Knitters and Gifts

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.

  1. xmasornament (2)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.)
  2. 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!  soapwashclothIt’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.)
  3. Headbands are another quick knit, for instance, Drops Design 86-10dropsheadbandSimple 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 possumbandmake a good project to try cables.  Chic Knits Elisbeth Collection contains has a lovely cabled headband pattern that I’ve knit several times.
  4. The “Easiest Wristerwarmers” by KiwiYarns Knits are indeed the easiest fingerless easy-fingerless-gloves-21gloves 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.
  5. FusciaFlowerFairy (2)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 DollTopsydifferent 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?!

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About sweatyknitter

Fiber art devotee, author, and amateur artisan bread baker.
This entry was posted in Crocheting, Fibers, Knitting, Miscellany and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

27 Responses to Knitters and Gifts

  1. Cowls are a good beginning project! When I’ve taught knitting, I have them knit a hat, then a pair of socks and then a raglan sweater! This works with people when they attend weekly knitting lessons … great fun!

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  2. In a short time i’ve teached 2 people to knit. I have been knitting for some time.. about 5-10years. I know my way around a lace or cable. And i try to show that on my works. But! haha! when i’ve been asked to teach someone the basics of knitting. They all go head first for lace. Damn. I’ve told to hold on, breathe and try a simple cowl. on round needles. With about size 5mm needles. I’ve had to warn that “it’s not too easy”. Lace. It took me a while to learn it. especially when there are purl rows. Same with cable. Even today I’ve never tried to knit a sweater the “tradtional way” (here, Finland) where you make it for 4 pieces (or more).. no! raglan or yoked. And I haven’t seen any good “knitting for beginners books”. All i’ve seen (in finnish) have had that 4-piece sweater in it. Haha! Crazy! With the “Cowl-students” i’ve told to first make some 10cm of plain loops/straight. And when that is on a comfortable level.. then holes. tiny every 5th on every 4th row.. and from there more complex. But all this still on a round cable with a simple cowl 😀 … so far i have 2 over exited students who have Not given up 🙂

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  3. I like the idea of knitting butterflies or flowers for headbands! My granddaughter would love that!

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  4. Cowls – another great gift idea! Thank you for suggesting. And I think it is okay for fiber folks to be selfish and keep their creations! 🙂 >

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  5. CWLFibers says:

    SweatyKnitter: How are you? I would gift Cowls. Nothing fancy just a simple turtle neck type in a bulk, or worsted. This way it is quick and sweet. Facial clothes, and soap jacket.

    I have been selfish this year, I am keeping my shawls I just made, and 2 hats.

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  6. Hi! I love the idea of washcloths too. 🙂

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  7. My Norwegian grandmother made and gifted beautiful crocheted cotton doilies. I have crocheted doilies before but I don’t fancy myself a skilled enough crocheter to gift them once made.

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  8. Thanks for sharing the link!

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  9. How to you anticipate head size? My best friend is zippy the pin head while I have a head like a pumpkin!

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  10. Smart! It took me several years of disappointing experiences before I learned my lesson!

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  11. ;). My daughter has returned so many sweaters to me because she no longer likes the color or style so I knit her only accessories these days. I too gift a lot of bread of these – thankfully or I would have no room in my freezer!

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  12. Louise says:

    What’s great about that sweater, or any baby sweater, is that you likely have yarn in your stash. It’s a great knit too. So pretty, even for little boys.

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  13. Argh … I once made a beautiful little lacy baby bonnet for a work colleague … Never got a thank you note so I stopped knitting gifts for colleagues’ special events. (I have knit and gifted lots of socks but only for family members.)

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  14. Thanks for the referral … I will check out that EZ sweater! My friends have grandchildren but are still thrilled to get a little gift for their grandbabies!

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  15. I think it is important for knitters and crocheters to spoil themselves. It is okay to be fiber-selfish now and then! 🙂

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  16. More good ideas! I particularly like the flower idea … Who doesn’t like flowers (barring allergies, of course)!!!

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  17. tgonzales says:

    Thank you for sharing all the cool ideas for gift giving. I especially love the wash cloths. Have a great day.

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  18. Thank you for your inspirations.
    I am a huge headband fan when it comes to small gifts. Or a phone case. A great beginners knit and you can just practise all these pretty knit/purl stitch patterns.
    Butterflies, flowers,… to be put on a hairpin or on a badge needle. Or just flowers.
    And for new borns, there are nice and simple sleeveless tops/tunics. I always knit a slightly smaller size (3-6months) so there is time to grow into them but it is still a quick knit.
    http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/milo-3
    http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/versa

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  19. Germanleg says:

    I love to give socks and mittens and gloves and hats. One skein-gifts. I startet to spin 12 months ago. So I think about handspuns as a gift for knitting friends. Washclothes would be strange as a gift here in Germany. But the soap jacket looks cool. I usualy knit gloves for fresh mothers. They show nicely when they push the babycar (kinderwagen). By the way, I spend my whole afternoon making a fotobook from all the pictures we took in Bergen 7 weeks ago. I soooo want to go back to norway one day…..

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  20. Nice post! And great advice to choose easy projects for gift giving, may I be cheeky and suggest something cute for crocheters to gift this Easter time?.. http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/rabbit-titfer

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  21. thetinfoilhatsociety says:

    I find hats are nearly always a welcome gift. I’ve become less persnickity about showcasing my knitting and more careful about knitting hats that I know people will wear and love, and I think that is also why they are enjoyed.

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  22. bonnyknits says:

    These are wonderful suggestions. I’ve done knitted dishcloths and washcloths because I love mine so much, and have had requests for more! I’ve also received crocheted soap savers that I absolutely love. I’ve definitely learned to adjust my gifting goals in the last couple of years so that I’m not so ambitious!

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  23. liz-o-matic says:

    Ha! I, unfortunately, have the opposite problem- I mostly knit for myself :-/ The few things I’ve knit for grown ups actually got returned to me, because it didn’t fit or they had a bad reaction to the yarn (my mom is very sensitive to animal fiber)….. which was fine with me 😉 I tend now to cook or bake gifts for friends/family. This is great though… I love the Christmas ornament!
    I have had luck knitting for babies though. These old Lion Brand patterns have become my go to: http://www.lionbrand.com/patterns/90572AD.html; http://www.lionbrand.com/patterns/90572AD.html; and http://www.lionbrand.com/patterns/L10125.html

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  24. Isabel says:

    Hello Sweaty Knitter! This is great advice for all of us. I am like you – terrible at making things for myself. At the moment I find that snoods (or cowls) are a quick knit and much appreciated as gifts. Also, socks don’t take too long and all the friends I have given socks to are just thrilled! There is nothing worse than making something big for someone that is never mentioned again – I once made a granny square crochet blanket for a friend’s new baby…never mentioned for the last 2 years! And I’ve never seen it being used! Oh well – best not to take these things personally I guess 🙂 Happy knitting x Isabel

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  25. Louise says:

    I love Elizabeth Zimmerman’s February Sweater for babies. I’ve made dozens. It’s in Knitters Almanac. I also like thin scarves at Chistmas and mittens.

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  26. Libby says:

    Sage advice, and thank you for the gift suggestions. Although a fairly experienced knitter I rarely knit for myself,. Lately I have done lots of fingerless gloves and cowls/headbands as gifts. It seems self-indulgent and extravagent to knit for nyself when yarn can be so costly – however I intend to knit myself a new jumper for next witner (or at least that is the plan!).

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  27. fabrickated says:

    I am so grateful for these suggestions. Some of them – the washcloths and the wrist warmers – seem like excellent projects for beginners.

    I personally love to give (and receive) something that can be consumed – a freshly baked loaf, some homemade sausages or biscuits, flowers – especially from the garden.

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