Perfect knitting gift ideas for advanced knitters and beginners. Unique or inexpensive presents for Christmas, birthdays, etc
Knitting is an incredibly rewarding hobby but non-knitters often see it as a bit of an enigma. If you have never knitted a single stitch, finding the perfect present for a knitter can be quite a challenge. What do and what don’t they really need? To answer all your questions, I put together this list with over 15 simple gifts for knitters.
You can also check out my blog post about of 25 things every knitter needs but this list here will address the challenges of finding a present for an upcoming birthday or Christmas in a more direct and hands-on way. I’ve been knitting for 35+ years and I’ll be sharing all my tips and past experiences with you here.
I received quite a lot of gifts in my life and I can tell you which mistakes you should avoid and how to get it right and surprise a knitter the right way.
Note: I earn a small commission for purchases made through links in this article.
Important things you need before buying knitting gifts
Knitting is a very wide field and this hobby offers you lots of different possibilities. Some knitters just knit socks, while others focus on shawls, and yet others love making toys. Before you try to find a gift for your knitting friend, you need to do some simple inquiries to find out their knitting niche.
Here’s the good news: Most knitters are really passionate about their hobby and will be quite happy to talk with someone about it. So, why don’t you take some time and ask them some simple questions about their hobby? Maybe like this:
“Hey, I saw this yarn shop online and I was wondering: You are a knitter, right? Why are there just so many choices? Isn’t all yarn the same?”
And then you could follow up with a: “Oh, right! So, what are you mainly knitting? What kind of wool are you using?” And take it from there. Once you understand what your friend likes, you can narrow down the choices and find the perfect knitting gift for them a lot easier.
And the best part: This kind of conversation won’t feel unnatural to a knitter at all.
So, let’s dive right into it, eh?
There is one golden rule in knitting and it says: “A knitter can never have too much yarn.” I virtually know no knitter who wouldn’t be genuinely thankful for receiving some quality yarn.
There are three things you need to make sure of before buying yarn:
- First of all, you need to make sure the weight (meaning the thickness) is something the presentee loves knitting with. You probably never can go wrong with DK (double knitting) yarn. But if they love knitting socks or shawls, fingering or lace weight might be a better option.
- Color choice: You probably got a good inkling of which colors they like already. But if they are frequently wearing their own knitted garments, try to pick something similar.
- Quality: Good yarn is a bit more expensive ($20-30). You can get cheaper yarns, obviously, but these are often nothing really unique. For a nice present, I’d go for a hand-dyed yarn or something that says “special”.
You can find my list of the best hand-dyed yarns here.
There’s one last thing you need to know. It’s better to buy two skeins and not just one. 100 grams is often not enough to finish anything else but a hat. So, with two skeins the giftee will have a lot more choices in terms of actually using the yarn.
Note: If you cannot answer the 3 questions above, then I’d refrain from buying yarn. It’s a bit like perfume. Either you know their taste or you are just wasting money.
2. Etsy voucher
Almost everyone who loves crafting knows Etsy. There’s virtually no knitting tool/supply you can’t find on the platform. And the best part: you are usually supporting small businesses when you buy there.
If you are really unsure about which present you should buy, you can always get a nice Etsy voucher (you can buy them here). Don’t get one from Amazon or so – their choice of knitting supplies is a looot more limited.
It’s probably not the most creative gift ever. At the same time, it still shows you spent some time thinking about their hobby and what they really need. As the vouchers start at 20€ it’s also one of the more inexpensive gift ideas for knitters. Plus, you can print it out at home. So, it’s a great last-minute alternative.
3. A nice project bag
Did you know there is something called SSS – second sock syndrome? Well, it alludes to the fact that a lot of knitters love starting projects but lack the motivation to finish it. As a result, we are always in need of project bags. Those are special bags where you can store a work in progress in a safe way so unsuspecting family members or other calamities don’t befall to hours and hours of careful stitching.
You can find a nice choice of project bags here
Pick something that matches the general style and preferences of your friend. But also, something that is more than just a simple canvas bag. As a knitter, I appreciate it when there is at least one little pocket where I can store some scissors and other little tools.
And the best part: I own about 4 project bags. But if someone gave me another one, I’d happily take it.
You might also buy a nice airtight storage box. Most knitters have a huge stash and there’s never enough space in what you have. I always buy these here on Amazon.
4. A knitting (pattern) book
Who doesn’t like a good read? Most knitters are continuously on the lookout for new patterns or new techniques to try out. A book is a lovely way to expand your knowledge.
I put together a list of the best knitting books here.
You will have to make sure, however, that the presentee doesn’t already own the book (which might be a bit more difficult). You could also go for a more specific approach if you got some background information. Here are three examples:
- The Official Harry Potter Knitting Pattern Book
- Outlander Knitting: The Official Book of 20 Knits Inspired by the Hit Series
- Geek Knits: Over 30 Projects for Fantasy Fanatics, Science Fiction Fiends, and Knitting Nerds (Knit & Crochet)
5. Stitch markers – The inexpensive option
Looking for inexpensive gifts for knitters? Then stitch markers could be a lovely option. You have to know that some projects involve 400 or more stitches on the needles. And it’s very easy to lose count. To avoid this, you use little loops in between your stitches so you can mark important sections in your pattern.
If you search around on Etsy, I’m sure you will easily find something really nice and fun for below 10 USD: Explore the stitch markers here.
Personally speaking, I’d pick something that is removable (so more like a safety pin and not just a closed loop). And stay away from anything that is too big/heavy.
6. An interchangeable knitting needle set
In terms of tools, an interchangeable knitting needle set is probably close to the holy grail. So, it could be one of the best gifts for knitters ever. The problem: If you already own a quality set, you don’t necessarily need another one. Plus they are also more on the expensive side (70-160 USD).
If you are interested, then you can read my review of the best interchangeable knitting needles here. Or you can simply use these shopping links:
- ChiaoGoo Twist Red Lace Interchangeable Set
- Hiya Hiya 5 Inch Sharp Limited Edition Deluxe (and here’s the small set I initially bought)
- addi Knitting Needles Click Mixed Set (here a link to the Standard Rocket (Long) Lace Tips)
- Knitter’s Pride Nova Platina
There’s one thing you need to know, however. Most of these companies offer a lot of different choices. So, even if you find out that your friend already has the ChiaoGoo Set, you could still give them the ChiaoGoo Twist Shorties or ChiaoGoo Double-Pointed Needle Set
In fact, knowing that they love this (or another company) will ensure that they might appreciate a set with double-pointed needles (used for knitting socks).
7. Knitting needle accessories
If your budget is very small and you know they already own an interchangeable knitting needle set, then you could simply buy them some additional accessories. For example, you could get them some spare cables. You can never have enough of them (like these CHIAOGOO Twist Small Lace Cables), trust me.
Obviously, you do have to inquire about what kind of needles they are currently using. But that should be easy enough. You will find tons of accessories for all major brands (Here’s an example). I just picked ChiaoGoo here because it’s the most popular brand in the US for advanced knitters.
Note: Most of these accessories only work with one brand and are not interchangeable with other brands. So, you absolutely need to know which brands they predominantly use.
8. Yarn bowl
You probably couldn’t count the comic strips featuring cats playing with a ball of yarn. There is, however, a kernel of truth hidden in there. Yarn does like to run away (and cats DO like to play with knitting. But that’s another story) and you may not want to place it on the floor where it can get dirty, to begin with.
That’s why there are special yarn bowls available. You can place a ball of yarn inside and it will be much easier to knit with. Most knitters I know don’t own one and if you pick a really nice design it probably wouldn’t matter if they already have one. Some shops even offer you to personalize them!
Here is a lovely choice of different yarn bowls
9. Customized tags
A very unique and special gift for knitters could be customized tags. They are available in a lot of different qualities (leather, embroidered fabric, wood, etc) and you can attach them to any finished project and it will say something like “made with love by…” or whatever else.
You can find customized tags here
I feel these tags can add a nice and very personal touch to a knitted garment – especially when the knitter often knits socks (etc) for others. Usually, they are not very expensive either.
10. Knitting related T-Shirt
Sometimes, the perfect gift for a knitter is nothing you would need to knit at all. If you look around the internet, you will find tons of fun t-shirts and even bags. And if you know your friend loves wearing t-shirts, then I am sure one saying “Knit fast, die warm” or some other witty little one-liner will be well received.
Here’s a lovely choice of fun knitting t-shirts on Etsy
11. Knitting inspired Mug
And likewise, knitting is usually a hobby with no clear boundaries and no dedicated workspace. You will knit while watching tv or sitting on the terrace. Often, you will want to drink a nice cup of coffee or tea while adding one row at a time. So, in my opinion, a lovely little mug could be a beautiful present for a knitter that is not all that expensive.
Now, don’t just think of mugs saying “I love knitting”. Instead, think beyond the obvious. Most yarn is sheep wool. So, why not get a lovely little mug with some sheep on it.
And, following that line of thought, you could easily add some nice tea for a really well-rounded present that may not shout knitting but will still be really useful. Or some nice scented candles. Anything that makes the act of knitting more pleasant.
12. Wearable Craft light
It might not be pretty but, to me, it was one of the best investments ever. Especially in winter, when it gets dark so early, you are always having trouble seeing your stitches when knitting. And then you can switch on every available light in the room to tanning studio intensity or you can simply wear a little led light around your neck.
Here’s the neck light with the best reviews on Amazon
If it’s a gift, you might consider getting the matching case for easy storage
13. Needle Case
One thing non-knitters might not know: You don’t just need one set of needles. Almost every project and every yarn asks for a slightly different kind of needle. Thicker, thinner, longer, and even circular ones. As a result, you end up with tons of needles that a lot of knitters end up throwing in a box or some drawer – where they eventually get lost.
There are special knitting needle cases that will help to organize your collection.
Again, pick something that really matches the tastes of the knitter. Be careful though. There are cases for double-pointed needles (used for socks) and for circular needles (with a cable in between).
14. (Organic) wool detergent
Did you know that most hand-knitted items are handwash/dry flat only? While there are indeed superwash and cotton yarns, more exotic yarns need special attention when doing the laundry. There are special wool detergents available that serve multiple functions:
- First of all, they are usually very mild and gentle (especially important if you are dealing with delicate fibers like cashmere, etc)
- And then there are usually without perfumes & the most common allergens. That’s because it’s somewhat hard to remove 100% of the detergent when handwashing gently. So, for obvious reasons, you don’t want to have contact with anything toxic.
That’s why I believe one of these special wool detergents will always be well received by a knitter. Especially since they are somewhat expensive (at least compared to anything you might find at the supermarket, we are talking about $10-25) and a lot of knitters I know kind of shy away from these costs. The best part: It’s a consumable. So, this is a great gift if you don’t know a lot about the knitter and you are unsure what they already have and what not.
Explore wool detergents on Etsy | Or on Amazon
15. Fluff Remover / Cashmere comb
If you own a wool sweater then you might already know that some of them can tend to pill. It’s fundamental that you remove the fluff in a professional way. If you just “pick” them off, then you will create long loose ends that form the basis for even more pilling.
A cashmere comb will help to keep the famous halo of the luxury fiber in prime shape. A fluff remover will be able to shave off pills in a clean and fast way. Depending on the knitting habits, one might make more sense than the other. Here are links to the ones I am using.
Other gifts for knitters
I hope I was already able to inspire you. But I still got some other ideas I would love to share with you. These depend a lot more on the circumstances, and that’s why I didn’t want to put them on the main list.
1. An umbrella swift or a yarn winder are very lovely tools that are somewhat on the more expensive side and that’s why a lot of knitters shy away from buying them. The problem: If you don’t buy a lot of yarn in hanks (typically the more expensive hand-dyed yarn), you will never need it. And if you already got one, you won’t need another one.
Then again, if you don’t have one, then this could be a gift you will remember a lifetime.
2. If you are looking for unusual gifts for knitters, then knitting inspired jewelry (like these earrings or this necklace) could be a very good idea. I would probably get something that is not so literal, like a cute little Alpaka necklace. But obviously, it will still depend a lot on the individual tastes of the wearer and how well you know them.
3. You could also consider buying some beautiful scissors (Etsy has a lot of very lovely choices). A knitter usually just needs them to cut the yarn and the tail. So, while I own a huge collection of antique scissors and they really mean a lot to me, other makers just use a simple plastic yarn snip and call it a day (typically those are people who approach other parts of their life in a more pragmatic way).
4. Sock blocking boards are also a wonderful idea. You can use them to block hand-knitted socks into the perfect shape (and improve the stitch definition). For obvious reasons, this would be a useless gift for a knitter who doesn’t like to knit socks.
Above all, you really should focus more on the research part. Find out what they really need and lust for. Most knitters have a list of things they really want but and shy away from buying for various reasons. Try to find that out and you will be able to find a personalized gift that truly makes a lasting impression. It’s worth the extra effort, big promise.
17 thoughts on “The best gifts for knitters 2023”
great list and really good comments on it and about it.
Experienced Knitter, who comes back to using the same interchangeables all the time! :/
(so new ones are not wanted)
glad you like it. And I agree, give me cables any day, but not a new set 😉
very clever and well advising….from an experienced knitter @TheGreatKnitter
thank you, Norman!
thx for your feedback & happy to hear you agree!
This is a really great list! I could use almost everything on it
I already have a set of chiagoo circulars but would love if someone got me the dpns! Another thing that could be added to the bits and bobs portion is the little stoppers for the ends of needles (I forget what their called) they come in all sorts of cute designs and if you like to leave your work on the needles you can never have too many.
THey are called needle stoppers
Hey, you’ve got some great ideas in here Norman! I’d also suggest some lovely shawl pins as a gift for a knitter. They really add that special touch to a completed scarf or wrap.
That’s an excellent idea Catherine! Thx for adding it.
Most informative!! Thanks for your time, research and experience!!
What a great list, even though there’s not much I need for sure. I have more yarn, needles and patterns than I’ll use in my lifetime…literally. My son made a shawl pin for my birthday on his backyard forge! But sock blockers sure would be nice…so I’m sending him this…with a star next to the sock blockers!
P.S.: he gave me an incredible project bag for Christmas last year…blew my mind!
‘I would like Norman to write a comprehensive guide to everything’ – my partner as they vocally agreed with everything on this list. Thank you for helping decide what to get them next! x
Where might those delightful, airy sock blockers be found? Do they come in different sizes?
Know of any blockers that come in kid sizes?? Thank you dear Norman!
I bought them on Etsy years ago. Not sure if they are still available.
Love your site, have passed it on to 1 of my Co-workers, as she was having trouble with knitting Socks. She thanked me as Your tutorials are great.
Just wondering where you got your Wooden Yarn Bowl? I love that it all wood & round. having a hard time finding a large enough bowl to hold the extra large balls of yarn I have been using lately. I did find someone who made large wooden salad bowls & have been using that.
Brina k MH, Ab, Canada
that is, i am sorry to say, an old heirloom and probably a 100 years old. So I can’t really tell you!
I love the project bag you have photographed next to you modeling your blue socks! Can you share the maker of that bucket style project bag?
its a brand called muud.