Our Favorite Patterns and Projects
At Created by Elsie B, we spend a lot of time playing with fiber. There is nothing we love more than blending color and having our hands in the dye pots, and we hope that reflects in the products that we are proud to send to your doors. However, we also like to (occasionally) actually turn beautiful hand-dyed, spun fibers into wearable works of art. LeAndra weaves, knits and crochets, meaning she keeps a library of patterns on tap for when the need to create hits. These are some of our top most used and loved patterns at Elsie B headquarters for both personal use and handmade gifts, and we hope they provide as much inspiration for you as they do for us! All of patterns are available on Ravelry which is where we find most of the patterns that we love best. (P.S. The little sneak peek to the left is our combo knit pattern. We do plan to get back to that- be patient, and we'll share all the deets!)
This is such a perfectly named pattern and gives a really high-impact and very giftable finished product without a ton of time invested. The Simple Yet Effective pattern is a scarf/cowl that is knit in the round with a beginner-friendly stockinette stitch. Some very basic wide-ribbed cabling gives it a punch of visual interest without much effort at all. We love it so much! You'll need either 200 or 400 yards of DK weight yarn depending on the version you choose.
LeAndra's note: Made with my own handdyed yarn in the Pangella colorway, this cowl is slated to become a gift to someone special.
You genuinely cannot beat the Stacked Stag-Horn Baby Sweater for a high-impact baby gift! With its twisted cable front panel, there is no way you won't get a barrage of oohs, ahs and compliments on this beauty. The drop sleeve construction means that both the front and back are knit as rectangular shapes to keep things simple when assembling the garment. Only available in 0-3 and 6-12 month baby sizes, you can create this sweater with approximately 320 yards of DK weight yarn, and springy wool bases are among the best suited fibers for this project.
LeAndra's note: Made with handspun yarn that I spun from a Hogg Wild Fiber's braid, I felt super accomplished finishing this sweater since it was one of my first cable projects!
If you are looking for a classic sweater that is anything but your grandma's (though we think she'd love it, too!), the Harvest pattern is where it's at! It's both classic and stylish, fitted and comfy. We especially appreciate the versatile nature of this garment. The cardigan can be worn loose and casual or crossed over and fastened with a single closure and makes a great layering piece. The front placket, sleeve ends and bottom are all knit with contrasting bands for a beautiful burst of interest. This sweater comes in a huge range of sizes from 6-12 baby all the way to 4X women, meaning it's truly a pattern that can be loved by the whole family! Yardage requirements start at 250 yards of worsted weight yarn at the small end to 1900 yards for the biggest sizes.
LeAndra's note: Made from my own handdyed/handspun yarn, this teeny sweater was created during our trip to Montana for a grandmother's funeral - I plan on eventually dressing a special baby in this cardigan.
We had to include at least one crochet pattern in this roundup, and the Everly Head Wrap was a pretty easy first pick. It's fun, flirty, classic and cute which makes it a super great pattern to make for just about anyone in your life, regardless of their age. This one-size-fits-all pattern has a wide band that doubles as an ear warmer and accommodates head sizes from children to adult (the cable ribbing is very stretchy!) The stunning finished product only requires 90 yards of worsted weight yarn. Choosing wool makes this headband equal parts warm, breathable and durable. We can't get enough of this head wrap!
LeAndra's note: I ADORE THIS HEAD WRAP! I think I told y'all a while ago that I often go through phases where I hate hats but still want something to keep my ears warm - that's this pattern. It's the best and can easily be made wider or more narrow depending on how many rows you choose to make.
Another deliciously giftable baby classic that we love is the Adelisa Earflap Hat. This is LeAndra's go-to pattern whenever she wants a simple earflap hat for babies or toddlers. It's knit in the round with no seams and can be made with or without the chevron detailing. Without, this hat is perfectly suitable for beginning knitters and even an advanced beginner can tackle the chevrons. The Adelisa Earflap takes worsted weight yarn and can be made in three sizes to fit newborns to toddlers. It's such a fun and cute way to keep little heads warm!
LeAndra's note: This pattern was the first earflap hat I ever made & the easy-to-follow instructions made it a simple jumping off point for other adults hats as well; just up the gauge by changing the needle size or yarn weight and knit accordingly. It's hubby's favorite for those windy winter days.
There is really nothing like creating a handmade garment. There is a certain pride in wearing something that you had your hands on from start to finish, and there is a distinct joy in investing that kind of personal time and effort into a gift that you give. While these five patterns made our first pattern roundup, we actually have dozens more go-tos that we'll share in future pattern posts, so stay tuned!
Have you made any of our favorites? We'd love to see photos in our Facebook group! What are your favorite knitting and crochet patterns to make with handspun yarn?