitting! Designed in Jaala’s own KnitCircus hand dyed yarn, you may not have time to order from the US to knit these for Christmas, but how about some self-striping hand dyed Brit Sock from The Knitting Goddess?
Comprising 40% British BFL, 20% British Wensleydale, 20% British Alpaca and 20% nylon this yarn is going to feel good as well as look spectacular with all that softness and longwool lustre.
The Gradient Stripes pattern cost 4 USD (about £2.60) and the BritSock is £21.
The Bodhi Brim hat is by Thao Nguyen and it could be knit for the entire family. That texture detail is really lovely and I bet you can pack it with a lot of slouch, if that’s your style – or pom pom the heck out of it for a wintry look. The pattern cost 5USD.
For the grown ups Bodhi Brim would look lovely in Little Grey Sheep Gotland Aran (£16.25), which comes from a pedigree flock in Surrey and is hand-dyed. Gotland fleece is densely curly, so you can bet there will be a lot of warmth in this yarn. If you are looking for some yarn that is a bit kid friendly, Jarol have a British aran pure wool that is machine washable.
The Shawgrove mitts are part of Katya Frankel’s new collection, Autumn Essentials 2014: Woodlands. I really like the simply, but effective all around cable pattern and particularly how the pattern travels into the rib at the top.
These would make a really lovely gift for your sister, mum or aunt knit in a classic yarn like New Lanark Donegal silk…. but I don’t know if you have a child like my oldest niece – she refuses to wear a coat, but moans that their extremities are cold? I would knit these for her in a really vivid colour, like Countess Ablaze Rebelling Against Suburbia (£15.00), which is machine washable BFL. That burning neon pink would be right up her street.
I think a solid or semi-solid is going to be best for that cabling. You don’t want something too variegated as you will lose all that texture. The mitts pattern costs £3 on it’s own or £4.95 in the collection, which includes the Barn Elms hat and the Puzzlewood cowl
Mirella from Wool + Bricks has a great couple of patterns which will doubtlessly banish the cold and cut a pretty colourful dash through the wintry grey.
Amina is a unisex beanie hat with a bit of slouch and a really lovely colour work interest. Mirella has used Shetland yarn, together with Danish Holst yarn to make this hat and I think the colour palettes of these two brands will mean that the sky is the limit when it comes to colour selection. Of course, I would run straight to Jamieson and Smith for their soft worsted spun Heritage jumper weight yarn.
Inspired by mountain ranges Khumbu fingerless mitts also feature a flash of colourwork. Not only a great project to experiment with colour, but also to stash-bust! Mirella has recommended Jamieson’s of Shetland for this pattern and KnitBritish readers who entered my recent Jamieson’s giveaway will know that their colour range is extensive too.
Mirella is a British wool champ when it comes to designing and I asked her what she loves about it.
The thing I love most about British wool? Truthfully? It’s really, really cheesy, but every time I pull on a woolly jumper I get the same feeling in my stomach as I get when I’m out in nature – hills, moors, lochs, or beaches – that I’m just a tiny part of this huge life story of the world and everything that lives here. It’s a terrific feeling to dress up in every morning!
Wool plays such an integral role in the history of these islands, and the survival and thriving of their people, that it’s impossible for me to think of wool without feeling overwhelmed by this. And for history to feel so tangible, relevant, and present is thrilling. Of course there’s the pure tactile pleasure of Shetland wool, and the visually arresting beauty of the heathered shades made possible with the array of natural colours, but my love for British wool is all in the head.
Not cheesy at all! Love of wool and the appreciation for British wool in particular can have very deep connections.
Amina and Khumbu are £2.20 and £2.60 respectively, but Mirella has very kindly offered these as prizes for you!
To be in with a chance to win leave a comment here by 12pm on Friday, 5th December and tell me how many gifts you are knitting for Christmas!
Thank you so much to Mirella at Wool + Bricks for such cosy and colourful prizes!