Just as there are people who do their holiday gift shopping all year round, there are knitters who do the same with their gift projects. I’m not one of them. I begin in October, then knit solidly through to Christmas.

Actually, to be honest, I’m ususally still knitting in January. Yes, I have been known to gift wrap projects while they’re still on the needles (“just to make sure it fits…”), only to take them back once they’ve been opened.

This year, I’m going to take a pragmatic approach and make as many small, simple projects as possible. At the top of my list are knitted cowls/gaiters/neckwarmers. These great quick projects use relatively little yarn, are easily made on a circular needle, and are endlessly variable. I also think this type of scarf is frankly easier to wear and more difficult to lose. If you’re on Ravelry, search for “cowl” patterns, and you’ll find dozens. Here are two I finished recently:

Ilga Leja's Balsam

Ilga Leja's Balsam pattern (available at The Loop), adapted here for a summer version in linen. The original pattern calls for heavy worsted or Aran weight and would be cozy in a soft wool or alpaca blend.

I made blogger (and recent visitor to Nova Scotia) Lolly's Sherbrooke Cowl in slinky soft Urban Silk. Click on the image for free pattern.

I made blogger (and recent visitor to Nova Scotia) Lolly's Sherbrooke Cowl from two skeins of Skacel's pearly soft Urban Silk.

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