Thursday 19 November 2015

Some ideas for Giftmas

As knitters, crocheters and crafters, Christmas is our time to shine. There may be a running joke in the media about itchy, ill-fitting sweaters from Grandma but we know that a lovingly made item in soft wool is a wonderful way to show someone that you love them and wish them to feel warm and embraced all year long. 

Unfortunately, this does mean that this time of year can be quite stressful for knitters. Hand made gifts don't only mean having to come up with ideas and rushing to the shops to find supplies, but also the actual time required to make the gift! So here at Midwinter Yarns, we thought we'd put together a few ideas for quick, simple knits that can be done in a couple of evenings to minimise the worry.

Firstly, and we have shouted about this one before: The HYGGE collection. Karina Westermann designed this collection of 1 or 2 skein accessories specifically with Christmas knitting in mind - quick, simple but still impressive pieces. 

Particularly lovely are the Skovtur fingerless mittens. These are done in our Thick Pirkkalanka in simple colour work, meaning that the finished fabric is really thick and warm. I know that a few of these are already being made for family members in colder climates such as North America and Canada! The pattern is a great introduction to colour work if you've never tried it before, and looks suitably impressive. 

Hygge also features two brilliant little hats, both in Thick Pirkkalanka again, Top Hygge with its fun pompom and the more minimal Tryghed, shown here in 314 Deep Orange and 3734 Moss respectively. (Pictures by David Fraser)


But for ultimate warmth and speed of knitting, there is the Brygga cowl. This uses our chunky Lovikka wool and knits on size 10mm needles...truly done in an evening! 

Picture by David Fraser

We have kits available for this in all the Lovikka colours, including the printed pattern and some beautiful, hand crafted buttons made from reclaimed Applewood - so you could even give the kit as a present to a fellow knitter and save yourself the work itself :)

Speaking of Lovikka, you could also make the original Lovikka mitten - traditional mittens as worn in Lapland. These are knitted on smaller needles than the cowl for a denser fabric which will felt and become wind tight with wear. The pattern for these is free with 2 hanks of the yarn - just leave us a note with your order and we'll pop it in. 

Enrico from Parisian yarn shop Les Tricoteurs Volants has designed a fantastic pattern for the Thick Pirkkalanka: the Ianto Hat. This one is free to download on Ravelry and features some simple, contemporary cabling and options to make it a tighter, shorter hat or more of a slouchy beanie. I particularly like this one as a gift for a man, although it is unisex and of course great if you have a Torchwood fan in your life :)

And finally, for those of you whose hearts sink at requests for "a pair of socks", we have our wonderful Swedish Raggsock yarn. This is thicker and much quicker to knit than regular sock yarn and makes fantastic, hardwearing slipper or boot socks. It is our only yarn with a little bit of man made content, meaning that it can be reliably machine washed and will last and keep toes warm even in wellies. Again, pattern is free with the purchase of 3 balls (required for adult size socks), just leave us a note with your order. 

So there we are - I hope these give you a few ideas and reassurance that Christmas knitting needn't be stressful - we despatch all orders within 24hours so all you need to do is settle down with a mug of hot chocolate and enjoy the making. Oh, and to help you along a little further, we're also offering 10% off everything in store for the whole rest of November with coupon code GIFTMAS15 . We are good little elves like that!