Holiday hat knitting cheat sheet: 10 skill-stretching patterns

Holiday hat knitting cheat sheet: 10 skill-stretching patterns

Hats are the best. A great way to learn to knit (or crochet!), pick up new skills, add variety to your queue, get that “I made it!” feeling fast. And of course, they don’t require a lot of yarn and they’re the perfect handmade gifts: The receiver is wowed with something you made yourself — without your spending a month or more making it! For this round of the holiday hat knitting cheat sheet, as I did with our Fringe Hatalong Series a few years ago (6 free patterns), I’ve organized it by the skills involved, from what I think of as the simplest to most challenging. You may dispute the order, and of course there’s no requirement that you knit them all or in this sequence, but if you’re looking for some fun patterns for charity or holiday gift knitting, and the chance to maybe pick up some new skills in the process, check out these gems that have caught my eye this year—

1: Crochet!
The Dawn Hat
by Brandi Harper

2: A little bit of slip-stitch (plus folded brim)
by Alyssa Coffey

3: Slip-stitch faux cables
September Hat
by Caroline Dick (free pattern, and there’s more where that came from)

4: Mosaic x 3 (aka 2-color slip-stitch)
by Hunter Hammersen

5: A spot of cabling
Northern Peak
by Jill Zielinski

6: 2-color stranded knitting
Eye Catcher Hat
by Jennifer Berg

7: Brioche rib
Hester’s Hat
by Lori Versaci

8: Brioche basketry
Baskets of Brioche Hat
by Lavanya Patricella

9: Lace
Penny Hat
by Tin Can Knits

10: Lace + bobbles!
by Courtney Kelley (see also)

And for lots more gift knitting ideas and pattern roundups, give this page a scroll!


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One-night knits!

One-night knits

Whether it actually is the night before Christmas and you’re short one gift, or you’re just desperate for a quick finish between long projects — or whatever the case may be! — here are four excellent free knitting patterns with fast and highly satisfying outcomes. All blissfully simple in garter, stockinette and ribbing, so they’re also great for beginners—

1. CFC Hanspun Toque by Patrick Rush
If you happen to have some Camellia Fiber Co. handspun in your stash, let me be the first to profess my jealousy! But if not, any superbulky will do. This one is designed by a guy and I can vouch for the fact that it’s worn by the whole CFC crew, so it’s unisex as well as being fast and great-looking. (See also: EZ’s Brioche Watch Cap)

2. Whichaway Mitts by Karen Templer
My own pattern for two-tone mitts that can be worn either direction. Again, perfectly unisex depending on your yarn choice. And it was specifically designed to use up leftovers! (See also: Super Simple Mitts)

3. Lara’s Hat by Susan Ashcroft
This is the most specifically feminine item in the group, but such a stupendous hat! Again with superbulky yarn on US15s, so you’ll be done in a flash. (See also: Purl Soho’s Chunky Cable Hat)

4. Simple House Slippers by Simone A.
These would be welcomed by any member of the family. They might take slightly longer than the previous three patterns, especially since you need to make two — but you could totally wrap up one finished slipper and an IOU for the second one. (See also: Tootsie Toasters)

Another great last-minute gift idea (no knitting required!) is a Fringe Supply Co. gift certificate, which I will happily send to your recipient as a personal email! ;)

For more gift knitting suggestions, see Warm hands, warm hearts; Cowls all around; and A hat for every head


Holiday knitting cheat sheet: Warm hands, warm hearts

Holiday knitting cheat sheet: Warm hands, warm heart

Given that fingerless gloves have always been my favorite thing to knit, it’s funny that we’ve talked about hats for the whole family and cowls all around, but I’ve never done a holiday knitting rundown of which mitts to knit for whom. Well, here it is!

1. the girly girl: Rhea Wrist Warmers by Kari-Helen Rane — pretty lace on the back of the hand, ribbing everywhere else

2. the tomboy: Stadium Mitts by yours truly — what can I say? so simple and versatile (free pattern)

3. the traditionalist: Leaves Fingerless Gloves by Valentina Georgieva — easy cables-and-lace chart in aran weight (free pattern)

4. the english major: Brooke Mitts by Michele Rose Orne — simple colorwork that won’t slow you down

5. the sophisticate: Fure by Olga Buraya-Kefelian — yep, still have these long, luscious beauties on my mind

6. the dude: Man Hands by Shireen Nadir — slightly more dudely than the average unisex mitts

7. the art student:Gradient Mitts by Krista McCurdy — ombré is irresistible (see also Purl Bee’s Colorblock Hand Warmers, longer, fingering, gussetless, free)

8. the unknown recipient: 70-Yard Mitts by Hannah Fettig — lightning fast, stash-busting and, depending on color, suitable for anyone

Like always, that last one is also a great idea to just knit to have on hand … for that Oops! moment.


Speaking of gifts, if you’re not inclined to knit for the whole family (or you’re crafting your own wish list!), know that I’ve got lots of amazing goodies coming to Fringe Supply Co. in the coming weeks. I put one super fun gift item up over the weekend, just because I couldn’t resist: Shabd’s Magic Jar Dye Kit.


PREVIOUSLY in Holiday knitting cheat sheets: Cowls all around


Holiday knitting cheat sheet: Cowls all around

Holiday knitting cheat sheet: A cowl pattern for every girl on your list

Gift knitting is stressful, ain’t it? The good news is, everyone loves a cowl. (Girls, anyway.) So just like with last year’s holiday hat knitting cheat sheet, I’ve put together a little gift guide for you: fabulous patterns, and the ladies who’ll love them:

1. the academic: Inkling by Dianna Walla, a stately, timeless and seamless striped tube

2. the victorian lit lover: Imogen Cowl by Carrie Bostick Hoge, exquisite grafted lace

3. the city mouse: Warren Street Cowl by Michele Wang, understated geometric texture (See also: South Paris)

4. the country mouse: Big Herringbone Cowl from the Purl Bee, squishy textural bliss (free pattern)

5. the grande dame: Lowbrow Cowl by Thao Nguyen, a million times more elegant than its name

6. the vintage junkie: Pine Bough Cowl by Dianna Walla, truly amazing colorwork in another seamless tube (free pattern) (See also: Ticking Cowl)

7. the bon vivant: Hamanasu Cowl by Olga Buraya-Kefelian, the master of mind-bending stitchery

8. the globetrotter: Bogolan by Elizabeth Davis, a trio of two-sided, mud-cloth inspired patterns (thanks, Meg)

9. the traditionalist: Chalet Cowl by Yarn Garden, simply beautiful cables (See also: Cabled Cowl — free pattern)

10. the sophisticate: Kennebec by Dawn Catanzaro, beautifully proportioned brioche

Actually, that last one could work for anyone, depending on your yarn and color choice. So that might be the one you make a spare of, just in case.


PREVIOUSLY in Holiday knitting cheat sheets: A hat for every head

Holiday knitting cheat sheet: A hat for every head

holiday hat patterns for every personality type

I might not be doing any holiday knitting this year but I can feel the angst of those of you out there comparing your to-knit-for list against the number of days remaining. So I have one soothing word for you: hats. I’m pretty sure last year was the official Year of the Cowl, and they can be incredibly quick to knit. (E.g.) But you know what’s even faster? Yep. And beanies of every sort are all the rage at the moment. So in an effort to be helpful, I’ve put together this cheat sheet — hat patterns by personality type:

1. the she-hipster: Bayard (or Norby)

2. the he-hipster: Bulletproof Aran Hat

3. the lovely lady: Milanese Lace Topper (free) (or Rosa)

4. the tough guy: Chunkeanie (free)

5. the traditionalist: Snöflinga (or Rosebud)

6. the outdoorsy chick: Spirograph (or Tetsubou)

7. the dapper fella: Felted Shetland Beret, preferably done Kent Turman-style

8. the minimalist: What

9. the fun-loving friend: Chapeau, with pompoms of course

10. the mystery-exchange recipient: Simple Rib Hat or Big Rib Hat (free)

Come to think of it, you might want to knit up that last one in an assortment of colors to have on hand. You know, just in case.