Just in case a family member/friend happens upon my blog. This is useful. I’ll update it as the Yarn Harlot (Stephanie Pearl-McPhee) does. (Copied just for fun – without permission)
Dear Non-knitters who love a Knitter,
Today is the first of December, and I think it’s probably pretty inevitable that you’ve heard from someone by now that Christmas is coming. (Pro-tip: They have scheduled it on the same day as last year. I think it’s pretty consistent.) While regular people are about to have a very busy month, Knitters are under a special and unique strain. They have to do everything that regular people do, and in addition, they are undoubtedly knitting one or more items as gifts for Christmas, maybe for you. They are going to need special love and attention for the upcoming month, and we can talk about that more later, but for now, this is all you need to know. The knitting all-nighters, the frequent trips to the yarn store, the desperation and sobbing when the last darning needle is gone, the way that at least once in the next month they’re going to yell “ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MIND WHY WOULD I WANT TO GO TO A MOVIE WITH YOU I CAN’T CABLE IN THE DARK YOU ARE SO INSENSITIVE” is about to start for you and your knitter. (If you know or are related to more than one holiday gift knitter, you may want to connect with others in the comments so that you can form a support group. Multiple knitter contact in December can be emotionally difficult.)
Some of you may believe that it’s the knitters choice about whether or not he or she does this to themselves every year, but it isn’t. For many knitters who suffer from this variant, there is no choice. Sure as a nightingale has to sing, a gift knitter must knit – and the opportunity to knit a gift is – to your knitter, a chance to make the love that they feel in their hearts tangible, visible and warm. No matter how it looks (and we admit, it is difficult to see the love when a hat knitter is using filthy language to describe Aunt Alice’s head size at 3am) gift knitting is a powerful and meaningful expression of human affection. Each stitch contains the most precious thing a knitter can give – time and talent, and every person who receives said gift of time and talent should be nothing short of stunned with joy and gratitude. Think about it. Other people are going to spend 20 minutes at the mall picking out a present for you. Your knitter loves you so much that their gift to you took hours and hours and hours of time that nobody else deserved.
Now, if you’re normal, right now, my dear Non-knitter who loves a knitter, you’re feeling pressured. You’re thinking “Holy mittens, what the heck do you give someone for Christmas when they’re going to give you something that amazing?” and dear non-knitter, I’m here for you. I know you love your knitter, and I know you know your knitter loves knitting, and I know that in the past, you’ve thought about buying some knitter stuff for them for Christmas, but it was all too much and then you bought that sweater for them instead and you think they liked it, because it was wool – and knitters like wool, right? You betcha, but let’s move on. Over the next 25 days, I’m going to try and make some suggestions about stuff that knitters like that would make good presents.
Remember though, that knitters, while they have a lot in common, are also really unique. Follow your gut, do the recommended detective work, and follow these rules:
1. If your knitter has a lot of something (bags, yarn, magazines) this is because THEY LIKE THEM A LOT. I know that you would think that if someone has a lot of yarn that they wouldn’t want more as a present, but you would be wrong. Having a lot of something means that your knitter enjoys that thing. It is a good thing to buy.
2. About that sweater that you bought? You were so close. The only thing you need to know is that knitters like sweaters, hats, scarves, mittens… but they like them to come “some assembly required.” Pattern and yarn is a better idea than finished item.
3. Most knitters stashes are arranged in chronological layers, like in archeology. If you go into the stash to see what they like, remember that the newest stuff (the stuff that your knitter is into right now) will be on the top or “canopy” of the stash. Things deeper down are less reliable, and if you go deep enough to find mint green chunky brushed mohair? Give up. You’ve hit the 80′s.
Gifts for knitters, Day One:
Today’s suggestion is knitting paper goods. Note cards, tags… knitters usually like knitters specific stuff, and they usually know other knitters that they would like to share this stuff with. These are some of my very favourites, but if you don’t like what I like, try googling “Knitting stationary” “knitting cards” or “Knitting notes.” Etsy (a place where you can buy handmade stuff in a variety of online shops) is a really good place to look. Knitters make handmade stuff, they appreciate the stuff other people make too.
Is your knitter super classy? Does she send thank you notes? Write letters? She might love these beautiful embossed knitting notes from Papersheep press.
Finally, and this is a good one if your knitter is a bit of a smartarse, Kniterella.
I have a special fondness for the notecards that say stuff like “If Knitting is wrong I don’t want to be right“, and I love the gift tags, that say things like “Just because it’s handmade, doesn’t mean it was cheap“
Good hunting, and if it seems to you like this isn’t right for your knitter, don’t panic. I’ve got 24 more ideas coming your way. Hang in there, and don’t panic.
PS. In case you’re wondering, nobody paid me to promote their products. This is just stuff I like.
Gifts for knitters, Day Two.
Jewelry. I know, right now you’re thinking that you’ve bought jewelry before, and it wasn’t really a knitter thing, but what we’re talking about here is jewelry for knitters. You’ve got three ways you can think about going, depending on your particular breed of knitter.
1. Actual knitting themed jewelry, made by someone else. Like all this really cool stuff from Sassafras Creations. They take knitting needles and chop them up and reform them into really beautiful things. (Personal favourite, and on my own shopping list – the Floating bubbles necklace.) Maybe a yarn pin fromPinderella? A sterling silver ball of yarn from Schoolhouse Press? Knit/Purl earrings from Knitpurletc?
2. Knitting tools that look like jewelry, but are secretly useful, like the Knitting Abacus, which looks like a funky bracelet, but is a row counter. (Trust me, non-knitter, counting is a big deal to your knitter.) Or how about a necklace that’s going to look like a regular piece, but to your knitter and all of his or her friends, it’s a needle gauge? There’s a beautiful one in sterling silver from Knitpurletc, or a fun one that looks like a seashell from Debra’s Garden. (Trust me again here, it’s like the counting thing. Knitters have to do a lot of measuring and gauging. It’s far more technical than you might have guessed.)
3. You could set your knitter up to MAKE some jewelry, if you think that’s the sort they are. Dig these beaded kits from Laura Nelkin, or these kits where your knitter can knit wire to make neat bracelets and necklaces.
I know that this seems like a tough category for the male knitter, not that any of those things wouldn’t work, depending on the taste of your particular knitter, but as a special mention, check out these hilarious buttons for men who knit from Slipped Stitch Studios. I love them all, but I think my favourite is “Real live knitter: no, you can’t touch me.” (The unisex buttons here are also hilarious.)
More tomorrow. Hang in there non-knitters, and remember, when your knitter says that he’s got a tight knitting deadline, that means you should make dinner.
Day Three, and Day Four
Knitting is like woodworking – it’s a skill that can be accomplished with the simplest of tools, but is made easier and infinitely more pleasant with nice ones. The same way that you wouldn’t be surprised if a woodworker had several saws or chisels, each for a specific task, you shouldn’t be surprised that a knitter needs lots of tools, and sometimes several similar ones. If you don’t see the tools I’m about to describe here in your knitters home, they would be a good gift.
A swift. A swift is a yarn holding device. Some yarn comes in skeins, or hanks, and need to be wound into a ball before they can be used. A swift sits on or clamps to a table (or something) and twirls as the yarn unwinds onto (usually) a ball winder. (More on ball winders later.)
There’s this kind, a metal and plastic one, that’s sort of the entry level swift. It’s small, light and handles most average size skeins of yarn. Or you can get a wooden one, that’s a little prettier (to my way of thinking) sturdier and has (at least in my experience) held up well to constant use. It is bigger though, and harder to store. You can get a sort that sits on the table - this kind is pretty common, but there’s a whole lot of really amazing woodworkers out there making really, really beautiful handcrafted ones. Dig this from Hornshaw Woodworks.
Any way you slice it, a swift is a really cool tool for a knitter, and comes with a bonus for you – you’ll never be asked to hold a skein for them again.
Usually, a knitter uses a ball winder with a swift. Like swifts, there’s a couple of different kinds, and mostly they’re about longevity and durability. Almost everybody I know has a Royal ball winder. I do. They’re great – although they do wear out with time (and when the gears start to go, they begin to make breast shaped balls. It’s very entertaining) and the design of them means that you can’t wind really huge skeins onto them. They’re going to meet about 90% of most knitters needs for a few years, then need replacing, but they are easy to find, and reasonably priced. If you’re looking to start moving up the food chain – take a look at the Strauch Ball Winder. It’s an animal. Gorgeous, long lasting, makes really big balls. (There’s a joke in there, but I’m going to skip it.) It’s a serious tool. (There’s another chance at a joke. It’s hard to talk about ball management without running into them.)
Pro-tip: If your knitter really, really likes managing wool by hand, consider a beautiful Nostepinne. It’s a way of winding balls by hand, and they might love it.
For day four, I want to talk about cases for knitting in progress. You know your knitter might love these if they’ve always got holes in their bags, and someone in your family has been poked by a sock-in-progress from within that bag. You can get inexpensive ones made out of cardboard or plastic – but I like the durability and style of the Knitzi, There’s several versions, they’re all pretty cool. There’s also several woodworkers making very elegant and gorgeous versions – all a little different. I’ve got one called a Sock Safe, made by Karen Sandberg, and it’s inlaid figured maple. Keep your eyes out.
Finally, a note about choosing what sort of tool to buy your knitter. Before you buy, remember to think about how much time your knitter spends at this craft, and how seriously that might mean they take it. If you knew someone who spent several hours a day in a woodshop, would you think they probably wanted beginner tools? Helping your knitter invest in wonderful tools is a nice way to show them that respect their craft, and them.
PPS. If you are a woodworker who loves a knitter, I bet they would love it if you made some of this stuff for them.
Gifts for Knitters, Day Five
Dear Non-knitter who loves a knitter,
Remember how yesterday I was saying that sometimes, not only does a knitter need tools, but he might need many of that tool? Today is like that. Today’s gift is project bags. Knitters very frequently have many things that they are knitting at once. A few pairs of socks, a hat, a couple of mittens, three sweaters… This is NORMAL. Not every project is appropriate for every day or occasion. Knitters need choices. This means that nifty bags for them to store them in are really handy. So handy that you can be pretty sure that you’re knitter would enjoy a project bag. Even if your knitter is the kind that only knits one project at a time, you can bet that they don’t plan one project at a time, and these little bags can come in really handy for queuing up stuff and keeping it tidy and clean.
A classic favourite project bag are the ones from Tom Bihn. I’ve got a bunch of these. I like them a lot – especially the ones with the clear bottom. I store them bottom up, and I can see which project is which. Very handy. I grab whichever one I like and take off. There’s the fab drawstring ones, that come from lots of different sources (I love Stitchy McYarnpants, but who doesn’t?) There’s ones where the handles overlap. (I like the app screen on that one.)
There’s ones in the shape of pyramids – (love this one) Costumedeeva makes a bunch, although she thinks they’re toiletry bags.
Then there’s the fancier ones, like (I am in love with these) the box bags from Splityarn, I get a little flutter in my heart when I think of the biggie boxes. (They hold a whole sweater.)
Finally, if you’re so inclined, it’s not that hard to make a simple project bag, and knitters do appreciate handmade.
Gifts for knitters, Days 6 and 7.
Dear Non-knitter, I skipped yesterday, so because I said we’d do one gift idea per day, today I owe you two.
Gift idea #1: Blocking wires. I know, you have no idea what those are, and therefore have no idea if you should get them. Here’s some idea of how to tell if your knitter would like blocking wires.
a) Do you hear the word “lace” a lot?
b) Has your knitter ever tried to explain about shawls to you? (It doesn’t matter if you didn’t understand why shawls are cool… just that you’ve had the conversation.)
c) Are knitted things frequently pinned to your bed or carpet? (The key here is pins. Are there a lot of them?)
d) Have you heard the word “blocking” in conjunction with a complaint or filthy but expressive language?
If you’ve answered “Yes” to two or more of these questions, then your knitter might like a set of blocking wires. I’ve got two sets, and they’re ridiculously handy. I can vouch for the awesomeness of the Handworks set, and it looks like the Inspinknity set is amazing too. There are other sets, so as you hunt around, I think the priority should be that they don’t rust, that the set comes with wires of several lengths (that helps a lot) that some of the wires are flexible, to help your knitter manage curves.
Gift idea #2?
Knitting bags. I know, I know. Your knitter has a knitting bag, you’ve seen it. Trust me. I’m pretty sure they want another one. Hell, I’ve got about seven, and I STILL want more. I co-ordinate them to my outfit (sort of. It’s my own system), I choose them according to the kind of project that I’ve got going on, I love knitting bags, and I bet your knitter does too, and good news. No matter what your knitter’s personal style is? There’s a knitting bag that they’re waiting to get. There are far, far too many for me to show you them all, so I’m going to hit a couple of my favourites, tell you why I like them, and you can click around on these websites until you see something that screams your knitters name. Most knitters use a knitting bag as their bag, so keep in mind they might want a pretty big one.
2. Jordana Paige. These bags are super classy, and pass as a purse while having knitter friendly features. I’ve got the L.J.Kaelms, and’s is a fab go-anywhere do anything bag (with two sections, so I can put knitters stuff in one side, and my regular stuff in the other) but they’ve also got a guy friendlyKnitters Messenger bag, which is cool. I reach for my Jordana Paige when I need a “dress” knitting purse.
3. Namaste Bags are slightly more casual to my way of thinking, but also deeply beautiful and functional, and while I’m saving up for the Monroe in Lime, there’s several there that are unisex.
4. Della Q. The only thing I can tell you about these bags is that I used mine (one like the Agnes) so much that it wore out and I had to get another one. They’re beautiful, functional, and hold a big laptop too. Perfect for travel.
5. Any bag you think your knitter would like that doesn’t have velcro. Trust me. Velcro is a knitter’s natural enemy.
Gifts for Knitters- Day 8
Yarn. I know – you have some issues around that. We’ve already talked about how having a lot of yarn means that you like it and would like more, so let’s talk about the real issue. You’re afraid to buy yarn. I get it – it’s scary. There’s a lot of kinds and colours and thicknesses and cotton and wool and so we’re going to see if maybe there’s some way you can get some help. Watch for the following.
1. If, somehow, someway, your knitter just happened to leave a knitting magazine open to a certain sweater with a post it on it that happened to note their size, then you could do the following.
-take the magazine to a yarn shop, show them the magazine, tell them your knitters colour preference (that might be written on the post it too – you should check) and then stand back and let the yarn shop do their thing. Be sure to replace the magazine where you found it.
2.If your knitter is the sort of knitter who has a relationship with a certain yarn shop, then you could do the following:
-Walk into the yarn shop. Say “I am InsertYourName. I would like to buy yarn for InsertKnittersName. I have InsertAmountOfCash. What has she/he been thinking about buying?” Then buy what they tell you to.
3. Keep an eye on the family computer. There is a website called “Ravelry.” If you walk by any computer in the house, you might see this website. There is a page your knitter has been keeping, called “Queue.” It’s a list of stuff they’d like to make, and what they would like to make it out of. If you saw this page open, you could feel very confident that if you wrote down what yarn your knitter had already chosen for that project, that you could then get online or on the phone and order that amount of that yarn in that colour and know that your knitter would be thrilled. They’d also think you were a big of a sneak, and most knitters would like that.
PS. Pro tip: Other knitters can see your knitters Ravelry queue. If your knitter hasn’t left it open, but you know other knitters, they can go look for you. This would get extra sneakiness points.
PPS. If you have to make a colour decision, watch your knitter for 24 hours, and know the following. They do not hate the colour of the hand knit scarf they made to go with their coat. They do not hate the colour they are knitting right now (unless it’s a gift for a child.) They do not hate the colour of any garment in their closet that they bought in the last year and paid more than $40 for. They do not hate the colour of that sweater they made that they wear all the time- you know. The one that’s getting sort of ratty. That one.
PPPS. A skein of cashmere has seldom done a relationship damage.
Gifts for Knitters, Day 9
Dear Non-Knitter who loves a Knitter,
Today’s gift is the gift of organization. I bet, if you share your home with a knitter, that you have noticed that they have a lot of needles, darning needles, gauges, all manner of bits and bobs. I bet too that at least once, as you noticed the proliferation of said items, that you wondered if your knitter really needs that many needles. The answer is yes, and the reasons are way, way to complex to explain to someone who’s never decided to knit a sweater on 4mm needles only to discover that their other three pairs are already in projects. (I know, now you’re wondering why a knitter would have three other projects in progress, but trust me. It’s just the nature of the beast.) The point is that it is normal and important for your knitter to have a lot of stuff that goes along with knitting, and if they do have a lot of unmanaged stuff, you can bet that a gift of containment would please them. To figure out if your knitter would like to contain tools, look for these signs.
1. Does your knitter have a drawer/box/area needles that resembles a nest of spikes? Do they ever use language unbecoming a knitter whilst navigating this pile?
2. Does your knitter ever seem upset while sorting through a pile of pointy things and scream about something called a “needle gauge?”
3. Has your tearful knitter ever told you that you don’t understand their pain, and that they really, really need a darning needle?
4. Has your knitter ever suggested to you that you should leave a social engagement or location because they don’t have the particular needle/object that they need to continue a project, and are therefore “screwed”?
5. Has anyone in your family ever attempted to extricate something (even an knitting needle) from a container of knitting needles while thinking that there has to be a better way?
If you answered yes to two or more of these questions, your knitter might enjoy having a needle/tool/organizing case. There’s lots of them. Della Q makes a beautiful cloth case that holds DPNs (the short sticks with points on both ends) and circulars (two spikes connected by a cord.) It holds a lot of them too, and the pockets are numbered, which means less (not none) screaming about gauges. This is a great answer for a messy drawer of needles. They’ve also got a great hanging case for if your knitter mostly has circular needles, and I’ve got this one by The Circular Solution, and that’s made sense of a bad scene.
I own several needle rolls, and if you haven’t seen one of these in your house, it might be a great thing. Lantern Moon has a funky one for straight needles, and another for circulars or DPNs and straights. Dig all these gorgeous ones on Etsy. (Personally, I don’t own, but am digging most everything from Lena Brown.) (Pro tip: if you’re a sewer who loves a knitter, you could make one.)
I have to say though, that I’m grooving pretty hard on the brand spanking new Jordana Paige Tool Case. Like their bags, it’s classy, and for knitters who knit a lot away from home, I think it’s a good idea. I do knit a lot away from home (which is probably why the nice lady there thought to send me one, very kind of her) and I can see this solving a bunch of problems. It’s pretty big – but not so big that I can’t see it fitting in my knitting bag, it’s made of vegan leather (not that I’m opposed to leather, but your knitter might be) and that means that needles won’t poke through it. It’s got a bunch of pockets that would hold circular needles, and has little windows to put a label in, so that you can see which one is which, and that reduces a lot of problems for me. (I don’t know about your knitter, but on a bunch of my needles, the size marking wore off.) It’s got several other zippered pockets and spots to keep other tools (along with a wee one to put stitch markers and darning needles in) and slots for DPNs or scissors. I think I could easily pack a whole book tour’s knitting tool needs in there, and I can only see two drawbacks to it. First, that it won’t hold straight needles, so for a big fan like me, it means I’ll still be trucking a needle roll, and second, that the promo stuff claims that if you get one, you can “carry your entire needle collection with you” and for knitters like me, that’s not true….Nobody’s made the case yet that will hold what I’ve collected.
Think all these options over – because almost all knitters struggle with containment issues and remember, if you’re on a tight gift budget, a box of large ziplocks, or container like this storage box, or this one, or even an inexpensive tackle box or tool box could help make sense of your knitters stuff. Take a couple of needles from their collection to the hardware store and see what you can do, and if all else fails, I bet some knitters will tell you what they like and I missed in the comments.
Today’s gift for knitters is and easy one. It’s knit related pottery. I’ve done all the hunting for you.
First up, all the knitters know who I’m going to say. Jennie the Potter. Her etsy shop is here, and stuff goes fast, but everything she makes is beautiful. I’m a huge fan. I love the mugs, the bowls – everything. Anything. If you sign up for updates (on the right hand side of her site) you can get updates about when her stuff is going up.
If you can’t get that, how about a great knit/button mug from Caractacus Pots?
This tall ceramic mug that looks like knitted fabric - from ReShape Studio (That would be a great decorative knitting needle holder) Here’s a great mug fromKnit Purl, made by Leigh Radford. It’s a mug cast in a handknit mold. Very cool.
Don’t forget yarn bowls too – although their purpose maybe arcane to you non-knitters, to us they look like a really great way to keep a yarn ball from roaming around while you knit. There’s these, from Knit-Witch, There’s beautiful yarn bowls (and bells- I love the bells) from The Blue Brick – carried at The Purple Purl here in Toronto. Darrielles Clay Art looks to have some beautiful ones…and so does The Mud Place but here’s a link to follow for a million of them.
This is a simple one, and requires only a little detective work or investigation on your part. One of the best things to give a knitter is stuff that gets used up, and after yarn, the number one thing on that list is some sort of nice wash to clean our (and yours, now that I think of it) woollies in. There’s several good varieties out there, and all you need do is hunt around the house, see which brand your knitter already has, and go get more of it. They have it at the local yarn shop. If you can’t tell which sort your knitter has, then just go ahead and buy one of these that appeals to you. They’re all good. (PS. If you put this in their stocking, they would think you were super dialed in this year.)
These are some that I’ve used and think are quite good. (These are also the ones that are in my house right now.) There are others- if they sell it at the yarn shop, it’s probably just fine.
Soak: Soak is a no rinse wash that comes in several different smells. If you don’t know what scent your non-knitter would like, go check the laundry detergent that they have now – it might give you a hint. If it’s unscented, then get the scentless soak. (This is totally unrelated, but Soak also makestemporary tattoos for knitters, which could be a big hit, depending on your knitter.)
Eucalan: Ahh, Eucalan, you charming old standby. Eucalan is another no-rinse wool wash, and I love the lavender one. They’re all scented with essential oils (except the unscented one. Duh.) and the eucalyptus (a nice manly smell) and lavender both claim to be moth repellent, which isn’t something any knitter can be opposed to.
Finally, if you do decide to get your knitter some wool wash, remember this:
Nothing is a better gift than learning how to wash your own (and your knitters) woolies with care and respect. There’s a tutorial here at Exercise Before Knitting, and of course, you can always count on Clara. Go learn – then dare to impress.
Gifts for knitters: Day 12.
Non-knitter, I’m keeping this short and sweet. Your knitter has a problem, because they are a knitter there is an excellent chance that they are small-tool repellant. This means that they likely have trouble putting their hands on tape measures, darning needles and the like, despite having purchased hundreds of same during their lifetime. That means that going to the yarn shop and buying ANYTHING SMALL is a good idea. Stitch markers, tape measures, little scissors, darning needles… anything small. If you want to be posh, get a Knit-kit. (Super cool. I wish I had one.) or one of these neat tool tins from The Sexy Knitter.
Gifts for Knitters: Day 13
Yesterday’s gift for knitters is a scale. I know, my gentle non-knitters, that you’re wondering what use a knitter has for a scale, but let me tell you – they’re fabulous. Beyond the obvious (being able to accurately divide a ball of yarn in half for a pair of socks) they’re also fabulous for estimating how many metres of yarn is left in a ball (if the skein was 100g and 210 metres, and now you have 50g, you have 105 metres left) you can also use it to weigh something you’ve made and see if you have enough yarn to make a second one. (This can bring a someone who has a second sleeve to knit and isn’t sure if he’s going to make it a great deal of personal peace.) Just about any scale can work, but it should be small enough to store decently, measure in both grams and ounces, and be able to weigh very small amounts accurately. The ones they sell in corner stores for purveyors of illicit substances work very well for knitter purposes – and can be snagged at the last minute if you’re desperate. I had a little one like this but now I’ve got one a bit bigger, and I use it pretty constantly.
Gifts For Knitters: Day 14
How about knitter related Christmas ornaments? There’s some great ones here from Kyle Designs, but this glass sheep would do fine, and I’ve seen some amazing ones in the local knit shops. If however, you’re a kid, or you know a kid who loves a knitter, you can make some pretty cool stuff without too much trouble. Craftster has instructions here, and when Megan was little, she made me some wonderful ornaments by just balling up a little bit of yarn, sticking round toothpicks through them to be the needles, and gluing beads onto the ends of the toothpicks. They were charming, and I loved that she made them for me. (If there’s a grownup willing to source a few ingredients, these pom-pom sheep would be perfect too.) If you think your knitter is the right type, there’s also a bunch of ornament kits that you could buy for them. Knit Purl has cute tiny mitten kits, Mary Maxim has Angels, Blackberry Ridge doeshats and mitts, and Noble Knits does a beaded ball. If you knit yourself, then 55 Christmas Balls to Knit looks fun, and a whole lot more festive than the mall. Just saying.
Gifts for Knitters, Day 16
To balance out yesterday’s gift, which I freely admit was a pricey one, today’s idea is one that you should be able to pull together for a few dollars and a trip to a nearby store. If you live with a knitter, you’ll know what I’m about to tell you is true, and if you don’t live with a knitter, then you’ll just have to take my word for it – but knitters have a lot of paper. Magazines, leaflets, patterns they printed out – and a great gift would be a way to organize some of that stuff. Magazine holders are a great thing for knitters. You can get fancy ones that match the decor, or if you’re not the sort of family that has decor youcan just get them out of your way. If you’re feeling particularly broke or crafty, you can even make some. To hold your knitters leaflets and assorted single patterns, go to the store and get a regular 3 ring binder, and a whole bunch of page protectors. Put a little note on it so that they know what it’s for, and if you really want to score points? Add a coupon promising that you’ll do the organizing.
Gifts for Knitters, Day 17
All right my non-knitterly friends, I’m having company tonight so we’re going to rip through these two days. It’s all perfectly simple anyway. You know what you’re knitter likes? (Pro tip: We’ve been over this.) YARN. You know what they would like a lot? If yarn that they didn’t pay for came to the house at regular intervals thoughout the year. Although this is going to sound strange to you, there are clubs that knitters can join that will mail them yarn throughout the year. There are a lot of them – and don’t look at the screen like that. In a world where you can get an Olive Oil of the Month Club, Bonsai of the Month Club, Beef Jerky of the Month Club or a Necktie of the Month club, you really though that there wouldn’t be yarn? C’mon. Here’s a couple I found for you. Look through them and see what your knitter might like.
Rockin’ Sock Club from Blue Moon Fiber arts, looks to be a fun one this upcoming year. One skein of yarn comes with two patterns, one for socks, one for an accessory.
Sweet Georgia has several clubs, and her stuff is lovely, and Canadian, if that’s on your list.
Cookie A’s got one (that one comes with sock patterns, yarn and cookie recipes)
Anne Hanson has two (The Bare Naked one looks cool) and I like the look of the Tanis Year in colour (another Canadian company.) Twisted has a shawlette club - I could go on and on, and I bet that the knitters in the comments would be thrilled to list some of their favourites. Check there for more ideas.
Gifts for Knitters, Day 18.
You know your knitter really well, so you’ll know if this is right for him or her, but can I suggest a manicure? A gift certificate for a manicure or paraffin wax treatment, hand massage… or some other total pampering thing for your knitters hands. Our hands are very hardworking this time of year – and they’re the most valuable tool we have. It would be nice to give them a treat.
If that doesn’t sound like your knitter, how about some lovely cream/lotion for their hands? My current favourites are Lo-lo To-Go from Bar Maids and theEverything balm from Goodies Unlimited (actually, anything from Goodies Unlimited.) Good hunting.
Knit ‘n Style
Gifts for Knitters: Day 20
Non-knitters, my darlings, my sweets, take it from me, your knitter wants time. Knitting time. There’s no possible way that you can help with the actual knitting, we all know that, but right now your knitter is wishing you could, and while you can’t knit for them… you can do everything else. Tonight, when your knitter says something subtle like “THIS IS A NIGHTMARE I’M NEVER GOING TO FINISH I CAN’T BELIEVE I HAVE TO DO LAUNDRY AND TRY AND FINISH THIS HAT” and then bursts into tears, you can help. It’s drastic, but you can do it. You can turn to your knitter and say the following.
“I have a present for you. I’m going to do the laundry so you can knit.”
Pro-tip: You can substitute any other activity that your knitter mentions is a conflict with knitting. Shopping, cooking, cleaning, wrapping – you can create knitting time in a million beautiful ways. Going somewhere? Drive, so your knitter has knitting time. Ask for a grocery list, and leave the house and go get it all, and if you really, really want to be heroic… take the kids with you.
The magic doesn’t have to stop there, oh no. It goes farther than contributing to your families gift giving by supporting your knitter… after Christmas, your knitter is going to go right on liking knitting, and he or she is going to go right on wanting to have time to do it. Think about making up little coupons. Coupons that promise a whole afternoon where you’ll take over the chores/kids/cleaning/whatever – and your knitter will have time that’s designated just for them and their wool.
Trust me. Time. Do it.
This is a really good one, and again, short – sweet and possibly online. Your knitter, while knitting, can’t always look at things (like a screen, which is frankly, why they don’t want to go to the movies with you. It’s not personal) but they can always listen. Consider getting your knitter audiobooks. I’ve got an Audible subscription, and love it to death, but you can also buy them at bookstores. Sitting and listening while someone reads me a story is one of the nicest things to do. I bet your knitter would like it too.
PS: Because someone will ask, my current favourite audiobooks are The Hunger Games, The Song of Ice and Fire series, anything from the Amelia Peabody series (it’s better in order) and the The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. I’m sure there will be more good suggestions in the comments.
This is an easy one. Gift Certificates. Your local Yarn Shop has them, and your knitter would like that. Go now. They don’t close for awhile.
These are gifts, my darling non-knitters, that you can give to a knitter without any money, any time, or any planning, and I personally guarantee that they will be appreciated more than anything else you can do. They are as follows:
I am sure you respect your knitter every day, but let me just take a minute to speak to you about knitting respect. Knitting may look like stuff made out of yarn, but it isn’t. Knitting is actually a container, that your knitter has filled with time and love. Time that they chose to give to another person, that they could have spent doing anything else in the world. When you see a knitted object, don’t see a hat, or a sweater, or a pair of socks. See twenty, forty, a hundred hours of your knitters life that they have decided that you, or someone else is worth. (How much time did you spend getting their present?) Understand that far from being a thrifty or lesser way of giving a gift, things that are handmade are the most expensive objects there are. Conduct yourself accordingly as your knitter wraps that scarf for your mum.
This gift leads straight out of the last one, and I know that if you give the gift of respect, that this next one will be a cinch for you to pull together.
The Proper Way to Receive a Knitted Gift.
1. Open the gift, and immediately say something positive. (Suggestions are things like “Oh wow!” or “Oh my goodness!)
2. Hold up the item and smile broadly.
3. If you do not know what the item is, DO NOT SAY SO.
We understand that knitting can produce some unusual items, and that the nature of handmade objects can further complicate things. If, after admiring the item for some time you are still not sure what it is, say something like “This is beautiful. Oh my gosh. Can you show me how I should wear it? I want to do it justice.”
4. After admiring and identifying the item, RUB IT ON YOUR FACE, or at the very least, cuddle it against your neck while saying something positive, like “Mmmmmm”. Knitters love this. It’s because we’ve been worried that you wouldn’t like it, and knitting is a tactile thing. Lots of non-knitters find some textiles scratchy or uncomfortable, and we’re worried that will be you. Making immediate physical contact with the item reassures us.
5. Pronounce the item the best gift you have ever gotten. Kiss or hug the knitter, and show the item off to at least one other person over the course of the day.
6. Place item in a place of honour, and continue to admire it at intervals, remarking (see gift re: Respect above) that you can’t believe that a knitter thought you were worth that much time.
-Comment that it doesn’t fit. This is not something you discuss today. Maybe tomorrow. Or the day after. Or in a week. Not today. Your knitter has been busting a move for weeks or months for you. They probably finished a hat at 2am and are a little fragile. Save it.
-Similarly, do not say it is scratchy, or uncomfortable or not what you wanted. Despite what some other non-knitters may have you think, knitting is a super expensive gift - and if someone gave you a Ferrari, you wouldn’t pout and tell them you wanted it in blue.
Now go forth and love your knitter. They’re amazing.
Merry Christmas, Joyeux Noel, Peace out. Be kind to each other. Stay calm.