Five Small Christmas Gifts to Start Knitting Now

These easy knitting projects are good for relative beginners. Most of them knit up in a few hours, ready to be popped into a drawer for safekeeping. The projects are also small, making them ideal for using up scraps of wool from your stash.

Bowtie Scarf

These cute scarves are equally appropriate for children and adults. Kids can’t strangle themselves (at least, not without some effort!) and don’t have to fight yards of trailing fabric. Adults will appreciate the cunning design, which avoids a bulky knot at the neck. And knitters will appreciate the speed of the execution – these scarves are three or four times shorter than a regular pattern!

This free Bowtie Scarf Pattern is from Unique Yarns, Inc; a slightly simpler pattern can be downloaded free from Ravelry requires free registration, but it’s well worth it! Search for the bowtie scarf by Theresa Belville under “Free Patterns.”

Cabled Owls

If I can get my act together in time, my mother-in-law will be receiving a scarf or dishtowels with cabled owls for Christmas. My mother-in-law happens to collect owls; but even those who don’t will find the cables-and-buttons design charming. Owls can be cabled on anything – hats, the ends of scarves, slippers, flannels, handwarmers. Use your imagination!

Easy Knitted Cowls

Like the bowtie scarf, a knitted cowl is smaller and easier to wear and knit than a traditional scarf. The Mobias cowl is a popular design right now; other styles include cowls that button tightly at the neck, web-fine lacy cowls that drape like mini-shawls, and chunky ribbed cowls that can be pulled up to cover the face.


The ideal knitting project for a beginner. The simplest handwarmer is a knitted square or rectangle, sewed up one side with a gap for the thumb. I made a pair of these for my two-year-old as one of my first knitting projects – far easier than attempting mittens or gloves for her tiny hands! Fancier handwarmers can be cabled, knit in the round, striped, super-long or knit in a lacy pattern.

Knitted Starbucks Coffee Cup Cosy

As a non-coffee-drinker I find the trend for these somewhat baffling, but my more sophisticated London-dwelling sister uses hers all the time. If you know the sort of people who would appreciate knitted coffee cup cosies – in suitably cosmopolitan wool, of course – by all means, go ahead and knit one up. The cosies protect the drinker’s hands from the hot cup and insulate the coffee at the same time. I’ve seen slip-on and buttoned-up versions – you could even knit the Starbucks logo into the design!

Of course, now is also a good time to start knitting bigger projects such as sweaters and blankets. On the other hand, if you haven’t gotten around to it by now, it might be more realistic to scale your goals down. Even a few small handmade items will take some pressure off come Christmas – and give you less guilt on the New Year!




About Sarah Tennant

has written 24 posts in this blog.


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