Yarny gifts

Yarn Bows
Yarn Jewelry
Lacey Sugar Pattern
Gingerbread Sweaters
               Well Read

Sometimes I want to make a knitted gift for someone, but I don't have time to knit it. I found the following non-knitted gifts in a couple of different issues of Interweave Knits Gifts, ironically. They're all perfect ways to share my joy of knitting and yarn with my friends and family, without needing the time to knit a gift.

This is a really easy and beautiful way to use yarn for wrapping gifts. Choose a yarn in a color that corresponds to your gift. Simply wrap yarn around your hand enough times to make a bow as full as you'd like. Wrap wire around the center of the yarn, adding a bead at the top of the bow. You can thread the bead onto the wire or use a hot glue gun to attach it after the bow is complete. Fluff the yarn, and voila!, a beautiful, flowery bow.

Necklace: Start with an existing piece of jewelry and add different thicknesses of yarn in the same color family (or in wildly different colors—match the colors to the gift recipient). In the necklace shown at left, the yarn is looped from end to end on a necklace. The yarn is secured by tying knots and wrapping the knots with decorative jewelry wire. If you're a beader and a knitter, this is the perfect way to combine your skills into a one-of-a-kind gift.

Bracelet: Find an inexpensive plastic bangle. Use a brush to apply some craft glue (Aleene's Tacky Glue works great) all over the bracelet. Let it sit for a couple of minutes so the glue becomes tacky. Wrap your yarn around the bracelet, making sure the strands are right next to each other so none of the plastic bangle shows through. This is a wonderful way to use up leftover luxury yarns because you only need a few yards. I've seen cashmere yarn-covered bracelets on Etsy, selling upward of $50!

Lacey Sugar Pattern: Find an old lace scarf or knit a large swatch using a lace pattern you like and thin linen or cotton yarn. If you knit a swatch, block it and let it dry completely before using. Use the lace as a stencil by placing it over a cake and then dusting it with powdered sugar. To apply the lace to cookies, place them close together on a backing sheet, lay the lace over them, and dust them with powdered sugar. This method is similar to using a doily as a dusting stencil, but it's so much more personal. You can wash the swatch or old scarf and use it over and over.

Gingerbread Sweaters: Knit a swatch out of a firm, smooth cotton or linen yarn. You can use stockinette stitch, garter stitch, seed stitch, or even a cable on a background of reverse stockinette stitches. Make your favorite gingerbread cookie dough, roll it out, and cut out the gingerbread people. Use the swatch to deeply imprint clothing textures on the gingerbread people before baking. After baking, pipe frosting outlines and details to outfit your cookie folk in custom-knitted sweaters and mittens. So dang cute!

Lay lengths of yarn in a free-form pattern on a rectangle of fabric. Lift the pieces here and there and dab on some glue from a fabric glue stick to  hold the yarn in place temporarily. Machine sew across the yarn in an irregular grid to secure the yarn. Dab the glue with water to dissolve it. Hem the long edges and turn the short ends under to create book-cover holding pockets.

Pretty fun, huh? I think these sound like a ton of fun to try with my knitting group. We can meet and craft with yarn for an evening instead of knitting with it.

Get all of these ideas plus a bunch of fabulous knitting patterns, gift ideas, and tips and tricks in our new collection of the popular Interweave Knits Holiday Gifts Special Issues, available now on CD! How about getting it as a gift for yourself?


P.S. Have you used yarn in interesting ways aside from knitting? Tell us about it in the comments.

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