Knitting is a hobby that I have always admired. The sight of someone sitting comfortably on a couch , needles clickity-clacking along as they make soft hats, sweaters and toys. It just looks so relaxing to me. It’s something I’ve always wanted to try but haven’t taken the leap yet. I wanted to do a gift guide for knitte2rs so, considering my lack of knowledge, I decided to consult an expert. It just so happens that one of my BFF’s little sisters is an AMAZING knitter. Their whole family just exudes creativity and artistry…from quilting, to sewing, to knitting, to drawing and painting, everything crafty they touch turns to gold. Jesie Ostermiller is not only an amazing knitter, she is also published, has her own amazing patterns and has been featured in knitting magazines. She is a real professional and she was kind enough to take some time to put together this amazing guide of everything a knitter would need, whether you are a beginning knitter, an intermediate knitter or an advanced knitter. You can follow Jesie and see her beautiful projects (and gorgeous sons!) on Instagram @Knitty_Jo. You can also purchase her patterns on Ravelry here. Thank you Jesie for your help!
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Beginner Knitters Gift List
A great pair of wooden or bamboo needles like these are helpful for beginners because they tend to grip the yarn a bit more than smooth metal. Having your stitches slide right off your needles is one of the scariest things that can happen to a beginner knitter, so give yourself some insurance. (Clover Bamboo straight needles, size 8)’
This one is a bit more tricky. You want to start knitting with a “helpful, encouraging” yarn. What does that mean? If you use a yarn that is too fuzzy, too slippery or too itchy it can cause a new knitter untold grief. Choose something that appeals to you visually and feels good. It is helpful to start with a medium weight yarn, often labeled as “worsted weight” or a chunky yarn. Something like Lion Brand Wool Ease Yarn would be a good beginner option.
There are millions of patterns written for beginning knitters so it can be hard to choose. You want to look for something relatively small with a simple shape, such as a scarf or cowl. These types of projects can be finished relatively quickly and give you a lot of good practice executing basic stitches.
One of the best knitting reference books, which I recommend to all new knitters just starting out is KnitSpeak. This book is packed with helpful information about deciphering patterns and any abbreviations or techniques you might run into.
For storing projects in…big enough to accommodate the length of your needles as well as your skein of yarn.
A pair of small, sharp scissors.
There is also an amazing online class you could gift called Knitting 101. I think the visual of the instructional videos would be super helpful for me in learning how to knit.
Intermediate Knitters Gift List
Intermediate level pattern.
Once you have mastered knit and purl stitches it’s super fun to play with new techniques. The most natural step is to play with colorwork techniques, changing colors and creating images in your knitting. This Aspen Hat pattern looks complicated but is only ever knit with 2 colors at a time and is a good skill builder for the intermediate knitter.
Chart progress keeper
This ingenious product allows the knitter to keep track of their progress in a pattern by allowing them to track row by row instructions.
Small notions bag or box
This should be a small, ideally clear case that can hold scissors, stitch markers, a measuring tape, a tapestry needle or any other small notion.
A set of stitch markers is vital at this point to help the knitter keep track of progress in any given project. Markers are usually small, removable rings that help mark spots for increasing or decreasing or changes in the pattern.
Circular needles. After mastering straight needles, a nice pair of circular needles allow the knitter to knit around and around seamlessly. They are ideal for knitting hats and cowls. (chiagoo circular needles, size 6 on Amazon)
Double pointed needles. A 3rd type of needle, these needles are pointed at both ends, allowing you to knit in the round in small circumferences (example: the crown of a hat, as it is getting smaller and smaller)
Assuming a knitter is already equipped with needles and notions, a gift set can be a fun idea, providing the knitter with a pattern and enough yarn to complete the specified project. This kit has the pattern for the beautiful Aspen Hat designed by Jesie plus the yarn to make it! I love this!!
You could also add to this gift a Knitting 201 Class in this online course you learn how to knit a pair of socks!
Advanced Knitters Gift List
with a new technique such as lace or cables. This cabled hat pattern is a fun and interesting project for an advanced knitter.
A different type of needle for the new pattern!
A stitch dictionary
These can be a great source of inspiration for a knitter. Check out this amazing new book on Amazon!
Other Tools and Resources
Knit Picks Gift Card. Or a gift card to a local yarn store.
Subscription to a knitting magazine!
Blocking pins. These tools are amazingly helpful for helping to create a professional, finished look to your knitting projects.
I hope this guide helps you find some knitting gift ideas for the knitter in your life (or yourself!)
I’m also excited to announce today a special giveaway by my friend Shani over at Sunshine and Munchkins. She just hit a big blogging milestone and is hosting a giveaway of $100 of her favorite things. While holiday shopping you should make sure to treat yourself a little bit, this giveaway is a sure way to do that! The giveaway runs from Monday, December 4th thru Friday, December 8th at 12:00pm MST.