Books to help you give this season

Posted Nov. 09, 2009, at 5:21 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 30, 2011, at 11:25 a.m.

The season of gift giving is upon us — time to make things by hand.

Two books that will inspire knitters and crocheters to create presents for family and friends are:

“Knitted Gifts” by Anne Budd. Budd has taken the lesson “It is better to give than to receive” and done something about it. She has compiled a book of knitting patterns that are irresistible to make and give — like Texter Gloves, designed by Kim Hamlin (are we cousins?! — I don’t know). These gloves are knit with half-holes to bare the thumbs and keep them free for text messaging in the coldest months. A thumb flap keeps the digits warm when not texting.

Several fast and reasonably easy-to-do designs in the book are Therese Inverso’s felt catnip mouse and felted Fair Isle napkin rings.

For a touch of romance for one’s mom or best friend, there’s Ulla’s Scarf designed by Nancy Bush.

One of Anne Budd’s contributions to the book is a child’s hobbyhorse. Knit a big sock, felt it, stuff it with fiberfill and tie it to a broomstick or dowel, add eyes, mane and bridle and soon the little one in the family will be shouting, “Giddyup.”

The book also contains a total of 37 designs, including hats, mittens, bags, pillows, leg warmers and a bunting.

“Crocheted Gifts” by Kim Werker. Crocheters will delight in the designs in this book. Start with the Sea Star Pendant designed by Katie Kimmelberg. The pendant, suspended from a silver chain, is a pretty bit of wearable art, a quick and easy gift to make.

Fast forward to the Trinity Lace Shrug designed by Annie Modesitt. It is crocheted in silk and SeaCell (fiber made from the stuff mollusks manufacture to glue themselves to rocks so the tide won’t wash them away). The garment is airy and lacy, perfect to wear over a prom gown or a summer dress.

Take a look at Ravissant Socks designed by Robyn Chachula. If you know someone who has a yen to wear lace on her feet, this is the right thing to make for her.

For cozy nights curled up with a book, there’s the All-Star Blanket designed by Doris Chan. Although the blanket is child-size, it can be made larger by crocheting more motifs.

The book contains 25 designs, including a baby hat, a lacy cardigan, several small bags, easy-to-do friendship bracelets and even a spiral patterned rug.

Make things from these books to give or give the books. Either way, you’ll be a gift-giving heroine.

Books aren’t the only way to gift those who love to knit.

Try these CDs and DVDs:

“The Secret Language of Knitters” by Mary Beth Temple, read by the author, and “Mason-Dixon Knitting Outside the Lines” by Kay Gardiner and Anne Shayne, read by the authors. These CDs are produced by Knitting Out Loud, a company based in Stockton Springs.

CDs are a great way to immerse yourself in knitting when you are driving and can’t actually knit. Both books have been popular with those who enjoy reading about knitting.

“Knitting Daily TV Series 300, Episodes 1-13.” Episodes include Traditional Cables, All About Alpaca, Start Spinning, Gifts for Every Season and Eco-Friendly and Green. The series contains 5 hours, 48 minutes of knitting with guest designers and knitters. Viewers will learn about cast-on methods, managing yarns for color work, tips on becoming a designer and many other bits of knitting lore.

Two more Knitting Daily DVD products:

“Introduction to Fair Isle: The Ivy League Vest” with Eunny Jang. Viewers will learn how to swatch, hold the yarns and maintain correct tension, fix simple mistakes, casting on for steeks and cutting steeks. Running time is a little less than an hour.

“Classic to Creative: Knit Cables” with Kathy Zimmerman. Viewers will learn how to interpret a stitch chart, be introduced to a variety of cable designs and types of cable needles. Free downloads for a cables scarf and a cabled sweater are included with the DVD. Running time is a bit over an hour.

To learn more about these books, CDs and DVDs, check with your favorite bookstore or video and CD store.

Snippets

— The Women’s Re-entry Center in Bangor needs additional volunteers to help teach basic sewing skills and introductory quilting. The goal is to have six active volunteers who would be available for two hours on Thursday afternoons, at least twice each month.

The quilt program began about 18 months ago and has been a great success with residents at the center. The women are learning skills they can use for a lifetime, and the program helps them reconnect with society as they get ready to leave the facility, said volunteer Liane Giambalvo.

To volunteer, contact Giambalvo at lgiambalvo@tds.net or 862-3356, or Carrie Hart at 561-5028, or carrie.hart@voanne.org.

— The Bangor Area Chapter of the American Sewing Guild will offer a workshop on making a “4 Corners Apron” at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 14, at the Hampden Municipal Center. The class is open to new and experienced sewers and is a way to get a start on Christmas giving.

The cost for the class is $10 guild members, $15 for others. Call Kathy Childs at 941-8815 for information or to register and get a supplies list.

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