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Tuesday
Feb142012

Knitters’ Favorite Valentine’s Day Gifts

Michelle Edwards' Valentines: Lelia, Meera, and Flory

What was the best gift you ever gave or received on Valentine’s Day?

Some of our authors share their personal favorites in a heartwarming roundup. Here’s wishing you and your loved ones a wonderful Valentine’s Day!

Michelle Edwards, A Knitter’s Home Companion 

The best gift I have ever received was due on Valentine’s Day in 1987, but arrived two weeks later: a healthy, robust gift of boundless love, my oldest daughter, Meera. Swaddled in a blanket I made for her, we brought her home. She gave us such love, joy, and wonder that soon we had two more daughters, Flory and Lelia. Each girl is our very special Valentine. (The story of Meera’s beautiful blanket continues in the first essay in A Knitter’s Home Companion.) 

Betty Christiansen, Knitting for Peace

For Christmas of 1997, I decided to knit my boyfriend, Andrew, a sweater. He and I had been dating for just under a year, and we shared many things in common, including an appreciation of the handmade. I thought if there ever was a boyfriend worthy of a sweater, he was it. Blissfully unaware of the “sweater curse”—and a little less careful about gauge than I am now—I bought my yarn and cast on. The sweater, knit in a beautiful sea blue and a complicated cable pattern, turned out several sizes too big for him. Still, he loved it and wore it proudly.

My best Valentine’s Day gift came just a couple of months later: an engagement ring. I’ve since learned all about the sweater curse, of course, and I’m happy to report that there are exceptions to that “rule.” And despite the extensive yardage required by the sweater, there was enough yarn leftover for a baby cardigan and hat. All three of our kids have worn them.

Melanie Falick, Weekend Knitting

My best Valentine’s Day gift started out as a present for a new boyfriend. We had been together since our first date in July, so when Valentine’s Day approached I decided I would surprise him by secretly knitting him a scarf. He didn’t know I could knit and, in fact, I really wasn’t much of a knitter. I went to The Yarn Company on Manhattan’s Upper West Side and stood in awe in front of shelves stuffed with the most beautiful yarns I had ever seen. I chose a tweed yarn from Tahki, made my boyfriend a scarf, and became fascinated by knitting: the beautiful fibers and colors, the techniques, the traditions, the way I could use it as a way to learn about other cultures and, in particular, about women. Since that life-changing experience over twenty years ago, I have written knitting books, edited a knitting magazine, and become the publishing director of the craft-book program at Abrams Books. I also married the boyfriend for whom I made that scarf. I thought that making the scarf was a gift for him, but it ended up being an amazing gift to myself. 

What is it that makes a handmade gift so special? Watch this video and get inspired:

 What was your favorite Valentine’s Day gift? Share in the comments below!

Reader Comments (3)

Love Melanie's scarf story! I knit my boyfriend-now husband a scarf while we were traveling on trains through the south of France, and he still wears it almost every day :)

Kelli, Love your story too. Melanie

February 14, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterkelli ronci

My favorite Valentine's Day gift is handmade, too . . . though not by the giver, per se.

On Valentine's Day a couple years ago, I received a pair of earrings from a new boyfriend. They were beautiful: simple, handmade silver loops with opaque teal teardrop beads. I found them really special on their own—but the story behind their purchase melted my heart.

It turns out my boyfriend had visited the store—a boutique spotlighting handmade crafts from local artists—no less than three times in search of the perfect gift, bringing a different friend to weigh in each time. (The folks at the counter must've thought he was nuts; in fact, they recognized us when we came in the following month. By then, my humble earrings were even a little bit famous among them!)

Since then, we've continued visiting the store to find gifts for loved ones. And today, I'm wearing that same special pair of earrings, and looking forward to spending Valentine's Day with the same special guy.

February 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLaura

My parents, like most, have always done the "From Mom & Dad" gift tags whenever they've given gifts to my siblings and me. It's also always been code for: obviously this is from mom because dad is really bad gift shopping, and works far to many hours to get around to shopping. All the more reason I treasured my Valentine's Day gift from eighth grade. It was just a simple pin with a puppy holding a heart that said, "Be Mine." But it came in an envelope signed *only* "Love, Dad". I found out later that my father had picked out little trinkets for each of us (all on his own) and "wrapped" them up for us.

I wore that sucker until the pin snapped...and now it has an honorary spot in my memory box.

February 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLara S.

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