With our economy in its present state, I’ve been trying to come up with inexpensive gift ideas that will suit a wide variety of people and purposes. Here are some ideas I have or have come across:
This little visor is such a simple idea. It could easily be made with scrap yarn and can be easily adjusted to hold a variety of different items. For a teen, it might be made to hold a few CD’s, a map, and sunglasses. For a new mom, it might hold some diaper wipes, kleenex, and sunglasses. You get the idea.
One of my favorite ideas is reusing yarn. I love to make Magic Balls. I take all my scrap yarn and tie it together. Some scraps will be just a few feet long while others will be several yards. If you have a partial skein, you might want to cut it into two pieces for purposes of winding your Magic Ball. I typically prefer to make dangly things with my Magic Ball yarn, so i just leave long tails when I tie the yarns together. Be sure to vary weights as well as colors. Varying fibers is not always a great idea so you might want to make one MB with your acrylic scraps, one with your wool scraps, and one for cotton scraps.
Some good uses for your MB project would be scarves and/or caps, funky bathroom rugs, or a shawl for someone who really likes a patchwork look. I love the patchwork look, so you can make that one for me!
I saw an idea years ago where someone had wound a MB then chained the whole thing THEN used the chain as the yarn to create a really snuggly cap and scarf. I’ve made these items but no longer have them as I gave them away before taking pictures!! Ah, the days before digital cameras made picture taking so inexpensive and accessible. The next MB project(s) I create will be posted here for all to see.
Of course, another frugal idea is to crochet with plastic bags or newspaper sleeves. There are plenty of instructions and patterns online, but I simply HATE the feel of working with that kind of plastic. If you don’t mind it, check out how to prepare the bags for making it into yarn here:
Of course, recycling yarn is always frugal. When you can get a sweater for $3 (Goodwill) that contains probably $30-50 worth of usable yarn, you’ve got a good deal. It takes some care to unravel that sweater, but there are books and websites that will help you with that as well as in how to identify the best sweaters for frogging. Try these:
Sweater Surgery by Stephanie Girard is available at a book store near you. Closer still is a website with a great tutorial in how to ‘deconstruct’ a sweater to recycle the yarn. That’s here:
Finally, here’s an idea worth noting. When you buy that thrift store sweater, you might want to cut motifs from it, felt them, and crochet them together. You could make a garland with cut out stars or mittens or you could make an afghan or purse like this one I saw on Flikr:
By jd wolfe