I have some people in my life who aren’t wool friendly. Either by preference or due to allergy, some people just don’t want wool things. I feel bad for them for wool is a pretty fantastic fiber with a lot of pretty amazing qualities and since learning to knit my appreciation and love of wool has exploded. Plus, in terms of yarn to knit with, it has been my experience that wool is just nicer and more comfortable to knit with.
But I digress. Sometimes you want to knit something for someone and wool is just out of the question, and that is a situation I am currently faced with. My eldest sister Amy is allergic to wool, and yet I would like to knit her something. I had originally planned to knit her mittens but that ended badly (to put it mildly). And where the winter is coming to a close I think I’d like to knit her something she could use all year around. I don’t have it in me to knit her a blanket (the one I am making for myself is enough, thank you very much) so I am left with items for the home. After doing some pattern searching on Ravelry I have come up with a couple of ideas.
Dishcloths like Grandmother’s Favourite (free pattern) are the obvious choice and clearly a very popular design. I’m not in love with the idea of making some dishcloths as it seems so cliche and a bit of a cop out. Their utility and the high likelihood of their being used is appealing though. If I did make her some dishcloths they would have to be interesting or special or unique in some way. Something like Sinkmates (paid pattern) would allow me to make it at least a bit interesting with different colours of borders. The interest could come from the shape of the cloths, like in The Almost Lost Washcloth (free pattern). The vaguely floral shape is at least a little more fun. The other option would be to make them more interesting by using a different stitch pattern like in the pattern Three Dishcloths (free pattern). More interesting or not, they would still be dishcloths and a little boring.
See, this is where I start to gain interest. There is SO MUCH POTENTIAL for awesomeness in potholders, mostly because they are very often done in double knitting so you can make them in fun patterns and much more personalized. Like these awesome Star Trek Pot Holders (free pattern). We’re all Trekkies so this would be pretty cool. Hell, I want to make these for myself! Or what about this Pizza Potholder (free pattern)! Amy loves pizza so maybe this is a brilliant idea. Of, of course, I could always go the more grown up route and just make them pretty and classy, like these Scrollwork DF-Square in 2 Options (paid pattern). Super pretty and probably would be at least interesting to knit. The problem with potholders, though, is that I always feel like they should be done in wool for the best heat resistance and safety etc.
Other Various Options
Amy likes to drink tea so maybe a tea cosy would be good, like the Cabled cafetière & tea cosy(free pattern). I think it looks quite nice actually, but a problem arises in terms of teapot size and whether it would fit. I feel like I would have to buy a teapot, knit a cosy to fit it, and then give her both the teapot and the cosy, and I’m pretty positive she already has at least one teapot.
I really like this Home Pillow (paid pattern) and I think it would be a nice little gift, especially since Amy has semi-recently purchased her first home. It would be easy to add a second word or motif on the back as well to make it more personalized. I always worry about giving people large items for their home like this because it is pretty presumptuous that your gift will fit their style.
Maybe something small and simple, like A Burst Of Light Tealight Cosy (free pattern). One, it wouldn’t take me very long to make it. I’d probably be able to make a couple as a little set. It would be fun to show off some different stitch patterns, a different pattern for each one. And I really think they are quite pretty, with the light shining through the knit, showing off the stitch detail. Then again, the only reason why I think these are so cute is very likely because I am a knitter and a non-knitter may find them kind of cheesy.
Many options to decide from. As yet I haven’t been able to decide what would be best.
I am always open to suggestions so please leave in the comments any other patterns or ideas!
Links to all the patterns mentioned in this post: