My main piece of advice, if you are busy knitting Christmas gifts, is not to over-reach. The fact that I have never once done this should not deter you from heeding my warning; if anything, it only proves my point. Time and again I find myself knitting on Christmas morning, desperately trying to complete a final gift, as other members of the family signal to one another over my head that I have clearly gone to the Bad Place and they should keep a safe distance with a gin & tonic on standby.
But this year, in an attempt to rein myself in and preserve my sanity, I am trying to follow my own advice. I’m hoping daily blogging will help, as I’m only going to be mentioning patterns that I myself have made, and that I honestly believe can be completed between the day of posting and Christmas Day.
So, for today’s pattern suggestion, I’m thinking of several practical considerations. One is that many of us have a few skeins of sock yarn or fingering weight yarn in our stash, waiting to be put to a use that deserves their prettiness. Another, is that it’s often useful to have a project that’s easy to carry around and knit on the go. And finally, many of us have female relatives for whom a knitted gift needs to look a little refined. Chunky Malabrigo is not going to cut it for these ladies, they’re more likely to appreciate something more delicate, and decorative. Which brings us to Brooklet.
This is a nifty double-sided cowl, designed by Cecily Glowik MacDonald, which is the perfect way to show off some of your favourite yarns.
You start off knitting the inner lining, in plain old stocking stitch. Going around and around is simple, mindless, and easily done on the train or bus. I used Candy Skein’s Delicious yarn, which was indeed good enough to eat. It’s a blend of alpaca, silk and cashmere, and therefore incredibly soft, with a slight halo.
Once you’ve completed the lining, you purl a turning row, change yarns and begin the lace pattern. I changed to a skein of Fleur de Fiber‘s Acadian yarn in dark grey. It’s 100% wool, with a lovely sheen to it. The pattern is a simple chevron, interesting but not too taxing. Once you’ve matched the length of the first half, you fold it over, use a three needle bind off with your provisional cast on and voila!
My version, which went to my Mum, is quite a subtle colour-combo, with the grey toning down the sweetness of the pink, but Ravelry is a great place for inspiration and what I really love are the versions that make the most of the pattern to give a glimpse of a really bold colour. This one by Voolenvine uses a neon yellow brilliantly. Or there are a couple with pink and red linings that look great and very festive. Or ones that use a bright colour with a complementary, more muted shade. And there’s even a great version in variegated yarn. So many possibilities…
I had a long pause in the middle of making this, but the knitting actually went pretty quickly. Some people have managed one in a couple of days, so I think a couple of weeks should be plenty of time.