Last-Minute, DIY and MIY Gift Ideas

An assortment of smaller felted bags in a bright rainbow of colors. They are all arranged on a deep window sill in Nora Bellows former artist studio in the Savage Mill.
Delicious little bags . . . one for each of your loved family and friends.

This year I’m going to make everything I give as gifts. It gets me in the holiday spirit, I feel more connected to the friends and family I give gifts to, and I think thoughtful (and perishable) gifts are more memorable and more sustainable than more stuff.

Whatever you are planning, I thought I would share with you what I’m making:

First, my knitting projects:

Tiny Knitted and Felted (Coin and Treasure) Purses

An array of rainbow-colored Lipstick and Change purses sits against a white background.

My FAVORITE knitted gifts are TINY knitted gifts. I still can’t make enough tiny and small purses that anyone can tuck away in a larger bag, or a lingerie drawer, or a knitting bag, or even a jacket pocket. Some will be lined. Some not. They are perfect for beloved friends with treasures tucked inside, or for teachers we have admired, or attached to a wine bottle as a host gift, or as part of the wrapping decadence around a larger gift.

Some will include spring gate rings so my recipients can clip their little purse to their key chains and carry it everywhere to catch those stray coins, that one dollar left over. Here is a gallery of some of the designs in my own Noni Patterns catalogue. Click on the image and it will take you right to the pattern page.

On The Go Purses

Please share this post with your knitting friends on social media and through email.

I’ve got all the frames and chains you need for all these purses at the Noni online store.

It’s Flower-Knitting Season

Web-Flowers-are-Quick-Knits

Knitted Flowers are the quintessential quick knit. Add knitted flowers to anything old, new, hand-made, ready-to-wear, unapologetically for you, and that made-to-be-special heirloom gift.

While a scarf of simple construction takes days, or much much longer if it is made in fingering weight yarn and has any sort of color-work, short rows, or gradient color changes and patterning so popular now. Brioche can take weeks.

Flowers, on the other hand, require a few hours, or as little as 20 minutes. I was sitting at the kitchen table the other day making Camellias and Bling Flowers (Cherry Blossoms by another name) in different gauge yarns, from fingering to worsted-weight, so as to achieve a variety of sizes, from delicate cherry blossoms to  . . . one right after another.

The picture below shows a purse I recently made: a W purse in Hot Pink with 2 beaded Camellias and many Bling Flowers. After beading all those flowers, I decorated the purse in an extravagant way.

W-purse-with-camellias-and-bling-flowers

Picture a 6-8-10 bag in white and pale green for a spectacular bridal keepsake purse. Or Grace Kelly’s Overnight Bag in black and grey for a gallery opening, or in palest blue with a bright garden of flowers in the colors of sorbet as a Mother’s Day gift.

For smaller, quicker gifts, I make pairs of flowers, sew them onto flower clips and give them as decorations that can be used singly or in pairs to adorn sandals, one’s hair. . . the neckline of a favorite t-shirt. Here is a picture of a purchased ruffly scarf decorated with a single beaded bling flower.

Noni-bling-flower-with-ruffled-scarf

How long does a Bling Flower take to make? you might be wondering.

I timed myself. It took between 15 and 30 minutes to make each worsted-weight Bling Flowers on a size 6 needle. It didn’t take long for me to memorized the pattern. That’s a speedy hand-knitted gift. You could have a lovely hostess gift flower clipped to a bottle of wine or jar of tasty Sundried Tomato bread spread done in less than an hour.

Sundried-Tomatoes-with-Cherry-Blossom.gif

Knitted flowers are a beautiful and economical gift that allow you to demonstrate your devotion to loved one in a heartfelt way. That’s the best kind of gift.