With the holidays right around the corner, I thought I would give all the non-knitters out there an idea of what constitutes a good gift for a knitter. All of these ideas should be easily found in the KupN area (meaning Northern Wisconsin and Northern Minnesota). For the love of all things holy, please please please go to a local store owned by a person who lives in your community. If you walk into a big box store, ask someone where to buy a gift for a knitter and they casually wave you back to the "craft area," walk away. Walk away quickly. That is not the kind of gift that your knitter really wants. If you go to a local store that your knitter usually frequents (HINT: they probably go there for a "Knit Night" of some sort) you will get personal service and the chances are good that someone who waits on you will know your knitter by name. Translation: They will help you pick a gift that your knitter really wants.
1. Gift Certificates: They come in any denomination and are always appreciated. As Barb from Fabric Works says, "You know she’s going to spend the money on yarn anyway, you might as well give her a gift certificate for it and look like a hero."
2. Sock Yarn: Most knitters knit socks at some point. Or hats with sock yarn. Or mittens. Or… well, you get the idea. Sock yarn is great because you can knit an entire pair of socks for $14-$20 which is a great price range for gift exchanges. Plus, one skein of sock yarn will easily fit in someone’s stocking.
3. Barbara Walker’s, A Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns. This woman is amazing. Knitting greatness fairly oozes from her skin, she is that cool. She and Meg Swanson belong on the Dream Team of knitting. This book should be in the library of every knitter. Hint, hint to my family – Fabric Works carries this book.
4. Along those same lines, the Harmony Guides have been republished by Interweave Press. There are 4 different versions, everything from how to make patterns using just Knit and Purl, to Lace and Cables. Stitch guides are wonderful when you’re making up a new pattern or need to tweak a pattern that’s not quite what you want. Or if you want to make some fun hats. Or scarves. Or, well just suffice it to say they are darn handy to have around.
Edited to add: I believe Yarn Harbor carries the Harmony Guides. They’re definitely at Barnes and Noble, but try Yarn Harbor or Playing with Yarn first.
5. Good tools. Ask the yarn store about this. Good tools are as imperative for knitters as they are for woodworking. A really nice pair of scissors will warm your knitters heart. What knitter doesn’t like a new bag, especially one with all sorts of pockets for your yarn and needles?
6. If you’re looking for something on the higher end or just a gift that will completely wow your knitter, join them in a Yarn of the Month Club. Think Fruit of the Month Club, only for knitters. One that I have heard nothing but amazing reviews from is the Rockin’ Sock Club from Blue Moon Fiber Arts. Their sock yarn is amazing. Along with the yarn, you also get a sock pattern and some fun items every month. OK, so that suggestion isn’t from a local company, but it would make your knitter smile all year round.