September 13, 2010

to knit • à tricoter • a lavorare a maglia

hand/wrist warmers for Julie
hand/wrist warmers with vintage button "ring"

Julie asked me to knit her a scarf (I think it's called a "Stay Put Scarf"- I've already misplaced the pattern) and I had enough yarn left over to make her some fingerless gloves.

stay put scarf open
scarf open

stay put scarf looped
scarf looped

(See below photo for how the gloves look on a hand... if I had a hand model, I'd have her wearing them while both hands cupped a mug of hot cocoa or something, you get the picture. And I guess I need a neck model, too.

hand/wrist warmers knitted for Sarah, fall 2009.

It's really the time of year to start thinking/creating/shopping handmade gifts if you want to have them all ready in time for the holidays. I'm almost positive we'll be 100% handmade with our gift giving this year, which absolutely excites me!

I've also been thinking about my large arsenal of yarn and vintage buttons and how I could possibly make a few simple items like the hand/wrist warmers and maybe some other fun patterns and maybe sell them?

And I guess I might be seeking out your [free] opinions. Would they be something you'd like to buy for yourself or as gifts? (I have a more unisex/men's version that is all ribbed, too.) Would $20-$25 a pair be too expensive?

I was thinking about making mismatched pairs like one orange & one pink, or one robin's egg blue & one red, and of course matching pairs in all sorts of awesome colors and neutrals, etc. And the buttons could be an accent near the wrist, or on just one hand as a "ring," or no buttons at all.

Also. Are you giving handmade this year? Do you have any awesome (and affordable) suggestions for handmade gifts for kids? Maybe even simple things I can make myself? I wrote about simplifying the holidays last year and hope to do even better this year.

Just some thoughts for now.

I guess in the meantime I could start taking orders (Julie's was for trade in her shop... hello! I should probably use it to give a gift to someone but I really want to keep for myself, and I'm pretty sure I'll be sending her fabric of my own to use!)

I'm always knitting for other people so the next pair I start on today will be for moi.

You can keep up with my knitting shenanigans on ravelry- I'm BabywearKnittery.


  1. AHHHH!!! I'M SO EXCITED!!!! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!!!! I can't wait to get started on a bag for you. :-)

    And, I TOTALLY think that you should use your powers to make/sell gifts. Even if you just swap with other artists (I do a lot of that-- the economy makes etsy a tough place, you have to really promote yourself, but I've found a lot of sellers who are keen to swap.)

    And, if you are going to make/sell items, I'm totally at the top of your list, as I, too, am tyring to a hand-made holiday season! What would you carge for a set (scarf/gloves) like mine?

  2. I love them both, especially the gloves. I could see wearing them inside a store to shop and easy to grab things out of your purse. I don't think the price is too high. You put a lot of time and care in them. I'm proud of you for having this talent. I would still love to knit.

  3. p.s. I love the thoughts of homemade gifts.

  4. Julie-

    I'm so glad! I am thinking depending on the style of scarf, it would be about $40-$50 for a set? I don't know! I will have to try it out. :)


  5. I want a scarf! I want a scarf!
    I love scarves and the idea of knitting them myself, but I've been a failure at knitting in the past. This Fall I may try (again) to learn.

  6. PJ pants are great if you sew. This year I am making a set for most everyone. I knit socks and scarves a few years ago.

    I am starting soon so that I can get it all done and not worry about not having enough time, because I always seem to run out.

    I also bought a vintage pattern for a stuff animal today for $1 that I am excited to make for some of the little people in my life

  7. I would LOVE a pair of those gloves with a cute little accent button! I've always wanted a pair.

    This year, Etsy has been my go-to for all the xmas gifts. I love supporting handmade and it's inexpensive too!


  8. I have made home-made playdoh in the past for kids for christmas and it was a total hit :) Just a suggestion!

  9. I've been wanting a pair of those fingerless gloves for a while now!
    I would defiantly buy some from you, I have no knitting skills what so ever.

  10. lovely! i always think about making things to sell...but it just never seems like i have the time to keep up, ha! too many ideas to make for my own family.

  11. I'd definitely buy a pair of fingerless gloves. The price sounds about right.

    Robin's Egg Blue, pretty please! :)

  12. There is nothing I can make by hand that I would think anyone would want as a gift. I really wish I could knit since I have such a HUGE scarf fetish. I tried to learn once. My fingers just won't cooperate.

  13. super cute :) i say jump on in and give selling your wares a try! and i agree, swapping for other's wonderful handmade creations is pretty fun as well.

    we are currently planning our 3rd handmade holiday. homemade gifts are lovely indeed!


  14. Check with your yarn store for a formula for figuring a price. $20 - 25 are very reasonable and depending on your market may be considered low. The things you knit look very professional and I love the colors you choose. Maybe you could even teach knitting.

  15. If I didn't have a newborn and a TON of unfinished projects I would totally do handmade this year. I guess I could still do it, buying from others. Hmmm...too bad I bought 50 million Kleen Kanteens earlier for gifts. They will go in gift bags I've made, though.

    As for the scarf and mittens. Go for it. Do you have local art fair/bazaars where you could sell them? I would totally pay what you are asking. Just make sure you are not undercutting yourself.

  16. Hi Stephanie! I found your blog after Amelie522 on DesperatelySeekingSilence "stalked" you... and I LOVE THIS. I am a HUGE homemade gifts fan and I hate chintzy gifts and these are SO cool and so perfect. You need to SELL These. Then mamas like me who aren't crafty would TOTALLY buy them! Otherwise, I'm just going to oogle your pics!

  17. Oh, I would trade you some of my jewelry in a hot minute for one of those stay put scarves!!

    I generally give about 80% of my gifts as handmade and stay busy with my business from late October-early January, so I'm SO THANKFUL for people who commit to buying handmade anything they don't make themselves!

    I think that you should go for it when it comes to selling your stuff... it costs so little on Etsy and honestly, you'd probably sell everything via your blog anyway!

  18. p.s. Totally forgot to mention that I bought hundreds of skeins of yarn at markets in Italy if you want to trade any of that, too. ;)

  19. Yay!! I love this idea! I would buy the scarf today if it were listed!! The price seems very reasonable!

  20. I've been knitting like a fiend! I made a Victorian-looking soft pink mohair collar (scarf with a button) for my mom, socks for my sisters-in-law, a wrap for my mother-in-law. We canned extra rhubarb pie filling for my father-in-law (his favorite), and canned tons of super fun stuff for everybody else... chutneys, pickles, salsa... I'm so excited for Christmas!

  21. I am the biggest fan of homemade gifts. LOVE.

    I am trying ONE MORE TIME to get the hang of this knitting thing. If I could churn out some scarves for the women/girls in our family, that would be so hugely helpful. The men are usually overjoyed with baked/food gifts.

    Please keep us updated on your gift ideas that are handmade!

  22. First those are so cool, really. In truth I probably would not buy them for myself but that is because I don't really like anything on my arms. I hardly like wearing long sleeves. But I could totally see buying them for a few relatives.

    As for homemade gifts I enjoy making things for my family. In the past I have made blankets for my niece and nephew. I accompanied them with a book for each child. I have also made a few dresses for female youngsters. I'm thinking about making pillows for the children in the family this Christmas.

  23. Toy slings would be very appropriate for you, and they're easy to sew and don't take much fabric.

    I've also started to make kid's pants, based on a simple pattern in Amanda Soule's "The Creative Family". Surprisingly easy, and satisfying. You can even use old T-shirts to make baby pants.

  24. So weird that you posted this today because I have been thinking of making things for gifts and to sell also. I can't knit but I can sew some and I love to make fun craft decorations. We will see what time allows for me. Good luck to you! I LOVE the scarf!

  25. I love the hand/wrist warmers. I've always thought those look so cool and I like the idea of mismatched ones. If I just decided to wear mismatched wrist warmers that would seem silly, but if you MADE them that way, it'd be like "that's the way they were made, don't they look great?" I would probably pay $20 for a pair, but I think a lot of people, including us, don't have much $$ right now. Most of our extra money is going to pay our midwife, who will be catching Surprise Baby this spring.

    I am friends with our minister's daughter, and showed her the Advent Conspiracy video. She showed it to her dad and now there are a few interested people at our church. We are hoping to do an Advent Fair and help people make their own handmade gifts, and maybe trade or sell stuff for donations. I hope it works out. At the very least, we are making most of our gifts this year. I am excited!

  26. There was a time when I was single and poor, but my siblings were having kids like candy. I didn't have enough money to cover 7 nieces and nephews, so I created "Your Special Day" boxes, and in them, I would put stuff we would use for a special day with their favorite aunt - a Diet Coke 2-liter and a package of Mentos for my sciene-loving nephew, paper folded and covered with construction paper to look like a book with a box of crayons for my book-loving niece, etc. In each one, I put a calendar page with a day I knew I'd be off that I had designated as their special day. I still get requests from my "grown" nieces and nephews fo Special Day boxes. Just a thought.

  27. I love the fingerless gloves. I have a pair my friend made me, but the only problem is that they got really fuzzy really fast...maybe it was the yarn? anyway - I love the idea of mismatched. And the buttons are such a sweet detail. I'd spend $20-25 on a pair for a gift, although perhaps not for myself. Not because they aren't worth that much, but just because it's harder to buy something like that for yourself, you know?

    fun fun fun. I haven't knitted in far too long. But I do think I'm going to start painting again this fall. I go down to part-time (WOHM) in October and am hoping for more time to create. It's so good for the soul.

    xoxo (I really like you.)


  28. I can't knit, but love to crochet! I'm looking for a pattern...but don't like the ones I've tried. Maybe it's the yarn. What weight do you think it should be?


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