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Inexpensive Christmas gifting

Captain's Log, Stardate 12.05.2008

My friend Missy talked about Christmas Shopping in Hard Economic Times yesterday, which I thought was a fabulous blog post.

I wanted to blog about the same thing, but from a knitter’s perspective.

This year, my sister in law has suggested we have a family gift exchange rather than buying individual gifts for the adults. We each contribute a $10-20 gift to the pile, people pick in turn, and there is some stealing going on, too (I think some call it a Kris Kringle gift exchange).

Naturally, I’m thinking of knitting something. Some household item that anyone could use. The yarn cost would be minimal but the value is increased by the time put in.

I’m also knitting some items for family and friends from the copious yarn stash in my room, which Captain Caffeine turns a blind eye to.

(I’m trying desperately not to buy any more yarn for myself until I have reduced my stash to at least half of what it is now. A daunting task, but really, why do I need so much yarn???)

Anyway, I’ve used some really lovely yarn I bought on sale for some really lovely gifts. I had/have a lot of laceweight yarn, and lace is a pretty gift for girlfriends and female family members (I just have to make sure they’re not allergic to wool). I have made good use of my Victorian Lace Today pattern book! Also, laceweight yarn tends to be cheaper than heavier weight yarn like worsted, so it’s not only pretty, it’s economical to make lace gifts.

I’m also making several scarves because they’re easy and cheap and many people requested scarves as gifts.

Another cheap and easy (and fast) knit were a few hats I made for the girls in my church youth group. I made a variety of scarves, hats, and small bags for them from yarn I got on sale, and they’ll get to pick their gifts in a week or two.

I’m also knitting kitchen knits—potholders, hot plates. Also a few quick afghans with yarn doubled on large needles—an easy weekend knit, but really appreciated by friends and family. I’ve made a couple vests—easier than sweaters, faster, and cheaper, too.

Much of the yarn bought for those things were bought on sale, too!

Are any of you cringing at my cheap side? LOL

How about you? Any ideas for me?


  1. When i was in Canada I bought some of the dishcloths that are knitted or crocheted. they are wonderful dishclothes and I love them.
    I dont think your cheap just practicle and you are giving of yourself.
    also if its colder and people use hot water bottles you can knit covers for them. mum knits dolls blankets with animals on them.

  2. My mother-in-law, despite being 90 and having macular degeneration, knits dish rags now in bright cotton yarn. They are my favorite thing in the kitchen! She knits them as she listens to stories on tape/cd or watching TV. She just hands them out to anyone requesting them--which we all have gotten hooked (ha) on them.

    I am thinking I'm going to have to learn to make them as someday she won't be around to make them any more. They are the perfect size for my hand.

  3. Jenny, I never thought of hot water bottle covers--that's a great idea! I love hot water bottles!

    Crystal, honey ... share the love ...


  4. Camy,

    This is definitely a low dough (college days adjective) Christmas. My gift to my family this year is baked goods for the week I am with them. I am baking a test batch of chocolate rum balls this evening.

    I love scarves/mitten sets. Since I do not wear hats I would love something that would just cover my ears (4-6 Inches long).

    If you made these with the scarf, it could take care of some of the stockpiled yarn ;)

  5. Reihaisha, rum balls sound awesome! One year we gave homemade chocolate truffles--that was neat, but a lot of work. :P

  6. Not cringing at your cheap side - cringing at your creativity and productivity!!! Have been working on a vest for my daughter's doll for months. (of course I am not a very experienced knitter) I can make a crochet necklace pretty fast, but would never be able to make all that without starting years in advance!!! (especially if I ever wanted to read anything) Where do you shop for the extra hours you get in your day? Do they have those at Target?

  7. Camy,

    These are lovely ideas. I don't knit ( I want to learn) I crochet. One year I made everyone an afghan. They still use them and ask for more.

    This year I'm doing ceramics. I even have the kids making gifts for their teachers. Saves me on running around trying to find a gift.

  8. Tricia, I ended up allotting a lot of time in Nov and Dec for holiday knitting. Inexpensive knitted gifts = time spent knitting them, so I made sure I scheduled the time.

    LaShaunda, that's a great idea, to have your kids make gifts!



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