Tag Archives: holiday

A Different Way to Give Handmade

A few years ago, a knitter friend of mine presented me with a different way to give handmade gifts: don’t gift finished projects. It was a revelation.

Business As Usual

It seems to be a common progression amongst knitters.  When you first learn to knit you think to yourself “I’ll never have to buy another gift again! From now on, everyone in my life will receive thoughtfully planned, lovingly created, unique handmade treasures!”

A Different Way to Give Handmade - An Ideal Christmas

Then your first Christmas happens.

Realizing that you cannot, in fact, make all of your gifts by hand (short of quitting your job and your wrists falling off), you scale back your expectations. But even if you only make a few things a year for the most special people in your life, at some point you will end up staying up until 3 AM some Christmas or Birthday Eve to weave in ends, hoping a fan will dry it out in time.

A Different Way

The radically different alternative is to just opt out of crafting deadlines. Instead of finished pieces, the “gift” is a designing session and yarn. Spend the time with your loved one picking the perfect yarn and just the right pattern. You then make it in your own time frame. No deadlines, no worrying whether they’ll like, they get it when it gets done.

Not only does this sidestep the deadline, but also presents the delightful opportunity to involve them in the process from start to finish. You can talk with them about the difference between a scarf and a shawl, alpaca versus wool, fingering or worsted weight. And let *them* decide if they want it machine washable. It will be more like ordering a personally tailored garment than buying something from a store.

A Different Way to Give Handmade - Gorgeous Yarn

Best of all, you don’t have to hide your work-in-progress! Involve them in that too! Show them how it’s going, even share mistakes and accidents. As fun as it is to revel in the mystery of crafting, your loved ones will appreciate it that much more once they’ve seen exactly how much thought and time and effort goes into the smallest gift.

And did I mention no crafting against a deadline?

I’ve been doing this for several years, through a number of gifts, and I cannot recommend it enough. I’ve picked out yarn on the computer with my partner, I’ve conferenced with my sister across the country, I’ve gone to 4 different yarn stores with a friend looking for just the *right* shade of blue. Sometimes it takes months to actually finish, long after I meant to be done, and it’s always been okay. Because they’ve shared every frustration and setback, breakthrough and relief; they get exactly what they asked for and they know *exactly* how much thought and time and energy went into it.

And did I mention no last minute all-nighters?

Last Minute Gifts Without the Stress

If you want to retain the feel of a traditional gifting with wrap and trimmings, you can make a present of the yarn itself. With our extended Christmas shipping deadline, if you work with the loved one now and order from KnitPicks.com by 9 AM Friday, December 16th, you can have the exact yarn they ask for, even a gift card, to open on Christmas Day. Or order one of our pattern collection books for a wealth of possibilities that your loved one can pick from in person. (You could even download an ebook ON Christmas Day!)

A Different Way to Give Handmade - Pattern Ideas

If you’re *really* pressed for time, our expedited shipping deadline isn’t until December 21st, or you can create your own gift certificate for a bespoke handmade garment. Make it as elaborate as you can!

A Different Way to Give Handmade - Last Chance for Shipping Knitpicks.com

So say goodbye to stressful all-night Holiday crafting sessions and embrace a different way to give.

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Spooky Holiday Knits!

It’s time for hauntings, ghostie ghoulies and other fantastic Halloween traditions! You can celebrate in style this year with your own bowl full of knit eyeballs with this FREE Knit Eyeballs pattern.

Kittens-12

Cute rather than creepy, even kittens LOVE them. They’re quick and you can get more than a few out of one skein of yarn, perfect for your desk at work or your mantel at home! If you’re looking for other Halloween appropriate projects we have a Bat Hat and Mask and a Beard pattern, both are perfect additions to a semi-last minute knitted costume.

In other knit news, I made a “Classic Zombie” from the Knit Your Own Zombie book just in time for a friend’s October birthday. The book has several little modifications you can add to any of the zombie shapes and Fiona Goble has written the patterns so that you can separate the torso from the legs and arms with Velcro for some super cute, grizzly playtime. I loved being able to customize it with a little pouch for his removable stomach and even a little pink brain that pops out of his head!

I feel like I only get one month out of the year to try my hand at crafting creepy, funny and totally crazy knits so I take full advantage of the season to make something a little bit out of character and I just love how he turned out! I especially enjoyed explaining to people who asked what I was making while I was plugging away at his various pieces in coffee shops and at my local knitting night!

 The Classic Zombie was definitely a bit of a challenge and I converted all of the instructions to work in the round on DPNs because I just can’t STAND seaming. In the end I spent about four days playing around with “Tony” as he’s now dubbed by the birthday boy, the perfect amount of time to spend on a seasonal toy.

Are you working on Halloween or even Thanksgiving decorations this year? Do you have a favorite pattern? Share it in the comments below!

 


Clove & Spice Knit and Crochet Pumpkin Free Pattern

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Link to the Clove & Spice Knit and Crochet Pumpkin Pattern

The rains are here and I know it’s time to start thinking about pumpkins, golden leaves and early frosts. My favorite pumpkin patch has started sneaking tempting images of ripe pumpkins into my Facebook feed and my Pinterest is filling up with October crafts (beeswax-dipped leaves, anyone?) so it’s definitely time to get my fall crafting started! To celebrate the cooler weather and changing seasons I whipped up a quick little pattern with instructions for both knit and crochet pumpkins.

Both versions of the Clove & Spice Pumpkins are great beginner patterns with written pattern instructions and photos illustrating how to create those chubby little ridges. These little fellas are the perfect size to perch on a book shelf or to add into a little tabletop tableau (the knit Spice pumpkin has a 10.5″ circumference and the crochet Clove pumpkin has a 13.5″ circumference) and there’s enough yarn in one ball of Wool of the Andes Sport to make two pumpkins.

I can’t think of a cuter way to welcome in the fall season! What are your favorite cold-weather crafts? Are you gearing up for a trip to the pumpkin patch too? I can’t wait