The value of hand knit gifts
Are you in gift-knitting mode yet? I’m in the early planning stages. I have hats on the list, but that’s about as far as I’ve gotten. I was inspired yesterday, though, when I saw the new issue of Knits Gifts. What a wonderful collection of gift patterns! There are also some darling decor items to brighten up your home.
I’m so drawn to the Starflower Mitts, at right. Aren’t they just lovely? What a fabulous gift to receive!
Handmade gifts are so very special. I treasure the things that have been made for me over the years, and I enjoy the time I spend making gifts for my loved ones. I can see the love that goes into my knit gifts in the smiles on the recipient’s faces as they open them. It’s a wonderful feeling.
Here’s editor Lisa Shroyer to tell you more about this beautiful issue of Interweave Knits Gifts.
The Value of Hand Made
If you’re like me, you assign meaning to the few precious handcrafted items that you choose to hold onto and preserve. The thing itself is not the point—it’s what it represents.
I carry the story of my grammy in this afghan (at left). She knitted it for me. She gave me the final piece at age ninety-three, just a couple of short months before she passed away. I’d known about the afghan when she started it, years before, but thought it had been abandoned permanently after her arthritis had gotten bad. But in secret, she kept up the work, row by row, stitch by stitch. Once she had finished the knitting, the heavy fabric was too hard on her hands and wrists, so my mom did the finishing work—seaming the long narrow strips together to make the blanket. And then they presented it to me on my birthday.
For someone who understands the craftsmanship, the time, and the dedication that a handmade gift requires of the maker, there is no better gift. I will keep this afghan with me always, and the hands that made it will always be within my reach through its comforting cables and the weight of its wool. And I will be able to repair it, in time, with my own hands, and add to the story.
As we enter this holiday season, I encourage you to miss the deadlines. Grammy did. But she kept up the work and that gift was perfectly timed in the end. As she got sick, we were drawn back together, over hundreds of miles, for a last long talk in a hospital room as I knitted and she watched my hands, smiling.
If you’re going to make gifts for your loved ones, let them be slow and lovingly crafted. Go out and live your best life and let the making be part of that life. Take your time.
Because ultimately, the value in handmade gifts is the time. Time is precious. And it’s the greatest gift we can give each other—time and undivided attention. It does run out, eventually. Take your WIP and sit with your daughter and talk to her while you knit her gift. She’ll
remember it each time she wears the scarf or hat or shawl, once it’s finished. And if it never gets finished? The thing in the box was never the point, anyway.
—Lisa Shroyer, Editor, Interweave Knits Gifts
I can relate so much to Lisa’s essay. The most important thing in life is the relationships you cultivate, the people you love, and the time you spend with them.
P.S. P.S. Have you given or received a really special handmade gift? Leave a comment below and tell me about it. My home is decorated with many treasured pieces of needlework from my great-gramma, gramma, and mom.