When we launched the first Knitworthy collection I wrote:
"And what better way to celebrate knitting season than with a new collection? One that will last until the days are short, brighten up your Mondays and celebrate keeping those you love warm."
My goal with each of the five collections was to create a library of classic patterns particularly suited to gift knitting that you could dip into whenever you wanted to knit for someone special, whatever their style. Knitting gifts is as much about process as the finished object, my design goal for these collections was always to create patterns that are "fun and relaxing with an excellent return of impact for effort put in". I recently asked knitters why they knit gifts and something that came up over and over, with different wording and framed in a wide variety of secular, spiritual and religious ways was the importance of thinking about the recipient while working on the project. Whether you're meditating over your stitches, praying, or carefully considering the colours a loved one will wear, spending your precious time making something unique is an act of love.
In celebrating knitted gifts I also wanted to highlight being intentional about who we knit for: not everyone will appreciate your time and skills, and that's ok. It's not a question of whether someone is worthy of your love, but of recognising that sometimes we value our hand-knits more than our loved ones do. A lacklustre response to a handmade gift is often a result of thinking about what we like more than what they like. Knit selectively for those who love your work and avoid overwhelming yourself with too many projects.
After five years of Knitworthy we've built up a collection of 40 patterns, so you're sure to find something perfect for anyone on your knitworthy list. Knitworthy will be back this year, with a bit of a twist and I can't wait to share more about it with you. In the meantime we're looking back at some of our favourite patterns from the last five years.
Estimar Sarah says:
Estimar was my instant favourite from Knitworthy 4 and so I waited until after my gift knitting was done to make it for myself. This ended up being during a family trip, and it was the perfect project to travel with - interesting without being complicated, relaxing and since it I knit it on circulars, no risk of needles dropping and rolling down the aisle on the plane. The finished cowl reminds me of sitting in the park in the most amazing light in one of our family's favourite places. It makes me smile everytime I wear it.
Saudade Rebecca says:
Saudade is a perennial favourite with our customers - the kits are popular both online and at shows - but what I really like about the pattern how it encourages knitters to come up with their own colourways. We worked on this pattern shortly after we published Cruden and the colourwork is charted the same way - the pattern colour/background colour is charted in black and white and the specific colours for each round are shown in columns on the side. You can plan your own palette and colour in the blank columns. I was inspired by this project to start planning a new one.
I have very found and very stressful memories of these two patterns. Ysolda and I had been together for only a short while when she started designing the Mīlēt mittens. We sat together working and knitting one day and I learned just how much ripping out goes into a design process. I'm not very good with tangles and knots and by the time the beautiful mittens emerged, I was a wreck seeing this much chaos. When Ysolda started to design Gleði, I left the room. I'd learned by then!
Öröm Nuala says:
This spring, my younger daughter was very insistent I make her a pair of slippers. Every time I picked up my Ravelston she asked when it would be done so I could make her slippers. I managed to buy a week of respite by letting her pick colours (blues and yellow) but then she was back asking me why I was still working on the sweater. So I took a small break from project monogamy and made her a pair. Then elder daughter needed a pair and she chose slightly different blues and yellow and finally their Dad asked for a pair in browns. I think a pattern you can knit 4 times (they are slipper socks so 8 times really!) and still like, is a pattern worth keeping around.
Lumineux Rachel says:
Socks with an afterthought heel look great in hand dyed yarns but depending on your foot shape, might not be a perfect fit. Lumineux's construction is a clever combination of an afterthought heel with a gusset which makes them fun to knit no matter if you are using contrast yarn or the same yarn as the rest of the foot.
Radost - Laura says:
Radost is a bulky cowl that works up super quickly in cozy Cyrano, and has all the warmth of a wrap without the threat of falling off! It has loads of texture and a few fun techniques to keep you entertained.
Kærlig - Ysolda says
So it probably says everything that my favourite pattern is my favourite because the construction is a fun experiment in multi-directional seamless knitting. I have such fond memories of making tiny mitts to test out my ideas and I love that the finished project uses simple stitch patterns in a really beautiful architectural way. We're currently adding several beautiful hand dyed fingering weight yarns, like the Neighborhood Fiber Co. Rustic Fingering shown above, to the website so it seems like a great time to revisit this pattern.