Do you make handmade knitted gifts for your family?
It’s been years since I’ve thought of anything hand knitted as being special. But this year marks the first when both of my sons were in college. It’s harder to think of Christmas gifts for them now that they no longer have infinite toy wish lists. We give them everything they need year round (including clothing, school supplies, and computer essentials). I’ve been at a loss trying to think of something special they would like.
Even though both sons said that gifts weren’t necessary, I love giving presents and can’t imagine having a Christmas without them.
Therefore, when we had a cold snap at our town’s Christmas tree lighting last week, and my youngest actually said something about how useful a hat would be, I started to get excited. Then gloves were mentioned, too.
The knitter-me performed mental cartwheels!
It’s not as if I hadn’t hand knit things for them in the past. When they were babies I knit and crocheted umpteen baby booties, blankets and sweaters.
As they grew into boys, handmade scarves, hats and mittens flew off my needles for ski trips. But it wasn’t as if they really liked them. They wore them because, well, Mom made them do it! One time I tried explaining that every stitch was made with thoughts of love for the person I was knitting for. The reaction I think I got was “Oh sheesh, Mom, that’s so lame.”
Not totally unexpected from a ten-year-old.
So this year I’m hoping they are mature enough to at least appreciate handmade knitted gifts. I’m not expecting my gifts to become treasures. Personally, I’m enjoying every minute I have spent selecting the yarn and patterns, and am still trying to inject love into every stitch. So really, it’s more of a gift they are giving me!
Of course choosing the yarn is one of the best parts about hand knitting. And while I love going to my LYS and fondling the skeins, it always costs way too much. Not because of the yarn price, but because I find so many beautiful yarns I can’t resist and buy in excess. Now that we are on a strict budget, I no longer have that luxury. I find ordering online to be cheaper since I’m more likely to buy just what I need rather than literally a ton of impulse purchases.
So, for the son who (indirectly) requested a hat, I chose this worsted weight superwash Merino called “Swish” from Knit Picks. It’s perfect for the kid who throws everything in the washer at once without first separating the lights and darks. The rich brown color is “Bark”. I chose it because he prefers neutral colors that don’t draw attention.
I love how the textured stitches “popped” in the finished hat. The pattern is called “Graham”. It was free on Ravelry. What a great website that is! It’s one of my favorite sources of patterns and inspiration for just about anything. I’ve included the link to the pattern below.
When I bought the yarn, I hadn’t planned on making gloves, too. Swish comes in DK weight, so when I found a pattern for fingerless gloves that I liked, I was glad to see I could get the same soft wool and matching color in the thinner yarn. It took me about 7 hours to knit the hat, but I expect it will take longer to finish the gloves. I hope the new yarn order arrives soon!
In the meantime, I’m already starting on the next handmade knitted Christmas gift. It’s a pair of socks for my eldest son made from a Knit Picks handpainted yarn called Stroll. The color is called Deep Waters Tonal. It’s a gorgeous run of bright blue, purple, cadet blue and navy.
I can’t wait to see how this turns out. He’s never had a pair of hand knitted socks before, but he tends to appreciate comfort and I think he’ll really like these. As a toddler, he constantly complain about the seams in the toes of his store-bought socks. It bothered him to feel them squished between his shoe and his foot. I’m not sure if it annoys him now as an adult, but with hand knitted socks he won’t have that problem!
I’m using a simple sock pattern for this with a garter rib leg.
The hat pattern can be found here: Graham by Jennifer Adams
As to the rest of the list, I’ll have to see what I have time for when these are finished. I’m not a slow knitter, but there are so many other things that need to be done during the day!
And it is cookie baking season!
Do you knit gifts? What are you currently working on?