Ah, it’s that time of year again. The time when the TV commercials gear up to tell everyone they need to buy the latest and greatest shiny toy or gadget to prove your love to everyone in your life.
I have always preferred either handmade or items from the heart. Doesn’t mean you can’t go out and buy stuff, but buy things thoughtfully. Buy what your loved one will really love and appreciate, not what the ad companies tell you will be a good gift.
This post will have two parts. Ideas for those of you who like to crochet gifts for your loved ones and ideas for those of you who have loved ones who are crocheters (or knitters or other fibercraft people).
Ok, so you like to crochet your gifts. I hope right now that you have either already started, have a short list, or are doing small items. Now is not the time to start that stack of afghan patterns (voice of experience here).
Some of my favorite quick-ish items to make for gifts?
- Scarves (although not so much down here in FL)
- Fingerless gloves
- Kitchen things (dishcloths, potholders, etc)
- Device cozies (tablets, phones, mp3 players, e-readers, laptops, etc)
- Jewelry items
- Small bags (for holding little things that we all have a ton of)
- Small home decor items (small pillow covers, placemats, decorative items)
- Mug cozies
If you’re smart (and I’m not, I’m still learning to do this), you could use your stash to make these throughout the year. Then you have a ton of ready made gifts to choose from for those who aren’t necessarily in your inner circle (thus qualifying for really great crocheted items) but who you still want to give gifts to.
If you’re more like me and wondering where the last seven months went, then this list is perfect for everyone on your gift list. My advice? Start making things for the people in your inner circle and work outward. If you run out of time, then just buy them something. Or, you can do like I did one year…I gave my sister one of her socks and an IOU for the other one. That was one of the years I was still learning just how much I could get done in 45 days. Answer: Not as much as I had planned.
And for the record, right now I’m in a good place. I have three gifts done, two gifts started, and three others planned with yarn at the ready. I can totally do this. I hope. The big stickler is that Tunisian colorwork scarf I mentioned in my last post. Hoping that I can carve out time to work on it and get it done in time.
So, what happens if you’re reading this and you’re not a crocheter but you know one? Or, you are a crocheter but have other crocheters on your gift list? Well, then here’s some tips of things to buy for them.
- Gift cards/certificates to their local yarn shop. Most places will work with you to do something. If they visit the shop a lot, the owner may know what yarns they tend to fondle a lot but never splurge on. If you’re given this info, buy it. You win all kinds of bonus points for this kind of thing. Otherwise, a gift certificate works well. And you might need to put the stipulation on it that your giftees use the amount to buy something for themselves. Often we fiber people tend to buy yarn to make things for others. Remind us not to do that.
- Magazine subscriptions. If you know that there’s a magazine your giftee buys on the newsstand on a regular basis (or has a subscription already), pay for a year of subscription to it.
- Look for book wishlists. Check to see if your giftee uses Amazon wishlist feature. If so, boom, you’re good to go. Find a book (especially if it’s one they’ve talked about) and get it for them. Some wishlists have other things than just books, so you can find what things they may want but wouldn’t buy themselves (I have a few things like that).
- Ravelry wishlists! If you’re on Ravelry, you can see patterns that people have put on their wishlists. It’s easy to do. Go to their queue and click on the tab that says “wish list”. You can then buy the patterns right there for them and and it’s sent to their library. It’s awesome.
- Manicure gift certificates. Seriously, crocheting is hard on the hands. Sometimes getting to take thirty minutes out of the day and have someone massage them and make them pretty is awesome.
- Hand care items. Lotions (scent free preferred if they crochet all day like I do), paraffin wax hand treatments, crafting gloves, etc. These are all great. If you’re not sure what type of lotion they may like, you can build a basket of different sample sizes (perfect for trying to find a new lotion) and add some emery boards, cuticle cream, and cotton gloves (to put on over an intensive lotion treatment) to it.
I hope this has given you a lot of great ideas for this upcoming holiday season. Remember, the gifts aren’t the important thing. It’s the time you spend with those you love and care about. Your actions throughout the year speak more than the trinkets you provide once a year.
And remember, if you can, support your local independent businesses and artisans. We all appreciate it.
Posted by Tracie Barrett