Some of my favorite patterns are those that offer directions for making the same garment in any number of yarn weights. This means that you purchase just one pattern, and you can make it over and over again in different yarns for different sized people. Heck, you can even add stitch patterning to make each one look different!
Yankee Knitter Classic Socks for the Family #29 is sized for Babies, Small Children, Large Children, Women and Men, and has directions for Fingering Weight, Sport Weight and Worsted Weight Yarns. That's 18 different patterns right there. Then you can customize these by adding texture stitches, ribs, etc. It's the number one sock pattern we sell, and we think one of the only ones you'll ever need to purchase.
Ann Norling's Kid's Top Down Raglan or Bottom Up Raglan: Both of these versatile sweater patterns encourage you to experiment with different colors, textures, yarn weights and stitches. Each pattern has instructions for 7 sizes in 4 different weights (that's 28 patterns!) And then add the choices of cardigan or pullover... and v-neck or crew neck. You do the math!
Yankee Knitter Hats & Mittens Pattern #26 is a great basic pattern for anyone wanting to knit mittens for the first time. These mittens are worked flat, so the pattern won't give you practice working in the round, but the mittens fit great and the seam is barely noticeable. Both the hat pattern and the mitten pattern are written for 6 sizes in 2 gauges, and the hat includes 2 style options.
Over the past couple of years, I've been adding some of the Figheadh Yarnworks Fundamentals patterns to this staple collection. From socks to sweaters and hats to vests, Figheadh has some excellent patterns.
This fall I made the Figheadh Yarnworks Fundamental Top-Down Baby Cardigan this fall out of Classic Elite Liberty Wool Print. What a great pattern! The self striping yarn did all the work, but next time it would be fun to use a solid yarn and add a cable pattern.
And I just completed a Figheadh Yarnworks Fundamental Junior Vest the other day. I used the SMC Bravo Rainbow Color yarn, which is a fun washable acrylic that's a tweedy striping yarn. There is enough yardage in one ball to make up to a child's size 12 or 14. And this pattern makes 12 different sizes in 4 different gauges, so it's a definite keeper.