Knitting and the holidays are the perfect combination (Okay, knitting and anything are the perfect combination, but run with me here...) Not only do you get to knit and crochet fun things to give as gifts to your well-deserving friends/family/lucky people who happen to be in the right place at the right time, but you also now have the perfect excuse to knit all kinds of crazy holiday decorations! And if you've been into the store
recently well, ever, you will know that I love knitting and crocheting random decorations! :) With fewer than 40 days until Christmas, I thought I'd share a few of the pattern sites I've been stalking recently, as I decide just what to make this year. Most of these patterns can probably be found on Ravelry as well, but sometimes its nice to see them in their original homes.
The designers at Garnstudio.com, the Norweigan yarn company, seem to love holiday crafting as much as I do. Each year they issue a Knitting and Crochet advent calendar, releasing one new holiday-themed pattern for of December 1st to 24th. As you wait for this year's patterns to appear, cruise on over to their Christmas Workshop where you can flip through 10 pages of patterns from previous years. The collection includes all kinds of things - traditional gift items such as socks, mittens, and sweaters; home decorations like table runners and tree ornaments; and even practical things like wine bottle cozies and eyeglass cases. My favourite are the pot holder patterns, which range from basic garter stitch, all the way up to intricate Norweigan colourwork patterns. Who wouldn't want to pull the plum pudding out of the oven with a pair of these guys?
For an alternative 'countdown to Christmas' option, head over to RedHeart.co.uk where they are offering patterns for each of the 12 weeks of Christmas (of which seven have already passed, if you can believe it!). A new pattern is released each Thursday, alternating between knitting and crochet designs. Previous weeks have featured cushions, ornaments, and baby outfits - one can only imagine that the patterns will become a little less complex as pre-Christmas crafting time starts to run out! :) Pay attention if you are using crochet patterns from this site - UK crochet terms are slightly different than the ones we use here in North America, so you may need to translate the patterns before you begin.
A newcomer to my pattern-search rotation is KnitPicks.com, website of the American online-only yarn and needle company. KnitPicks now offers digital patterns - both free and for-purchase - which can be downloaded right from their website. Their holiday patterns have always been really fun - our christmas light garland (which will reappear next month!) was made from a KnitPicks pattern. This year, they have a very fun collection of patterns on offer - a draft-stopping snowman, little trees and houses, and Grumpy, the lump of coal. Most of these patterns are quite small, perfect for using up all your bits and pieces of leftover yarn!
Finally, if you're feeling really ambitious, head on over to Deramores.com and download a Christmas Jumper pattern courtesy of Save the Children (if you use one of these patterns, please consider sending a small donation to this internationally recognized charity). Personally, I think Christmas Jumpers deserves a comeback, and not just for the now infamous 'Ugly Christmas Sweater' parties. Most people will agree that the holidays are the most fun for children - and what better way to get back in touch with your childhood than sporting a giant reindeer across your chest? I guarantee that your sweater will bring a smile to everyone who sees it, and isn't that really the whole point of the holidays?