I wish that you had taken up stamp collecting.
December 19, 2010 9:39 AM   Subscribe

Knitting a sweater is like saying "I love you" 150,000 times in a row. But it's too late for most of us to turn yarn into sweater this year (even those of us who crochet really fast). If you didn't schedule your holiday crafting successfully, here are some excuses for not crafting. Don't knit or crochet? Gift ideas for your favorite crocheter or knitter.
posted by asperity (52 comments total) 33 users marked this as a favorite
This is friend's pattern, and it's my favourite to make: a jaunty cable-knit toque. It only takes about four hours of work for an experienced knitter, so there's still plenty of time to get a few done before Christmas. I know I'm planning to get through at least one while presumably stuck under snow at the airport.


Yarn: Sheep Lamb's Pride Worsted, 113g/190 yards (you can use another worsted-weight yarn too obviously, just check the gauge and yardage)
Needles n such: 4.5 mm AND 5mm 16" circular needles (although the 4.5 is just for the rim of the hat so to make it tight fitting, so it's not the end of the world if you just use the 5's); Set of 4 5mm double-pointed needles; Cable needle; stitch marker.
Gauge: 18 sts and 24 rows = 4" in 2X2 rib on the 5mm needles

- CO 96 (with 4.5's if you are using em)
- Join (careful not to twist!) and work in k1,p2 ribbing for 6 rnds
- (Change to 5mm needles if you were using 4.5's)
- **Rnds 1,2,3,4,5: *k2,p2,k6,p2; rep from * to end of round.
- Rnd 6: *k2,p2, c6f,p2; rep from * to end of round ** (ps.in case you're confused 'c6f' is making the cable, where you put 3 stitches on the cable needle, knit the next 3, then knit those 3 off the cable needle)
- Repeat from ** to ** 3 times (I definitely added rounds here, I think I repeated either 4 or 5 times to make the hat long enough. I think you did that too, right? Anyways, throw some more rounds in there or it ends up looking like a ridiculous beenie)
- Repeat rnd 1 and 2 again
- Divide stitches between 3 double-pointed needles, w 32 sts on each
- Decrease rnd 1: *k2,p2,k1,k2tog,k1,p2; rep from * to end of round - 80 sts left now
- Rnd 2,3,and 5: *k2,p2,k4,p2;rep from * to end of rnd
- Rnd 4: *k2,p2,c4f,p2; rep from * to end of rnd
- Rnd 6: *k2,p2,k1,k2tog,k1,p2; rep from * to end of rnd - 72 sts
- Rnd 7: *k2,p2,k3,p2; rep from * to end of rnd
- Rnd 8: *K2tog,p2tog,ssk,k1,p2tog; rep from * to end of rnd - 40 sts
- Rnd 9: *k1,p1,k2tog,p1; rep from * to end of rnd - 32 sts
- Rnd 10: *k1,p1,k1,p1; rep from * to end of rnd
- Rnd 11: *k2tog; rep to end of rnd - 16 sts
- Rnd 12: knit
- Rnd 13: *k2tog, rep to end of rnd - 8 sts
- Break yarn, leave 12" tail and draw through 8 remaining sts to inside of hat and secure
posted by saturday_morning at 9:52 AM on December 19, 2010 [12 favorites]

nice post- I know about mad knitting- I just finished a shawl for a friend a few weeks ago.... :)
posted by cherryflute at 10:04 AM on December 19, 2010

Hey, is this where Ravelry bleeds into the Blue? (smile)

I'm actually knitting a lot of gifts this year, but nothing individually-tailored. Instead: I just made a pile of a whole bunch of different hats, all different styles and colors and sizes, and on Christmas I'm dumping it out onto the table and everyone can pick the one they want. Hats are quick, and use up a bunch of random "I only have ONE ball of this....oh, wait, I can use it as a stripe" balls of yarn, and having a variety means people can find one that at least they think, "huh, I could see that working..."

The one thing that's been individually designed was for a friend, who saw me knitting one of these hats and started gushing over the colors. The grab-bag hat was for a kid, so I had enough yarn left over to specifically make one for him.

And for the record, I have no problem knitting for myself and I don't get why anyone would.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:05 AM on December 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

Those yarn bowls are cute as hell. I know a knitter. I wish I'd seen these in time to get her one for Christmas, dammit.
posted by Decani at 10:09 AM on December 19, 2010

It all seems a bit too compulsive and arachnoid for my tastes. "My darling, I have secreted a sock for you. Tonight, I begin its twin."
posted by pracowity at 10:13 AM on December 19, 2010 [22 favorites]

Heh, the mad knitting happened in November! I washed out of NaKniSweMo due to late-arriving yarn and an ill-considered pattern switch in the middle of the month, but a lot of people seem to have finished.

I knitted a lot of pairs of these gloves (sorta self-link) for various people, and now my only holiday crafting task is to make a miniature Weasley sweater to bring to a friend's party. (The price of entry is 1 tacky Christmas tree ornament.)
posted by bewilderbeast at 10:21 AM on December 19, 2010

Hey, is this where Ravelry bleeds into the Blue?

Yup! I got the video from the first link from there. (Now frequently overheard at the local knit/crochet get-togethers: "But I want a pair of roller skates." and "Vogue Knitting is crazy town.") I am sure this will never get old.
posted by asperity at 10:29 AM on December 19, 2010

It all seems a bit too compulsive and arachnoid for my tastes. "My darling, I have secreted a sock for you. Tonight, I begin its twin."

For some reason this image makes me love knitting even more.
posted by girih knot at 10:39 AM on December 19, 2010 [13 favorites]

Great Post. My Grandmother taught all the grandkids to knit. She also taught children and adults with disabilities. Her service to community began during the first world war were she was taught to knit socks and things for solders. Alma Wheeler Smith gave her a senate special tribute for the thousands she taught.

She taught people from ages 4 to 90. Never to late.

Knitting as Therapy
posted by clavdivs at 10:46 AM on December 19, 2010 [2 favorites]

Ah! Basic ribbed sock with superwash wool for everybody on my knitting list with a cap or two for my favorite people. I'm a selfish knitter: I reserve sweaters and wraps for myself (and for people who beg very hard.)
posted by francesca too at 10:50 AM on December 19, 2010

That Panopticon video is really funny. Thanks for the link!

I'm a total Selfish Knitter - I very rarely knit for anyone but myself.

Because I have a mother who always promised to sew me things, let me pick out and buy fabric, but very rarely finished anything. Extremely rarely. I have no interest in turning my rewarding hobby into a guilt fest where I fail to follow through on commitments. Or god forbid, end up crying "really hard sometime around the 22nd of December when it's crunch time."

Because in order to finish things, I need to be interested in the pattern. I've been interested in small triangular shawls recently, and no one I'm close to wears things like that except my sister, who is one exception to my rule of not knitting gifts.

Because most of the people I'm close to live in Tucson - it's 74 degrees today. Traditional gifts like hats, mittens, gloves, etc. are really not useful to most of my friends and family.

Because I like to work with high-quality luxury fibers; fibers that need to be hand washed and laid out to dry. Not the kind of stuff you can give to babies or people who wash everything on hot. I'm not interested in working with fibers I find unpleasant in order to make appropriate gifts.

I do get the side eye from some people when they see me knitting and ask, "Oh, who's that for!?" and I reply, "Me." But um, it's really none of their business, is it?
posted by Squeak Attack at 10:51 AM on December 19, 2010 [3 favorites]

I knitted six presents for people for Christmas this year: my dad, my mother, my grand-niece, a close friend, and the same friend's two little sons (I don't have a photo of the older son's sweater yet).

I'm happy got it all done in good time this year — in October. It hasn't been the case other years. One year I finished a niece's sweater and immediately wrapped it, placing it under the tree just twenty minutes before she was due to arrive. My dad made jokes about my "just-in-time production".
posted by orange swan at 10:51 AM on December 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

My mad crocheting finished yesterday. Found a very quick and effective pattern for hairbands on Ravelry - made two in about an hour. Also made a coffee pot cosy which ties at the bottom and looks rather like a Norman helmet - if the friend doesn't want to use it for its designed purpose it would also do as a bonnet for her dog.
posted by paduasoy at 11:28 AM on December 19, 2010

Also, I recently read No Idle Hands: The Social History of American Knitting, wch is great.
posted by paduasoy at 11:30 AM on December 19, 2010 [3 favorites]

Umm... since I knit myself a sweater, was I saying "I love me" 150,000 times?
posted by baxter_ilion at 11:52 AM on December 19, 2010 [5 favorites]

My wife (ValkoSipuliSuola) continues to knit me things.

Scarfs and Hats.

One of the hats even has an owl (owlish) thing on it.

As I live in Los Angeles, the knitted owlish hat thing goes unworn. As do the scrfs (very short scarfs), the scarfs (full size scarfs), and the other hats (non owlish)

It does, however, keep her off the streets, so all in all I think it's a good, wholesome hobby.

Plus if there's ever a hat(both normal and owlish) or scarf emergency (full size and very short), I'm set.
posted by Lord_Pall at 11:57 AM on December 19, 2010

I admire knitting. The concentration and focus and discipline required are significant, the time spent is well worthwhile, and the product is more often than not marvelous -- my boss just brought in this long, warm, wonderful white scarf the other day that was a gift knitted by a friend and which had more attention to detail in it and more thickness and more actual utility than anything you'd ever buy at Kohl's or Dillard's.
posted by blucevalo at 12:02 PM on December 19, 2010

I was all (o.O) at that world's fastest crocheter video. Good lord, her hands were flying! I want to know how long she can sustain that pace (or close to it)!

I have become a Selfish Crocheter for my own protection. There's an emotional investment in crafting something for someone I don't think people realize (plenty of people think you do it for the hobby itself). I have a bad habit of anthropomorphizing objects (that house looks so lonely! it needs a nice family to buy it and love it!) and I get sad in the housewares section at Value Village where there's always piles of ugly acrylic blankets someone's grandma made that got tossed to donations... I kinda want to take them all home with me, like orphan kittens. But I know how much work a blanket takes - the one time I made one for someone other than my family (I offered, and she requested) it took me two months, and the whole time making it you're thinking "I hope it turns out good, I hope she likes it". By the time I gave it to her I was all like "it's for you, I totally made it for you, but PLEASE only take it if you're SURE you want it and you're SURE you'll use it because it will really hurt my feelings if you're just being nice right now and you're going to go stick it in the back of your linen closet for the next five years until you send it to Goodwill". I hate being like that about a gift - it's not fair to the recipient or to me - so it's a lot less stressful not to bother and just buy something instead.
posted by flex at 12:24 PM on December 19, 2010 [9 favorites]

Love this post! I am a Knifty Knitter, but all the ladies on my team like to crochet. I bought them all a Brittany wooden crochet hook for Christmas. I can't wait to give them out on Wednesday :-)
posted by Calzephyr at 12:27 PM on December 19, 2010

I get sad in the housewares section at Value Village where there's always piles of ugly acrylic blankets someone's grandma made that got tossed to donations

I get like this too! I always see hand knit hats and scarves at the thrift store and feel so sad for the people who spent their time making them, only to have them tossed aside.

I have an aunt who knits and crochets, and she makes some wacky (and sometimes beautiful) things out of awful yarn. Like Red Heart super saver. When I was a kid, I dreaded wearing her sea foam green and mauve intarsia sweaters. When I was pregnant, she made this incredibly goofy sweater vest for my son (with googly eyed owls on it). Now that I'm a knitter myself, though, I realize the amount of time and dedication and love that goes into her itchy sweaters, and dammit, my kid is going to wear that sweater vest until it unravels.

That said, I knit for myself now. I just can't handle the guilt of all the unfinished gifts that are sitting in my closet. Or the rejection of the beautiful alpaca scarf that my husband never wears. I make occasional small gifts for people who request them, but the sweaters and shawls are all mine.
posted by lexicakes at 1:02 PM on December 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

There's an emotional investment in crafting something for someone I don't think people realize (plenty of people think you do it for the hobby itself).

QFT. Recently a friend of mine moved from Honolulu to D.C. for work, and when she found out that I knit she asked if I would knit her a scarf, since she's freezing her sweet tuchus off. Of course I was thrilled to make something for someone who A) requested it, and B) really really needs it, and I got some gorgeous bulky hand-dyed stuff from KnitPicks and cranked that mother out in just under a week of evening knitting. And then once it was finished I sat here and dithered for a couple of days before sending it -- what if she doesn't like the colors or the length, or she thinks it's too scratchy or too bulky or too... whatever? Is it just going to end up shoved in a box in the back of a closet? In the end I sent it -- after all, she did ask for it, and it's just a scarf, not a ruby I pried out of a pirate's skull. I'm sure it will be loved just as much as if it had stayed home, wrapped around my own neck. (At least I hope it will. And I hope she gives it away if it's not to her liking -- at least it would get used!)
posted by palomar at 1:04 PM on December 19, 2010 [2 favorites]

Ha. Ha, ha. One year I knit everyone Christmas presents. Never again.
This year I'm only knitting things for myself (mainly socks), though I have agreed to knit the SO's sister a jumper - not for Christmas, though. Not going to knit on a deadline.
posted by Gordafarin at 1:20 PM on December 19, 2010

(This Is the Green Filter) I have a stupid crush on a boy, and I have been going back and forth on if I should crochet him a hat for Christmas. I will probably run out of time at this point, but is this a terrible idea? Will it just make it super awkward since we never said we were exchanging gifts and will it freak him out?
posted by jenlovesponies at 3:23 PM on December 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

jenlovesponies, don't do it!!! Haven't you heard of the sweater curse? In all seriousness, every time I've made something for a boy has gone unworn unless we were already dating.
posted by smirkette at 3:44 PM on December 19, 2010 [2 favorites]

Sometimes people don't like knitting/crocheting, and they don't like the way that such things feel to wear. That doesn't make them jerks.
posted by HotPants at 4:13 PM on December 19, 2010

I'm knitting an elf.

I ended up knitting 2 and maybe 3 (if I go into super knitting mode, and get all my other crafty or baked stuff done) presents this year. I'm so looking forward to going back to knitting for myself, where deadlines don't matter and craziness is a bonus.
posted by julen at 4:19 PM on December 19, 2010

I knitted a Harry Potter scarf, and a kitty hat for my daughter for Christmas, as well as a hat for my son's friend. I am also working on a sweater for myself. I'm not making sweaters or large projects for others anymore as it's too hard to get the size correct and it's too sad if you put all that time and effort into something and then it doesn't get worn.

Happy Crafting everyone!
posted by garnetgirl at 5:07 PM on December 19, 2010

Cute video - I think that couple has posted a few questions to the green.

Hand-crafted surprise gifts always come with way too much baggage attached, in my experience. The giver expects their time, effort and emotional investment to be appreciated with glowing enthusiasm, even if the recipient thinks it's ugly or useless or the wrong size or whatever. The best way, I think, is to ask the recipient exactly what they want - and if it's roller skates, put the knitting needles away. Otherwise, they may end up with an unwanted gift that can't be returned or exchanged, won't be used, and can't be discarded because that would hurt the giver's feelings.

I also see a lot of hand-knitted afghans etc in thrift store bins and wonder why they ended up there. It makes me kind of sad to think that the answer may often be "Grandma died and now we can finally get rid of this ugly piece of crap".
posted by Quietgal at 5:18 PM on December 19, 2010 [2 favorites]

jenlovesponies, a hat's fine, but my GOD -- not a sweater. And not because of the so-called sweater curse... I once had the hots for a fine gentleman, decided to learn to spin on a what was basically a dare from him, spun AND knitted him a sweater, and sent it overseas, where he was in the middle of taking a year off. He loved it. He put it on. HE FOUND OUT HE WAS ALLERGIC TO WOOL.

Current boyfriend of 7+ years? I made him a sweater with matching hat. He wore the hat, he never wore the damn sweater. So I took it back. It's mine now, as is the allergy-inducing one.

So: hat yes, sweater no, careful with wool.

p.s. if any of you have my book Spin to Knit, you can see the infamous allergy sweater in the first few pages.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 5:55 PM on December 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

I'm knitting only two holiday gifts, and that's because people specifically asked for them. If people ask, I'll happily knit for them, but I'd much rather just knit for me than for those who don't appreciate it.

Since I started knitting 6 years ago, I've made 2 chuppahs for friends' weddings. I offered this gift to another friend, who turned me down because hand knit wool blankets aren't her taste and wouldn't match her wedding theme. I wasn't about to force some folksy handmade stuff onto her elegant, hotel wedding. The friends who have my afghans as chuppahs love them, and use them, but they asked for them. The same is true for other family and friends who have asked for hats, gloves, and socks. The only thing I've refused to knit was the Irish cable knit sweater for my father's dog.

Anyway, if you ask me to knit you something, I'm happy to, but I won't force hand knit socks on those who don't appreciate them. I'd rather keep them for me,
posted by bryghtrose at 6:48 PM on December 19, 2010

I have a great hat and a great sweater from my mom. I wear the sweater a bunch, but the hat's a little big. As I sit here in my apartment with freezing feet, I'm thinking I'm going to ask for a pair of warm socks.
posted by inigo2 at 6:59 PM on December 19, 2010

Knitting a sweater is like saying "I love you" 150,000 times in a row.

And yet, when I do it, I find that I say different things entirely. (Though many of them also end in "...YOU!")
posted by Sidhedevil at 7:21 PM on December 19, 2010 [3 favorites]

As a counter to the sweater curse, I made one for my bloke over 20 years ago and we're still together.

However, it's now a curse of a different type. The sweater in question is now totally manky and I'm embarrassed to admit that I made it, but he wears it constantly and will not let me chuck it out and make him a new one. It's made from a wool/mohair/acrylic blend and it's lasted all this time. It's getting a bit thin and shapeless and there's a spot on the left sleeve where he's spilled some kind of chemical on it and the patch is all stuck together and hard, but he LOVES it. I have showed him many patterns for new ones, but he's just not interested. Sometimes I'm secretly tempted to take a pait of scissors to it and pretend it was moths.
posted by andraste at 7:30 PM on December 19, 2010 [5 favorites]

This year I knitted a Viking helmet, a bunny hat, a panda head hat, a pumpkin hat, and two apple hats, all for new small persons. Now I am knitting myself a hat, since it is damn cold out and I don't have one.

After that it's a Nordic ski sweater, also for me. I don't know if it's because I love myself 150K times over, or the opposite?
posted by medeine at 7:41 PM on December 19, 2010

All i know is that I am never, ever making amigurami again. Next year people are getting crochet squares and shawls and they will LIKE THEM.
posted by saturnine at 7:56 PM on December 19, 2010 [2 favorites]

I finished all my Christmas knitting in August.
posted by ErikaB at 8:06 PM on December 19, 2010

This post is making me feel guilty about not having finished my Christmas knitting. (I have five days...right?)
posted by JustKeepSwimming at 8:36 PM on December 19, 2010

I'm still knitting frantically--thank goodness all I have left is a scarf, to be knit in a glorious super chunky yarn on size 13 needles. I think I'm going to make it, but we are cutting it close.

I loved the last line of the knit and tonic article: "To you and you and you and you: I knit for you because I love you. That is all I have to say."
posted by chatongriffes at 9:27 PM on December 19, 2010

Wait, medeine, you CANNOT list off all those awesome hats and not provide links. What sort of monster are you?

Also, as I read MeFi this evening, I'm casting on for my mother's Christmas cowl. I have days and days! Surely I can make a cowl and two hats and maybe a pair of tween-sized socks, right?

...right? Guys?
posted by MeghanC at 11:05 PM on December 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

Surely I can make a cowl and two hats and maybe a pair of tween-sized socks, right?

...right? Guys?

Right! Go for it.
posted by francesca too at 7:07 AM on December 20, 2010

Surely I can make a cowl and two hats and maybe a pair of tween-sized socks, right?

...right? Guys?

Ha! Well, I couldn't but there is a reason I refer to myself as the World's Slowest Knitter.
posted by Squeak Attack at 9:17 AM on December 20, 2010

MeghanC if you want to punt, you can knit ornaments as gifts instead. Things like tiny sweaters or tiny mittens only take a few hours apiece.
posted by ErikaB at 10:07 AM on December 20, 2010

I have a pair of mittens, a hat and part of a blanket left. I enjoy high pressure knitting!
posted by MaritaCov at 10:37 AM on December 20, 2010

You could always REALLY punt it and grab one of these (I have the bigger one, actually), and crank out some tubular scarves. To be deathly honest, I used one on this...just drop a few stitches and let the ladder run all the way down, bind off by hand and put something interesting inside behind the "window" of laddered stitches.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 10:37 AM on December 20, 2010

I just have to Kitchener the toe closed, and my Xmas knitting is finished. I'm feeling oddly empty without that last mad rush to get everything done. What do I do now?
posted by cereselle at 11:05 AM on December 20, 2010

Christmas sewing! I still have a child's apron to finish.
posted by paduasoy at 11:22 AM on December 20, 2010

The sweater in question is now totally manky and I'm embarrassed to admit that I made it, but he wears it constantly and will not let me chuck it out and make him a new one.

Andraste, my father is just like that, very sentimental about anything that's made for him or given to him. I knit him a new pair of slippers every year because he's worn the last pair out, and he complains on and on because I insist on throwing the old ones away. He gives my mother a lot of grief because she wants to throw out this or that decrepit item.

That person who told the knitter she was "selfish" for knitting something for herself was being ridiculous. No one I've ever met thinks that way.

I don't think I'm a prima donna about people not liking the things I made for them. If I get the sense that the items aren't welcome, I simply start buying them things. Or I try harder to to make sure that the made items are to the receiver's taste. My mother has never really gotten much wear out of anything I've made for her. She says they are beautiful but she just doesn't like them on her because the neckline/shape/colour isn't quite right. This year I tried very hard to make her a cardigan that was just right, and if she doesn't wear it I will never make her another sweater.
posted by orange swan at 2:20 PM on December 20, 2010

Haven't you heard of the sweater curse?

I've even had problems with scarves, for heaven's sake. During my second year in college, a boyfriend of mine wanted me to make him a piano scarf for Christmas. I dutifully made one, but we broke up in early December. I could have just given him the scarf anyway, but he hadn't behaved that well. I didn't want the scarf — it was so tacky — and as a poor student I'd used cheapo acrylic yarn so it wasn't worth ravelling it out. I gave it to my sister, who plays the piano, but I don't think she wanted it either. It wound up in the dress up box we kept around for my nieces and nephews to play with. I resolved that never again would I make something for someone that was so against my own tastes.

The story has a sequel, however. Years later the ex and I reconnected, and we are now on very friendly terms. Again he asked me to make him a piano scarf, and I told him the story of the piano scarf I had made for him that he never got. He was bummed, and wished I'd given it to him anyway.

Then, a few years ago, when I was buying a piano off Craig's List, he was very helpful and vetted ads for me and went to South Etobicoke with me one spring afternoon to assess a piano a woman was selling. He deserved tangible thanks for this, so I made him a scarf as a thank you. It was a silvery gray reversible cable design that looked great with his silver hair and the black pea coat he wears in winter, and he was very happy with it.

There have been other "knitting for men" disasters. I started making a scarf for someone who dumped me. I sat down in my kitchen just after getting off the phone and ravelled it out, and I returned all the yarn but one ball.

Then there was the time I made cashmere socks for someone for Christmas. I sent the socks to him with a box of stuff (a bamboo fibre throw, a book, a packet of chocolate bars that he can't buy where he lives, and a bottle of bubble bath). He thought it was excessive, accused me of sending it with "strings attached", and wouldn't even open it. He later did apologize for this and thanked me for the gift, but I don't even know if he opened it or if he liked the socks or other things.

Sigh. I'm not knitting for any romantic prospects again until I know they are committed to me.
posted by orange swan at 2:39 PM on December 20, 2010 [1 favorite]

I finished all my Christmas knitting in August

That small font needs to be much smaller, bordering on invisible! I'm jealous.
posted by francesca too at 3:58 PM on December 20, 2010

I have often wrapped one and a half socks for gift recipients. I generally finish them within the next couple of days, and feel very little guilt, as no one in their right mind is going to be wearing wool socks in Perth in January.

This year though, I wasn't planning any knitted gifts, until I realised that what my housemate really needed was a bag with a hand knitted sleeve to protect his ipad. 36 hours later, and I've almost finished the sleeve, now just have to find an hour or seven to sew the bag. Before Thursday. Without him noticing. Luckily he's a heavy sleeper and probably won't notice a sewing machine at four am.
posted by kjs4 at 9:15 PM on December 20, 2010

I used to make unsolicited scarves and hats and gloves for my relatives. I... tactfully don't think they gave a shit. These days, if I'm going to knit something for you, I will have discussed it with you ahead of time and dragged you along to a store to have you pick out the yarn and pattern. Luckily, my friends are appreciative.

Though in the case of my mom, even if she's ok'd the pattern, after it's done she wants changes made. No, I will not take out the Fun Fur to "make it pointy in the back." NO. (For non-knitters, you can't see what the hell you are doing when you are putting on the stupid Fun Fur.)
posted by jenfullmoon at 3:24 PM on December 21, 2010

I had a grandmother who loved to crochet and I recall many hours of watching her work, or her teaching me to crochet. She made me two afghans but in unfortunate colors: red, white and blue (because it was around 1976) and orange and white (for my parents' college colors). And of course I really hate both those color schemes and they go with nothing I'll ever have in the way of furniture - but they're made by my grandmother and I of course love them to death. She also made tons of gifts - potholders, sets of placemats, little wreaths to wear pinned to your lapel - that sort of thing.

I think she knitted me a red, white and blue scarf about the same time too. Sadly I'm one of those people who can't look at a knitted/crocheted thing without pulling it on any number of things you wouldn't think possible (not little pulls either, but ones that leave like 5inch to a few feet of yarn dangling), and so the scarf died after much winter use.

Short version - I love the whole handmade gifts from someone you love thing.
Also I'm trying to think if I know anyone else who's ever gotten a gift of hand crocheted placemats. I always thought that was kinda out there, as items to crochet go. Well, in the 70s anyhow.
posted by batgrlHG at 10:30 PM on December 21, 2010

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