Last-Minute Gifts of the Magi

By Kay Gardiner
December 22, 2016

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  • For the first time EVER, I will take the project, needles and all, wrap it up and smile. No other option.

    • I have always believed this to be totally acceptable – if someone isn’t glad to get a future hand-knit, they wouldn’t have deserved it if it was finished, anyway.

  • Your Hansel is gorgeous, as usual I love the colors you’ve chosen. Knitted prayer shawls were around long before I learned to knit, and I’ve never thought about making one (until now)! Can it be any shawl or wrap pattern? It’s more about the thoughts while knitting, right? Thank you for the inspiration!

  • I expect to be gifting one sock… or most of one anyway! Fortunately the giftee is going to be staying a while (3 weeks) so the pair will be finished before she leaves.

  • Oh I love your Hansel, and what a very special gift that will be!
    I made Gudrun’s Simmer Dim for Louise Scollay’s KnitBritish HapALong in 2015 and it was SO much fun! Totally different from any other project I’ve made…needle sizes, design, even proper authentic happish yarn (who knew yarn could be so amazingly sticky?) And the “Hapalong 2015 FO Gallery” thread on rav was something to behold. In fact, I think I’ll go peruse it again right now for inspiration.

    • I’m feeling sad now that I missed the hapalong! I’m a happy hapster at the moment. It’s hitting that sweet spot where the needles just fly.

  • Yesterday, with great relief, I kitchenered the toe of a second sock, men’s 14. Literally a foot long. They weren’t a “have to,” just a “want to” gift for a man whose tremendous feet have never experienced a hand knit sock. Like your prayer shawl, it added some pressure to the season but also gave me a feeling of purpose, so everybody wins.

  • More proof, if any were needed, that knitters make the best friends.

    • And have the best friends….kind of a circular process, I think.

  • The best reason ever to drop what you are knitting, and start something new. What a special shawl it will be.

  • I agree about the satisfaction of knitting something unexpected for someone else at this time of year. I set aside my Christmas knitting to make a few chemo caps for a 3 year old with brain cancer this last week. A friend of mine asked for these for her goddaughter, and I was glad to do it. My husband can wait for his Christmas cardigan and a little girl will hopefully feel the love knit into an anonymous gift.

    • There should be a hashtag #longsufferingspousesofknitters. My husband always, *always* asked “is that for me?” Ever hopeful! Usually disappointed!

      • mine too!

  • Thanks for the permission to give IOUs. It reminds me to send a note to a friend for whom I am knitting a sweater/jacket with yarn that she bought for the project. I warned her that it would take last place behind targeted knitting (birthdays, Christmas), but this is getting ridiculous! I’ll let her know what progress I’ve made, and when she might (MIGHT!) expect it. Big road trip coming up — lots of knitting time!

  • I made a last minute prayer shawl for my then 8 year old niece a couple years ago – she became fascinated with them at church apparently. Perfect drop-everything-and-knit item! Also knit a toy stuffed onion for same niece prior year because my sister couldn’t find one in stores (can’t imagine why not!).

  • It can be a rare thing (rare like a unicorn horn) to have a Hand-knit Need match up so perfectly with the Right Knitter, Yarn, and Pattern. Serendipity? Or a holiday miracle, perhaps? I love that inspiring git-er-done knit-with-a-purpose feeling.

    And i love this inspired mega-Hansel project:

    • Tiffanie! Thank you thank you! I cannot believe Elithea did this! So beautiful. Really appreciate you sharing it.

  • I created a simple swatch-length project that’s perfect for my tea-loving friends called My Tea Sock. It’s my gift to all.

  • Lovely colors! There is something so comforting about haps. And the almost magical warmth-to-lightness ratio of Loft!

    If you don’t mind my curious question (and if you do, please feel free to ignore!): is it a prayer-shawl-as-in-tallit, or a

    (I’ve never heard of anybody knitting a tallit, but you never know!)

    A few years ago at the holidays, we made the latter kind of prayer shawl/blanket for one of my husband’s family members, with all the crafty people in the family passing it along and knitting a few inches. Truly a wabi sabi final product, where the variations in the knitting were a beautiful reminder of how many people’s love and intention were embodied in its creation.

  • It’s the latter–I’m freelancing the knitting of it and will get it blessed by the minister of a friend’s church; the church has a prayer shawl ministry.

    But I do know that there is such a thing as a handknit tallit–Annie Modesitt made a beautiful one for her son’s bar mitzvah.

  • Thank you! The kind words in this post are themselves a gift. Thank you for spreading the love and sharing the joy! The shawl is beautiful.

  • There is no better feeling that knitting this kind of project for a friend. You are wonderful Kay! Happy Holidays to you and yours!

  • That is the most beautiful group of yarns k nitted together that I have seen in a long time. I love the colors. Would you share what the pattern is and where you got the yarn. I have been wanting to make a shawl for myself, not a prayer shawl, just a shawl for warmth around the house. I would appreciate information. Thanks. Kay H