Tuesday, May 08, 2018

Making Gifts: 5 Things to Consider

Knitting gifts is something I used to be quite nervous about. Crafting something by hand for someone takes a little more time than simply buying them something, and I always worried that a hand knitted item wouldn't be well received because well, it was homemade. This is a ridiculous way to feel, given that I used to sell my knitted items, and also how I personally feel about receiving handmade gifts (they are so special!).
In 2016 I hand knitted a few gifts and they were very well received. Following on from that, last year was the first where I consciously tried to think if there is something I could knit when I needed a gift, rather than automatically going for the store bought option.
I love making things to give to people, so I really love the opportunity to do just that. I've come to realise that making gifts for people requires following the exact same thought process as buying them a gift - because at the end of the day I want the recipient to love what they have received.

What does this thought process involve?
  • Take into account the recipient's personal tastes in colours and styles. If the person you are knitting for loves muted tones and soft patterns, it would be thoughtless to make them something with a bright fair isle pattern on it

  • Just because it's something you'd love to knit them, is it something they'd love to receive? Sometimes it's easy to get caught up in a technique or pattern you want to try without thinking about why you're actually making it. If this is the case, make it for yourself!

  • Time: how long do you have to make the gift? It's easy to underestimate the time some things take, and you don't want to be stressing about getting something finished. Plan gifts in advance as this gives you lots of time to chose a pattern and yarn and actually enjoy making it!

  • Don't worry about the season! Christmas comes at one of the hottest times of year in Australia, but don't let that put you off giving people a woolly gift. They can put it away and look forward to using it in Autumn

  • It can be wearable without being a garment. You'd have to know someone really, really well to want to knit them a garment. Aside from the time involved, you need to know their measurements and what kind of styles they like to wear. Your wearable gift can be an accessory - think beanies, scarfs, small shawls and socks for wearable items for adults. Of course, it doesn't have to be something to wear. Non-wearable items include decorations and homewares (a cushion, a hot water bottle cover, ornament, garland/bunting, dishcloth/washcloth, etc.)

The wonderful thing about making a handmade gift is that it actually opens up your gift giving options. You're not very likely to buy a packet of dishcloths as a gift, but if you make them yourself they are suddenly on a whole new level - they're prettier, for a start, and really lovely to receive.
Remember that making a gift is supposed to be fun, and enjoyable. It's supposed to be made with love, so only do it if you feel like it! No one wants to receive something made with obligation :-)

Will you be giving any handmade gifts this year?

Projects pictured in this post: Little Oddment Hedgehog pictured with pure Australian alpaca yarn. Darling Dots Beanie knitted in organic Australian merino.

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  1. Thank you for this post. I love making handmade gifts, but am very shy giving them. I'm worried that they will not be recieved well because they are handmade as that I'm giving something that I didn't have to pay for. I do get that sort od feeling from some people and I'm never ever giving them a handmade gift EVER :o) If they can't see the true value, then they'll get a bottle or flower :o)
    So yes, I'm giving a handmade gifts this year, every year, but I'm choosing very carefuls to whom I'm giving them.

    Anja http://anja-drobtinice.blogspot.si/

    1. I wouldn't ever gift a handmade item to someone I thought wouldn't appreciate it, either.
      And it's not that you haven't "paid" for it at all...aside from the cost of the materials, there's a lot of time in handmade items which shouldn't be undervalued, and usually a whole lot more thought goes into handmade, too. x

  2. I really enjoyed this article Sarah, lots of very important considerations for gift knits. I also worry about how much looking after the knitted gift needs too, if the recipient isn’t interested/able to be hand washing and blocking pure wool then something, for example in cotton would be a better choice for them in a handmade gift. Time is certainly something I really consider carefully, as you said, the knitters’ enjoyment in making the gift has to be an important factor in decision making, starting early for Christmas I personally recommend �� Best wishes, Amanda R ��

    1. I'm glad you enjoyed it Amanda! Definitely considering the care of the item is really important, and also the climate the recipient lives in, too x

  3. I've already made a jumper for my Mum!

    1. Wow, how lucky is she! What a generous gift x

  4. i started making baby toys when my niece was born and I still make something for my friends' babies. the good thing is you always have at least a few months to make it when they announce that they are pregnant. I love making things for little people and when I get a photo of them playing with the things or cuddling under a blanket it is really nice :)


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