As I start in on making holiday gifts I was thinking about the dilemma of being a crafty person as the object of gift-giving by non-crafty people, especially around the issue of knitting, so I came up with a little guide:How to shop for a knitter:
10. If you are not a knitter, do not buy them yarn
9. Hence, you may be tempted to buy them a knitting book - only buy them one that they explicitly asked for - in print - like their Amazon Wish List or written down on a piece of paper. You may think that the Celebrity Knits
book on the Borders 20% off table looks cute, but the knitter knows that Julia Roberts knits and DOESN'T CARE. Same goes for fiction that uses knitting as a gimmick - just because we knit doesn't mean we like crappy gimmicky books.
8. The best gift for a non-knitter to get a knitter is a gift certificate
to a LOCAL YARN STORE
(not JoAnn's, not ACMoore, not Michael's, and definitely NOT Hobby Lobby or Walmart). Find a locally owned store or well known online yarn retailer and get a gift certificate.
7. If you insist on buying a knitter yarn there are some things you can do to lessen the forced display of appreciation that she will have to endure. The number one thing you can do is buy yarn from the LOCAL YARN STORE.
6. Buy more than one skein/ball. A knitter can't do much with one skein of yarn unless its a novelty yarn and a non-knitter should stay away
from novelty yarns. That is a path that you should not tread.
5. When buying more than one skein of yarn you need to make sure that they are the same DYE LOT (not just the same "color"). If there is no dye lot and/or the clerk tells you that yarn doesn't have dye lots - do not buy it. You may think that yarn looks pretty, but the knitter just sees "RED HEART."
4. You'll notice that if you are following these rules, it's not cheap - if you insist on buying a knitter yarn - get over it. We do not knit to clothe our families cheaply.
3. Do not buy us needles or other notions. We probably already have them and have very specific preferences when it comes to them. You may hear "I need some new needles" when she really said "I would love a set of Denise interchangeable circulars
." Some knitters only knit with wood needles, some only with bamboo, some only knit with certain brands, like Addi, and some only knit with certain types, like Double Pointed Needles.
2. Don't forget about things that knitters need other than yarn and patterns - like ribbon (for baby booties or drawstrings), buttons (buy us at least five - think about it), price/gift tags (for selling at a craft fair and/or labeling with the yarn and care instructions), graph paper (for making our own patterns), etc.
1. Just buy a gift certificate.*Disclaimer: I am an intermediate knitter, for a beginner knitter these rules may not be as big a deal and for an advanced knitter they hold extra.