Our Picks from the 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 knit-along (and crochet-along) to make holiday gifts with some of the amazing patterns coming out of the indie design world. At H+W, we love independent designers (and, hey, 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 286 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 sale of the year, as each designer offers a 25% discount on between 10 and 20 of their patterns using the code “giftalong2019.”* 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 our favorites in Forge:

  • Alison O’Mahony’s Frost mittens, which look just about warm enough for the frigid weather at Sloane’s parents’ house in Wyoming. We’d love a pair in Charcoal, Aspen, and Barn Red.
  • Mary Jane Mucklestone’s Muckle Toque is a classic that’s been on our list for a while. We think it would look fabulous in Midnight or Charcoal for the MC, with Aspen and Red Feather for the contrasts.
  • Friend of the Flock Alicia Plummer’s new Scout hat has a great combination of cables. We’d make one in Lake to mimic the original, but we’d also be tempted by Evergreen, Juniper, and Midnight.
  • We’re not quite the sort of generous folx who make sweaters as gifts, but Meiju K-P’s new Sumartin Soft sweater is intriguingly constructed and would make a wonderful showcase for Forge’s roundness and stitch definition. We’d love it in Fawn or Lake.
  • I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love Andrea Rangel’s Knitter’s Dude (and Little Dude) cardigan, and this might be the year I have to make one for my son. I’d go with Fawn, Raven, and Charcoal.
  • Amy Van de Laar’s Beeswax series is iconic, and so much fun. Depending on your gauge and temperature preferences, you might be able to make it work in either Forge or Weld, but we think we’d love one in Forge in Red Feather or Midnight.
  • Alex Tinsley’s Varia is the kind of soothing, meditative colorwork we love, with a bold, graphic appeal. We’d mimic the original with a gradient of Midnight, Jam, Lake, and Fawn.
  • We love Shannon Cook’s worsted-weight shawls, which are hugely cozy and pack a huge amount of bang-for-your-buck in terms of visible texture. Elfriede is both practical and stunning, and we’d love one in Red Feather, Fawn, or Midnight.
  • Jane Richmond’s classic Jane hat is warm, slouchy, and somehow adorably irreverent. We’d love one in one of our lighter shades like Lake, Red Feather, Juniper, or Fawn.

Our picks in Weld:

  • Friend of the Flock Lana Jois has done so many gorgeous shawls that it’s hard to pick, but we’re particularly fond of her Pancharangi. We’d make one in a gradient from Aspen to Fawn to Red Feather to Barn Red to Charcoal.
  • Danielle Chalson’s October Glory shawl would show off Weld’s ethereal lightness and durable, wooly warmth beautifully. We’d love one in Barn Red, just like the original, but think it would also work beautifully in Fawn, Aspen, or Evergreen.
  • Swedish designer Doreen Blask’s Heimdaller’s mitts are subtly and intriguingly textured, and interesting from every angle. We’d love a pair in Lake, Juniper, or Midnight.
  • We love Italian designer Stella Egidi’s Bruma shawl, with its traveling columns of slip stitches. We’d make one in Fawn, Juniper, Evergreen, and Charcoal.
  • Amanda Scheuzger’s Beeline shawl features slip stitch cables and a beautiful, subtle color fade. We’re torn on colorways, but think we’d make one in Aspen, Fawn, Ash, Lake, Midnight, and Raven.

Are you doing some holiday gift knitting this year? We’d love to hear what you’re making. What’s on your holiday list? Let us know in the comments!

*Full disclosure: Sloane is also a participating designer for the Indie Giftalong, and has a few patterns that we think would be particularly great in Forge, like her Marin Headlands hat and Cold Spring cardigan.



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