Great Knits for Gifting

It's never too late or too early for gift knitting. Some knitters plan specific gifts for specific recipients; others like to keep a back log for hostess gifts, teacher gifts, or unexpected birthday invites. Remember,  knitting is time-consuming and life is unpredictable, therefore, I think it’s opportune to share my favorite patterns for gifts.

Gift knitting has some very specific qualities. It should be:

  • impressive
  • relatively quick to make
  • relatively inexpensive materials cost

Now this may sound kind of grinch-like, but it is actually really wonderful to give hand-made gifts to some of those people who would otherwise get a low-price low-involvement gift. The smallest hand knit is nicer than a Starbucks gift card (IMHO).

So, here are a selection of patterns that meet the criteria I’ve laid out. I’ve also personally made them at least once and have found them to be enjoyable knits. That said, gift knitting also lends itself to improvisation and personalization — for example, dive into your stitch dictionary for patterns for a washcloth set, a cowl or a pair of wristers.


Cashmere tea cozy

Published in Joelle Hoverson's Last Minute Knitted GiftsI’ve made this cozy twice (not in cashmere) and it really keeps the tea warm. It’s a low key, modern knit pattern that uses less than 200 yards of worsted weight yarn.


Fast and Fearless Fingerless Mitts

A super quick and easy knit that requires approximately 100 yards of bulky weight yarn. Pick a luxe fiber for an extra good gift.


Woven Cowl

Half the fun of this project is finding the right buttons, which can really add class to a simple project




I’ve made this scarf at least 4 times as a gift and once for myself. I absolutely love knitting this — in fact, I may need a new one this winter.


Cabled Cowl

This is another pattern I’ve made several times. If you love doing cables, this is an absolute blast. The pattern as written is quite oversized. I’ve reduced the size considerably with no loss of warmth.



Wedding Washcloths by Purl Bee

Another standby gift for me — I knit these as a “palate cleanser” project in between larger projects. Use one color or coordinating colors of a good cotton yarn for a charming gift.



Using approximately 300 yards of cotton yarn, this is a quick and inexpensive knit that is super useful — and could also contain a bottle of wine or other consumables.


Chevron Stripes Hand Towel by Mason Dixon Knitting

Another one of my favorites, I usually make these in cotton rather than linen, although linen would be fab. It’s harder on the hands to work with linen and more expensive, but of course, linen is very durable, just ask the mummies.



Skyping Beanie

A versatile beanie pattern that can be made slouchy or fitted. Use a smaller needle than you think you need — this is quite stretchy.




Make ‘em short or long, they’re quick and easy and, with the single giant cable, quite gorgeous.