Most knitters (and crochers) I have known or met are very giving. They love to knit or crochet and then gift their creations. Too often, however, newer knitters plan grand knit gifts for their friends and families and find themselves in “over their heads” or with scant time to knit for themselves. (By way of example, a good friend of mine started a large all-garter stitch blanket when she heard she would be a grandmother. Still unfinished, her grandchild is now four and now has a younger sibling.)
I urge newer and less experienced knitters to remove some stress (and cost) and knit simple (but nice) gifts. Such gifts show your love and, if they are useful gifts, the recipients will think of you every time they use them. Here are some ideas.
- If your friends or family observe the Christmas holiday, visit Lorna Pearman’s site where she explains how she made this lovely knitting-related ornament. Minimal knitting involved! (Even though Thor and I don’t celebrate Christmas, several of our friends and family members do, and I think I may have to make a couple of these.)
- Washcloths … I can’t say enough about the utility (and beauty!) of even the simplest of washcloths knit or crocheted from a nice cotton. Strikkelysten, a knitter with self-professed limited skills, regularly makes lovely but simple washcloths. Visit her site and be inspired! It’s a great way to experiment with simple patterns too. If you prefer a little more challenge, try Fiber Trends “Bathing Beauties.” I have knit and gifted all the sets multiple times but kept this blue soap jacket for the guest bathroom and this red lace washcloth for myself. (I knit both of these at least 15 years ago.)
- Headbands are another quick knit, for instance, Drops Design 86-10. Simple to make yet, when knit from a nice yarn they are quite stylish. (My daughter loves hers and, during those one-month winters she has in California, wears it.) If you want to expand your skills, headbands make a good project to try cables. Chic Knits Elisbeth Collection contains has a lovely cabled headband pattern that I’ve knit several times.
- The “Easiest Wristerwarmers” by KiwiYarns Knits are indeed the easiest fingerless gloves or wristwarmers I’ve ever made. (In fact, Granddaughter O is working on a pair.) Newer knitters won’t be bored senseless by miles and miles of garter stitch. Rather, they can quickly knit these wristwarmers (perhaps out of yarn leftover from something made for themselves?!) to wear or gift. These also make a great and unique gift to knit up and take to a holiday gift exchange.
- If you like knitting with sock needles (and lots of different colors!), how about something like this little creature? It’s the “Fuscia Flower Fairy” by Lorna Pearman and is approximately 6″ from tip to toe. She has several different flower fairy patterns available. To the left is a picture of a knit doll I first saw in a 2001 issue of Interweave Knits. The Topsy Turvy Doll is actually two dolls in one. (I always thought I’d make it, though I haven’t yet. The issue still sits on my shelf waiting for me to make it.)
We like to think someone to whom we give our handmade creation will appreciate and value it. Too often, sadly, that’s not the case. So even for us experienced knitters, knitting and gifting simple gifts that bring us pleasure to both make and gift is a way to not be too upset if your labor of love is re-gifted or ignored. Plus it’s a great way to use up small amounts of nice yarn in your stash!
Call to knitters and crocheters: What other patterns or ideas that are fast and easy-to-make and that do not take up too much fiber have you found to be good fiber creations to gift?!