There are only 27 knitting days 'til Christmas! So I have three ideas for quick knitted gifts for you. And to really mix up the metaphors, I have something old, something new, and something borrowed.
First up: a knitted teddy bear (or your choice of a couple of other animals) entitled "Magic Friends" from the 2001 book Knitter's Stash: Favorite Patterns from America's Yarn Shops. I first posted on this in 2007, and I still think it is a well-designed project. It's a little bit different, keeps you interested, and it knits up super-quick. Double-knitting is often tedious for throwers, but the way this toy is worked, it is fast and fun! Check your library for a copy of the book, or order one from Amazon here.
Next, something new: a pair of fingerless mitts that I designed this year. These Old Shale Mitts are a free pattern on Ravelry, and again, they knit up quickly and look like they took a lot longer.
Bonus points: with one ball each of the suggested yarns, you can get at least 2, and possibly 3, pairs of mitts out of them – depending on what sizes you make. I have made two pairs of "small" so far and I am confident I have enough for a third. But, if you want to be sure you can get 3 pairs out of your investment, you can always make the wrist ribbing a little shorter, or leave out a few rows of the pattern repeat.
Both of those yarns are $11 at Nitro Knitters, so for $22 and a little knitting time, you can get three gifts or stocking stuffers taken care of!
This was a super-quick knit. Looking at the project notes on Ravelry, I see now that many other knitters also added 4 rows to the body of the hat, but I didn't do that the first time around. When knitting samples, you usually try to stick as close to the pattern as possible, but in the end, the 12 rows called for was just too short for me. But, I swear that even with taking out the seam, unraveling the top and adding 4 rows to the straight portion, I think it only took me about 2.5 hours total! That is FAST.
And it is absolutely right in style, with the big stitches and the chunky texture that is all over the place this winter. The Bumblebirch "Forage" worsted weight yarn is a sheer pleasure to knit with, and has extremely high resilience — or, to put it in non-technical terms, it's SUPER-SQUOOSHY. I love the feel of this stuff. I may even make another one today… or two…
Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Knitting!