I used to think of homemade gifts as cheap. Something that only incredibly thrifty (when that word used to have a bad connotation in my head) people gave. I used to think of homemade gifts as macaroni necklaces that kids made for their parents in school. I used to think of the importance of gifts in the form of monetary value. I used to work really hard to give all people of the same “level” in my life (e.g. my parents and in-laws) the same dollar amount of gifts. I used to relish in finding the perfect gift for someone and when I couldn’t find the absolute perfect gift I was crushed.
Yes, I’ll admit that my sudden interest in homemade gifts is partially because of money (or the lack thereof), but it’s also because in making the thing I’ve made for Peanut so far, I’ve realized how much value is put in something just by the fact that I made it. Rather than walking into a store and randomly picking out something that seems good for that person, I can give them something that I personally decided would be useful in their life, I spent the hours making it, and it will last a lot longer than the dinky thing I picked out in the store. So for my mom’s birthday, I decided to make her two gifts (because they’re both small things). I spent no extra money on these because I already had the yarn (and she’ll know that) and that’s okay.
Gift 1: Coffee cup cozy
My mom drinks coffee every day and even when she’s at home she drinks it out of a portable cup. She uses reusable cups and those are better insulated than the disposable ones, but being even less likely to burn your hand seems like a good thing. She even surprised me by putting it on her soda bottle when she received it! Dual purpose!
Here’s the general directions for what I did. I just did rows 7 and 13 in the K1 P1 configuration because I didn’t know how to do YF (yarn front). There’s also a little defect if you look close–I accidentally got the knits and purls backwards on a row so they shift. I’ll call that a quirk since it’s the thought that really matters.
Gift 2: Bookmark
I obviously had some yarn left over after my Gryffindor scarf. My mom is an avid reader and while most of it is done on her Kindle now-a-days, I figured that a nice knitted bookmark could be good for when she gets books from the library. From what I’ve read online, yarn bookmarks damage pages less than some bookmarks you can buy in the store (like metal ones), but last a lot longer than paper ones.
I used the same idea as the Gryffindor scarf. Smaller knitting needle (6 US) made it a bit awkward to work with, but it wasn’t too much of a hassle and I like the smaller knits for the smaller version of it. Do make sure that you do the exact same number of rows for each block though, or else it will look wrong. It’s also important to note that you need to switch colors when the right side is facing you (i.e. the side that looks like the picture above) because otherwise you’ll have random lines of color throughout both sides.
So that’s my mom’s birthday gifts. She seemed pretty happy when we gave them to her and said that she was extra happy we didn’t spend money on it. I’m really happy that I made them and I’ll certainly be doing more homemade gifts in the future.