Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Gift knitting

Lion Brand Yarn Studio
Gift knitting.  It's one of those topics in the knitting world that is talk about a lot, especially in the fall as everyone is frantically knitting hats and scarves for the holiday season.  The question I posed was "are there strategies that make gift knitting easier, is there a way to plan ahead?"  I asked my local knitters if they had any advice on this topic.

Nancy of Nangellini said  "In the past I have made x number of the same item and given them as gifts, like big flower pins…and then picked from all the finished ones which one I think would be best fro each recipient."  This idea is great for making sure everyone on your list gets a little something hand knit.  Another twist on this is knitted or crocheted Christmas ornaments.  I've also seen knitters and crocheters who make quick flowers and bows that they use to wrap their gifts with.

What about that special person you know would love something with love in every stitch.  How about a warm accessory to wear.  "I make tons and tons of hats, and my only thing is that I prefer to knit for people who will wash properly" Nicole from NoTwoSnowflakes comments bringing up two great points.  Hats can be easy and fast, faster than scarves.  Other quick knits, cowls, fingerless mitts, and anything that requires bulky yarn.

Bread and Butter Men's Hat Patter, NTS

Nicole's other point is to make sure you know who you're knitting for.  For example if I knit my brother a hat out of alpaca and wool it would be ruined as soon as he felt the need to wash it.  There are a few ways to remedy this.  The first is to not knit my brother the hat, but that would be cruel for both of us.  His head gets cold up in Rochester and I really wanted to try out that Crenellated Hat Pattern.  The second way is to tell him how to take care of his new hat as part of the gift.  One of my knitter friends told me "The first time I give someone something that I’ve knit, I include a bottle of Soak."  This works if your gift recipeant will remember how to care for their knit item.  The third way is to choose an easy to care for yarn.  In my brother's case I would choose a super wash wool.  This way I know he won't have to remember to hand wash his hat.

What if time is running out?  Sue Ellen had a great solution to that problem "If time is short, I’ve given the yarn and an image of the FO one year, and the FO the following year.  That also lets me spend a little more because I spread it over two years."  If you just must knit the Color Affection for you mom, but your deadline is a month away.  Buy the yarn, wrap it up in some pretty paper (with your yarn ribbon/flower/knit ornament) and give her a gift that will last two years.

Another idea that came up to solve the "I need a gift now!" dilema was the "Gift Closet".  You may not need a closet per say, but a bin or basket will do the same job.  The gift closet is when you have a few gifty items all knit up and ready to go for any last minuet gift giving.  You can stock your gift closet with a few scarves and hats, a couple of cowls, a spare baby blanket or BSJ and any thing you love to knit.  This way when the time comes to give out some hand made love you aren't frantically knitting till the wee hours of the morning.

Thanks to all the knitters and crocheters who joined in the discussion.  I truly appreciate all the input.

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