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Blog

Ahh, knitting for loved ones. Has there ever been a creative act less selfish, yet more fraught with anxiety and disappointment? It’s interesting how that works.

How many times have you poured yourself into a beautiful, multicolored hat/scarf/cowl/etc. for someone you love…only to never see them wear it? Or a fine-gauge cable or lace piece that somehow permanently resides in a closet? How many of us have fallen prey to the boyfriend sweater curse, painstakingly working up garments for paramours only to have our hearts broken and our stash drained? Knitting for loved ones can be painful. What if it doesn’t fit? What if it fits, but they hate it? What if they accidentally <gasp> felt it?

When we knit selfishly, we know exactly what we’re getting, and loving it really just comes down to fit and whether our taste matches our style. (Man Repeller posted an article outlining the difference between taste and style. To put it simply, taste is what you like to see on other people; style is what you feel good wearing. We may explore the concept in a future post—knitting is such a time-consuming act, you really do need to love wearing what you knit!)

With Valentines Day creeping up and dragging with it the desire to make something useful for those we love, the following projects are guaranteed knockouts. Your recipient has to love these knits. If they don’t, well…we’ll never knit for anyone again (Pfft, as if). Our String staff hand-selected these four gifts as tried and true. They also checked in about their New Years resolutions. Of course, “knitting more” is universal, but some of these resolutions are also excellent tips to carry through 2017. Enjoy!

 

Nantucket Throw

 

Is there anything more romantic than snuggling up under a cushy, cloudlike blanket? Loopy Mango’s Nantucket Throw is a no-brainer. A rib pattern is elegant and stately in gargantuan stitches—simple, but deliberate, and with so much style. Knit in Loopy Mango’s 100% merino Big Loop yarn on size 50 needles, this is easily a last-minute Valentines Day knit.

Cynthia’s Resolution: I spend at least 30 minutes working on an existing project before I jump on to a new one. It’s been very successful so far.

Why We Love It: The knitting community at large suffers from startitis. This keeps every project on the needles chugging along and prevents you from searching for available needles that are wasting away under other projects.

 

All Seasons Slouchy Hat

Repeat after me: if you love them, say it with cashmere. The cute All Seasons Slouchy Hat is knit in June Cashmere Lace Weight and features an easy design with unisex appeal. June Cashmere’s colors are rich, varied, and well suited to both men’s and women’s knits.

Whitney’s Resolution: My knitting resolution is to design more and actually write out the patterns for what I make. In terms of knitting for someone you love, I made my boyfriend a scarf and hat and he still thanks me almost every time he wears them!

Why We Love It: Firstly, we’re so excited to see more from Whitney, so we’re thrilled one of her resolutions is to design more! Secondly, keeping track of what you do when you’re improvising designs is so important. Always keep a small notebook near your knitting to take down gauge and stitch counts. And good for Whitney’s boyfriend for rocking his hand-knit hat & scarf! May we all be blessed with such grateful partners.

 

Mistake Rib Scarf

 

Remember what we said about cashmere? Nothing says love like cashmere. The Mistake Rib Scarf can be knit in either Classica or Classica Bulky. Either way, it’s a warm, luscious, buttery accessory for which you will be generously thanked. If you don’t see it wrapped around your beloved’s neck every day, you have our permission to snatch it back. Fair is fair.

Joan’s Resolution: I'm only going to knit what I love. Sometimes I knit what might be “interesting” in the hope that it will be a challenge and teach me something I didn't know, and in the hope that I'll eventually fall in love with it. I'm going to try harder to find pieces that I already do love, and that will still be challenging.

Why We Love It: In some ways, this goes back to the style vs. taste conundrum, in the sense that knitting is so labor-intensive, we need to feel invested in the finished product. It’s time to attack our queues with thoughtful, critical eyes and weed out those projects that don’t pass muster.

 

Twist Cable Hat

 

Another gorgeous hat for both men and women, the Twist Cable Hat incorporates a beguiling stitch pattern. The twist cable creates a warm and cozy fabric, and it’s a lot of fun to knit. The Twist Cable Hat is worked in Classica Bulky and is available in two sizes.

To wrap up, Joan kindly shared her “Christmas Story” of knitting gifts for her family and thank goodness, it has a happy ending! Thanks, Joan. Your family has learned well the tenets of being good gift knitting recipients.

 

I rarely knit gifts for Christmas. Too much pressure, but my son is a high school senior who has played on his H.S. varsity football team for all 4 years. With 3 weeks to go before Christmas, I wanted to make him a special hat that commemorated his H.S. football “career.” So, I did. When my daughter saw me knitting it, she reminded me that I had promised her a hat 2 years ago, so after the first hat was finished, I knit hers. Then I thought, “As a good mother, how can I knit for two of the kids and not the third?” so I whipped up another one. Then I thought, how could I knit a whole family of hats and not knit one for my husband? So his was next. I finished with 2 days to spare and everyone (but me) got a new hat for Christmas.

 

 

Well, I think Joan wins the “Most Selfless Knitter Of All Time” award. Her hats are stunning—so intricate, detailed, and thoughtful. If that isn’t love, what is? Also, Joan: you deserve a hat of your own!

(And if you think you deserve a hat of your own, don't forget to join our #HatsOffKAL—the grand prize is our upcoming Hats Off! e-book, which contains patterns for some of String's most favorite hats!)

What are your knitting resolutions? Have you been burned by selfless knitting, or did someone love you for it? Let us know in the comments below!

January 19, 2017

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