Do you have lots of knitted gift ideas, but always end up knitting late into the night or giving “Knitting IOUs” instead of the beautiful hand-knit creations you imagined? This post can help by outlining how to start your own gift giving journal. 

Just after the last holiday season, someone reminded me that it is never too early to start planning your gift knitting. In fact, it is never too early because most of us have gift giving occasions sprinkled through the year, not just during the holidays. 

Now I am NOT suggesting that you cast on new gifts the moment you’re finished with the gifts you are working on now. I AM suggesting giving some thought, time and attention to creating a plan to get the knit gifts you want to create, done. 

Imagine being fully confident in your gift knitting plan. Imagine how you will feel when you 

  • Know that you have it all under control.
  • Have a clear, thought-out plan of what to knit for whom and when (as well as for whom you will not be knitting).
  • Know exactly 
    • what to do
    • when
    • what you need
    • where everything is
    • where you are on each project
  • Have a Plan B (because no matter how well we plan, sometimes life throws a wrench into the works)
  • Know exactly where to find this information.

Plan Your Gift Giving Journal

Grab the Gift Giving Journal for Knitters:

When you make a plan, you will have so much more peace of mind with your gift knitting. 

What steps can you take to make this happen?

Make a Gift-worthy List

This is all the people who you give gifts to throughout the year.  This will give you a good idea of how many gifts you need to buy or make in total. 

Make a List of Gift-giving Occasions by Month

This will give you a quick overview of when you need to have your gifts knit throughout the year.

Make a Knit-worthy List

Decide which of the people on your gift-worthy list are also knit-worthy. Knit-worthy people are those who are open to hand-made gifts, appreciate them and use them.  

Brainstorm Project Ideas

Write a list of all the knit gift ideas you have. Make sure that you take into consideration the recipients’ likes, dislikes, allergies, etc. as well as your own. You will spend a lot of time with whatever projects you choose. Make sure that the project is not going to be something you really dislike working on. 

Just because the person you are knitting for likes something does not necessarily mean that you need to spend hours, days or weeks making that particular thing. Perhaps you can choose to make something that will make the person just as happy and make the knitting more pleasant for you. 

Plan Individual Projects

Decide which project you will make for each person and write down all the details of the project: which pattern, which yarns, which needles, where you are keeping the project while working on it, and all the other myriad details you need to keep track of.   

Keep Track of Details About the Knit-worthy

Keep all the details about each person in one place: their preferences, allergies, measurements, a list of gifts already made, etc. so that you know exactly where  to find this information when you need it. 

Write Down When Gifts Need to Be Done/Mailed

It is important to not only know when you are giving gifts, but also when they need to be done by and mailed by (especially during the busy holiday mailing season).

Keep Track of and Celebrate Your Progress

Keep track of how well you are doing on each project and as you finish each project, do something to commemorate your progress and celebrate. 

You can use this Gift Knitting Tracker to mark off each finished project:

  • write the person’s name in the gift and 
  • colour the box to show the gift is finished
I want the Tracker!
... ...

I encourage you to hang this tracker on the wall. That way you can easily see it and see what great progress you are making. 

Keep Ongoing Lists of Projects You Want to Make

This will make planning much easier the next time you sit down to plan.  You can even add a recipient’s name if you think a specific project is perfect for that person. 

Keep Track of How Much Time Projects Take

This will help you plan future gifts with much more precision. It will also help you to see what progress you are making, especially if you are working on several different projects at once, where it is harder to see the overall progress.

Keep an Ongoing Shopping List

Write all the things you need to buy to complete your planned projects. This can include wrapping and shipping supplies if you like. Keep it with all your other gift knitting planning information so you always know exactly what you need to buy. 

Keep Your Planning in One Place

If you want to do all of this in one spot, you can get Gift Giving Journal for Knitters: Get organized, plan all your knit gifts and start knitting (created by yours truly) on Amazon and have one place to keep all this information for your gift knitting. The journal includes pages for everything mentioned above. Plus, there are dot grid, square grid, knitter’s graph (4 x 5), stitch grid (4 x5) and lined page for taking notes, making sketches, graphing charts, etc. 

The square grid paper is great for schematics (what the finished project will look like and measure). But is not good for graphing the knitting itself.

For most knitting,  stitches are wider than they are tall. Knitter’s graph and knit stitch grids reflects that. So when you draw out a design, it will look closer to the knitted design than if you were to draw it on a square grid. 

Tips and Tricks to Make it Easier

There are some things you can do to make your gift knitting easier and faster. 

Check What You’ve Already Knit

You may have a stash of projects that you have already knit without having a real plan. If you have some of these items, decide on who on your list to give them to and, voilà, you can have several gifts done in an instant. 

Choose Quick and Easy Patterns

Choose patterns that take only a few hours or a few days to make for most of your list

You can add a few complex projects as well, but don’t make all your gifts complex. 

Choose Patterns You Love to Knit

Not only does it make knitting more fun, but it makes it easier and more efficient if you aren’t fighting  your own reluctance to knit a project. 

Have Projects Easily Accessible for Knitting

This may mean having a large basket with all your current projects in one place or it may mean having different projects in different locations so that you can easily pick up a project appropriate for the location. 

  • Keep TV knits (ones where you can divide your attention between the project and your TV) near the chair where you watch TV.
  • Have super portable knits (for example, socks) in your purse for on-the-go knitting. 
  • Keep more complex knits in a spot where you are less likely to be distracted.

This way, you can work on several projects at once, depending on the complexity and stage of the project.  

Choose One Project to Knit Repeatedly

One way to make it easier is to choose one specific pattern or several similar patterns and make that for each person on your list. 

This can make life easy because once you knit the project once, you:

  • Know exactly what to do to create the rest. 
  • Can use the same yarn for all:
    • Can do one gauge swatch once instead of one gauge swatch per project.
    • As you finish each gift, you will have all your needles and notions already assembled for the next one.
    • Will be more efficient in yarn usage.  You can use up the leftovers of one gift for the next. For example, if you only use 10 g of a 100 g ball for each project and you are making 5 of them, you would have 450 g (90 g each) of leftovers in various yarns. When using the same yarn, you can use that remaining yarn for the next project, use fewer full balls  and have only one partial ball left at the end. 
    • Become completely familiar with the yarn and its idiosyncrasies and what to do about them. 

Before you start down this road, make sure that you are happy to knit the same project over and over again. It may be efficient but if it drives you nuts, it’s not worth it. 

Have a Plan B

For each person on your list, have a Plan B.

That is, figure out something else that you can give that person if you realize that you cannot finish whatever it is you have planned to knit for them.
Give yourself some grace and some peace of mind and know that it is OK to give a gift that isn’t hand-knit or even hand-made. 

Have a Plan B and then (and this is the hard part) be willing to actually act on it.

Planning can make your gift giving less stressful, more efficient and more fun. What do you have to lose?  Try it today!

Just write everything in a notebook or get the paperback or hardcover version of Gift Giving Journal for Knitters: Get organized, plan all your knit gifts and start knitting and start planning. 

And don’t forget to grab the Knit Gifts Tracker:

I want the Tracker!
... ...

What kind of knitter are you?
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