Guest Author - Lisa Linnell-Olsen
If you know a knitter who seems to have everything, you will be happy to know that there are endless tools, books, supplies and accessories available for knitters. The only problem is selecting the right one!
Before I give you some suggestions for great gifts, I want to take a moment and tell you what to avoid.
The most important piece of advice for what not to do is Don't pick their projects for them. Projects take a great deal of time and effort to complete. Unless a knitter has told you that they really want a yarn kit or specific pattern, don't try to pick one out for them. There are many factors that go into selecting a project, and it is very difficult for someone to get the perfect project for another person. Instead, take a look at the suggestions below to get good ideas for stocking stuffers or larger Christmas gifts.
End Weaving Tools Crochet hooks, latch hooks and even specialty knitting yarn end threaders are all great gifts for knitters. When knitters complete projects they need to weave in the yarn tails. This is one of those items that is easy to forget when purchasing project supplies, so knitters often find themselves wishing they had a just right tool to get their yarn ends woven in.
Nostepinde A nostepinde is a simple tool meant for wrapping skeins of yarn into center pull balls, all by hand. Nostepinde are basically a handle with a 5 or 6-inch cylinder on top. A wide diameter dowel could be used in place of a nostepinde. Still, nostepinde are great portable tools made from a variety of woods with various finishes. There has been a surge in handmade nostepinde, so a trip to your local yarn store or a search on Etsy could help you find one that would fit your favorite knitter’s personal style.
Shawl and Scarf Pins Serious knitters will find themselves with an ample supply of shawls and scarves. Shawls and scarves are naturally an accessory that lends themselves to great experimentation by knitters. They each come from a basic rectangular shape, yet can be adapted with stitch patterns, yarn and applied shaping. Even if your favorite knitter doesn't knit a lot of scarves or shawls, their closest knitterly friends probably do, leading most knitters to get shawls and scarves as gifts. Once the collection of hand knit accessories has begun, attractive pins help to give even more versatility and wearability to the fine hand knits. Search your local yarn stores, handmade retailers, and jewelry shops for brooches and pins.
Good Looking Tote bags The need for knitters to store projects in separate bags that are still portable means that knitters will want different tote bags are large handbags. Attractive bags that are roomy enough to fit all of the yarn for a sweater or afghan and still look good when being carried around are what knitters need. If a knitter is going to knit in public, chances are they will want to look good while doing it. Bags that have some inside pocket where pattern books, needles and other knitting tools can be stored are a plus.
Fancy Stitch markers Stitch markers don't need to be fancy, but it is nice when they are. Local yarn stores and handcrafters have been producing all kinds of jewelry inspired clip on hoops that can be placed on a knitting project, to remind the knitter where rounds are different stitch patterns begin.
Nice Hand Lotion Knitting can suck the moisture right off your skin. A good moisturizing hand creme that is not heavily scented can keep skin soft while knitting without spreading heavy perfume all over a project. Knitters who like wool yarn may like to use hand lotions containing lanolin, the natural oil found in wool. Lanolin is often removed in the processing of raw wool to finished yarn. Adding a little back in can help maintain the insulating properties of some wool yarns.
Locally Spun Yarn the handmade revival that has been happening over the last few years in North America means that more farmers are choosing to process their own fiber into a unique and local yarn. Look for locally spun yarns at farmers markets, craft fairs, and local yarn stores. This can be a great way to support your local economy while giving a unique gift to a knitter. The knitter can then decide for himself or herself what they would like to make from it.