This is the time of year that I start thinking about gift knitting. It’s a big job to commit to making hand knit gifts for the special people in your life, and it’s not a bad idea to plan early, and allow yourself some selfish knitting in the midst of all those knitted gifts. I’m going to have tons of ideas throughout the fall for knitted gifts, but this first edition is coming on the heels of Ysolda Teague releasing the first pattern of Knitworthy 4.
In case you aren’t familiar, Teague is a talented and creative knitwear designer for us hand knitters. The first PDF pattern download I ever purchased was actually one of her patterns – I bought it through Easy before Ravelry even existed. She’s been on the scene for a while, which makes it all the more confusing because it seems like she hasn’t aged a bit in 15 years.
I digress… This is Teague’s 4th year of publishing a group of patterns in a collection called “Knitworthy.” All hand knitters know the term. Let’s just not bother making anything for a person unless they are knit-worthy – and you’re knit-worthy if you understand and appreciate the beauty and skill required to create that special gift.
Teague’s collections are projects of manageable size, but that are distinctive and special. Maybe they incorporate cables, color work or a new technique. The finished result is something that cannot be found in a store, but it also won’t take you a month to finish! Here are some of my favorite patterns from Teague’s Knitworthy collections over the years, and be sure to keep your eyes peeled for the release of patterns in Knitworthy 4 – they’ll be released monthly throughout the fall!
Hikari is a beautiful textured cowl made with a super bulky yarn. If you look at the gauge on the project, you’ll see it’s 14 stitches per 4”. Given that there can be a HUGE range in the thickness of super bulky wools, I’d opt for a “super-bulky-lite” – ie Debbie Bliss Roma Weave or Conway + Bliss’s Odin. Roma Weave’s natural soft striping will play beautifully with this texture, while Odin will give this piece a little more body and look striking in its bold, saturated colors.
Cariño is a striking fingering weight shawl. What I love most about it is that with all of that look, it only uses about 375 yards of yarn – so it’s perfect for those special, one-off skeins of fingering-weight yarn, or those luxurious blends like Anzula’s Squishy. Other beautiful options for this piece include Baah’s La Jolla or Shibui’s Stacatto.
Solas is a textured hat with an unconventional “cable” made for sizes ranging from children to adults – so it’s a perfect gift for knit worthy people of all ages. Slightly slouchy, this hat as a modern look. It’s knit up in an aran-weight yarn. Try using Queensland’s Kathmandu (which comes in some beautiful bright colors that would suit this hat wonderfully) or Pure Bliss Lhasa (yummy cashmere and yak) for the most sumptuous version.
Suloinen is a bulky cowl, made of mainly garter stitch with some twists and turns to keep it interesting. All in all, this is a simple cowl with that garter stitch texture that feels so good on our skin, but Teague makes it one-of-a-kind with some slightly architectural motifs. Try knitting up this beauty in Rowan’s Brushed Fleece or Blue Sky’s Techno. I like these options because they give it body, and the cowl will be able to stand up to the yarn. You could even squeak out this cowl with Odin. If you want something soft and smooshy (a technical term) pick a yarn with some alpaca in it, like Herriot Great or Roma Weave.
Liebevoll is a shawl made of a DK-weight yarn, shaped using cables and short rows. I’m not going to lie, I love that this one is made with under 400 yards of yarn. I love my knit-worthy people, but I don’t want to labor over their projects forever. With something like this, I feel like I made something comforting and generous without devoting a month of my knitting to the cause. Striking, classic cables run across this piece, defining it. Knit up this beauty in Juniper Moon’s Dromedary for ultimate softness or Queensland’s Rustic Tweed for flecks of earthy tweed. Shibui’s Maai would give you a very luxurious choice, and Debbie Bliss’s Aymara offers a wide palette of super-soft alpaca for you to choose from!
Teague’s Knitworthy pieces are manageable but distinctive. I feel like they are thoughtfully designed to be easy on you (the knitter) and special for their recipient. She gives you plenty of opportunity to learn new techniques, but she makes it accessible with her online video tutorials. I happen to love hers – she has the most adorable accent and she taught me to cable without a cable needle. Whether you check out her awesome tutorials or these wonderful patterns, give yourself a moment to think about the knit worthy people in your life!