For those keeping track, Kwanza begins in 47 days, Christmas is in 45, Yule is 6 weeks from today and Hanukkah is one month and one day away. If you're a knitter, now might be a good time to start panicking if you haven't finished at least one of your holiday gifts yet.
Never fear, there are still plenty of great gifts that you can make in plenty of time. I won't link to specific patterns, but here's a roundup to give you a few ideas:
1. Fingerless Gloves
Great for: teenagers, office workers, and anyone with cold hands
Estimated stash usage: 50g is enough for a pair ranging in fingering to worsted weight yarn. If you're leaning more to the worsted end of the spectrum, then I recommend a more open pattern, and gearing more towards hand warmers (which end at the wrist) rather than arm warmers (which go closer to the elbow).
Great for: the stylish lady, the outdoorsy type, and the hard-to-shop-for manly man.
Estimated stash usage: depending on the pattern, 50-100g
Cowels are fabulous gifts. A lace pattern done in malibrigo or a mohair is great for moms, aunts, or any female relation. Switch to a sport weight yarn in a bright color, and it's great for the jogger or otherwise active person who enjoys spending time outside during cold weather. Make it a warm, bulky yarn in dark or neutral colors with a plain stitch pattern, and Dad will be able to safely keep his neck warm while he clears snow from the driveway or fixes those little winter emergencies where a scarf might not be a good idea.
3. Basic Beanies
Great for: anyone
Estimated stash usage: about 50g, maybe a bit more.
It's cold. Everyone needs a hat. Use a navy blue and a plain ribbed pattern and Dad can wear it with his cowel. Stick with stockinette and add some colorwork, and it matches your 14 year old cousin's favorite outfit. Put a pompom on top and it's great for the toddler.
4. Berets/slouchy hats
Great for: Any female relations or friends
Estimated stash usage: 50g
My favorite slouchy hat is openwork, and can be worn as a beret or pinned in my hair as a snood.
5. Drawstring pouches
Great for: gamer geeks, other knitters, anyone with collections of small objects to organize
Estimated stash usage: depending on the size, you can get 1-3 bags out of a 50g ball.
Great for storing dice for tabletop gaming, being used as a small project bag to carry in your purse, keeping notions or small office supplies handy, or really anything you want.
6. Scarves/neck warmers
Great for:Almost anyone
Estimated stash usage: 100-200g
Try thinking outside the box on this one--a short neck warmer that is fastened with a button, or a scarf with pockets to keep your hands warm.
Great for: Almost anyone
Estimated stash usage: ranges from 2-3 pairs of baby socks per 50g ball to 100g for a pair of ladies knee highs.
I wouldn't reccomend socks as a go-to project for Giftmas, just because not everyone likes handknit socks (It took me a while to get used to them, and I make them!). For a beginner, this can also be quite an ambitious project. So make sure that you are using materials and a pattern that you are comfortable with.
In addition, you could start from the toe up and just make ankle-high slipper socks by squeezing some puff paint in a fun design on the sole.
8. Washcloths and hand towels
Great for: any household
Estimated stash usage: 1 50g ball is enough for one crochet-top hand towel and a dish cloth.
Two things I've discovered are very popular with my family
members are handmade dish cloths and the tea or hand towels with the
crocheted tops. When I need a
pallet cleanser between projects, I pull out some crochet cotton and
make a dishcloth, then set it aside in the bin. These are great for
Christmas, housewarming, and even birthdays. Natural, red, and blue seem
to the be the most popular colors for kitchens that I've seen, while
white can easily be bleached. They're pretty inexpensive, too--a cone of
cotton yarn is about $10 at Walmart, and can make upwards of a dozen
washcloths. The towels can be found for $1-2, sometimes for a multipack,
and cutting them in half means you get two for the price of one.
I know I said *cough*years*cough* ago that I would make a tutorial for those towels, and I will...eventually. Maybe this year. Maybe not.
So that's my rundown of eight last minute items you can knit or crochet for the holidays. What are your go-to gifts?