Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Give Yarn

 If you read my blog, I think it is a pretty safe bet that you or someone you know is into fiber. And I don't mean the dietary stuff. You like yarn. You like it a lot! You like to use it, you like to buy it. But even better: you like to get it as a gift. Or maybe you don't! Maybe you stumbled upon this post in search of tips on how to give yarn to a crafty friend. Regardless of the details, if you are looking to do some yarn-gifting/receiving this year, you are in the right place.

For all of you lovelies looking to give nice gifts of yarn this year (and we crafty folk thank you in advance for trying to do something better than stop at Walmart for some Red Heart), read on for some fun tips. For all you sneaky-snakes who want to receive some nice yarn this year, just leave this post opened on your browser until your significant other/mom/cousin/dog/whoever sees it and takes the hint. Or, the less passive aggressive route, just straight up tell your friends and family you want some yarn and send them here for a few tips.

Let's get rolling! Feel free to add your yarn-gifting tips in the comments section! I love hearing creative ideas. Gifting is my love-language, so I am all about gifting tips.

First up: Jimmy Beans
Jimmy Beans is the self-proclaimed "local yarn store online" for all yarn folks. I am personally a HUGE fan of their amazing gifting options. They have all sorts of gift sets at all sorts of different price ranges. A lot of their sets come with patterns or correspond to very popular free patterns. Check out their gift ideas page to see all the options. Here are two of my favorites:

I am kind of an alpaca junkie, so this is naturally something that would attract me. With these gift boxes, you get to choose from a variety of color themes and prices. Most of them are $110, which would certainly make the casual buyer (aka me) balk. There are some (like the one pictured above) that are $75. Keep in mind, you are purchasing a luxury yarn. There is enough yarn in each box to complete a lovely shawl that is available on the website as a free download.

These are MUCH more affordably priced and still oh-so-cute. The yarn bouquets on Jimmy Beans' site come in a wide range of colors. Most of them come with a pattern as well. They range from $40-225 (Yikes! I know). In all honesty, this is a yarn-gifting idea that you could take into your own hands if you are slightly intrepid and have a working knowledge of what the recipient would like in terms of fiber content. These yarn bouquets would be easy enough to make up yourself for that special someone. I won't tell if you get the yarn on sale and make your own arrangement!! Plus, I think they'd be kind of fun to make.

Next: Knit Picks
 Another big-name in the online yarn world, Knit Picks has quite a few giving options that just might suit the lucky yarner in your life. They have tons of patterns on their site, and always offer yarn suggestions to help you pick out the perfect amount for the project at hand. Plus, they have tons of great tools. Here are my top pick from KP:

This pattern is actually six patterns in one. You can use their on-site kit builder to customize the type and colors of yarn that come in the kit. How cool?? A lot of their patterns have the option to build your own kit. If you can't find a kit building option for the pattern you want to buy, they have great customer support to help you choose a suitable yarn. Aren't these mitts too cute??

This set is actually going bye bye from Knit Pick soon, which makes me really sad. Whether you knit or crochet, you have to admit these rainbow-wood hooks are stunning. They also sell knitting needles of the same wood. A luxurious set is a wonderful gift. You can never have too many hooks or needles! Right? Right. That's what I keep telling myself.

And Finally: DIY ideas
I can't stand just posting pricey options for gifts. The Do-it-yourself spirit in me will not allow it!! So I've come up with some fun ideas on how to give yarn that are a little more DIY friendly.

1. Yarn Bouquet
You saw the picture above of how Jimmy Beans does it, so why not adapt it to be your own? All you need are some nice skeins of yarn, some skewers or knitting needles, a vase, and pretty ribbons. You could even scour Ravelry for some nice free patterns to go with the yarn you chose and print them out on pretty cardstock. Fancy!

2. Gift Card Snowglobe
Some people think gift cards are a cop-out. I disagree! If buying nice yarn for a friend makes you nervous (Will they like it? Will it be the right color?), go for a gift card and make it cute by presenting it in a snowglobe. There's a great tutorial here by The Creative Mama on how to make one.

Photo (c) thecreativemama.com

Where to get a gift card from besides Michael's and Hob-Lob? How about:
-Ravelry (for patterns!)
-Etsy (for hand-dyed options!)
-A Local Yarn Store (for supporting your local economy!)
-KnitPicks (for stuff and things!)
-Their Fave Yarn Company (for yarn!)
-Amazon (for books!)
(Some of these retailers might not have the "card" gift cards required to make the snowglobe)

3. Soap Gift
I know I'm on a soap kick, but why not give your fave yarn-lover a nice, handmade soap like the ones from Besem Natural Scents on Etsy along with a luscious cotton yarn and a cute washcloth pattern? A small, fun, clean gift.
Photo (c) Besem Natural Scents
Some free washcloth patterns from Ravelry (don't forget to print it on colorful cardstock to make it supah fahahahancy):
Washcloth Quartet (knitting)
Washcloth that Holds Soap (knitting)
Shell Stitch Washcloth (crochet)

4. Mug of Yarn
Got a coffee or tea lover? How about scoring a cute mug from the thrift store and popping a ball of wool in it along with some instant coffee/hot cocoa/tea bags? For mega cute points, include a decorative spoon and a pattern for a mug-cozy from Ravelry.

Mug Cozy by Bubble Girl Knit & Crochet (crochet)
Mug Cosy by threebeansinapod (crochet)
Fancy Mug Cozy by Kristen Hipsky (knitting)

5. Baby Yarn
I have a lot of friends who are expecting in the spring. If you know a crafty lady who has a bun in the oven, why not give her something crafty and practical? Pick out some nice baby cotton (or anything soft and washable!) and put it in a sweet little basket. Include Babies R Us giftcards, some little baby toys, and a pattern for an easy baby blanket. Maybe whip up some washcloths from the patterns above and tuck them in there too. I go through washcloths like crazy here.

These patterns are easy, but cute. Great for whiling away the last trimester. Or even working on during early labor! I totally knitted in the delivery room when we first got there.

Rainbow Ripple Baby Blanket (crochet)
Chevron Baby Blanket (knitting)



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