lagniappe beaded mittsThere’s a new KAL up in the group — this one is a pick-your-own pattern from any of my designs, with a goal of encouraging you to meet any holiday knitting deadlines you may’ve set for yourself.  Post your cast on info before midnight PST November 8th to get a chance to win some patterns!

I’m a big believer in the work-to-glory ratio analysis of knitting projects, especially when it comes to gifts for knitworthy, but nonknitting, friends and family.  Basically, something with a good work-to-glory ratio is a project that is either exquisitely beautiful or intricate but really isn’t that hard.  Of course what is ‘hard’ depends on the individual knitter!

What are some of the projects I’d recommend that I think have a good work-to-glory ratio?

Anything with beads using the crochet hook method.  Seriously, this is such an easy technique, but gives such gorgeous results.  I recommend Lagniappe (options for full, fingerless, or just cuffs) or, though it has a bit more going on, Josephine.

For those of you comfortable with it, simple stranding. Quatrefoil & TailGate are both designed with simple geometric repeats with short floats.  Combine a variegated yarn with a solid for more visual complexity (but without more work).

Simple lace. The Peacock Stole is actually pretty straightforward.

If you want something smaller, but are comfortable with a lace pattern that’s a tiny bit more difficult, look at the Undersea Garden cowl.  There’s no reason you can’t add beads to the fingering weight version for the extra bling!

Another lacy cowl that is fun is the Zylphia Cowl.  You can probably get two out of a skein of sock yarn.

Mittens with fancy cuffs.  All the mittens in the Mittens! booklet (Ocotillo, Quercus, and Manzanita) have simple stockinette bodies.  These can be worked in DK or worsted, fingerless or full, and are great for stashbusting.  You can work the cuff and body in totally different yarns if you’d like — go for contrasting colors and/or textures.

Blue Lupine, published separately, follows the same idea.

Cabling, like beading, is another simple technique with a big payoff. Some of my earlier patterns play a lot with cables;  my favorites include the Wanna Hold Your Hand mitts, the Love You Dad socks, and the Dave Finally Gets His socks.  These patterns were all designed with gift-giving in mind.  The AppleJack Cowl, a more recent pattern, is all about big lush cables.

Prefer a challenge??  Tackle the Peacock Cowl or Peacock Mitts.  For a more moderate challenge, how about the Ravens in Snow fingerless mitts?

Are you knitting gifts for folks this holiday season?