Weekend Knitting, by Melanie Falick, is a collection of 50 knitting patterns that can be whipped up in a weekend (or a couple of weekends). The projects are meant to be relaxing; none are too complex. In addition to the knitting patterns, there are all sorts of goodies to add to your weekend knitting: book and movie titles with knitting themes; recipes for tea, hot cocoa, butter cookies, and other perfect knitting snacks; decorating with yarn, and more.
My favorite idea in this book is to offer “knitting for guests.” Leave a bowl of leftover skeins and needles in your living room. When a guest arrives, let them choose a yarn and add to an already-started “guest scarf.”
“Argyle Slippers” are a classic slipper the author suggests making for guests. For the kids, try the “Curly-Toed Elf Slippers.” “Farmer’s Market Bag” is a great, oversized felted tote with a graphic pattern. “Backgammon and Checkers Travel Set” is a game board and carrying bag. “Lopi Lace Scarf” is a simple scarf with a gentle zig-zag shape.
“Unisex Knock-Around Pullover” is simple, oversized, and cozy. “Cache-Coeur Bergamo” is a delicate, feminine bolero. “Fluffy Lace Camisole and Pull-Off Cowl” is sheer, light, and delicate. “Fingerless Mitts” are a very plain, unadorned version of the popular knitted accessory. “Felted Stash Accessories Bag” is a great way to use up odds and ends of yarn that are too small for a full project, too long to throw away.
“Uptown Scarf” is a super-simple narrow garterstitch scarf knit on huge needles to extreme length. Not really something you need a pattern for, but a great idea. “Denim Family Tunic” is a simple, attractive pullover with sizes ranging from toddler to adult. Just please don’t let the entire family wear theirs at the same time.
For something a little more innovative — but a little more time-consuming — check out Reversible Knits by Iris Schreier. Reversible knitting is a technique whereby both sides of the knitting are the “right” side of the project. Some are simply stockinette stitch on either side of your wrap or scarf. Other techniques get far more complicated, with different patterns and even different cabling on either side.
This book explores dozens of different techniques, and offers projects to practice said techniques. The downside, of course, to reversible knitting is double the thickness, so it requires twice the yarn and twice the time commitment.