Stuff You Should Be Knitting: OMG It’s Almost December

It’s that time of year again, when crafters have a few scant weeks until the holidays. Fueled by coffee, Netflix and bitter, bitter tears we knit and crochet into the night, desperate to finish last minute gifts.  We bind off on the 23rd of December. Fuck weaving in ends. People can weave in their own goddamn ends.

Not like I’m speaking from experience.

Determined to still get a project or two complete before the holidays hit? Have a Venti cold brew at your side and some Therma-Care wraps for your forearms?

Well, then, I have ideas for you…

If you don’t want to dig through your stash, I suggest the Pom Pom Hat Kit from Jimmy Bean’s Wool. This kit contains a skein of Lorna’s Laces Cloudgate in the colorway Ta Tas, a code to download the pattern for Mindy’s Hat, and two faux fur pom poms.

The finished Mindy hat laid out next to the kit with all the materials inside.

You’ll still need circular needles in sizes 9 and 11, each with a 16″ cord, and a cable needle.

This hat knits up hella fast, and $5 from each kit goes toward and Moms On the Run.

I’m going to shamelessly self-promote and mention my own pattern here: the Outlandish Cowl. Inspired by Claire’s cowl in Outlander, this pattern requires 90 yards of Malabrigo Rasta yarn  and size 35 needles.  It’s knit flat, seamed, and can be done in about 2 hours.

A picture of me, modeling an Outlandish cowl. I'm outside standing by a tree.

If you have some DK weight hanging out in your stash, you might try The World’s Simplest Mittens. I love Tin Can Knits and their designs, and this basic mitten knits up quickly and easily (especially in child sizes). The pattern calls for Tosh DK yarn, which is one of my favorites. I’ve made the Bitches several things with this yarn and it’s soft and perfect.

Four mittens in different sizes and colors are displayed on a wooden table.

If you have the luxury of waiting for shipping (and some money to spend) you might want to check out Ohhio Braid yarn. This gigantic yarn is part of the new trend for blankets whick are arm-knit because, well, look at that yarn. Braid yarn is actually a tube of cotton, so if you have a wool allergy, it still works.

You can get a arm-knit blanket kit that comes with instructions and yarn.

A shot from above of a woman's arms as she arm-knits a blanket. She's holding instructions for the project.

Or if you feel up to going rogue, you can experiment without a pattern and make cool stuff like this:

A black cat chills out in a circular cat bed made of giant yarn.

Honestly, I want to try this so bad, but these projects are pretty expensive.

Crochet folks, I haven’t forgotten about you.  I love these Crochet Star Ornaments.

Two crocheted star ornaments are displayed against a gray background.

This project looks perfect for adding to an existing gift, or for making something small for an office gift exchange. You’re going to need chunky weight yarn (the sample was made with Darice Folklore), a size K hook, some twine, pins, cardboard (or blocking mats) and fabric stiffener.

Fabric stiffener. Heh.

Since we’re doing all this stitching while fueled by caffeine, it might be a good time to talk about mug cozies. They’re cute, they stitch up fast, and you can gift them around a mug stuffed with cocoa or tea.

This Chunky Crochet Mug Cozy is adorable. The pattern calls for chunky weight yarn, a 4.5mm crochet hook and a button.

A woman with a seriously gorgeous manicure holds a mug wrapped in a pink and ivory mug cozy.

Here’s another option for your latte-loving friends: the Crochet Coffee Cozy Pattern. This would look super cute around a reusable coffee cup (I seriously love my Keep Cup) and you could stick a coffee house gift card inside–perfect for a teacher, coworker, or family member who runs on Dunkin.

On the top two Starbuck-sy looking cups sit on a table with gray and black cozies around the middle. Beneath that are three cozies in nuetral tones laid out on a table.The pattern is made using Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice yarn and a 5.5 mm crochet hook. You also need a button.

And finally, we have another cowl. This is the Lattice Crochet Neck Warmer and I want one so bad. It looks sooo warm.

A gray cowl that buttons in the front.

This pattern is for sale on Ravelry, and scrolling through the projects section showed how beautifully this works up in a variety of colors. You just need some worsted weight yarn, buttons and a size I hook.

Have you finished your holiday crafting yet? What last minute projects are you working on?

Comments are Closed

  1. Lostshadows says:

    December 23rd? I wish.

    I literally finished two projects on December 24th a couple of years ago.

    Right now I’m seriously considering starting a non-simple project. Yes, I am apparently a glutton for punishment.

  2. Diana says:

    the crochet stars ornament link points to the ohhio blankets. can you please correct it? I love how they look

  3. kkw says:

    Ugh, I still haven’t finished last year’s gifts. But what if I started some new projects instead?

  4. Jean Russell says:

    The last year I made prezzies for the whole family, I finished the last bind off just before midnight Christmas Eve. Total victory. Then I swore (really, at that point I had been swearing for hours) that in the future, I’d only make presents for my nieces and nephews.

  5. Melissa says:

    I still need to crochet and/or knit Christmas ornaments for my Aunts and Uncles. I *might* be knitting my D&D playing cousin-in-law a dice bag but we’ll see how ambitious I get before the Christmas parties begin!

  6. SusanH says:

    Can I ask for advice here? My 8 year old wants to learn to knit, and I’d love a kid-friendly book suggestion for her. She’s pretty mature for 8, with strong small motor skills, so I think she’d be able to learn on her own with a good book or YouTube series.

  7. Christine says:

    I made one kitchen scrubbie and abandoned my plan of making sets for family gifts–my neck and arms want me to buy shit on Amazon instead, apparently. Oh well! More time to read…

  8. Rene says:

    I decided in October to make hats for the ladies in my family but somehow my plans expanded. O.o Those crochet ornaments might come in useful for the ones I don’t finish the hats for in time. 🙂

  9. SB Sarah says:

    Hey Susan! I’ve taught myself to knit with this book, and found the illustrations very handy: Kids Knitting by Melanie Falick.

  10. DonnaMarie says:

    I swore, no handmade gifts this year unless they were done before Thanksgiving. So, no handmade gifts this year. I’m going to be firm about this.

    Still, mug cozies… I can bang those out during an episode of Outlander or The Walking Dead. Right?

  11. No, the Other Anne says:

    Every year I plan to knit sweaters for my nieces for Christmas, and every year they get sweaters for their birthdays… in June. This year looks about the same, but I’ve discovered I can knit bookmarks with their names on them in only a couple hours. Woo hoo!

    Meanwhile, my older niece is fascinated with the process and wants to learn how to knit. Being self-taught, I’m crap at teaching her because I mostly made it all up, plus she’s a lefty and I am not.

    Any recommendations on how-to-knit books for kids who are left-handed? SB Sarah, I’ll definitely take a look at the Melanie Falick!

  12. MinaKelly says:

    I made a giraffe for my nephew this year, and it is so cute I want to keep it for me. I did most of the knitting on the train; estimate it took about 15 hours overall, but at least an hour of that is starting the head over several times because the pattern isn’t clear.
    Pattern link
    Finished giraffe

  13. LML says:

    @MinaKelly, awww. How can you bear to give it away?

  14. EC Spurlock says:

    Last year I made scarves, neck warmers and ear warmers for all the girls I work with, mostly just to use up my stash; I started in October and finished about one a week. This year with the move and all I needed something simpler, so I’m making wine cork gnome ornaments for everyone. (Because we work at a lawn company and their mascot is a lawn gnome.) Found a pattern online, lost the pattern in the move, made up my own and kept going. I’m about ready to start dressing the gnomes and combing out beards.

  15. Antonia says:

    Don’t forget your own Last Minute Neck Warmer! One year I knit seven of these bad boys, and it was brilliant!

    This year I’m knitting just one pair of fingerless mitts as a present. It’s supposed to be an easy pattern, but it’s doing my head in. Thanks for all these alternative suggestions! 😀 Antonia/sea_otter3

  16. Natasha says:

    These posts always make me wish I was a knitter!

  17. Kris Bock says:

    “I’m about ready to start dressing the gnomes and combing out beards” is the best sentence I’ve heard today.

  18. Vivi12 says:

    kkw I did exactly the same thing, or didn’t do… This year I’m making bead woven bracelets for the sisters, loom woven bracelet for my niece, and some kind of earrings for my mom. I think I’ll get them done…..

  19. ClaireC says:

    @ No, the Other Anne – honestly, I would recommend that you teach her to knit right-handed as much as possible, to make it easier down the line. You use both hands in knitting, and she can learn Continental-style (where you hold the yarn in your left hand) if that’s more comfortable for her. People who do knit left-handed will always have to switch their increases and decreases in a pattern, and make other adjustments once you get to more complicated things.

  20. Wench says:

    I have three pairs of socks I need done for Christmas, and I mean, doable, mostly, since if I spend every minute I can doing socks I can do a pair in a week. But then I had to cast on Black Hawthorn for myself because SURE. But do you see how squishy it is? It’s knit in bulky weight on size 15 needles and it knits up SO FAST, friends.

  21. Louise says:


    These posts always make me wish I was a knitter!

    I read this too fast and thought you said “wish I was a kitten”. Well, that’s understandable isn’t it?

    You don’t know the half of it. I learned to knit from my mother, who was German. In consequence, I purl backward and have to reverse every instruction involving either “2 together” or “slip 1, blahblah, psso”. Cables are no problem; they just end up going in the opposite direction.

  22. garlicknitter says:

    Love the Tin Can Knits suggestion! I often recommend new knitters check out their Simple Collection patterns – scarf, blanket, hat, cowl, mittens, socks, pullover, and cardigan, all free, wide range of sizes (baby to adult), supplementary information available through their website, and they all have some interesting detail so they’re not completely plain, without adding anything too complicated.

  23. kitkat9000 says:

    As to the Ohhhio brand yarn: I don’t knit or crochet, nor have I any idea how this compares regarding overall fiber quality; however, if that interests you, there are a number of sellers on Wish asking anywhere from $1 – $8 + shipping.

  24. Kris L. says:

    @ No, the Other Anne, I second ClaireC’s rec to teach her right handed and continental. I’m a lefty and was taught to knit left-handed multiple times over the years and always struggled then abandoned it. When I taught myself right handed continental off YouTube a couple years back everything clicked and it was much easier. Plus there are a ton of great knitting techniques on YouTube and trying to mentally reverse everything to left handed sucks.

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