By the third week in July, I’ve barely recovered from the holidays. The socks I promised my Dad are finally finished (only 18 months late), and all I want to do is spin for the Tour de Fleece and think only of myself. But this is the perfect time to start spinning, knitting, or weaving your handmade gifts.
Here are 5 reasons to start making handmade gifts in July (and 5 things to make):
1. Gifts are cool.
I usually give hats, mittens, and socks as holiday gifts—none of them big, heavy sweaters that I would make for myself. I can bring a small handmade gift in process and work on it without melting.
2. Gifts pack easily.
Not only do gifts stay off my lap, they’re also easy to stow away when I’m on the go. As someone who packs knitting in my back pocket for a 40-mile bike ride, I appreciate a wee hat knitted from 50 grams of yarn as a summer project.
3. You can take your time making handmade gifts in July.
A deadline can be motivating, but unless you really like working down to the wire, you can enjoy the process more when you have months to finish instead of days (or hours). Take your time to make something you enjoy.
4. The yarn you’ll use for gifts is good summer yarn.
Do you know someone who claims to be allergic to wool? Someone who can’t be trusted to hand-wash handmade gifts? That sounds like someone you should give cotton, linen, washable wool, or lyocell/viscose. (Those are also fibers you can get a little dirty when camping or drop in the pool without much damage, as long as you wash them quickly.)
5. Come winter, you’ll be so happy you did.
When the hectic holidays roll around, a completed handmade gift is a gift you give yourself.
Anne Merrow is Editorial Director and a co-founder of Long Thread Media.
Originally published July 18, 2018; updated July 23, 2019; updated July 19, 2023.