Finding the perfect pattern for quick knitted gifts isn’t always easy. First, you need to make sure that the pattern is actually going to be quick to knit. Second, you need to get enough yarn to make everything on your gift list.
Third, you need to knit a gauge swatch before you can even start your projects! But what if you could be finished with your gift knitting at step three? You can—if you transform your gauge swatch into a finished project.
The Fair Isle snowflake pattern shown above is a festive choice for holiday-themed gifts. Because most Fair Isle patterns are knit in the round, these swatches should be knit in the round as well.
While this requires an extra bit of effort, the result is that you have a swatch that’s almost a finished project in itself! Double-sided and tubular, these gorgeous little fabric samples can be adapted into a number of different projects.
– 1 skein each of Marvel, Cozy, or Wooly in Color A and Color B
– 1 pair 32” long circular (for Magic Loop method) or double-pointed needles in appropriate size (Note: Our Marvel samples were knitted on US 6/4mm needles, our Cozy samples were knitted on US 7/4.5mm needles, and our Wooly samples were knitted on US 9/5mm needles.)
– Stitch marker
– Tapestry needle
Step 1: Using Color A, cast on 40 stitches. Place a marker for the beginning of the round and join to work in the round.
Step 2: Work 6 rounds in Garter Stitch (knit one round, purl one round).
Step 3: Work the Snowflake Fair Isle pattern as charted, working the chart 2 times across the 40 stitches in your round. After you have completed Round 17, cut Color B, leaving a long tail.
Step 3: Using Color A, work 6 rounds in Garter Stitch (knit one round, purl one round). Bind off all stitches. Weave in ends. Block using your preferred method.
FAIR ISLE HANGING ORNAMENTS IN MARVEL
Shown (left to right) in Snow (Color A) and Bright Sapphire (Color B) and in Ruby Shoes (Color A) and Snow (Color B)
With its durable blend of superwash wool, acrylic, and nylon, Marvel is a great choice for heirloom home goods. At 3 inches across, these quick knitted blocks are the perfect size for hanging ornaments.
(They’re also double-sided, which means you won’t have to worry about them twirling to the wrong side!) To create a hanging loop, work a crochet chain: First, slip-stitch into the center top edge of the swatch, making sure to insert your hook through both layers of the fabric. Next, crochet a 5 to 6-inch chain. Last, insert your hook into the same space where you worked your beginning slip stitch, and fasten off with another slip stitch. Weave in the ends, and hang up your ornament!
FAIR ISLE WRIST CUFFS IN COZY
Shown (left to right) in Pearl River (Color A) and Snow (Color B) and in Good Night (Color A) and Pearl River (Color B)
Slip a Fair Isle swatch that’s been knitted in the round over your hand: Instant wrist cuff! Baby-soft Cozy is the perfect yarn to turn these functional hand warmers into little luxuries. Here, alpaca yarn’s natural halo puts our snowflake Fair Isle pattern into soft focus.
Alpaca fiber is also incredibly warm yet lightweight, which means these cuffs offer plenty of warmth without a bulky feel. Choose from 12 earthy colors to coordinate with your recipient’s wardrobe, and make a pair for a quick knitted gift that you can finish in a weekend. The samples shown fit a hand that measures 7 – 8 inches around the palm; to size up or down, simply use a larger or smaller needle size.
FAIR ISLE DRINK COASTERS IN WOOLY
Shown (left to right) in Dark Teal (Color A) and Red Fox (Color B) and in Feather (Color A) and Dark Teal (Color B)
If you’re anything like me, your gauge swatches have doubled as drink coasters for a while now! With these Fair Isle drink coasters, you can let your non-knitting friends and family in on the secret. These swatches fly off the needles in superwash merino Wooly.
At 4 inches across, they’re big enough to accommodate most glassware—plus, the plush doubled fabric provides extra insulation for hot drinks. Wool has absorbent properties, too, which helps to wick away condensation. And these coasters are machine-washable, making cleanup from spilled drinks a breeze. To finish them, press with a steam iron on the “Wool” setting to create a flat surface.
What types of knitted gifts are you making this holiday season? Be sure to tag us @yarnalia when sharing your knits on Instagram!