Fairy lights in shop windows and forlorn looking pumpkins in wheely bins have appeared like signposts warning us that we’re nearly there. Halloween is over, fireworks are beginning to pop, and the gift-knitting deadline is almost in view. Now I know there are knitters out there that are well prepared for the year’s sprint finish: they came in for gift-knitting supplies in July and August, so their completed hand knitted socks and beanies are already in an impressive – and probably also neatly folded – pile. Their forward planning and efficiency should be an inspiration to the rest of us. It really is to me. So why is it that yet again I’ve failed to get on top of things early enough?
Perhaps terms like forward-planning and failure are not really helpful here. What we want are practical solutions. After all there is still time – just not a lot of it. So we need to be realistic about what is manageable, and then of course, to get on with it. Equally, we can’t be too one-size-fits-all about this. Manageability afterall, is in the hands (and schedule) of the knitter. And that’s why Brontë has come up with this round-up of 9 of her favourite 1 skein projects. Take your pick. Whether you’re lacking in skills, time, or money, we’re quietly confident that you’ll find something in this list that you can finish in time. Look at it this way: If it only needs 1 ball of wool, how long can it really take to make. See? That’s what I’m talking about..
The Burnaby by Jared Flood
You can decide if you want to do this one with a DK or a chunky – either way it will use just one 100g ball. And that textured cable pattern is so compulsive, you’ll likely want to cast on another one as soon as you finish. Sheepsoft or WYS BFL would be perfect for the DK version. Or go with Cyrano for the bulky.
Spur Hat by Hiromi Nagasawa
This Beanie uses beautifully shaped brioche at the crown – not recommended for beginners, but just the ticket if you fancy some BrP and BrK action all wrapped in a finishable project. 1 ball of Mondim and you’re home and dry.
Manattan Hat by Tori Yu
We’re stretching things a little here, as this lovely topper uses our super softy Puno which comes in 50g balls. Still, 1 ball is enough for the child-sized versions, and you’ll only break into a second if you are making it for a grownup. Meanwhile whichever size you choose, the gauge means it will be speedy.
Scarf No.3 by My Favourite Things
This delightful little scarf-ling takes being-economical-with-yarn to the next level. Just one 50g ball of 4ply and a few evenings watching the new series of Shetland (other binge-worthy box sets are available), and you’re done. Any 4ply will do but as you’ll get 2 out of 100g, why not use a skein of something extra special like the Town Dyer’s marigold printed 4ply merino, or a cosmic skein of Wool Kitchen merino silk.
Scarf No.1 by My Favourite Things
This teeny kerchief has pretty decorative holes to keep things interesting, and uses just 100g of DK. Yarn-wise there are almost too many options: take your pick from Penelope or WYS Pure or Laxton’s Sheepsoft, or for someone super special, choose the Town Dyer’s deliciously planty shades of DK.
Amos Balaclava by Sari Nordlund
Hat, cowl, hood – the balaclava has got to be the most stitch, yarn and effort efficient garment you’re ever likely to knit – and this one uses just 100g of DK. Set to be this year’s Head Gear du Jour, we’re p r e t t y pleased with this pattern. Pick a DK, any DK, cast on and off you go!
I’m so Basic Socks by Summer Lee
I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve reccomended this brilliantly written basic sock pattern/tutorial. Summer Lee rocks socks and all her patterns are fabulous. But if you’re new to socks, this is the one to start with. For yarn choosings just head over to our Sock Knitter Collection.
Tiny Tree Socks by Summer Lee
.. and if a full size pair just feels a bit too daunting, why not dip your toe in (see what I did there?) and start off with a cutie little tiny pair to hang on a tree, a fire place or just to keep a very small someone’s feet warm. The pattern is free and you only need the teeniest tiniest amount of wool, so scraps will do.
Arched Gusset Mittens byPurl Soho
From child to big adult, these mittens use a max of 100g of worsted wool. Closed at the top, they’re January-February-ready, and that lovely seam detail on the palm is just a bit too pleasing to pass by. Yes, the thumb might be fiddly to manage but there’s only a few rows to it and me and Brontë are here to help if you need that.