• By: OLM Staff

Holiday Handmade Gifts for Beginners: Part I

Venturing into the world of handmade gifts can be daunting to those of us who don’t think of ourselves as especially “crafty”.  But all you really need are some very basic materials and skills to get you started.  In the next 3 days, and just in time for the holidays, I will be sharing three easy handmade gift ideas that are suitable for beginners who want to learn how to knit, cross-stitch, or sew.  Don’t be intimidated by these projects, they require minimal materials (all available at your local craft store or big-box/department store craft section), and basic skills which you can learn from a YouTube video tutorial.  If you’ve always wanted to try DIY arts and crafts, now is the time!

Basic knitting: make a cotton dishcloth

Here is an idea for an easy project for the beginner that will help you learn all of the basic knitting stitches, and you’ll end up with a gift for someone special – a hand knit dish cloth for the kitchen (who doesn’t need more of those?).

First, you’ll need some cotton yarn (important because you want the cloth to be absorbent) and a set of knitting needles from your local craft store.  Hint: the label on the yarn will tell you which size of needles you need (The yarn pictured is a 4 weight, and the bamboo needles are size 7).  Next: check out YouTube to learn the four basic stitches needed for this project: cast on, knit, purl, cast off.  Once you have the basics, practice, practice, practice!  (The dish cloth pictured is 35 stitches wide, and you can do it without the fancy border – just cast on 35 stitches, knit an entire row, purl the next row, and so on.  Keep alternating rows until you are happy with the size, and then cast off!).  And don’t worry about dropped stitches, you can either unravel the yarn a bit and try again or just leave them (after all imperfections are part of the charm of handmade gifts!).

Stay tuned for more simple, do-it-yourself ideas for the holidays and beyond…