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Gifted: Lovely Little Things to Knit & Crochet

Reported by Jen Geigley

Knitting books are my most favorite resource, and I have to admit that I get excited when I see anything with ‘gift’ in the title (because that little word usually means quick-knits or smaller items that are easy to finish). So I was happy to have the chance to check out Gifted: Lovely Little Things to Knit & Crochet by Mags Kandis. If you love to knit, and enjoy giving your hand-knit items as gifts, you’ll adore this book.

A peek inside Gifted reveals a wide variety of projects for both knitters and crocheters, including scarves, mittens, hats, and baby items… but then also venturing into more creative territory with things like trivets, coasters, a wrist rest, notebook sleeves, knitting needle cases, and more. The book is divided into two sections: Gifts for the Body has patterns for lots of accessories, and Gifts for the Soul includes non-wearables and several felted projects. The best part is that all of the projects really are small and perfect for gift-giving.

I loved the little details and embellishments included throughout, like these crocheted flowers. This book also includes cool ideas for sewn fabric gift bags and sachets to pair with your handmade gifts
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Mags also shows examples on how to add these small additions to accessories, and ways to personalize projects with beads, needle-felting, embroidery or applique.
Several projects in the book explore sewing techniques and use scraps of felted knitting or even re-purposed items like old sweaters, which was really fun to see!
The first project I decided to try was ‘bevy of bangles.’ This is the perfect starter project if you’ve never attempted felting something you’ve knitted before (you really can’t screw it up… and look at how cute these bracelets are!).
You start by knitting a narrow strip of stockinette using 100% wool yarn, or another fiber that will felt well. I used Stitch Nation by Debbie Stoller Full o’Sheep in two different colors.

Using a three-needle bind off, you end up with huge rings that look like this (before felting). You can hand-felt these using hot water in your sink, or do what I did – throw them in the washer and dryer. Just check on them periodically to make sure they don’t shrink down too far.

Mine ended up looking like this. I used extra strands of Full o’Sheep to wind the contrasting colored stripes around the bangles.
I love how soft (yet solid!) these are! Mine turned out a little bit chunkier than the ones shown in the book, but all yarn felts differently. This is the perfect stash-buster – it hardly used up any yarn at all. Such a fast and fun project!

The second pattern I wanted to try was the ‘linen summer wrap.’

The photos of this scarf/wrap were just too pretty and I couldn’t resist!

I love the yarn they used in the book (Berocco Linen Jeans unbleached muslin) but wanted to use something I had on hand, so I grabbed a skein of I Love This Cotton in olive green.
In one evening – and using only one skein of yarn – I had this awesome lightweight scarf! I love how it drapes and cotton yarn totally works for this. I love it so much that I think I’m going to make another one in black right away! It’s totally wearable with just about anything.

Here are just a few more peeks at fun patterns this book includes:(I love the ear warmers!)

Gifted: Lovely Little Things to Knit & Crochet (by Mags Kandis)
Interweave Press
Price: $24.95
Paperback
136 pages
30+ projects and patterns

Pros:

  • This book offers a wide variety of small projects.
  • Gifted is not just a pattern book – it includes sewing, repurposed, recycled and felted projects.
  • In my opinion, the majority of the patterns are very usable and/or wearable. (And very gift-able!)
  • The little felted bits, gift tags and hearts are super cute and fast to make and would be a cute addition to just about anything you make.


Cons:

  • Some projects are knitting patterns and some are crochet patterns. If you’re not bi-stitchual (meaning you only know how to knit or crochet) you may not be able to make all of the projects in the book.

  • There are quite a few felting projects in this book. (I believe 15, to be exact.) If you’re not keen on felting, this seem like a lot to you. On the flip side … if you’ve felted anything before, it might get you excited to try it! 
  • Some of the projects take a bit more time to complete, like the fair isle or felted granny square bag. (Lots of the patterns included are fast and easy ones … but not everything can be a one-night project!)

Have you picked up a copy of Gifted yet? With autumn coming fast, what do you think you’ll be knitting and gifting this season?

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4 Responses to Gifted: Lovely Little Things to Knit & Crochet

  1. Avatar
    Alesha September 2, 2010 at 8:17 am #

    Thanks for the review. I will definitely have to check this out. I get frustrated with projects that take knitting and crocheting because i only crochet. 🙁

  2. Avatar
    ohradiogirl September 2, 2010 at 11:57 am #

    I’ll take that linen summer wrap in olive green. Thanks. Nice article.

  3. Avatar
    leah September 2, 2010 at 12:23 pm #

    I can’t wait to get my hands on this book! It’s been on my wish list since it came out. ^_^

  4. Avatar
    dining table September 3, 2010 at 1:27 am #

    Those stuffs are so amazing. I can’t believe that you can make that kind of amazing stuff by knitting. It is so fashionable and attractive as well.