Category Archives: gift projects

FREEBIE & FINISHED & HACKS Manhattan Cowl

manhattan cowl 1.jpeg

Manhattan Cowl

I thought this cowl would make a great one-skein gift idea, so I gave it a try and I think it worked out really beautifully! I used one of my favourite bulky weight yarns, Diamond Luxury Baby Alpaca Sport, and the end result is SUPER soft and cozy! I had to make some modifications to make this project come out to it’s fullest potential, so please read the notes below before starting (and maybe print them off and keep them with your pattern instructions).

HACKS & Modifications

I made some changes to the pattern because let’s face it, you often get what you pay for with a free pattern.

  • For the ribbing, I went down to a 5mm/US8 needle for the ribbing. 2×2 rib is normally a looser tension than other stitches, and you need to go down a needle size to mitigate this and prevent the ribbing from fanning out later.
  • For the cable section, I went up to a 6.5mm/US10.5 needle, because the yarn is very fluffy and airy. If you are using a denser yarn with more definition (see suggestions below) you can stick with the prescribed 6mm/US10 needles
  • Because my yarn is big and fluffy, and has a lot of aura (haze), the cable from the original pattern was not showing up or working well, and I had to switch it out for another type of cable that would show better. I went with a simple braided cable that I was already familiar with, Chart A from Lopi Braided Hat & Mitts. It is the same number of stitches as the original cable, so I just did the new cable instead of the old. If you use a yarn with more definition (see options below), you can do either cable.
  • I worked 6 rounds of ribbing at the top and the bottom (to conserve yarn).
  • I worked 4 pattern repeats from Chart A of the Lopi Braided Hat & Mitts, and changed to the ribbing after finishing row 6 of the chart.
  • I don’t usually bother using a cable needle. Making cables without a cable hook is not a skill for the novice, but if you are feeling intrepid and are comfortable with retrieving dropped stitches and are good at ‘reading’ your stitches (recognizing where and what they are), you should definitely it give it a try, it can save you a lot of time and effort: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-6DB6WhAKvY
  • If you need to conserve yarn or change the size of the pattern, you can omit the first 4 sts of the pattern (the single rib at the start doesn’t really do much for the design). In *my project* (yours may be different), based on the total number of rounds, each stitch represents about 40 sts in the scheme of the entire pattern. Omitting 4 sts from the cast-on will give you about two extra rounds. Each cable represents 8 stitches, so you can increase or decrease the pattern in a multiple of 8 sts. If you want to modify this for a child you’ll definitely want to omit stitches, it fits an adult comfortably.

 

Materials

 

Other Yarn Options

We chose to use a fluffy, warm alpaca yarn, but you can use something firmer, which will give your cables more definition and your cowl less slouch – just use 6mm/US10 needles.

Diamond Alpaca Sport Manhattan Cowl COMBO BLOG.jpg

first time shoppers 15 PNG

FREEBIE Nour

 

 

Nour

One ball of gorgeous yarn makes a hat – it’s a no-brainer holiday miracle gift! And yes, we sell fur pompoms (both real and synthetic) and excellent pompom makers!

Yarn Options

Materials

FREEBIE Boom

Boom

This free wrap/scarf is an easy, mindless knit that will make a very popular gift. It would equally gorgeous with a self-striping yarn like Noro Silk Garden, or a hand-painted yarn like Malabrigo Rios or Manos del Uruguay Alegria Grande.

Yarn Options

Materials

  • 6mm/US10 needles (5.5mm/US9 for Alegria Grande or Rios)
  • tapestry/darning needle
  • FREE Pattern

FREEBIE Really Quick Mitts

 

 

Really Quick Mitts

This pattern is one of our oldies but goodies, but sometimes you just need something fast and simple (actually, it’s one of the most popular freebies on our website). One skein of Malabrigo Rasta makes a pair of glorious mittens!

Materials

  • Malabrigo Rasta: 1 skein
  • 9mm double pointed needles
  • 3 Jumbo Stitch markers
  • Small Stitch holder or scrap yarn
  • tapestry or darning needle
  • FREE Pattern

FREEBIE Cocoon

 

 

Cocoon

I tried this pattern a couple of years ago and it was definitely a very popular choice around here. It’s a great project that doesn’t require too much brain power but makes a great gift! It works up relatively quickly with a bulky weight yarn like Diamond Luxury Baby Alpaca Sport, hand dyed merino Malabrigo Mecha, or budget friendly Berroco Vintage Chunky.

Yarn Options

Materials

  • 5mm/US8 – 16″ circular needles
  • 5.5mm/US9 – 16″ circular needles
  • 5.5mm/US9 double pointed needles
  • stitch marker
  • FREE Pattern
  • Our Project Notes

FREEBIE Campout Mitts

camp out mitts

Photo: mdcim 

Campout Mitts

I made a pair of these mitts a number of years ago and was super happy with them – they were fast, simple, didn’t use a ton of yarn, and looked great. They worked out so well, in fact, that the mitts seem to have (ahem) acquired a new home. The FREE pattern was originally designed for glorious, colourful Noro Silk Garden, but I also love the way they look with a semi-solid hand dyed yarn like Malabrigo Rios or Manos del Uruguay Alegria Grande. And of course, you can’t go wrong with a soft tweed yarn like Studio Donegal Soft Donegal.

Yarn Options

Materials

 

 

 

FREEBIE Pome

Pome

Oy vey, how pretty is this cabled hat?! I think it would look amazing in a simple yarn like Cascade 220 Superwash (the heathered colours would be especially fetching), but any worsted weight solid, semi-solid, heathered or tweed yarn would look amazing! Be sure to wash your hat and lay it flat to dry to settle the cables.

Yarn Options

Materials

  • 3.5mm/US4-16″ circular needles
  • 4mm/US6-16″ circular needles
  • 4mm/US6 double pointed needles
  • 1 stitch marker
  • cable needle
  • tapestry/darning needle
  • FREE Pattern