Handmade knitted gifts are some of the most special and treasured items that we can give our loved ones. Each time their recipients use them they will be filled with the love and care that was knit into each precious stitch. While it is exciting to knit a gift, it can also be a little daunting not knowing if the gift will be ‘just right’ for its recipient and as well-loved and used as intended. Here are some of our tips on what to knit and how to gift them to your loved ones so they will be enjoyed for years to come.
It is safest to knit things that aren’t very fit specific, like homewares or accessories. Not only will they generally take a lot less time than knitting a garment, but they will also be more likely to be used by your loved ones. There is nothing worse than taking the time to knit a gift that is then never appreciated or used.
Beanies and scarves
Beanies and scarfs are great gift knits as they don’t take a lot of time and generally fit and will be used often. However, if you are gifting for the December holidays in Australia it is unfortunately a little warm for a beanie or a scarf! I sometimes will still gift a beanie that can be worn the following Winter, but also try to think of other gift knits that are more season appropriate.
If you would like to knit a scarf, the Picot Edge Scarf is the perfect lightweight accessory for all seasons. It knits up fairly quickly as a 4ply on 3.5mm needles and uses just one skein on the beautiful Manos del Uruguay Fino. It is a free pattern available here. It is a very relaxing knit and you will soon find yourself wanting to knit one in every colour for different friends or family members!
Another popular scarf and the one most loved by our staff is the Honey Cable Cowl. It is the go to cowl to throw on when it’s cold in the shop! It knits up quickly in Maya 14ply, our super soft baby alpaca, and can be made in a wide variety of colours.
Fingerless mittens are another great accessory that can be used throughout the year if a person gets cold hands. They can be great for any arthritis or aching hands in the morning. Mittens made in 4ply are also not as hot but still fairly quick to make. The Hunter Fingerless Mittens are perfect for a quick gift knit and can use any 4ply yarn. I have made them successfully in the Morris Empire for a nice soft pair as well as in any of the 4ply Regia yarns with the added nylon for durability.
Socks can be an investment of time but are also so enjoyable to knit that they do make great gifts. Everyone loves receiving homemade socks, but the fit can be a little tricky. One way to work around not knowing the exact foot size of your sock recipients is to knit the socks in a rib pattern. Rib allows for a more varied fit and is less likely to continuously fall down around a person’s ankles when they are wearing the socks.
Homewares make perfect gifts for any time of the year. Cushions are my personal favourite as they don’t take too much time and can be so diverse in their design. You can knit one side in beautiful colourwork, anywhere from a slip stitch (or mosaic) motif pattern to a more traditional fairisle pattern, or even a funky intarsia image. Then you can knit the other side in plain, relaxing stocking stitch making the cushion reversible. ARNE & CARLOS have a fantastic cushion pattern book available here.
Face washers and hand towels
If you don’t want to knit something quite as large as a cushion, a pack of cotton face washers or hand towels are always well received gifts and relaxing to knit. They are the perfect project to try out new stitches or colour combinations as they do not take a big investment of time if things go awry and you must start over. Throw in a few bath products and you have a beautiful gift basket to give. Here is a link to our cotton yarns perfect for face washers or hand towels.
Knitted bags also make great gifts. Market bags are always useful for shopping, or you could knit a smaller, cute little purse. There are quite a few patterns around at the moment for knitted purses, my favourite is the Honey Purse by PetiteKnit, available on ravelry.com.
Tip: Include washing instructions
When gifting your knitted items, it’s nice to include the washing instructions on a little card. If it is a delicate item, you could even include a little bottle of wool wash with it. This makes it easier on the recipient and removes the stress of wondering if your gift might get damaged when washed. I also like to include a small ball of the yarn used for the project in case any mending is needed in the future.
Embracing self-love by knitting for yourself
If gift knitting isn’t really your thing, that is perfectly okay too. Some people prefer to knit mostly for themselves and carving out some valuable time to do so is a great ritual that you can give to yourself. It can be really therapeutic and rewarding to take the energy to make something that you want and will treasure.
Let us know in the comments below if you enjoy gift knitting and what your favourite thing to make for your loved ones is!
- 14ply, 4ply, ARNE & CARLOS, Cushions, Empire, Fino, Gift Knitting, Knitting, Manos Del Uruguay, Maya, Morris & Sons, Scarf, Yarn