6 stash busting gift knits to make this Christmas

Gift knitting seasons is upon us once again! 

Yep, if you’re a knitter, the temptation can be to knit Christmas gifts for everyone you know. After all, why wouldn’t you want to share your magic gift of turning sticks and string into wearable things?

So, before you get started on this years’ Christmas gift knitting (or even if you’re mid-way through it), I’ve rounded up a few stash busting gift knits.

All of these patterns use small amounts of yarn; the most yarn-hungry is the Campfire Flames cowl which you can make with any amount of yarn upwards of 100m of 2 colours. And many of them use much, much less.

So whether you’re shopping your stash, or heading to your local yarn store to pick up some single skeins for quick gift knits, these patterns have got you.

Ya Basic bed socks (my pattern)

Feet in a pair of scrappy bed socks, knitted with different yarns held together for a chunky, marled finish.

Yarn weight: Chunky (also works brilliantly with yarns held together)

Amount needed: 100-160m, depending on size.

Sizes available: adult small, medium, and large.

Pattern gauge: 13st and 18 rows to stocking stitch in the round.

I can always tell when people are getting started on their gift knitting, because I start seeing sales of the Ya Basic bed socks pattern.

Why? Well, everyone loves a pair of handknit socks, but they take a bloomin’ age to knit. Not these bad boys.

Using 8mm needles and chunky yarn, these bed socks knit up in a couple of evenings, meaning you can make them for EVERYONE.

Ramosa headband by Marina Skua

Marina Skua wearing her Ramosa headband
Image copyright Marina Skua

Yarn weight: DK weight (although you can use whatever)

Amount needed: approx 15-20g.

Sizes available: can be knit to any length you like.

Gauge: 9 st of lace measure 3.5cm wide in DK weight yarn.

You’re going to struggle to find a more stashbusting pattern than Marina Skua’s Ramosa headband.

It uses teeny tiny amounts of yarn, and can work with various yarn weights. So whatever you’ve got knocking about, you can more than likely use it with this pattern. 

Campfire Flames cowl (my pattern)

A woman wears a knitted circular cowl and hat in autumnal tones
image copyright A Day In The Light photography

Yarn weight: Aran (but would also work with DK, or yarns held together)

Amount needed: Customisable, but you need a minimum of 100m of each colour.

Sizes available: Customisable length

Gauge: 16st and 24 rows

If you’re knitting for someone who you like enough to be using whole skeins on, then the Campfire Flames cowl is a top-notch gift knitting option.

It’s designed at a gauge that knits up quickly, and with a size section repeat you can easily add or remove length according to how much yarn you’ve got.

The original sample was worked in worsted weight yarn, but I’ve since made another version using 4ply miniskeins held together (I had 3 pairings of 80m skeins) which is magnificently marled and squishy.


Homebody’s Friend by No Frills Knitting

A hand knit hot water bottle.

Yarn weight: DK weight (you could also go for 4ply held together)

Amount needed: At least 150m

Sizes available: just the one, to fit a standard hot water bottle – but there’s a Shopkeeper’s Friend pattern for small hot water bottles.

Gauge: 21st and 30 rows to 10cm.

A hot water bottle is a brilliant gift in and of itself (a hot water bottle up the jumper is one of life’s purest joys, after all), but a hot water bottle with a hand knit cover?

You’ll be the recipient’s favourite person ever.

This free patterns will knit you a lovely, seamless hot water bottle cover that will add extra cosiness to an already super cosy gift. 

I’ll probably make 6. And then keep them all for myself.

World’s Simplest Mitts by Tin Can Knit

A shot of some marled knits

Yarn weight: written for 4ply, DK, worsted AND chunky.

Amount needed: varies according to size – but adult L needs 300yds of 4ply yarn, so not huge.

Sizes available: 5 sizes, from toddler to large adult

Gauge: varies according to yarn weight.

For perhaps the most versatile of all the free stashbusting patterns, you can’t really do better than Tin Can Knits’ World’s Simplest Mittens.

With all the yarn weights and all the sizes, you can both use up all your yarn scraps and knit Christmas gifts for all the family.

I’m a big fan of this pattern for hand knit kids’ mittens; in fact, I’m slowly knitting mittens in just about every colour so that we can have a whole mix and match scenario going on and I can abandon any pretence of being able to keep a pair of mittens together.

Solid recommend.

I Smell Snow hat (my pattern)

An image of a hand knit colourwork hat

Yarn weight: 4ply/fingering

Amount needed: less than 100m of all the colours (cc3 needs only 12m in adult large)

Sizes available: child, teen/small adult, large adult

Gauge: 24st and 30 rows to 10cm.

The I Smell Snow hat has got two big selling points. First, it uses up tiny little bits of yarn for the colourwork, so you really can squeeze one out of scraps.

And second, the colourwork is lovely and simple. I designed this hat to be a perfect first colourwork project (and it’s been used at two years’ worth of Learn to Knit Colourwork classes, which shows that my plan worked), but that simple colourwork also means it’s great for cranking out a gift knit that looks a lot more complex than it is.

So there you have it. 6 gift knits that will help you use up your stash at the same time as looking like an incredibly generous friend.

Because let’s be honest, the real gift part of a gift knit is that you’ve taken the time to knit something by hand for someone. That’s far more valuable than any yarn will ever be.

What are you knitting this Christmas? Let me know in the comments.

One response to “6 stash busting gift knits to make this Christmas”

  1. Thanks for the tips. Some great ones here. If I can year myself away from colour work sweaters I might just try that cowl and some mitts.

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