Gifts for Knitters 2010

I’ve been asked several times over the last few weeks what would make a good gift for a knitter.  These people all have knitters in their lives that they would like to buy something special for.  Something special that says they love the knitter enough to get something fibery.  So in no particular order, here is my Top Ten Gifts for 2010

10.  Blue Moon Fiber Arts Rockin’ Sock Club.  At $240 this is the most expensive thing on the list.  If you want the undying love and affection of your knitter, this is the thing to get.  Every other month your knitter will receive a package in the mail of amazing fibery goodness and patterns by amazing designers.  (I wouldn’t actually know as I’ve never coughed up that much dough, but I’ve heard it’s the best Sock Club out there.)  If you don’t want to spend that much, a Sheep to Shoe kit would be great for the spinner & sock knitter in your life.  I have knit with BMFA yarn and in my opinion it is worth every penny.  It comes in fantastic colorways, so many that it might be hard to choose just one. 

9.  Your knitter doesn’t spin you say?  Well, how about starting them out with a drop spindle and some wonderful fiber?  Locally, Yarn Harbor carries both the basic drop spindle and fiber.  If you search a little farther afield you can find even more options.  You could be slightly sneaky and check the search history on your computer to see if your knitter has been looking at fiber for spinning.  Go with a Corriedale or BFL for a first time spinner (that’s my non-expert opinion).  I’d also recommend that they sit down with someone who is proficient in drop spindling or take a class as there is a learning curve. 

8.  How about some pretty needles.  Just like any other job, in knitting you need the right tools to do the job right.  Harmony wood needles are some of the prettiest around.  Especially when you consider the reasonable price tag.  If your knitter knits a lot of socks, the Double Pointed Set is a great choice.  If they’re a lace knitter, I would go with a circular needle in several different sizes. 

7.  Speaking of lace, I’ve heard that this is one of the best Chart Keepers around.  This little easel helps keep your place if you’re frequently interupted (i.e. if you have children or pets or live with anyone).  It also folds up to keep that place even when you’re not knitting. 

6.  Blocking Mats – these are great things to have for blocking your knits.  You don’t have to be a lace knitter to benefit from blocking.  The mats repel water so the items aren’t sitting on a soggy towel for days, plus the foam will hold the pins exactly the way you want it to. 

5.  What better way to wear and show off a beautiful hand knit shawl than with a shawl pin.  I’m constantly messing with my shawl trying to get it to stay in the correct spot. 

4.  For the fashion conscious knitter, there’s a Namaste Mini Clutch.  This is so clever, and I didn’t even know it existed until just now!  There’s even room for a cell phone.  Like the Boy Scouts say, “Always be prepared.  You never know when you’re going to need that knitting fix.”  Or at least they say something like that. 

3.  Interweave Knits CD Collection.  This is every issue (in one year) of one of the best knitting magazines, all on a handy CD format.  If you live in a small space or are trying to downsize, this is a great way to get rid of the clutter that magazines bring with them. 

2.  Knitwear Design Workshop.  Just about everyone I know adapts and modifies their patterns.  This book walks you through everything from modifying a pattern so it fits you better to creating your own designs.  This book is not for the faint of heart or for beginning knitter, but if your knitter has a few sweaters under their belt they should do just fine. 

1.  A Bohus Knitting kit.  I might have lied about the Sock Club being the most expensive thing on my list.  A Bohus Sweater was once considered the height of fashion.  Now it’s a classic and beautiful piece that will fit in anyone’s wardrobe.  It’s knit on teeny tiny needles with teeny tiny yarn (that’s the technical definition) and will be something your knitter will be proud to show off.  These sweaters are stunning in person.  The kits come from Sweden, so you’ll have to do the conversion from Swedish Crowns to figure out the US cost as each sweater is different.  There’s also an option for a hat for those that are a little more budget conscious.  The yarn for these kits are dyed by one woman in Sweden to exactly match the original colorways.  Everyone involved in this organization is committed to preserving the tradition of the Bohus Stickening. 

0.5  My 6 year old keeps telling me what she’s giving me for Christmas. “It’s L-O-V-E!”

 Happy Holidays everyone!

Christmas Wrap Up

May your Christmas be a filled with love and fun as ours. 

I may not be done with all my Christmas preparations, but I feel like I’m in a good spot.  I’ve got 2 gifts left to pick up (one of which doesn’t need to be done until next week).  I’ve got 2 gifts left to knit – one is a slipper that doesn’t need to be finished until next week and the second is a hat that I can finish up in an evening.  Wrapping can be done Christmas Eve afternoon while the kids are at their daycare party.  I think I’m done making Christmas cookies.  It’s totally reasonable to think that I’ve got this Christmas thing licked.  Which should be reason enough for fate to kick me in the butt before tomorrow night rolls around. 

My guess is that fate is going to hit me in one of two areas.  The first is the giant storm that is supposed to be rolling in.  I love snow and I really want snow this winter, but it’s coming at a time when I’m supposed to be travelling to my parents house for Christmas Day!  The other way that fate might send me screaming to hide under my covers is that I’m working on a gift for our daycare lady that just doesn’t seem to want to come together.  It’s a scrapbook with little things about each kid in the daycare.  I’m waiting on photos from the other parents and just hoping that they’ll come in time.  I know better than to do this sort of thing at the last minute.  It’s craziness I tell you, pure craziness. 

Despite the threat of a snow of epic proportions, I’m going to make the bread I promised my Mom for Christmas Day dinner.  It’s the bestest, most easiest recipe I’ve found for making bread.  And despite all my efforts, I’ve yet to screw it up.  It’s from Arisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day.  You make a giant batch of the dough (which takes maybe 5 minutes) and let it sit in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.  Any time you want fresh bread you take it out, saw off a hunk of dough and let it sit on your countertop for 40 minutes and bring your oven (and a good quality pizza stone) up to temp.  Throw it in the oven and you’ve got awesome bread.  I’ve thrown in flax seed for a really yummy change.  So even if we get snowed in, we’ll be eating well at the Big Blue House. 

Merry Christmas Everyone!