Gifts for Knitters
Gifts for the Knitter in Your Life
Do you have a knitter on your holiday gift list? Many knitters enjoy collecting things associated with knitting, buying the "hot new" knitting tools, or a stylish knitting bag.
It can be hard for non-knitters to know what the best knitting gifts are, what knitters would like to have. This article will help the non-knitter select the best knitting gifts for a favorite knitter.
I've listed a variety of gifts knitters would enjoy getting for Christmas, Hanukkah, Mother's Day, birthdays, or any other gift-getting occasion. Some knitting tools are inexpensive enough for the kids to buy with allowance money, some are luxury items, and many are in between. I'll be writing about unusual knitting gifts and common equipment that knitters wouldn't mind owning in multiples.
A set of knitting tools and a few books is a great "heading to college" gift for the student who will no longer be able to borrow from her mom! [Or dad ... more and more men are learning to knit.]
Other Knitting Gift Ideas
Be sure to check out my other knitting pages. I have several book review Hubs, and also pages on specific knitting topics with more tools and gadgets.
Scroll to the bottom of this page for a list of other knitting hubs, or click the Prev-Next buttons for a trip through my knitting hubs.
Low Cost Gifts for Knitters - Gifts from the kids?
Here are some inexpensive knitting tools that make good gifts. Some of these accessories are things most knitters already own, but wouldn't mind having in multiples. Others are new supplies, or old ones that new knitters haven't discovered yet. These knitting tools make good Christmas stocking stuffers for knitters, or good gifts from kids.
Needle Size Gauge
A needle gauge is a must have, and easy to misplace. This one has a large number of sizes, is sturdy plastic, and is made by one of the best knitting tool designers in the USA. This gauge is on my own list!
I usually use perle cotton to make stitch markers, but I also use purchased stitch markers on occasion. These are large to fit around any yarn or on most needles.
Other good, inexpensive stitch markers are coil-less safety pins. These can also be used as stitch holders for a few stitches, and come in large packages for very little money.
Many other styles of stitch marker are sold. Some look (and cost) like jewelry. Those are shown later; the ones here are inexpensive.
Every knitter needs a tape measure to measure people and knitted pieces. This tape retracts in a small case, perfect for putting in your project bag. This particular measuring tape features both inches and centimeter markings. And you can't beat the price!
"Sewing Up" Yarn Needles
Every knitter needs a selection of small needles with eyes for sewing seams, darning in loose ends, working Kitchener stitch ...
These needles, also called tapestry needles, come in several sizes, straight and curved. Some come with a small case.
I keep a small and a large needle pinned through their eyes to my knitting bag.
Specialized Knitting Bags
Many knitters want a special knitting bag, but can't justify the expense. I always think "Great gift idea!" when someone says "I love it, but it's too expensive."
The difference between these bags and a tote bag is that these bags are designed specifically for knitters. Totes are usually unfitted. Knitting bags have all sorts of pockets for tools, needles, your pattern ... some knitters prefer one style or the other. I happen to like both - a specialized bag for long excursions and when I need a lot of stuff, a tote when I'll have other bags and just want storage for a single project.
The most popular bag of 2012! I have this bag, and it's the best knitting gift I ever received. I take it everywhere. It has enough room for a large project, or a smaller project and a book, a notebook, snacks, assorted papers ... I've even put my laptop in it! Plus, it stands open next to your chair.
- Great Bags for Knitting
Where do you keep your knitting? On this Hub, I mention different types of knitting bags, with links to find bags for every knitter.
Gift-worthy Knitting Needles
You can never have too many knitting needles! Knitters need different size needles, different types of needle (straight, circular, double pointed), some knitters want different materials for different yarns ...
A set of interchangeable knitting needles is an easy gift choice. In one package, the knitter has most of the needle sizes s/he will need. The basic sets are nice, but if you have the money, the ebony set has more "wow factor" than any knitting gift on this page! It was 2011's hot knitting item.
In addition to regular needles, there are some special types of needles that would make perfect gifts. Light-up needles make an unusual knitting gift -- do they really help you knit at night? Rosewood and ebony needles are the ultimate in luxury knitting gifts -- how about getting 8 different sized pairs of needles and giving one pair each night of Hanukkah?
Not available at Amazon, but perhaps the most exotic of all, are glass needles. I've never used glass, I'm afraid to, but they are certainly a different knitting gift!
Knitting Needle Sets
This set lets the knitter assemble a variety of needles. It contains points from size 4 up through 15, and cables to make straight or circular needles. The set comes in pink or blue, and a portion of the sales from the pink set help fight breast cancer.
There are other needle sets that work on the same principle. As with this set, they usually work best for medium or bulky yarns. [You might not want to get this if your knitter works with tiny needles.]
Just for Fun — Light-up Needles
How about needles with lights in them, for knitting in the dark? Do they work? Why not try a pair and let us know in the Comments?
You can also buy knitting needles in exotic woods. These are ebony, and come in many sizes. Tip: Sizes 4 through 8 (US) are the most versatile.
I have also seen needles made of glass. I'm not sure I'd want to knit with them, but they'd make fantastic decorative art!
The Ultimate Knitting Needle Set
This set of interchangeable knitting needles is a true luxury item. Several knitting reviewers have called this "the gift of the season" for 2011. At $320 (list price), this is not an inexpensive gift ... but isn't your favorite knitter worthy of some true luxury this season?
Over the course of a year, how much do you spend on knitting-related gifts? A lot? A little? Nothing?
Poll: How Much Do You Spend on Gifts for the Knitter in Your Life?
Going on Vacation?
Make sure you have what you need for an away from home knitting kit:
needles in several sizes
a sewing up needle
a needle gauge
a technique reference book, ebook or app
Fancy Stitch Markers Make a Great Gift for a Knitter
Stitch markers can be plain, or they can be like jewelry for your knitting. At yarn stores and wool festivals, you can find unique hand made stitch markers with beads, gemstones, etc. Here are a few readily available online options that are still interesting and unusual.
You can easily find more fancy markers — click through any of these, and look for Amazon's Recommendations list. Or type "lnitting stitch marker" in the search box, but prepare to be overwhelmed!
Metal & Beads
A common style for stitch markers is a small dangle made of metal links and beads, with a fancy bead or charm at the bottom. I worry that these will get snarled in the work, but many knitters love them.
This marker set features sheep as the charms. Many knitters love all things with sheep on them.
Another popular stitch marker style has a small crocheted thing at the end. I'm showing sheep, or you could get flowers, or snowflakes, or ...
I see this more as a charm to add to a bracelet or keychain, but it can also be used as a marker.
Knitting Note: having a variety of markers is useful. Many patterns call for different types of markers at different places, and having markers in different colors or styles makes this easy.
What is the strangest / most unusual knitting gift you have received? Or did you find something particularly interesting to give? Please share with us!
There's space for general comments below.
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A Gallery of Knitting ArtworkClick thumbnail to view full-size
All images above, and many more, are available for sale through Allposters.com
Posters and prints that feature knitting can make good gifts for the knitter who "has everything." I show one image here that's available in several sizes and framing options - click the link to take a look.
The same site has many other knitting images ... do a search and see what you can find.
Knitting-related art can make an unusual gift for your favorite knitter -- and she won't realize the wrapped gift is knitting related until it is opened!
Yarn as a Gift? - Yes and No ...
A lot of people want to give yarn as a present for a knitter. This can be either a good gift or ... not so good.
If you know your knitter well, and know what she likes to knit, this can work very well. For example, if your knitter loves to knit socks, and likes purple, you can go to a local yarn store and ask the clerk to help you buy enough purple sock yarn to make a pair.
But if you just go to an online yarn supplier, and order 2 50-gram balls of yarn for a sweater, your knitter will be less than thrilled. [It takes about a pound, 450 grams of yarn for a sweater. 2 balls is nowhere near enough. And it's difficult to match yarn purchased at different times or places.]
There are two ways to give a successful gift of yarn:
1) Take your knitter to the local yarn store, give her a dollar amount, and turn her loose. Not terribly romantic, and it only works if the knitter likes the yarn store. But if the dollar amount is large enough, and the store is a good one, any knitter will love this.
2) Get a gift card at a good online supplier. Again, not the most romantic, but the knitter will be happy with the purchase.
How can you find a good online yarn shop? I've done the hard work for you and selected a few yarn suppliers with a wide variety of both yarn and knitting equipment to choose from. Note that I am not affiliated with these shops, and get nothing if you buy from them. I recommend them because they stock a wide variety of high quality yarn and offer greatcustomer service.
Knit Picks began as a place to get high quality yarn at low prices. They have been very successful, and provide basic and specialty yarns in a huge array of colors, as well as patterns, books and tools. Their own brand of knitting needles gets excell
- Halcyon Yarn
Halcyon Yarn is a Maine-based yarn shop with many yarns to choose from, some are unique to Halcyon. They serve the weaving community as well as knitters, and sell weaving, spinning and lace-making equipment as well as knitting supplies.
Patternworks has been around for years, since the days of mail and phone orders. They also have many yarns, and books, knitting and crochet tools. I have been ordering from them since the 1980s!
Have you ever patiently helped your knitter by holding yarn on your arms while she winds it into a ball? Or listened as they tried to manage a tangled mess of expensive yarn? These gifts will help you as much as your knitter!
Have you ever been pressed into service holding yarn over your arms while you knitter winds it into a ball? If you don't like this job (it does get boring), buy a swift for your knitter.
The arms expand or contract to hold almosy any size skein of yarn, and the whole thing spins freely. Most have clamps so they can be clamped to a table, and they fold up for easy storage.
Some knitters have the knack of winding balls by hand, some don't. If your knitter doesn't have the knack, they'd love a ball winder.
Ball winders come in many styles, from the simplest (a nostepinne) to very complex. This mechanical winder is easy to use with a swift — just turn the crank. Although it's plastic, it's very sturdy and will last for years.
The advertising copy says the Yarn Bra "keeps your yarn balls perky." I'm no sure about that, but the stretchy net tubes do keep your yarn from tangling and unwinding.
This simple (but pretty) wooden tool is used to make center pull balls. Some knitters love these, some don't — they don't cost much, so it's worth finding out.
There are a number of different yarn containers that are fairly stiff, and have a small hole to feed the yarn through. These are excellent for managing slippery yarn that never seems to stay in a ball (even with a bra).
Rainbow Stockinette Mug
If your knitter works from knitting patterns (and most do), the gifts shown here will help manage those pieces of paper with tiny charts and lines of odd abbreviations that seem to magically turn into socks and sweaters.
Magnetic Pattern Holder
Magnetic pattern holders are sheets of steel, that serve as backing boards for your pattern, which you attach with magnets. Some holders are a plain sheet of steel, others are nicely finished, have some sort of device to hold the sheet at a good reading angle, or both.
This holder will support the pattern at a good angle, and the magnets strips both keep the pattern from moving and mark your place.
You can use strip magnets to mark your place on the pattern (Hint: put the magnet on the line above the one you are working from on a chart), or you can buy this gadget, which combines a magnifier and a pattern row indicator.
So now you've seen a huge number of ideas for holiday gifts for knitters. Will you pick something from this hub to give to a knitter in your life? What will you be giving them?
What Type of Knitting Gift Will You Give?
Please use this Comment section to add your comments, or suggest your favorite knitting gifts.
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