British Wool, designer, giveaway, knitting, Knitting Pattern, love, recommendations, wool
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gift knits: heads and hands

Just because I am not doing any Christmas gift knitting does not mean that I cannot enable you, my lovely KnitBritishers!

When I turn my laptop on each day and open up Ravelry, the first thing I do is check my pattern highlights. Do you do this? I love to see the things that clever Ravelry knows I will love. If you don’t know where to find these recommendations go to and the highlights are on the right hand side, about halfway down the page.

The highlights have been jam-packed with great accessory patterns recently and I thought I would share some of my favourites with you over a couple of posts. If you don’t need gift ideas, you still gotta keep your own head/hands/neck. etc warm! I also would be no kind of enabler, or host, if I didn’t recommend some lovely gift-worthy yarns to go with them.

Copyright: Jaala Day.

Jaala Day’s Gradient Stripe handwarmers will add a welcome splash of colour, fun and warmth to the chilly weather. The best bit is that the self striping yarn will do all the talking and the hard work for you, while you just knock off a bit of TV knitting! Designed in Jaala’s own KnitCircus hand dyed yarn, you may not have time to order from the US to knit these for Christmas, but how about some self-striping hand dyed Brit Sock from The Knitting Goddess?

Blood Sucker Self striping Brit Sock yarn. Image from The Knitting Goddess, used with kind permission.

Comprising 40% British BFL, 20% British Wensleydale, 20% British Alpaca and 20% nylon this yarn is going to feel good as well as look spectacular with all that softness and longwool lustre.

The Gradient Stripes pattern cost 4 USD (about £2.60) and the BritSock is £21.

© Thao Nguyen used with kind permission

The Bodhi Brim hat is by Thao Nguyen and it could be knit for the entire family. That texture detail is really lovely and I bet you can pack it with a lot of slouch, if that’s your style – or pom pom the heck out of it for a wintry look. The pattern cost 5USD.

Dragonfly colourway (c) Little Grey Sheep, used with kind permission

For the grown ups Bodhi Brim would look lovely in Little Grey Sheep Gotland Aran (£16.25), which comes from a pedigree flock in Surrey and is  hand-dyed. Gotland fleece is densely curly, so you can bet there will be a lot of warmth in this yarn. If you are looking for some yarn that is a bit kid friendly, Jarol  have a British aran pure wool that is machine washable.




The Shawgrove mitts are part of Katya Frankel’s new collection, Autumn Essentials 2014:  Woodlands. I really like the simply, but effective all around cable pattern and particularly how the pattern travels into the rib at the top.

© Katya Frankel used with kind permission.

These would make a really lovely gift for your sister, mum or aunt knit in a classic yarn like New Lanark Donegal silk…. but I don’t know if you have a child like my oldest niece – she refuses to wear a coat, but moans that their extremities are cold? I would knit these for her in a really vivid colour, like Countess Ablaze Rebelling Against Suburbia (£15.00), which is machine washable BFL. That burning neon pink would be right up her street.

(c) Countess Ablaze, used with kind permission

I think a solid or semi-solid is going to be best for that cabling. You don’t want something too variegated as you will lose all that texture. The mitts pattern costs £3 on it’s own or £4.95 in the collection, which includes the Barn Elms hat and the Puzzlewood cowl

Mirella from Wool + Bricks has a great couple of patterns which will doubtlessly banish the cold and cut a pretty colourful dash through the wintry grey.

© Wool + Bricks used with kind permission

Amina is a unisex beanie hat with a bit of slouch and a really lovely colour work interest. Mirella has used Shetland yarn, together with Danish Holst yarn to make this hat and I think the colour palettes of these two brands will mean that the sky is the limit when it comes to colour selection. Of course, I would run straight to Jamieson and Smith for their soft worsted spun Heritage jumper weight yarn.

© Wool + Bricks

© Wool + Bricks

Inspired by mountain ranges Khumbu fingerless mitts also feature a flash of colourwork. Not only a great project to experiment with colour, but also to stash-bust! Mirella has recommended Jamieson’s of Shetland for this pattern and KnitBritish readers who entered my recent Jamieson’s giveaway will know that their colour range is extensive too.

Mirella is a British wool champ when it comes to designing and I asked her what she loves about it.

The thing I love most about British wool? Truthfully? It’s really, really cheesy, but every time I pull on a woolly jumper I get the same feeling in my stomach as I get when I’m out in nature – hills, moors, lochs, or beaches – that I’m just a tiny part of this huge life story of the world and everything that lives here. It’s a terrific feeling to dress up in every morning!
Wool plays such an integral role in the history of these islands, and the survival and thriving of their people, that it’s impossible for me to think of wool without feeling overwhelmed by this. And for history to feel so tangible, relevant, and present is thrilling. Of course there’s the pure tactile pleasure of Shetland wool, and the visually arresting beauty of the heathered shades made possible with the array of natural colours, but my love for British wool is all in the head.

Not cheesy at all! Love of wool and the appreciation for British wool in particular can have very deep connections.

Amina and Khumbu are £2.20 and £2.60 respectively, but Mirella has very kindly offered these as prizes for you!

To be in with a chance to win leave a comment here by 12pm on Friday, 5th December and tell me how many gifts you are knitting for Christmas!
Thank you so much to Mirella at Wool + Bricks for such cosy and colourful prizes!


  1. Sherlock_knits says

    I was only planning one gift this year – a pair of socks for my dad which has now become an annual tradition. After reading this post, however, I think I’ll also do the Wool and bricks Hat and fingerless gloves for my mum – she’s a photographer and I’m sure she’ll find them useful when she’s doing outdoor shots over ther winter.

  2. I’m the odd one out, I’m afraid…no Christmas gift knitting at all! I do have a couple of pairs of finished handknit socks tucked safely away for the next time I see a particular dear friend…she will be invited to choose her favorite pair, but it is unlikely to happen at Christmas. I suppose it will happen on Surprise Socks Day 🙂

    • louise says

      Nope! You’re not alone. I am not knitting either….but I am constantly seeing great gift knits, hence the post!

  3. Alison says

    I tried to do way too much last year so have scaled it back somewhat. I’ve got a Beyond Pueperium (sp?) on the needles for my friend’s three month old and I’ve made a couple of classic berets from Donegal Tweed Aran. Himself may get Helen Stewart’s checkerboard mitts but mainly I’m looking foward to taking part in Eden Cottage Yarn’s Quadratic KAL – a new shawl all for me!

  4. Patti, aka oldgoatwoman on Ravelry says

    Two small shawls, and a couple pairs of fingerless mitts. No more gift knitting for now because a Kate Davies design, Jökull, has me knitting something for myself. Wool makes me sense the world and the animals around me, love wearing wool. Fresh wool, not the over processed wool with no character.

  5. Thekla says

    Want to knit gifts…lots. Will actually knit…not so many. I get started on them, then things happen. Then the decision after the first of the year comes to either complete or frog the item…(sigh). I think I just like having the yarny goodness around me at this time of year…

  6. Carol Christie says

    I feel some handwarmers coming on myself…I’ve finished my Christmas gift knitting, but am planning on doing some nordic style decorations for my own tree if I have time.

  7. I love the Little Grey sheep Gotland aran. I’ve knitted a cowl in it and love it. Emma (?) dyes some amazing colour ways and I always make a few purchases whenever I see their stand at a yarn festival! Christmas gift knitting….. I had planned to make hats for my nieces and nephew but I am still waiting for their head sizes to be passed on to me. So these may not happen depending when I get the info. Our family has a trait for having larger than normal heads so can’t just guess!!! I am also going to knit a tea cosy just need to decide on a pattern. Apart from that lots of things for me as I am also a bit of a selfish knitter. Like you say time is too short.

  8. Susan says

    NOT cheesy! I too feel the area the wool has come from. And I do like to know the name of the sheep whose wool I am spinning….Cheesy!!

  9. D Louise says

    No gift knitting at all this Christmas. It’s personal knitting except for the portable/public knitting projects that I can carry with me and take to knit night–they’re usually charity projects that carry no deadline and are relatively simple construction. I AM Knitting British on my current project: Acer, as a jumper, from Uradale Organic Shetland yarn; it’s actually a bit of nail-biting knitting chicken because I’m not sure I bought enough… ;o}

  10. The list keeps growing! I’ve knitted 2 scarves for pressies already and I’ve had a request for a hat now, but I’m busy with a christmas jumper in time for the 12th for my son at the mo…

  11. Jayne Globe says

    Too many items! Aaaarrrrrggghhhhhh….so much yarn, so little time left. I’ve finished two scarves and three and a half pairs of socks, so I just have two and a half pairs and two pair of fingerless mitts to go……New Year plan? Knit myself some new socks…..mine are decidedly shabby….

  12. I think it will be 3 handknitted presents in total this year. I have two done but I am not really feeling the love for the 3rd it’s got a 50% chance of getting made!

  13. Brigid says

    I thought I wouldn’t knit any this year but…. 1 wall hanging for brother & sis in law (in gorgeous Foula wool & inspired by your Hwarl!); 1 jumper for my small odd-son (er – non religious godson..); 1 fairisle hat for my Mum (DONE!); an as-yet unspecified number of felted bowls in Alafoss Lopi for friends; oh & some stars and snowflake things for a winter solstice yarn bomb 🙂

  14. I know I said before I’m not gift knitting, but then I realised I knit a modish cowl for my sister in law who said she needed a cowl a while ago. Normally I don’t do gift knitting, but looking back, every year there is a special person receiving a hand knitted gift, just because I like to. And I don’t feel bad for the others.

  15. the original plan was to only knit 2 gifts – now I’m at gift no 6 (and counting)…..

    But I really intend to leave it at that!


  16. Janine says

    I’m making two Christmas gifts – and a third if I have time – a pair of Fetching wristwarmers for my friend Mel; another pair of wristwarmers for my daughter (from a pattern I made up)…and if there’s enough time, some mittens for my 2 year old daughter (although I know that she won’t care if they are late!). I’m determined to finish my Wovember jumper first though, which is causing me some bother!

  17. I’m knitting loads of gifts this year – a real departure for me. My motivation is to use up some of the stash in colours that I can’t wear but I know others will. So far I’ve made an aran weight shawl in Debbie Bliss Fez for my mum (Creedence by Picnicknits), a colour work hat I designed with BrooklynTweed Shelter for my mother in law, a wee hat called Forest Floor by Alana Dakos using Yarn Pony worsted in all the turquoises, and a Hosta Brioche Scarf by Nancy Marchant in Malabrigo Rios. I’ve got a small family but still need to make three more things and the complicating factor is that my mother and her ex mother in law (my grandmother) and my stepmother all live within a ten mile radius…so no duplication!

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