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Friday, September 09, 2005

Gift Giving Friday

OK, here it is the first Gift Giving Friday! I will give gift suggestions for things to knit for Christmas gifts every Friday, for as long as I can come up with ideas. I would love it if I could go until Thanksgiving. I'm not going to go count how many Fridays that is - no point in scaring myself. But, you're here for the ideas.

First one - Fingerless Mitts! They are doable for both men and women and kids might enjoy them also. They take only about 50 grams of yarn for women's sizes. You can knit them in plain stockinette in the recipient's favorite color, or just use a sock yarn for some interesting colors with no work. Noro or a yarn similar to it would work for these too. You can also make them really special by using handspun - it doesn't take much but what a way to share the love. Stockinette doesn't appeal to you? How about adding a cable on the back of the hand (scroll down to Tuesday for an example with a cable). Use any stitch pattern you like. Seed Stitch would look interesting for a man and how about a simple lace or eyelet pattern for a woman? Try using beads on the back of the hand - just use the technique in the tutorial I linked to Monday, you could do a pattern, initials, or just scatter beads across the mitt randomly. You can make them short on the arms like a mitten cuff, or make them long and dramatic, like opera gloves. You could probably knit a pair of these for everyone on your list and not knit the same ones twice. If you don't know the hand size of the recipient, just add some ribs to them to make them extra stretchy. You can try them on as you knit them, which will give you an idea of how long to make them but as long as you don't add little fingerlets on them, and just make them a tube with a thumb, they will fit. I love wearing them since I can still get to my fingers to do things but my hands are nice and warm. They are great for driving since they keep most of my hand off of a frozen steering wheel, but having my fingers exposed means I can still grip the wheel safely. OK, so now I've sold you on them, where do you find a pattern? Ann Budd's Knitter's Handy Guide to Patterns will get you going on any size, any gauge, and any kind of look you want. I use the mitten directions and finish it off once I get past my knuckles. Stitch and Bitch Nation has a pair in one of the Noro yarns with a leafy vine going up the back. One of the Sally Melville Knitting Experience books has some. There are probably free patterns on the internet, just Google it. So, there's my first idea for a gift. They are easy, fast, and endlessly variable to suit the tastes of the people you love.


Anonymous Robbyn said...

This is truly a good idea. Mitts are so basically simple that they can be modified almost any way at all :) In fact, I need to get cracking on a pair for my dad - he's a clarinet player and his hands get cold in the winter! And I even already have the alpaca :)

9:16 AM  
Blogger Carrie said...

Natalie, at http://www.eilatan.net, has a pattern with a cable running up the back of the hand. Very nice.

4:30 PM  

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