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Must Have Christmas Knitting Pattern Books: Jumpers, Stockings and Quick Knits

Jane Howarth itcherDress for December with a reindeer jumper, decorate with personalised Nordic stockings or knit your own tiny Santa.  Yarn at the ready, these knitting pattern books are too good to miss. ~ Jane Howarth


Every year, I commit myself to too many knitting projects, so I really shouldn’t be looking through these lovely Christmas knitting pattern books, but… oh, go on then.

Finding the Right Knitting Pattern Books for Christmas

When I look at the sea of titles, I sometimes wonder whether I’ll be getting a cartoonish snowman or an Etsy era one, so I figured other people might have the same problem. Most of these books are aimed at beginners or intermediates, and all of them are irresistible.

Total beginner or need a refresher course? Pop over to my recommended knitting books for beginners to get the basics in place, then you’ll be all set to start your seasonal projects!

Christmas Jumper Knitting Pattern Books

Christmas jumpers have made themselves an essential part of many a winter wardrobe over the past few years. But it can be tricky to find the right book for your skill level or style, so let me walk you through a few of my favourites.

`Merry Christmas Sweaters´ (Sue Stratford, 2013)
Merry Christmas Sweaters
Image source: theworks

This book includes a Christmassy repeat pattern, a winter scene and fun character designs.  Designer Sue Stratford’s patterns are clear to follow, which saves a lot of trouble when you’re working on a bigger project like a jumper and means you don’t need years of experience to get started.

New to techniques like intarsia and Fair Isle?  There’s a brilliant reference section that sets out practically every how-to you could wish for, from colour changes to blocking.

And because Merry Christmas Sweaters is a one-stop shop for all ages (complete with child and adult size charts for each design), nobody misses out on the Rudolph sweater of their dreams, whatever their age.

`Fair Isle and Nordic Knits´ (Nicki Trench, 2014)
Fair Isle and Nordic Knits
Image source: rylandpeters

Looking to wear your wintery jumper outside December? Fair Isle is the answer.

This book’s not all jumpers (expect hats, cushions, snoods and more), but it’s a great way to try making one without diving right into a whole world of sweaters.

Nicki Trench is one of my favourite designers – her patterns are always clear and easy to follow, with plenty for beginners or intermediate knitters to make.  Even if you don’t use the specified yarn, each one is a standard weight (4 ply, Aran or DK) so it’s easy to find an alternative.

The colours are bright, the overall style is vintage inspired with a modern twist, and the patterns are idea for knitters with a little practice or beginners wanting to level-up.


Christmas Stocking Knitting Books

They’re part of a folk tradition that’s been around for centuries, so what better way to welcome Santa than with a hand knitted stocking? I can’t promise it’ll earn you more presents, but it’s worth a try.

`Scandinavian Christmas Stockings: Classic Designs to Knit for the Holidays´ (Mette Handberg, 2013)
Scandinavian Christmas Stockings
Image source: ravelry

Originally published in Norway, Mette Handberg’s book is really, truly Scandinavian. As the author says in her introduction, she really wanted to create stockings with that timeless Christmas feel – handmade using traditional festive colours.

The patterns take inspiration from specific regions and range from traditional patterns to snowman motifs, along with lettering to personalise your stocking.

Norwegian heritage carries through to the specified yarn, native brand Rauma, but standard 2 ply and 3 ply yarns should work just as well. Handberg suggests circular needles instead of the usual double pointed needles (DPNs) – as an accident-prone person, I’m happy to dodge DPNs.

I found the instructions really approachable, and would say the patterns are suited to knitters with a little experience, but beginners could soon catch up with.

`Knit Christmas Stockings´ (Gwen Steege, 2013)
Knit Christmas Stockings
Image source: cozylittlebookjournal

This book is great if you’re looking for something fun and modern, and it’s very approachable for beginners.

Knit Christmas Stockings includes illustrations and instructions of stitches you’ll need, alongside guides like the wonderfully titled Stocking Blocking. All the instructions are divided into nice, clear sections and charts complete with ‘start here’ notes.

The hardest part is choosing a design – so what will you go for?

I can’t resist a cable knit, so editor Gwen Steege’s design for an Aran inspired stocking is perfect for me, but contributor Barbara Telford’s snowman pompoms are unbelievably cute.

`King Cole Knitting Pattern Book: Christmas Knits Book 1´ (Zoe Halstead, 2013)
King Cole Knitting Pattern Book
Image source: ravelry

Every pattern uses DK yarn, also known as light worsted, which is easy to work with, and the patterns are straightforward to use.  A great option for anyone starting out, or looking for a relaxing knit.

The stocking patterns include colourful stripes, a multi-coloured nod to Fair Isle and red with white dots, and as if that wasn’t fun enough, there’s a garland of teeny weeny stockings to use for Advent.

It’s not all stockings, there are Santa hats and more. Did I mention a cute Snowman tea cosy could be yours to make and treasure? You know you need one.


Pattern Books for Smaller Projects

If you don’t have the time for bigger projects during the super busy Christmas season, or you just love cute Santas (I’m raising my hand on both counts), take a peek at these little Christmas knits.

`‘Twas the Knit Before Christmas´ (Fiona Goble, 2011)
King Cole Christmas Knits Book
Image source: goodreads

Not a creature was stirring… except those busy knitters, who just have to finish that knitted crescent moon before bed.

Sadly, there’s no mouse, but with patterns for reindeer, Santa, a little teddy, a candy cane, parcels and more, I can get over the lack of squeaky chums.  My own favourites?  It’s a tie between the reindeer, the teddy and the scarf-wearing moon.

Style-wise, they’re classic with a modern side.  The book layout is playful, with lines from the original poem threaded throughout, and the patterns are very clear – perfect for anyone who’s got the hang of the basics and wants to start shaping characters, or experienced knitters looking for a fun project.

If you’re in the mood for more fuzzy scenes, try making your own woolly shepherds and wise men with Knitivity (Fiona Goble, 2010).

`Twenty to Make: Mini Christmas Knits´ (Sue Stratford, 2011)
Twenty to Make
Image source: ravelry

Another Christmas knitting selection from Sue Stratford, this time in mini form. And guess what?  There’s even a teeny tiny Christmas sweater to make!

I’d describe these toy and decoration patterns as contemporary with a traditional feel. The animals have really sweet expressions and cute little i-cord legs, while inanimate knits like the Christmas pudding and tree have a charming.

Knitting with 4 ply on small needles can be fiddly, but the projects are small so you don’t have many rows to get through. I was more than happy to take a little extra care with my knitting to get a tutu-wearing fairy mouse at the end of it.

Seasonal Knitting Is Impossible to Stop

Those dark winter evenings are ideal for cosy yarn-based activities, and there’s something special about making your own jumpers, stockings and decorations. Even when I know I could go without making something, it’s hard to resist seasonal cuteness.

But let’s not chat any longer, we’re wasting valuable knitting time!

If you need a musical soundtrack to all of your upcoming knitting adventures, have a listen to our Christmas Pop Playlist, our Playlist of Alternative Christmas Songs and our wonderful Disney Christmas Songs Playlist.


What Are Your Essential Christmas Pattern Books?

Already tried these knits?  I’d love to hear what you’ve made so far.But if there’s another book that’s given you a houseful of gorgeous stockings and cute snowmen, don’t keep it to yourself – tell us all about it in the comments.


Hi, I’m Jane, BA (Drama, Film and TV) and MA (Cultural and Creative Industries). When I’m not writing about creative things, I’m designing or planning them. If you’re brave enough to risk an avalanche, look behind the stacks of books and DVDs and you’ll find me balancing a cup of tea, a handful of knitting and a cupcake.
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