December 1, 2011

For the Others

Dear  Non-knitters who love a Knitter,

Today is the first of December, and I think it's probably pretty inevitable that you've heard from someone by now that Christmas is coming. (Pro-tip: They have scheduled it on the same day as last year. I think it's pretty consistent.) While regular people are about to have a very busy month, Knitters are under a special and unique strain.  They have to do everything that regular people do, and in addition,  they are undoubtedly knitting one or more items as gifts for Christmas, maybe for you.   They are going to need special love and attention for the upcoming month, and we can talk about that more later, but for now, this is all you need to know. The knitting all-nighters, the frequent trips to the yarn store, the desperation and sobbing when the last darning needle is gone, the way that at least once in the next month they're going to yell "ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MIND WHY WOULD I WANT TO GO TO A MOVIE WITH YOU I CAN'T CABLE IN THE DARK YOU ARE SO INSENSITIVE" is about to start for you and your knitter. (If you know or are related to more than one holiday gift knitter, you may want to connect with others in the comments so that you can form a support group.  Multiple knitter contact in December can be emotionally difficult.)

Some of you may believe that it's the knitters choice about whether or not he or she does this to themselves every year, but it isn't. For many knitters who suffer from this variant, there is no choice.  Sure as a nightingale has to sing, a gift knitter must knit - and the opportunity to knit a gift is - to your knitter, a chance to make the love that they feel in their hearts tangible, visible and warm.  No matter how it looks (and we admit, it is difficult to see the love when a hat knitter is using filthy language to describe Aunt Alice's head size at 3am) gift knitting is a powerful and meaningful expression of human affection.  Each stitch contains the most precious thing a knitter can give - time and talent, and every person who receives said gift of time and talent should be nothing short of stunned with joy and gratitude.  Think about it.  Other people are going to spend 20 minutes at the mall picking out a present for you.  Your knitter loves you so much that their gift to you took hours and hours and hours of time that nobody else deserved.

Now, if you're normal, right now, my dear Non-knitter who loves a knitter, you're feeling pressured.  You're thinking "Holy mittens, what the heck do you give someone for Christmas when they're going to give you something that amazing?" and dear non-knitter, I'm here for you.  I know you love your knitter, and I know you know your knitter loves knitting, and I know that in the past, you've thought about buying some knitter stuff for them for Christmas, but it was all too much and then you bought that sweater for them instead and you think they liked it, because it was wool - and knitters like wool, right?  You betcha, but let's move on.   Over the next 25 days, I'm going to try and make some suggestions about stuff that knitters like that would make good presents. 

Remember though, that knitters, while they have a lot in common, are also really unique.  Follow your gut, do the recommended detective work, and follow these rules:

1. If your knitter has a lot of something (bags, yarn, magazines) this is because THEY LIKE THEM A LOT.  I know that you would think that if someone has a lot of yarn that they wouldn't want more as a present, but you would be wrong.  Having a lot of something means that your knitter enjoys that thing. It is a good thing to buy.

2. About that sweater that you bought?  You were so close.  The only thing you need to know is that knitters like sweaters, hats, scarves, mittens... but they like them to come "some assembly required."  Pattern and yarn is a better idea than finished item. 

3. Most knitters stashes are arranged in chronological layers, like in archeology.  If you go into the stash to see what they like, remember that the newest stuff (the stuff that your knitter is into right now) will be on the top or "canopy" of the stash.  Things deeper down are less reliable, and if you go deep enough to find mint green chunky brushed mohair? Give up.  You've hit the 80's.

Let's begin. 

Gifts for knitters,  Day One:

Today's suggestion is knitting paper goods.  Note cards, tags... knitters usually like knitters specific stuff, and they usually know other knitters that they would like to share this stuff with. These are some of my very favourites, but if you don't like what I like, try googling "Knitting stationary" "knitting cards" or "Knitting notes." Etsy (a place where you can buy handmade stuff in a variety of online shops) is a really good place to look.  Knitters make handmade stuff, they appreciate the stuff other people make too. 

Is your knitter super classy? Does she send thank you notes?  Write letters?  She might love these beautiful embossed knitting notes from Papersheep press.

Tilly Flop  makes classic, wonderful knitting notes that I adore.  Right now my favourite is "Keep calm and cast on"

Finally, and this is a good one if your knitter is a bit of a smartarse,  Kniterella.
I have a special fondness for the notecards that say stuff like "If Knitting is wrong I don't want to be right", and I love the gift tags, that say things like "Just because it's handmade, doesn't mean it was cheap"

Good hunting, and if it seems to you like this isn't right for your knitter, don't panic.  I've got 24 more ideas coming your way.  Hang in there, and don't panic.

PS. In case you're wondering, nobody paid me to promote their products. This is just stuff I like.  

PPS. For the knitters: I may have had a small yarn accident last night.

I have a plan though.

PPPS: For the Non-knitters.  See that? I have yarn, but I still bought more.

Posted by Stephanie at December 1, 2011 11:08 AM