In honor of Stephen West visiting space this past weekend and his brand new WestKnits BestKnits Number 1 – Shawls book, we’ve chosen to highlight some of his fun shawls for this week’s Handmade Holiday Guide. While you may be hesitant to knit Mr. West’s crazy fingering weight shawls as gifts, keep in mind that there’s still plenty of time before the holiday season to get these shawls finished. Also remember that your color choices really determine if the finished product is modern and sleek or outlandishly fun. All of his shawls are a ton of fun to knit, so you’ll be able to make a beautifully tailored shawl for the recipient while having a ton of fun in the process!
While all 13 shawls in this book would make great gifts, two of our favorites are Dotted Rays and Smooth Move.
Dotted Rays is a beautiful shawl shaped with short rows that can be done in one color up to a dozen or more! You can also add skinny contrasting color stripes between the larger wedges if you want a pop of color without the commitment of multiple skeins of yarn. This would be particularly lovely in one of the new marled colorways of Woolfolk Sno. Or for a more colorful option, pick up a bunch of colors of Blue Sky Fibers Woolstok and make a cozy worsted version.
- Fingering Version: Woolfolk Sno (100% Ultimate Merino®), 223yds/204m; 4 skeins for small, 6 for large
- Worsted Version: Blue Sky Fibers Woolstok (100% wool), 123yds/112m; 8 skeins total or more as desired
- US 6 (4mm) needle for fingering version or US 8 (5mm) needle for worsted version
Smooth Move gives you two great options in one pattern: fingering or DK weight. The smaller fingering weight version is written for 6 colors, but that could easily be modified to the tastes of your recipient and required yardages for each color are listed for easy substituting. With the arrival of the brand new Neighborhood Fiber Co. Studio Sock, whip out a colorful, squishy shawl for your favorite friend. If you’re still not convinced of fingering weight patterns for gift giving, there’s also a DK weight version. Choose 3 or 4 colors and knit a striking shawl that will still work in any wardrobe. BC Garn Semilla would make for a soft, warm shawl that’s still easy on the budget, making it a perfect choice.
- Fingering Version: Neighborhood Fiber Co. Sock (100% superwash merino), 400yds/366m; 3-6 colors, one skein per color
- DK Version: BC Garn Semilla (100% wool), 176yds/161m; Color A – 1 ball, Color B – 2 balls, Color C – 4 balls, Color D – 1 ball
- US 5 (3.75mm) needle for fingering version, US 6 (4mm) needle for DK version
What gifts will you knit out of this book? Be sure to share your plans and color combos below!