12 December 2009

Odd Gifts for Knitters

Last year, I had a post similar to this. As it is the giving season again, here is another post on some unusual gift choices for the knitter who already has everything.

While I'm at it, let's just make sure that we know what "everything" is. In this case, "everything" means the knitter has a pleasingly generous stash, favorite needles in the full run of sizes, needle cases, bags, notions, all the best books, subscriptions to good knitting magazines, and dvds featuring Lucy Neatby and Elizabeth Zimmermann. In other words, you've run out of the obvious things to purchase.

Page Points:
Levenger recently redesigned and renamed these Page Nibs. They are thin clip-on bookmarks that you can leave in the book. They are perfect for marking interesting patterns in your knitting books. Some clever soul ought to include a sample with any purchase of a Barbara Walker stitch treasury, so that you can mark interesting things as you thumb through for that other stitch pattern you know you saw in here somewhere. (See picture above of my own personal "marked up" copy.)

Couch Cover:
I bought one of the these because the blue-gray couch in the living room did not coordinate with the rest of the decor. It turns out that not only is this a slick way to freshen up a room, but a couch cover prevents anything from falling in between the cracks in the seat cushions. If your couch monster is a regular consumer of stitch markers or double-pointed needles, a cover may be just the thing to muzzle its appetite.

Color Consulting:
My mother and sister bought me this about 20 years ago and it continues to be a gift that gives. I sat down with a professional color consultant who figured out my colors and and showed me how to use that information. (For those of you wondering, I am a "contrasting lustrous summer," which means that intense cool colors are my friends.) Especially if you are buying for someone who knits for herself/himself, knowing that you should buy the hot pink and not the tangerine orange cashmere is important. Those of you on Ravelry can see that my color card and my stash match pretty well.

Spill-proof Thermal Travel Mug:
This is something that almost anyone could use. It is nice to keep hot drinks warm and cold drinks cool. And it is nice to have a mug that cannot be spilled on your knitting or your friends' knitting. I am on my third mug. I started with a now discontinued Brookstone model. After that broke, I moved on to a Starbucks mug. I broke that a couple weeks ago, and have replaced it with the Highwave JOEmo XL, which you can find at Hammacher Schlemmer or Amazon. I have purchased some plastic mugs, but they always seem to leak, so do be sure to test any spill-proof claims over the kitchen sink. Also, I use an instant-read thermometer to check temperature. The really good thermal mugs prevent your beverage from cooling, which means you can't just wait for the tea or coffee to cool off. A thermometer can protect your tongue and taste buds from scalding.

Business Card Holder:
Nancy Barke of both Atlanta Knitting Guild and North Georgia Knitting Guild showed me a business card case with a knitting design on it. It and other cool things are available at Kyle Designs. There are also eyeglass cases, lanyards, barrettes, and many different size boxes that could be perfect for keeping knitting notions in your bag. I am wondering if the pencil or cigar cases would work for wooden sock needles?

Audio books:
If you are a knitter who enjoys reading, you may have discovered that knitting and reading are not the easiest things to do simultaneously. There are several options. Straight-up audio books on cd are a simple choice. David Reidy of Sticks and Strings podcast has recommended both Audible and the Amazon Kindle. Brenda Dayne of Cast-on podcast also recommends Audible. I started an Audible subscription this summer and have enjoyed it very much. It has been about the only way I can keep up with our knit lit group. Or course, this works best if you have an iPod or other mp3 player. You can listen while you knit even if you are a novice and need to watch every stitch lest it morph and lead your project to the frog pond. If the Kindle is more your style, then you have to be technically proficient enough to look away from your knitting. The Kindle does have an experimental reading aloud feature, but not all books for the Kindle will function with this feature. I have had some luck reading from a normal book while knitting stockinette mindlessly in the round. David Reidy has bought and tried out a Kindle. He pointed out that you can change the font size on the Kindle to make it quite large, so that if you look back and forth between your knitting and your book, you can find your place easily as you read.

Storage Organization:
Since "Get Organized" is a common new year resolution, why not help someone get a jump on the chaos? In the Atlanta area, we are lucky to have Ikea, the Container Store, Bed Bath & Beyond and the like. My stash is kept in a series of graduated woven baskets from Hobby Lobby. Or you could try a ClosetMaid cubby system from Target or Lowe's. Lots of possibilities to keep all that stash safe and ready for action. In the picture at left, you can see a number of hand-knitted items neatly put away in the closet using Ikea Skubb organizers. As you can see, I'm using the shoe cubbies for small items like scarves and mittens, and the sweater cubbies for larger items like bags and shawls.

Spring-loaded shower curtain rod:
If you wash yarn, an extra shower curtain rod can be a very handy thing. I have a spare rod installed well above the shower head in the guest bathroom. I'm not afraid to frog and reuse yarn, and it is nice to be able to hang it up, let it drip into the tub below, and forget about it. If you install two or three rods, you'll even have enough support to drip dry a sweater or shawl. And if you hang them high enough, you don't have to take them down to use the shower. These can be found at most hardware or big box home improvement stores.

Have a very happy gift-giving season everyone!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the ideas! I just ordered the page nibs for all 4 members of my family (that includes me :-))