Thanks to the inventive folks at Ravelry, many knitwear and crochet designers have contributed thousands of free or low-cost patterns for practically anything that can be knitted or crocheted, all stored in a searchable database. As my Traveldiva page shows, the queue for stuff I want to make is getting longer than my life expectancy.
Some recent finished items featuring Ravelry-gleaned patterns:
Two little-girl shrugs using the "Shrug This" pattern by Toni Kayser Weiner from the wonderful book - "One Skein Wonders". Each one took only an evening, and a little more time for the flowery pins of my own creation. This book and its companions, such as Luxury Yarn One-skein Wonders, are works of genius, edited by Judith Durant; they belong on every fiber lover's bookshelf!
A "Warm Wardrobe" of handknits for my nephew, John Patrick, a seagoing salt embarking on a career as a marine biologist on the chilly seas off New Bedford, MA. Wool items are practical, as the wool will still provide warmth even when wet, but several will be needed since they'll take forever to dry.
First up, JP gets the Cousteau Look with the Marsan Watchcap, a great pattern by Stacyjoy Elkin, made with Lamb's Pride Worsted. The twisted rib and ingenious cuff make this a warm and winning design.
This head-hugging style is a modified version of another pattern from
"One Skein Wonders"...two strands of worsted-weight wool/mohair blend from my stash:
A quick and easy knit, Sara Amoroso's Swampfield Cowl is a simple yet interesting design that provides warmth with enough stretch so the wearer doesn't feel like he's choking.
And a self-designed crocheted topper made with super-bulky Lion Brand wool - not too tight on the head, but warm. I'm still partial to crochet for its speed and versatility.
And another no-pattern item - a wrap crocheted in a grid pattern using Vanna's Choice Glamour in black with silver glitz thread; I'll probably make another, wider version as it packs well for travel, and the grid structure lets it double as a scarf: