gift

Copy Cat Christmas Beanie

 

This year, I finally did something I have been wanting to do for almost as long as I’ve been knitting: Enter a project into the Minnesota State Fair. In the end, I did not place. But I did show. And I got to show of a piece that I am really, really proud of.

Malabrigo Baby Sweater

I’m of the age where many of my much younger friends are having babies. I like to make them gifts. I make a lot of tiny Veggie Baby Hats but wanted to try a tiny baby sweater for a friend who was pregnant last year. But, the poor planner I am, the baby was born, moved and larger before I finished this. Seriously, it’s not like babies are a surprise as they take almost a full year to gestate, but here I am with a tiny baby sweater to be given to someone else and plans to make a toddler-sized sweater for the not-a-tiny baby.

Hayden’s House Scarf

Last year, my youngest nephew fell in love with the Harry Potter books. When my daughters found out, the first thing they did was take him to Pottermore and get him placed in a house. Turns out he’s a Hufflepuff. Now this kid is seriously my number one knitting fan. He once told a teacher that his “Auntie J” is a professional knitter while showing off a hat I made him. So when I find out he’s excited about Harry Potter, I think we all know that means he was getting a house scarf for Christmas.

Today I downloaded: A hat!

 

Okay, full disclosure, I actually downloaded this last week. But “Sometime last week I downloaded a hat and I’m almost done with it” is a really long title for a blog post. This project is more about the story behind it, though.

UK Boneyard Shawl

Last fall, my husband and I traveled to the UK. It was an amazing trip, without kids. Of course, first on my mind—well, aside from the amazing sights, food and international travel with my sweetie—was what knitting project I would bring with me. For the flight, I bought cheap bamboo needles (BLECH) and planned to knit socks*. But I also packed a project in my checked baggage on my beloved Knit Picks options (because who takes just one project on an international trip?). Something a little larger that would be an easy pick up/put down project. Stephen West’s Boneyard Shawl was my choice for this trip.

Peggy’s Hitchhiker

Last year, I hit 15 yarn shops in the area. I know what you’re thinking, but I was willing to take one for the team. You’re welcome. Most of the purchases were because they were simply beautiful and would be great for some unknown project in the future. But one yarn shop had a color yarn that I instantly knew I needed to be something for my mother-in-law. While I didn’t knit the pattern provided by Unwind Yarn Shop, I knew what would be a better choice: The Hitchhiker.

Slouchy Hipster Hat

Ribbing closeup of the slouchy hipster hat

One of the fun thing about working at a post-secondary school is that students will oftentimes work in your office. They’re not always skilled labor for the tasks at hand (though sometimes they are) and they always get the grunt work. But it’s really fun getting to know students at the place you work (especially if your job isn’t student-facing). Our office, Marketing and Communications, has been very fortunate in the student workers we’ve had and I have made some very good friends of many of them. So when our current student worker asked if I could make him a “slouchy hipster-style hat” I agreed. When he asked if I could make a set of matching hats for him and his best friend, I lept for joy because how adorable is that? …

Farewell Clapo-Ktus

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This fall, my closest work friend found a new job. It was a great move for her, but it’s hard to go from seeing someone every week and talking all the time to not seeing them very often at all. I wanted to make her a going-away gift that would—hopefully—remind her of me while being squishy soft. Kelsey is a very cool dresser and I hope that the Clapo-Ktus in this beautiful red was a welcome addition to her wardrobe. …

My care labels

In my last post, I asked you, my Fidgety Readers, what you did with lacy gifts for non-knitters. Specifically, how to care for them. There were a lot of good suggestions (thank you for your comments) and I love seeing how other fabulous knitters share their gifts.

I don’t give away a lot of lacy projects (well, I don’t actually MAKE  a lot of lacy projects either). When I do, I give them to the knit-worthy. Knitters know what I mean. Knit-worthy are people who understand the love and effort—and yes, the money—that goes into a hand-knit item. These are the people who truly appreciate what their knitter has made and truly, truly love the items they are gifted. I have several of these people in my life and once they show me how much they love what I made, they will continue to get gifts from me (my youngest nephew loves the knit hats I make for him so much that when he makes a passing comment about how much he would love an eggplant hat for himself, I will figure out how to modify that baby hat pattern to a larger size).

When I give it to someone, I want them to love it and wear it.

Friday night question: Gift Blocking

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Okay, so you’ve made a beautiful gift for someone you love. Maybe a shawl or a scarf. This lacy beauty isn’t made from some cheap acrylic yarn you got from the local all-purpose craft store, oh no. It’s made from one of those amazing skeins you purchased at a fair for that special future project you knew would have its day in the sun. Maybe it’s cashmere, silk, baby alpaca or even possibly angel hair. This baby is hand wash only.