November 08, 2022
In case you missed it, this was Yarn Folk's contribution to the Hometown Holidays supplement. If you are making gifts this season, you might find some useful thoughts here!
Dreaming of a handmade holiday? Here are a few tips for adding a personal touch to your holiday gift-giving:
Start early! Handcrafted items offer the opportunity to tailor your gift to your recipient’s preferences, but you’ll be better able to infuse every stitch with caring thoughts if you’re not working against an unrealistic deadline.
And if you are–use bigger yarn.
Think about the care of the finished gift. While non-superwash wools have many excellent qualities, it’s often most practical to use an easy-care fiber–acrylic/wool blends, machine washable wool, cottons or cotton blends. Include a gift tag with washing instructions, and if gentle care is recommended, many people like to include a small bottle of wool wash.
Know your budget. If you’re making duplicate items, you’ll likely be able to use the same size needles or hooks for all. Quality yarns exist at a wide range of price points–synthetics and synthetic blends in the lower range, commercially dyed natural fibers in the middle, and hand-dyed and/or luxury fibers at the top. If you want the impact of a special fiber but need to stretch your dollars, choose a higher-end yarn, but use it for a smaller size project. Hats and mittens are usually one-skein options, cowls or neck gaiters require one or two.
Try to suss out your gift recipient’s preferences. If you’re making winter accessories, what color is their winter coat? What colors do they love? Do they have any sensitivities? Unless someone is allergic to wool (and a very small percentage of people are), most find shorter-staple wools like Merino comfortable to wear–even next to the skin.
If you’ll be seeing your giftee in person and don’t quite finish the project, it’s accepted practice to wrap the partially-complete gift with the needles or hook still in use–and then retrieve it for finishing.
Embrace realistic expectations. Many people truly cherish a gift from your hands, and instinctively value the unique combination of time, skill, and care that go into a crocheted beanie or a pair of warm wool mittens. Others may not have experience with high-quality handmade gifts, and some may not realize the value right away, but become more appreciative over time. Offer your best with an open heart, and if you’re a committed maker of gifts, over time, you’ll learn where your efforts will elicit the most joy! And remember–not every purchased gift “lands” with the recipient, either! We’re all just doing our best out here.
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Plaid Friday & Small Business Saturday, Friday, November 25 & Saturday, November 26
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Holiday Girls Night Out, Thursday, December 8
Details TBA! 5pm-8pm
Friday, November 11 We will be open regular Friday hours on Veterans' Day, 8:30am-5pm.
Thursday, November 24 Closed for Thanksgiving.
Saturday, December 24 Open 9-1 for your last minute shopping!
Monday, December 26 Closed.
Last week, we filled in our stock of Tosh DK, and we added 15 colors of Tosh Merino Light, Madelinetosh's most popular base yarn. As with all Madtosh colors, the dyework is complex and saturated, and you will enjoy the glazed effect unique to single-ply yarns. If there is a colorway you love, try it held with mohair or Malabrigo Silkpaca for a Sophie Scarf, or make a Musselburgh Hat (a single skein will get you an adult medium hat at a gauge of 6.5 stitches per inch or less). (And remember: Musselburgh is a swatchless pattern--you measure as you go!)
photo © RosiePosieKnitCo
One fun option for holiday gift knits can be seasonal patterns, and we've spotted some great ones lately!
And Really Clear Designs Fleece Navidad is another fun option sized for the whole family!
Remember this sweet cardi from last week? I kind of failed to identify it in any way, and I heard from several of you who wanted to know more! It is the Perahta cardigan, designed by Amy Christoffers for Berroco, and it's worked up in Ultra Alpaca Chunky Natural. I saw this sample in person this summer in Chicago, and it's just as lovely as you'd expect. We carry the Ultra Alpaca Chunky Natural, but if it's a design you think you'd like in a more vibrant color, it would also work with regular Ultra Alpaca Chunky, which we can order for you via Berroco's Drop Ship Program.
I added stitches to all four of my active projects, but here's a close up Lomax's Mended Plaid Cowl in Loch Lomond. Once the pattern repeat is set up, it's easy to anticipate the color sequence. The two color seed stitch gives a unique effect, and is a nice opportunity to practice continental purling. I'm knitting the project with the inside of the tube on the outside of the work in order to lengthen the floats ever so slightly. I recorded a four minute video demonstrating this--you can find it here.
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