Our Picks for the 2020 Indie Designer Giftalong!

It’s one of the most wonderful times of the year: Ravelry’s Indie Designer Giftalong! Every year, a sizable chunk of the independent designer community comes together to run a massive make-along of holiday gifts from some of the amazing patterns coming out of the indie design world. At H+W, we love independent designers (indeed, we've both been independent designers!), who truly form the backbone of the modern world of knitting and crochet, and we love having the opportunity to take a minute to appreciate all the great knitting these hardworking folks bring into our lives. This year, there are about 250 participating designers, so it's a great chance to see the breadth of what's out there in independent knitwear design. 

The Giftalong kicks off with one of the biggest pattern sales of the year, as each designer offers a 25% discount on between 10 and 20 of their patterns using the code “giftalong2020.” We took a spin through the participating designers’ sale bundles and came up with a handful of our favorites to make in either Forge or Weld. Some are longtime favorites from designers we’ve known and long-admired, and others are from new-to-us designers. 

Here are a few of our favorites:

  • Longtime Friend of the Flock Lana Jois' lace work is such a delight, and her Himani hat is no exception. We'd love it in a light shade of Weld, like Fawn or Dusk.
  • I (Sloane) am not the kind of saintly soul who knits sweaters as gifts, but if I were, I'd have my eye on Ambah O'Brien's sweet little Ochre shrug, which is the kind of wear-it-over-everything layer we're constantly in search of. I'd make one in Weld in...all of the colors.
  • Gretha Mensen speaks our cabled love language, and though neither of us are per se big shawl knitters, we love her effortlessly cool Zilt shawl, which has just the right combination of soothing and complex stitches. We'd make one in Forge in Fawn, Lake, or Gold Leaf.
  • We're also big fans of her Snowfrost scarf, a gorgeous Gansey-esque textured wrap we'd love to snuggle up in. Written for sportweight yarn originally, at 18 stitches over 4", we could see this as either an airy confection in Weld or a solid, warm hug in Forge.
  • Cheryl Faust's mosaic colorwork designs would make for committing gifts, but they're fascinating. We love her Embrace the Chill scarf in Weld, either in a neutrals+ combo of Fawn, Midnight, Ash, and Lake, or maybe in a bolder combination with Gold Leaf or Red Feather as accents.
  • Amy Van de Laar's use of texture is fascinating, and I've had her Beeswax set on my list for years. I'd whip up a pair of her Beeswax Mitts in Forge in Gold Leaf, Red Feather, or Mustard for pretty much anyone on my list this year!
  • Sock wizard Hunter Hammersen has been doing a lot of fascinating ornament and homegoods work these past few years, and though it's not a thing I'm super experienced at, I'm keen to try. I'd love to make a rainbow of her Scintillation star ornaments for the holidays this year, in a rainbow of colors of Weld.
  • Meghan Nodecker's garments are the kind of easy-to-wear, ready-to-wear inspired looks we've always loved, but I've got a soft spot for her textured accessories, including her charming Ironwood hats (sized for the whole family). I'd make one in Forge in Red Feather, Lake, or Fawn.
  • Longtime Friend of the Flock Danielle Chalson also loves cables as much as we do, and her Rhinecliff hat makes us nostalgic for Rhinebeck even as it screams for a yarn with Forge's balance of bloom and stitch definition. We'd match the original with one in Aspen, or make a dark, sophisticated version in Evergreen or Midnight.

Are you doing any gift knitting this year? What's on your needles, and who are you knitting for?

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