These gift ideas are fantastic! Thank you Stephanie
I'd so love a swift! Hint, hint, to anyone I know that reads this. Keep the suggestions coming Stephanie. Don't forget the hand spinners and wheel lovers either. Spinners get tons of use out of ball winders and swifts. Merry Christmas.
I just received my Dyakcraft needles, and I completely adore them. They are gorgeous. These are the best circular cables I've ever used.
But the lead time to order them is almost 6 months. I placed my order in July. While they are worth the wait, you're not getting them Christmas this year.
My Hubs got me a wooden swift and a ball winder last year for my birthday. I use them a lot. Let's hope he reads your blog for ideas for the coming holidays!
And replace my tinker toy swift?
Nostepinne for sure! My apartment is too small to find a place to store a swift and ball winder. I don't have a pretty nostepinne like some at the link, but I use a HUGE needle (maybe a 15mm needle?) as a nostepinne to make center pull balls (which also store nice). Maybe Santa will bring me a nostepinne this year?
I'm really glad I already got my hornshaw swift (cherry)! Best swift EVER! I just love using mine! Great, helpful indie woodworker, too.
Oh how truly evil to include a link to DyakCraft. Those needles are covet-able.
I absolutely love my Signature circulars. Definitely a splurge but so worth it. Color coded by size. As you know, you can order the length of the needle as well as the style of the point. A joy to use!
It just so happens that my husband is a professional woodworker. He is going to make me that "handmade portable yarn swift". Thanks a million for posting that!!
I'm going to have to pass these posts on to a few non-knitting friends for gift inspirations.
Thanks so much for this list in particular, although it's mostly a gift list for me to buy for me. Last year I used my tax refund to upgrade my home electronics and this year I'm planning to use part of it for some good knitting "tools" - a good knitting bag and accessories, a swift (love the ones in the Etsy link), and I have been wanting a more elegant way of winding center pull yarn balls and found two Nostepinnes I love in the provided link. Not to mention the sock needle thingy. You've inspired me to once again try knitting socks and I've gotten much further this time; I took a partial sock, with needles, to work to show a few interested parties and managed to pull one of the needles halfway out of the knitting . . . many curse words later picking up weensy stitches on a size 0 needle. Thanks again for this post. Happy weekend.
More great ideas. After my move last week, about the only thing I CAN find is my wool stash. And it needs a swift. Another posting to print and leave in a prominent position about the house.
My da made my swift for me - I will treasure it all my days.
Great ideas. A swift is in my future, though it's not for a Christmas gift. I would love a nostepinne. I find that it's too easy to wind yarn too tightly on a ball winder. Right now I hand wind center pull balls (and I'm getting pretty good at it as I rip rip rip a pair of socks that isn't working out for me) but it would be easier to have a nostepinne.
Thanks for the list. I'll print it out and make sure to leave it just sort of lying around where my DH might spot it--like on his keyboard. But I've got two sets of Dyakcraft needles on order right now...suppose he gets me another set...oh, wait.
I love my made by a friend swift (from your last link) and my Royal ball winder. I find it to be a bonus that my cats like to watch both of them in action but are deathly afraid to get too close. And while I can't see myself using a nostepinne, I'm seriously considering a niddy noddy for those days when I feel like submerging boring colored wool in pots of Kool-Aid. That wool always needs to be skeined and reskeined.
Thank you so much for posting your recipe for your "Emergency Soup". I have made it several times with various veges and it always turns out great! We have 5 kids and they love this soup (especially when I put broccoli in it). The best part, you are absolutely correct - it really only takes about 30 minutes to get it done.
Love it! Thanks again.
Just want you to know that I really appreciate and enjoy these posts - I'm favoriting and bookmarking links like mad. Thanks again for the time and effort :)
I'm sending these suggestions to my partner. Praying for something good!
I use a tinker toy swift.....These are so much nicer, but I do like the dual-duty idea of tinker toys! Thanks for putting links in. Such pretty things!
I just had to mention that I made your soup yesterday
To Angie: I get my balls too tight coming straight off the swift, but I just re-wind them again on the ball winder and without the tension from the swift, they are perfect. Still much faster than winding them by hand.
I simply have to have a Knitzi now. Lovely, practical and handmade. Thank you Stephanie, it is going on my Christmas list right now.
Wow! a Sunday post is a present in and of itself!
I already have one (so this is not a hint) but a scale is a great gift too. Answers the question do I have enough yarn left for another or second sock, hat, mitten, etc.
I love the list.
I simply must have a Knitzi now. Lovely, practical and handmade. Thank you Stephanie, it is going on my Christmas list right now.
There's a wooden swift that was featured at the first Sock Summit at the yarn winding tables that is held together with wooden pegs. If you take it apart it fits into a bag. It sits on a small wooden platform, so no clamp needed. I put the yarn on a swift, but I wind with a nostepinne. After the second Sock Summit, I'm now a nosty collector...
Breast-shaped yarn balls means my ball winder is wearing out? That is SO good to know. And here I thought it was just me...
I hope somebody gives me a Knitzi. I need it because I recently sat on a sock in progress and snapped a wooden #3 in half. So lucky not to get some part of it driven into certain bodily areas. Just lucky, I guess. That Knitzi would prevent injury from any similar stupidity in the future. Though it can't keep me from sitting down on my knitting (sigh), at least I wouldn't be hurt by it.
How was the squash stuffed with wild rice, mushrooms and nuts? What kind did you use?
Would LOVE a swift and winder as a holiday gift. Do agree that a nice electronic scale to go with is a great idea. However, you can't talk about Signature or DyakCraft needles without bringing up Blackthorns. Good enough for the Stealth bomber, good enough for my knitting and #1 on my knitting list this year!
Hmmm.... my husband just sat down next to me and read this, then got up and walked away quite pleased with himself.
Hooray for a good gift for Christmas!
With all due respect (which is considerable) my ugly plastic and metal swift lasted thirty years and I've put a replacement on my wish list. Such wood ones as I've encountered have to be re-connected with twine and need bulldog clips to hold them up and in place. I'm sure that's not universal, but my heart breaks for the person who said she doesn't have room -- my swift took half the space of an umbrella.
Well, I forwarded your first blog post on Knitters' Gifts to my husband's computer - he didn't appreciate it. I bookmarked several sites from today's post and have tried to tell him they are my "tools" you know "TOOLS". Thought he'd get it as he has MANY TOOLS on his workbench. Somehow when it has to do with knitting he goes all negative. Can't win, but I do appreciate your trying for the sake of others whose loved ones might "get the picture".
To KiminAK: You have a point, but by this point I've done it so much that it's probably just as fast for me to wind by hand (and cheaper! lol) as to wind the ball twice. I'm just not won over to the ways of the ball winder.
I have a Hornshaw swift and it's lovely!
My nostepinne was bought from etsy, and is made from an upcycled wooden chair leg, something that I could have done myself if I had a broken wooden chair about the place.
I didn't even KNOW about Dyakcraft before!!!!! Even as a knitter, I'm loving these posts! ^_^
I finally found (with great relief) new needles that I like as much as my rosewood Holz and Steins that are now virtually impossible to find: Dyakcrafts are absolutely wonderful, and so are the folks that make them. Thank you for giving them a shout-out.
Can you tell us what the pattern is for all that colorful yarn in the previous post? Whatever it is, I want to make it, too.
I looked at the DyakCraft and I wonder what will happen when the teflon wears off? The multicolored must be a bear to knit with, especially with a multicolored yarn. Nothing beats my Denise Interchangeable set. They are smooth at the connection and both needles and cables come in a multitude of sizes beyond the basic set.
Today a new member of our knitting group brought in a beautiful wooden DPN WIP tube, but couldn't remember its brand name. Tonight I discovered it is a Knitzi, thanks to your blog! The stars must be aligned somehow.
My Hornshaw is the Bee's Knees! Highly reccomended. Beautifully crafted and it's like a little work of art. Great suggestions Stephanie!
Okay...here's a question for the blog at large. Has anyone seen a sock-in-progress needle case for those of us who do magic loop? I'd love to not have my pointy metal needles perforating various bags, but I've not seen a case to accomodate the cord.
I built myself a swift last year, but I didn't like the wingnut tensioner- seemed clunky to me. So I invested six dollars in a lazy susan bearing (available in the cabinet hardware section of the hardware store). Turns very smoothly and quietly with no wobbling. Love it. (Click on my name in the comment to see the post with photos and description of how to build one.)
I'm always surprised when knitters complain that using a ball winder and swift produces a too-tight ball of yarn; I suspect that they are winding straight from the swift to the ball winder at a fast pace. I control the tension of the ball by feeding the yarn through my left thumb and first two fingers as I wind at a moderate pace with my right hand. The even bigger benefit of this method is that my fingers can feel subtle knots and other problems in the yarn that I would never otherwise find until I came to them in the middle of my knitting. And I have no problems winding silk or other slippery fibers this way.
Agreed on all counts! My husband bought me a swift a couple years ago, and every time I use it I think of how sweet he is a) to buy me a swift, and b) to be my yarn holder in the pre-swift days. I use the swift and ball winder a lot. I have very inexpensive sock holders from Knitpicks--they're purple cardboard, basically, and they work like a charm. You probably have knitting bags on your list to discuss, and if not I'd like to recommend them. I keep looking at Jordana Paige, Namaste, and Tom Bihn, and I wish I could have them in my hands to look at more carefully. I can't decide which one would be best for me, and it's too large of an investment to buy one without careful thought.
I have been forwarding these posts to my family. Because really, non-knitters don't get it, and somehow seeing A Really Important Knitter (you have books, so you've garnered that title amongst my kin) write down *exactly what I've been saying* for years makes it Official (and the knitters in the family more likely to get The Good Stuff). Wheee!!
I, too have been forwarding these posts to family as they just SO DON'T GET IT! They think I have plenty of stuff and yarn, even though I explain over and over again that there is no such thing as plenty! Also, why go buy me a sweater, when you can buy me the yarn so that I can knit my own? I also forwarded the link to my good friend, who is a beginner knitter and is just starting out on her collection of knitty things. Her husband tends to get her gifts from a gas station, but he is handy in a wood shop, so if she gives him the pattern and tells him she wants a swift, maybe he will take the knock over his head - I mean hint....
If you are trying to convince a handy, woodworking type of person to give you a yarn swift for the holidays, this instructable: http://www.instructables.com/id/SewUseful%3A-Portable-Tabletop-Yarn-Swift-for-windi/
gives a great, innovative design, and it's what I've asked for from my hubby. I sent him an email saying "this is what I want for Christmas." Gifts are really stressful for him, so though I've lost the element of surprise, I know he'll have a better holiday knowing that I'm getting a gift I'll love.
Ooooh! Aaaahhhh! Beautiful stuff. I'd be happy with any of it.
I purchased a wooden swift and Royal ball winder at the LYS that I work at, gave it to my hubby and said THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT I WANT!!!! So tired of basically begging for it and NOT getting it. he looked like he felt bad....good!!!!
Are the signature needles really worth it? Steph, made the soup this weekend. It was a perfectly snowy day, and the soup was wonderful. Thanks for sharing.
You knew I wanted stuff I didn't even know I wanted! Thanks for the recommendations on ball winders. Also my husband made that swift from the page you linked to. It works great!
The signatures are totally worth it. While they are expensive, they changed my knitting - it is hard for me to knit with other needles now.
I'd love a ball winder and swift. Maybe then I would stop winding my balls of line on the subway on the way to work (conveniently I know I can wind an entire ball of lace yarn or sock yarn in one commute length trip, but I'd still rather be knitting).
So funny you mentioned the Strauch ball winder. Just brought one the other day and have used it twice already. Well girl, I was in ball winder heaven (joke there), and I immediately went and threw my four once plastic ball winder out. No loss though, as I did not care for the plastic one the first time I used it. The Strauch is a smooth piece of machinery, and I really enjoyed using it. It is one sturdy tool, that got-ur-done.
I am an extremely happy knitter with my Dyakcraft, and have subsequently ordered a second and third set. There is nothing quite like them, I find I have kittle or no hand fatigue even after knitting for hours. I have to use wood or plastic needles because metal and I don't agree, but I ordered a small pair of metals to try. I think it is wonderful they are teflon coated. First, you don't eat with them, and the one pair of teflon coated Susan Bates needles I have from the early 90's are wonderful to work with, only the cables are a bit stiff. DyakCraft are spectacular needles, you can get single coloured needles or bright striped ones, from almost black to turquoise to apple.
Oh my word, the Strauch is SUCH a wonderful instrument! I never much liked ball winders until I started working for a store that used a 3-year-old Strauch as the store's winder. One day after a big in-store event, I had to spend--no word of a lie--3 hours at the ball winder on a Saturday morning. I'm a staunch hand-winder, but I love this glorious little beast.
If you're considering Signature circular needles for a present, but are broke, consider getting Chaiogoo lace circulars in the same size. They're pointier than Addi lace (which are also nice), but at about half the price of Addis, and a quarter of the price of Signature. Some people who have bought Signature stilettos have said that the points on the Chiaogoo are identical. I like that they're stainless steel and have the size etched on the needle. The joins are flawless and the cable is steel cable with a plastic cover, and very flexible. They're sturdy and a joy to work with!
You know, those mittens would be even cooler (and warmer) if you knit the honey combs all the way up.
Don't make a matched set -it is all the rage in the US to wear mismatched socks now. They can coordinate, but not match. So, why not the same with mittens. 1 with black - 1 without. See who notices and says something - maybe it will be the rage in Toronto!!!
They are lovely by the way - how do I join the family to get on the gift list??? :>)
Peace and joy...
Why do you have to make matching 'pairs'? If the wrist patterns are complementary, that's a pair! How many single mittens do we all own anyway? Seems like a time-saver to have a pre-mis-matched "pair". Just sayin.......
Who said that "pairs" need to match. I see 2 pairs
in the photo. A black and orange pair and a blue
and turquoise pair. Knit on! It is grey and
dreary here to. Colour gives a day pazazz.
There was s time in my life when I was working crazy, long hours, and coming into work and leaving at unusual times.
One Wednesday, some of my friends managed to convince me that it was actually Thursday, and that I had, somehow, managed to miss Wednesday altogether.