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August 8, 2007

That’s a great number for a score on a test. Makes you feel smart and practically perfect. But 100 is not so nice when its the temperature outside. Should I mention that the heat index is 106. I live in that pink cluster of 100’s, 101’s and 102’s. This is why we like to drink our tea iced. It’s too hot to work, it’s too hot to think, it’s even too hot to knit.

I absolutely hate it when it’s too hot to knit. I have flubbed the the same short row heel three times now. Can’t seem to figure out what row I should be knitting on the Indigo Ripples skirt and with my brain this fried I am afraid to touch MS3. What’s a girl to do when it’s too hot to knit? Maybe today is the day to clean out the freezer.

The good news is that after getting increasingly hotter for the next several days we should have a chilly 99 by the weekend. Maybe I should start knitting a sweater.

Since I cannot concentrate on knitting, I have decided to have a contest. I have been trolling Ravelry for holiday knitting ideas but I am still not finding the perfect pattern to knit for my family – not the kids but the extended family – brothers, nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles cousins and the like. Maybe you can help. What do you knit for someone that doesn’t require a lot of time or yarn, can be made a generic size that doesn’t require fitting and looks really nice? Last year, I knitted simple scarves (garter stitch for a lot of them) for most of my holiday gifts because I was just learning how to knit. This year I want to do something a little nicer since I have gained a few more knitting skills since then. I would like to find a project that is interesting and fun to knit but that doesn’t take a really long time to knit or require close fitting (in other words, sweaters are out). What can you knit that is fun, looks really complicated but doesn’t require huge amounts of time, can be knitted in a ballpark size and doesn’t require a lot of yarn? Any recommendations??? If you leave a recommendation that includes a specific pattern (in other words, don’t just say knit a hat tell me which hat pattern you recommend), I will throw your name in a hat for a drawing for a knitting related prize – either a book or some yarn I’ll have to check the stash and let you know later. I will make my decision next Friday, August 17th (I think) and post the results here. The winner will have 48 hours to send me a snail mail address so I can send their prize.
Just to start you off, here is a list of who I need to make gifts for

1 MIL – 80 and picky
2 BILs – 40-something one is a computer nerd, the other a redneck hunter
2 SILs – 30 something – one a teacher turned SAHM, the other a pharmacist
1 niece 17 on her way to college
1 nephew 6
1 aunt 80-something and not very active
1 nephew 18 in college
1 nephew 3
1 niece 9 months
2 brothers – 30-something
1 mom 27 and holding

I will throw your name in the hat twice if you include a link to the pattern or the name of the book where it can be found.

31 Comments leave one →
  1. Tabitha permalink
    August 8, 2007 4:26 pm

    Hi! I found your blog by browsing on ravelry:) I am Tabitha too (you can check out my blog at if you want).

    I have a couple of suggestions, which you may have already seen on ravelry…clog slippers by Bev Galeskas might be useful for your neice or nephew in college or the three year old. I made my son a pair last year and he loves them, they didn’t take too long. ( They also have an adult size pattern for sale at Fibertrends:) Also if your niece or SILs like headbands – “Molly’s Headband” from Interweave’s Sweet Somethings article a few issues back is really nice. (

    Hope this helps! I’m in Western KY and we have higher temps than the map you have says, so I feel your pain. I have been trying to do a few rows on a vest and not making much progress!

  2. Danielle permalink
    August 8, 2007 4:51 pm

    Sorry about all that heat! We had temps like that for 1 day and it was too much. (I live in the Seattle area…)

    I have an idea for the kids/baby. A knit bunny:

    I hope that helps!

  3. casey permalink
    August 8, 2007 5:58 pm

    Hello Yarn’s “We Call Them Pirates” hat has got to be good for one of those people, no? Nephew, 18?

  4. Lynn permalink
    August 8, 2007 7:24 pm

    Everyone needs slippers. I made felted slippers from Amy Singer’s Knit Wit book (p. 50) Fuzzy Feet Redux pattern. To make it more fun, I gave the slippers pre-felting. You can have a felting party at your gathering or include simple felting instructions. My nephews got a kick out of felting the sliippers to fit their feet. For the older nephews (jr & sr high) I made juggling balls: I made mine with wool and felted them before I filled and sewed them shut.

    Hope these ideas help.


  5. Qutecowgirl permalink
    August 8, 2007 9:38 pm

    Ok here is what I do every year. I make ornaments. One year I sewed felted ones, another year I crocheted snowflakes and last year I knitted balls (some stripped some solid and I even embroidered some) This year I am thinking small knitted stockings/socks. Ornaments like these are great ways to use up those odds and ends in the stash (since I seem to keep every left over) Sorry I can not give you a specific pattern – I made them up (except the snowflakes – they were from the Lion Brand website).

    Hope this helps

  6. Tammy permalink
    August 9, 2007 6:06 am

    The heat index where I am is 105, but that doesn’t stop me from knitting.

    I think it’s gotta be Fetching – the wristlets – modify with stripes or leave out the cables for the guys to make them more manly. A quick and fun, relatively easy knit.

  7. Diane permalink
    August 9, 2007 8:24 am

    I’m in the deep red and happy to be in the 90’s with 75% humidity instead of being over 100.

    How about fuzzyfeet for the adults?
    Felted slippers are great for bopping around the house.

  8. Cary permalink
    August 9, 2007 2:08 pm

    My husband hunts. I’m planning on making him a pair of Broad Street mittens. they are a pair of convertible glove/mittens. (Pattern at

    This may be more complicated than what you may want to tackle however you may be able to find another similar yet simpler pattern. Hunters like fingerless gloves which makes shooting (bow or gun) easier however on cold winter mornings the flip cover would be nice to keep the fingers warm. You could either end the glove part right before the fingers to make it a flip glove.

    Of course hunters would also love wool socks. Dark greens, browns or blacks are preferred colors.

  9. funfairiegirl permalink
    August 9, 2007 2:11 pm

    OK – for the niece. you have to be a member, but it is free. I made one for my 9 mo old niece last year with no fittings and they loved it.

    for the college student niece…the botton hole bag – it is a free pattern on – I made one for each of my sisters. I would actually make one for SILs too probably and mom – you can do different color combos – they are fast and easy.

    For younger nephew – there are some really cute toys here… such as Ralph who is a hand puppet.

    Hope that helps :)

  10. Atti permalink
    August 9, 2007 2:12 pm

    How about a “warming belt” for the older ones? ;-))
    It’s a free pattern:,com_virtuemart/page,shop.browse/category_id,12/Itemid,1/

    Have a nice day – Greetings from Germany, where it is 18° at the moment, 10 pm, and raining.

  11. Atti permalink
    August 9, 2007 2:17 pm

    Sorry, I didn’t know that long url’s are not shown right at blogger.
    Here is a short url for the warming belt:
    Greetings, Astrid

  12. Angela permalink
    August 9, 2007 2:24 pm

    Well, it’s cool and comfortable here in Maine (sorry!). I just finished a quick gift that would be good for at least half of your list: Symmetrical Braided Gauntlets. Click here (Buzz and Fuzz) for my blogpost with all of the details. I’ll be keeping an eye on everyone else’s ideas to help me prepare for the holidays!
    Good idea with the contest!

  13. Esther Joy permalink
    August 9, 2007 2:30 pm

    MIL : How about a nice stole or shawl in her favourite color? Those in their 80’s get cold quickly. (Possibly the Mystery Stole or Icarus Shawl by Mimknits? Or A Prayer shawl…(I have never knitted a prayer shawl so I have no recommendations…)

    Redneck Hunter: Knitty’s “knucks” fingerless gloves so he can use them to keep his hands warm while hunting. You could do them in a camo yarn.

    Computer Nerd: Does he like Dr. Who? (As most nerds do…) There’s a pattern for a knitted Extermaknit which is a robot off the show…I believe there are some “nerdy” socks on knitty…here:

    the SAHM: Dishclothes, several nice ones. I have always found people love recieving dishcloths

    Pharmacist: A lace scarf like this one:
    *click on link below to go to website, it is a GORGEOUS Scarf/shawl*

    Aunt in her 80’s like I said for MIL a stole or shawl or perhaps a shawlette?

    For 3 and under I would do the finger puppets or other whimsies found at knitting.

    Do any of your neices/nephews play the guitar? there is a guitar strap you can knit at knitty…also, there’s several other things you can find in the whimsies section. This is cute for babies…:

    I know, I’m a knitty fanatic, I just wanted to give you a few ideas. I hope that I did not overwhelm you!

    If you cannot find some things at Knitty, there is always that has everything under the sun there! (EVEN A WEDDING DRESS!!!)

  14. Sue_hp permalink
    August 9, 2007 2:33 pm

    Hi Tabitha, my all time favorite quick knit, impressive gift is felted mocs from Little Turtle Knits. Here’s a link to the pattern
    It does come in all sizes, tho it’s listed under adults. Her pic seems to be missing, too – so here’s a link to a pic of my boy in his
    Sue–fellow MS3 knitter

  15. esther joy permalink
    August 9, 2007 2:34 pm

    Oh also the Multidirectional Diagonal scarf is a COOL look and it’s so easy to make!!
    (Suggestion for the 17 year old neice.)

  16. Arlene permalink
    August 9, 2007 2:41 pm

    Tabitha, for the women I make little beaded knit bags and then sew them to pin findings. I also designed a really cute little beaded heart pin that I gifted to the knitlist. You can see it over on my blog here:
    I have a corrected pattern that I would be glad to send you. My little pins take about 2 hours to knit and less than another hour to finish, cost a very minimal amount in materials – really do-able for gift knitting! And you get to play with beads, fine cotton yarn, and small knitting needles!!!! What else could you ask for?

  17. Ruth permalink
    August 9, 2007 2:43 pm

    You asked for it:

    17 year old niece: beaded wrist warmers @

    SILS: fingerless gloves that knit up sooooo quick @

    Aunt in her 80s (could be good for the niece too since it is called Branching Out: my personal fave:

    For any woman entering winter months (pedicure socks for winter!!) @

  18. Cayli permalink
    August 9, 2007 4:07 pm

    I would say some Noro hats since the yarn does such great things you can just use a simple pattern, good for the guys. The Odessa Hat is great looking for women. Also Snuggles figerless mitts are super cute. There are also tons of great knitted stuffed animals that I am sure the kids would love. All of these you can find on Ravelry and I am too lazy to do all the links. ;)

    Good luck picking out what you think they will like.

  19. Cayli permalink
    August 9, 2007 4:15 pm

    Okay, one link…here is for some super cute little animals that I think kids would love.,shop.browse/category_id,6/option,com_virtuemart/Itemid,1/

  20. PenCraft permalink
    August 9, 2007 4:15 pm

    The men are tough. But last year, this is what I did for Christmas presents for a whole group of people who work together: men and women. I knit dishcloths out of cotton yarn. Patterns are available here: Plus a bazillion other places. Google: knitted dishcloths.
    Then, to make this a gift package, I found little tiny whisks, little spatulas (both are usable in the kitchen–just smaller than normal), and a nice bamboo spoon. I bundled each up with a little tag that read: Whisk up some fun,
    And stir up some cheer.
    Smooth over the bumps,
    And wring in the year.
    Hope your holidays are great! or something to that effect. Even the men did a good job of acting pleased. Also,a friend told me she did something similar for her woman friends. She put together a really cute little baskets with a fancy knitted face cloth, lovely soap, bath salts and a nice lotion.

  21. Karen permalink
    August 9, 2007 4:55 pm

    My first thought for some of your folks, at least, is the Tannenbaum hat:

    I made one of these, and although I am still working on getting a finish Iike for me, it was a lot of fun and not too difficult (you get to practice short rows on something where the fine details don’t matter much).

    Another hat I just made that was also fun (makes good use of variegated yarns; could also be made to work with scraps or school colors) is Lucy Neatby’s Equilateral Hat:

    She gives very precise directions and this calls for worsted weight yarn, if I recall.

    Good luck choosing a project; if it wouldn’t be giving too much away it would be great to know what you end up with (who knows, you could start a trend!).

  22. Karen permalink
    August 9, 2007 4:56 pm

    I see the end of the URL got clipped off. If you just search for the Tannenbaum hat (using Google or another search engine) I am pretty sure her blog entry about the hat will appear. That is how I always find it!

  23. owl knits permalink
    August 9, 2007 6:18 pm

    Almost everyone has a mobile phone or an i-pod – holders for them can be made out of sock yarn, or can be felted, can have long or short handles, or even clips to attach to a belt or purse. How about an i-cord key holder that can clip to a purse?

  24. jennsquared permalink
    August 9, 2007 8:30 pm

    How about Fetching for your 17 yr-old niece?
    or MaryElla

    I made two of the MaryElla before, one use blue beads and one use green beads. Both gave away as gifts and got compliments from different stores when my friend wore it shopping one day.

    And I agree with the people that says felted slippers above. Although I don’t have a pattern as I’ve never made them before.

  25. Deborah permalink
    August 9, 2007 10:25 pm

    You could try wrist warmers and/or fingerless gloves.

    Dishclothes wrapped up with a bar of homemade soap are also nice.

  26. Terri permalink
    August 10, 2007 7:10 am

    Here’s a free pattern I found for knitting mittens for charity. They go really quickly. You can “gussy them up” with cables, garter designs or color changes…

  27. Nerdy Knitter permalink
    August 10, 2007 9:09 am

    I had good luck last year with knitting dishcloths or face cloths (depended on the recipient–sometimes it was the same pattern, just called something different) in organic cotton and other more generic cottons.

    You can buy nice-smelling soaps and wrap the cloth around them if you’re presenting them as face cloths, or give them with a cool kind of counter cleaner (I used an organic earth-friendly one from a healthfood store because that was what was appropriate for my recipient).

    I used the 2 patterns in Mason Dixon Knitting–Ballband Dishrag (or something like that), and the fancier, lacy one (can’t remember the name; sorry). You can extend the size for the baby and make it a burp cloth. AND there’s a pattern for a burp cloth in Mason Dixon Knitting, if you want to do that.

    College-age people are difficult, though–they don’t really use face cloths (well, a lot don’t)…But you never know…

    Good luck!

    –Judy, aka Nerdy Knitter

  28. Cora permalink
    August 12, 2007 12:28 pm

    Here is a great pattern from Knitty:, or these for the hunter.

    How cold does it get in the areas that your family lives? What about thrummed mittens?

    Slippers are always a good standby. Here is a site that has different ones.

  29. Anita permalink
    August 13, 2007 9:22 pm

    I am feeling your pain on the heat. I just hate it. Staying in side as much as possible here in KY. here are my suggestions for your gifts: For the brother in laws, your brothers and even your nephew in college – I suggest the Medallion Mitts from Knitting with Balls. These are def. on my list for my brother in law and two nephews. I just finished a pair for my son and he loves them. For the SIL’s – any sock pattern would be great. I think the Monkey Socks – from Cookie A. would be great – the pattern is free on Ravelry.
    The book Last Minute Knitted Gifts have the projects listed by the number of hours it takes to knit them – what a great idea. I am thinking that the Angora Baby Booties would be cute for the 9 month old. Also in this book are leg warmers – could be for your niece. Children’s Cotton Hats – great for the 6 year old and 3 year old. The Kim’s hat patterns could be made for several – just change the colors and the stripes around. There is also a beautiful Silk Camisole on page 96 which I think my niece is getting this year. Would be great for several. I also think Dish Clothes, caplets and scarves would be fantastic for those over 50. Great question. You have me making my list as well. It is time to get started, even though it is too hot too, but, I plan on starting this week as well. Good luck on the Christmas knitting and hope your weather is getting better.

  30. permalink
    August 17, 2007 5:24 pm

    I had to add a few more. I received in the mail today – Speed Knitting. There are some cute items in here too. The items in this book are sorted by the hours that it will take you to knit – great idea! THere is a really cute cap sleeved summer shift for your niece or SILs. A sea foam shawl – that my gmother might get. A nice messanger bag. And a really cute scarf-hat. Love the idea of this one.

  31. Petpig permalink
    August 17, 2007 7:41 pm

    mindless knitting for the hot weather….leprosy(hansens disease) bandages.

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