making for loved ones, part 2: quick gifts
December 10, 2019
The holidays are coming swiftly! If you're like me…you waited until December 1st to decide that you want to knit things for certain people; and then maybe spent a week deciding what to knit. And then there's deciding on yarn, colors, etc…waiting for packages in the mail and such. All...before the feverishly fast knitting begins. Or maybe you have realized you lost some crucial winter accessories between March and November and need new ones now that it is cold again (also me).
Still stuck??? We've got you ;)
Here with some suggestions for sweet, fun projects that fly off the needles. Happy making, and happy holidays!!
Anything in Puffin, our cozy, chunky, single-ply wool, will go quickly. Enough said.
Pam Allen's Cullin cowl—part of our inaugural collection way back in summer 2010—is a simple, lovely, brief neck warmer that features a not-too-frilly lace motif. I think I made this one myself for mum many years back, and she loved it for walking the dog in the wee hours (unintended but very perfect pun!). Shown here in Frost.
Pam also designed the Nelse slippers for her book Home: 18 Knittable projects to keep you comfy (which is currently enjoying its five-year anniversary!). Around here, a cozy slipper sock is essential for most of the year. This pattern is now available as an individual pattern, and through the holiday season, you can even order it as a kit with printed pattern and yarn in hand-picked colorways! Shown here in Sabine (MC) and Sedum (CC) on left, and Iceland (MC) and Bird's Egg (CC) on the right.
Mittens—especially ones that are thrum-adjacent, as Dawn Catanzaro's Dot mittens are—also an essential item for winter in colder climes. We published this project in our most recent Core Wool celebration this past September. A sweet, simple, two-color stitch pattern allows for some fun color play—we even included this in our staff picks this year. Go low-contrast, as in the original (larger shown in Iceland and Canvas, smaller shown in Kumlien's Gull and Chanterelle) or bold (what about Poppy and Bark?).
Human heads don't have a ton of surface area, so whipping up a thing that covers only about half of it…in theory, shouldn't take long, especially in worsted or Aran weights. If you ask me, everyone needs one of each of these hats for covering all the cold-weather scenarios: Fancy, everyday, gnarly storm. In that order.
Personally, my favorite Quince-published hat, is the one that Bristol Ivy designed for her collection At the Lighthouse, which we put out into the world in early March 2015. Fresnel, knitted up in Lark and shown in Slate, features a cool panel of knit/purl diamonds on one side and a slouchy fit.
We published a trio of hats (Comfort Hats) by Mari Lynn Patrick in September 2015. City, knitted up in Osprey and shown in Storm, is an understated and irresistible hat that is gender-neutral, key to have in the pattern library.
The Maggie hat, designed by Pam Allen, and published in October 2011, is a super-cute head topper and perfect for a cold winter. Knitted up in Puffin, this hat covers the ears and neck, as an extra layer under a cowl or scarf, or for throwing on when trudging out to shovel. You can knit it up in one skein if using just one color, but I love the striped version. Stripes and garter stitch can offer up a lot of interesting variety. Shown here in Iceland, Peaks Ferry, Egret, Delft, and Goldfinch.
Dressed-up for winter
These projects I would still consider relatively quick knits. And, they are, I would say, a little on the "special occasion" side: Extra-soft fibers, unusual stitch patterns, delicate textures. Read on, friends.
I just can't get enough of Kim Haesemeyer's Stone's Throw scarf, that we published in early (ish) 2013 as part of our second annual Scarves, etc collection. The stitch pattern is so interesting and appealing, and it is knitted up in Lark (our work horse worsted weight) and shown in Gingerbread (the best color imho). This might take a few late nights, but the result will be stunning.
Embrace, a brief shawl designed by Lori Kaake for our Scarves, etc 6 collection (published in late winter 2017), is knitted up in luxurious Phoebe. A top-down, stockinette triangle in our softest merino ends with an unfussy and very pretty textural border. Even though this is a DK weight project, the simplicity of it, I believe, makes the knitting go quickly.
Norah Gaughan's Perimeter lariat is knitted jewelry, simply put. It takes just one skein of our linen Sparrow, and features an open ladder-y lace and twisted fringe. We published this little beauty in Norah's book Framework: Ten Architectural Knits, in April 2017. There are so many gorgeous colors to choose from in our Sparrow palette!
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Breathe deeply, be kind, and stay warm :)