Get Inspired: Knitted Gift Ideas

Pre-blog knitting projects:

Made for Mom. Mom taught me how to knit in middle school. I was part of the small knitting club led by my English teacher, but all I knit was a garter stitch pouch that became a stuffed animal sleeping bag. Gotta start somewhere, right? Years later toward the end of high school, I picked knitting up again when I saw this pattern from Martha Stewart. This simple pattern was a great way to get me going again, and though it was far from perfect, I had a finished project I was proud of.

Made for boyfriend, self, and friends. One of the next knitting projects I took on was fingerless gloves because I thought it would be awesome to have a pair. Wanting an easy, easy two-needle pattern, I made my own. I made three more pairs after this for friends, left the pattern for other things, and then returned to it again for J (gray gloves pictured). His is by the far the best I've made, knit from a nice thick wool blend. The nice thing about this pattern is that I can make the same size every time, only adjusting the length for the wearer. The rib makes them stretchable enough for anyone! They are also very quick. I made a sixth pair for myself in a couple of hours because I lost my gloves at school.

Made for boyfriend. The Natural in Nature Lion Brand Yarn afghan pattern may still be my favorite project to date. The pattern was fun to make because the designs changed so frequently. I used about 15 balls of Wool Ease and thoroughly enjoyed using the yarn and large needles. The afghan is quite heavy and has developed fuzz beads from lots of loving. I made some mistakes at the roots of the center tree. They're not terribly noticeable, but I'd recommend paying special attention to lining everything up just right on the first few rows. Being my first afghan, I was also worried about the final border. It was worth trying, though. While it's not perfect, it looks much better with a border! I was a little worried about blocking - the afghan took on a determined hourglass shape when I finished. I hand washed it in cold water and laid it on the deck to dry in the sun for a day, using tacks to stretch the sides to rectangle. This was a wonderful gift for J - he loves the outdoors and is completely enamored with his afghan.

Made for self. This pattern from DROPs Design was especially appealing to a Robin Hood fan - the slippers definitely have that look! The pattern is rather simple and quick. I recommend felting a swatch before making a pair to make sure you know how much the yarn will felt. Otherwise checking it frequently while felting should do it. I did not make a swatch and had to dampen the slippers several times to stretch them to the right size. It was also a challenge for my to get them to be the same size. Otherwise, I really enjoy the slippers! They are comfortable, though sometimes hard to put on without elasticity.

Made for Mom. The Column of Leaves scarf is a beautiful pattern by Brooke Nelson. Working with soft acrylic, I had to start over a couple of times. This was my first pattern dealing with some more advanced stitches like slipping, passing, and through back looks. Even so, this pattern was a great teacher, and after awhile I had the pattern visually memorized and recognized which row should come after what.

 Made for self. My first attempt at cables, this is my own creation, worked flat with four cables (not well shown), then sewn up the sides to make the bag. The top has an inch of ribbing, and then I wove a ribbon through for the drawstring effect. The bag is also lined and holds my knitting knick-knacks like stitch holders, needles, measuring tape, small scissors, etc.

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