It's December! Your Christmas gift stash is probably not as adequate as you originally thought! You need quick patterns! You need gift ideas! I'm going to pretend like I can help!
My gift suggestion for everyone is nearly always either a knitted hat (we are SO going to talk about this later!) or a crocheted cowl. I was thinking about crochet cowls already because they're pretty perfect. A good double crochet stitch takes up so much space that you'll have a ready-to-wear item in next to no time, cowls are incredibly fashionable and pretty, and there are approximately a million good designs out there. Here are four that I've already tried out. They're all from Crochet Cowls, which is a great pattern book. I was looking at some of the patterns I haven't tried yet when I realized I could definitely talk at ridiculous length about the patterns I have worked up because I'm pretty dadgummed enthused about crochet cowls in general, and in the patterns in Crochet Cowls.
The first pattern from Crochet Cowls that I tried was the Quick & Easy Button-Up. Actually, I think this is the first crochet cowl pattern I ever tried, period.
This was an absolute winner. It calls for a skein of Lion Brand Amazing, but I think this would look lovely in a solid. I think it looks best in some kind of gradient or striping yarn, but a solid would work also.
You also get to pick out a couple of cute buttons to dress it up a bit without the fussing around with buttonholes. The whole pattern is shells, so the entire one-skein wonder is practically buttonholes! Really attractive and stylish buttonholes.
Depending on your speed and skill, you could finish this in an evening or two. I am assuming your evenings do not involve toddlers. Even if you do have life things beyond knitting and crocheting, this would be an ideal quick project and an incredibly lovely gift.
An officially super fast and really lovely cowl pattern is the Quick and Easy Twist. It takes two skeins of Lion Brand's Thick & Quick yarn. I wish I'd done this in that tweedy brown colorway. You know the one. This would look amazing. Or in some mustard yellow. Or in any color, because it certainly doesn't look bad in this off-white yarn.
This is worked flat and then stitched up. I think it took up part of my weekend to make. I was in no real hurry, and I think my hands move more slowly in the summer. That's not how it normally works, but it's difficult to manipulate yarn into cold-weather creations when you're distracted by heat advisories. Even so, this cowl was quick and easy. Duh. Titles don't lie.
There's also the Short and Sweet Cowl. I'm not sure why it took me as long as it did to make, but whatever. The extra bit of time was well worth it to make such a thick and scrunchy cowl. I'm not sure if we can say "scrunchy" in this context. I'm going it for it, guys. This cowl fits too closely to be doubled, but it drapes and folds in a nice layering sort of way and it is incredibly extra super warm. It calls for bulky yarn. Not SUPER bulky, but you know....chunky. Husky. Voluptuous. Full-bodied. You get a mostly bulky cowl from it.
|I am, as always, sorry about my face.|
Plus, please look at this stitch pattern. I love it.
And lastly, the Shells with a Twist Cowl.
It's not quite as quick as the others, but it still doesn't take very much time to crochet to be so long. It's the same two rows over and over and I have yet to get tired of it. I also apparently never get tired of talking about it, either. I make no apologies. This cowl makes me look tall.
It can be worn doubled (maybe tripled?).
I've made it in worsted weight yarn and in sport weight yarn. It looks fine either way. Better than fine. Glorious.
You absolutely need this in your gift stash. This is another cowl that's worked flat and twisted before stitching your ends together, but I guess there's no reason not to just weave in your ends and call it a beautiful scarf.
Man, I want to make another one of these just thinking about it.
So to recap: you should make a cowl. You will be happy. Your recipient will be happy. My face is odd. Crochet Cowls is a national treasure. You can't go wrong with shells.