Christmas is fast approaching – I can’t wait, it’s my favourite time of year and so much fun now with the children, and it’ll be Milo’s first Christmas so even more reason to celebrate!
I get asked a lot by friends and family for Christmas present ideas, most don’t have a clue about crochet. So I thought I’d do a blog post with some crochet christmas present ideas that might interest people, not just my friends and family but maybe yours too (send them the link!) I did a similar post a couple of years ago and it was really popular so I thought I’d do an update for 2016. I want to point out none of this is sponsored at all – it’s my own genuine opinion on some great crafty gift ideas.
Let’s start with the basics….you can’t beat some good crochet hooks. My personal favourites are the Clover Amour ones (I’d be lost without my trusty purple 4mm!). They cost about £6 each and would be perfect popped into a stocking or as a set.
Another crochet staple is yarn….where do I begin! There are some great yarn colour packs or CAL (crochet along) kits available on sites such as Wool Warehouse, Love Crochet, Deramores etc. These are great as they contain all the yarn and usually a pattern to make a project like a blanket. Alternatively, and this is my current guilty pleasure….hand dyed yarn! This comes in skeins and is so beautiful and unique. It’s usually produced on a small scale by individuals, some of my current favourites are by Kate Selene and Norah George Yarns – check out this gorgeous example below! (Yarn and photo by Kate Selene)
Another idea is a subscription box. There’s haberdashery ones out there, and sock yarn subscription boxes, but my absolute favourite (and which I have subscribed to for the past year) is Little Box of Crochet. There is a different project each month created by a guest designer and in your pretty box you get everything you need to make it – yarn, hook, stitch marker and usually some little extras. Here’s a pic of November’s box, a perfectly autumnal wreath designed by Just Pootling. One-off boxes are available in their shop or why not get a subscription and have a box of loveliness pop through your door each month!
If there’s a particular aspect of crochet you want to learn, if you want to brush up on your skills or if you’re a total beginner, crochet workshops make great presents. I’ve both been gifted and also run crochet workshops and there’s usually someone nearby that runs them. I can’t not mention my fabulous friend Jane at Tea & Crafting in London for any of you living in the capital (they run a whole variety of craft classes) and I’m currently putting some together in Sherborne at The Slipped Stitch for any of you who might live down here in Dorset. But wherever you live, ask at your local yarn shop or look out for knit & natter groups – many of whom crochet as well as knit, there’s plenty of people running lessons out there. Not crochet related but there’s a fantastic local quilting course I’ve been dropping big hints about to my hubby 😉
Crochet books are another great idea – it’s worth checking if there’s a particular one your recipient is after but here are a few of my well-loved favourites as well as some I’m putting on my Christmas list (I’ve linked to Amazon for ease but obviously they are available elsewhere too)
Around the Corner – Crochet Borders (by Edie Eckman)
200 Crochet Blocks for Blankets, Throws and Afghans (by Jan Eaton)
For Amigurumi fans:
Edwards Menagerie Birds
Let’s Go Camping (by Kate Bruning)
New this year:
Star Wars Crochet Pack
Corner to Corner Lap Throws (by Repeat Crafter Me)
Crochetterie: Cool Contemporary Crochet for the Creatively-Minded (by Molla Mills)
Alternatively how about a crochet magazine subscription- I currently subscribe to Simply Crochet which has a good range of projects and interesting articles with designers I admire and I love it arriving each month and sitting down with a cup of tea to read it.
Lastly how about a new crochet tool….there’s not as many crochet gadgets around as I’d like but here a few tools which are useful.
A yarn swift or winder – for any skeins you buy which need to be wound into cakes first, this little gadget is quick and easy to use.
Some people prefer the more traditional swift design:
Another handy item for your craft corner is a blocking board. These seem to have become a lot more popular this year with various independent makers out there producing them. These beautiful wooden boards come with pre-measured holes drilled into them, enabling you to block your crochet squares to the right size and make them perfectly uniform. DaisyBoo are a popular supplier (from what I see on Instagram), and I’ve recently ordered one for myself from an independent maker on Facebook – R Hills Wood Turner, which I’m very excited about and I can’t wait for it to arrive (mainly because I have a WIP that’s been in a project bag for a year which desperately needs blocking!)
Another great item is a yarn bowl. I have a lovely one made in Cherry wood, and there are gorgeous ceramic ones out there as well. The idea being that you put your yarn into it while you’re working and it feeds out through the hole in the side, without rolling around all over the floor while you work. Again Etsy is a great place to shop, and one shop I can’t help swoon over is Earth Wool Fire – each bowl is a true work of art – just look at this one below! (pic by Earth Wool Fire)
And finally, I couldn’t not suggest some stocking fillers…
As well as hooks, another pocket size addition could be some cute stitch markers. Instagram favourites Korutumi Crochet and Pedros Plaques make adorable ones (and also really unique polymer clay handled hooks)
And how about some pompom makers! I love the Clover ones but there’s loads of brands out there and they are really affordable, cute and useful item to have (no more cutting out cardboard circles like we did at school!).
I hope this has given you a few ideas – I’ll be sending the link to my hubby (just in case he hasn’t noticed those huge hints). What would you add to the list? What’s on your crochet wish list this year – I’d love to hear!