How to Knit Gifts & Still Post on Social Media

I ♥ Instagram. It’s my favorite social media platform to connect with family, friends, authors, and artists. I love scrolling my feed and seeing everything from cute photos of my cousin Jenna’s triplets to Andrea Rangel’s latest swatch project.

While I’m scrolling and admiring others’ photos, I also do my fair share of posting (cough, 3,600+ photos to date, cough). As gift knitting season approaches, posting on social media becomes challenging. And the question remains: how to knit gifts when the recipient follows me?

I have a few strategies that work for me…

CLEVER CAPTIONS & COMMENTS

The first rule of knitting gifts and posting on social media is that you absolutely cannot let on that you’re gift knitting. A photo caption that reads “Just cast on for a gift I can’t wait to give” is going to have every friend with a birthday within 2 months wondering if it’s a gift for him or her.

You’ve got to play it cool with your captions and get clever in your comments. From cast-on to bind-off, never let on that the project isn’t being selfishly knit for you. Focus on how dreamy the yarn is to work with, or how the easy a lace repeat is—whatever it takes to keep your curious cousin from figuring out you’re making her the hat she admired at the family reunion. If she comments, “Is that for me?” deny everything. Blame the dog if you need to. Reply, “The puppy ate my favorite hat so I’m making a new one.” If you don’t have a dog, pretend the neighbor’s dog was visiting.

how to knit gifts

From cast on to bind off, you can’t let on that you’re gift knitting when posting on social media.

STICK A CAT ON IT OR OTHERWISE DISTRACT THE VIEWER

As you advance through a project, what you’re making is going to become more and more obvious; you can only hide that you’re knitting a sweater with a colorwork yoke for so long. That’s when you need to start distracting from your knitting with pretty props.

A popular trend in knitting posts on social media is a WIP beautifully crumpled on a side table with a perfectly styled pot of succulents or vase of flowers, sometimes with a steaming mug of tea alongside. When gift knitting, props are a great way to distract from what’s really going on (which in my case is often downing that cuppa to speed knit a project before a gift-giving deadline). If you don’t have a green thumb and your florist is out of your favorite flowers, I find cats often make good distractions as well.

Cloak gift knits with pretty (or cute) props.

FILTERS ARE YOUR FRIENDS

Masking color or removing it all together dramatically change the look of your makes; use it to your advantage. Last year, my mom had no idea I was knitting her a shawl in her favorite color when she liked a photo I posted. Why? I ran a simple black-and-white filter on it.

I highly recommend this technique when you’re knitting a special bridal gift. Crisp white yarn is a dead giveaway that something is being knit for a bride. When you run filters on your posts, white becomes a funny shade of pink or an odd shade of blue and your secret is safe.

how to knit gifts

Run image filters on photos to strip out color when gift knitting.

GO FOR THE CLOSE-UP

The last trick I use to gift knit and still post about my project is to go in for an extreme close-up. Getting so tight to a project that you can count the stitches but you can’t tell what the project truly is offers up a juicy yarn photo for friends to drool over while still disguising your work.

how to knit gifts

A tight crop and extreme close-up hides a WIP while still providing viewers a beautiful photo.

THE BIG REVEAL

I’ve found that you can’t count on the recipient to take a photo of their gift, so before you wrap and give your handknit gift, be sure to snap a few FO photos to post after the giving. After obscuring your WIP for so long, it’s nice to finally share a piece you loved so much you gave it to a loved one.

How to do veil your gift knits and still post on social media? We’d love to hear! Share in the comments below.

-Kerry Bogert
Editorial Director, Books


Okay, You Know How to Knit Gifts – It’s Choosing Them That’s Hard!

One Comment

  1. Myriam G at 2:03 pm October 25, 2017

    Thank you for the article.
    It is not said enough to take pictures of knitwear before you give it away.

    It’s so sad to describe to another knitter (often at length) a beautiful hat or shawl you have made for a loved one, only to have the other knitter ask: “Can I see a picture?”, and you know you don’t have one, and you tell the knitter you don’t have one, and they are disappointed, so eventually you stop mentioning the beautiful piece to others altogether, and it now only lives in your dreams.
    Oh, and also on the head of your niece, who moved halfway across the world, who never takes a picture of herself, and never brings the hat when she visits.

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