So I thought it would be nice to put together a guide to small gifts for grown-up women. I intend this post to be a kind of work in progress - I'll add things as I think of them and then repost next winter for maximum helpfulness.
So here we go, broken down into categories.
- Gift Cards - always fit in the stocking and always fit the recipient, assuming you don't give a Harbor Freight card to a lady that's not into power tools. Think of what stores she frequents, and I DON'T mean the grocery store. Book stores, craft stores, and her favorite coffee shop are good choices.
- Lip stuff - gifting makeup can be tricky. But you can probably make a pretty good guess at what she likes. Does she wear lipstick or lip gloss? Then a tinted gloss or clear sparkle gloss might be good. If she's outdoors a lot a SPF chapstick is a good choice. If she's into natural stuff Burt's Bees or a local-made beeswax balm are a good choice.
- Beverages - no, not a bottle of beer, unless you're positive that's what she wants. Fancy tea, gourmet coffee or cocoa mix are usually welcomed by their respective fanciers.
- Flashlight or booklight - really handy for anyone. I like to have an LED flashlight on my keychain, not only for finding my way in the dark, but for finding things in my purse/computer bag/carry-on. MagLite makes the mini and micro sizes that are great and the Sapphire light is also a nifty light.
- Pocket knife/multi tool - if she doesn't have one she probably doesn't know she needs it...yet. Find a small model that includes a scissors.
- Chemical handwarmers - my brilliant idea of the year last year. If you live in a place that's even remotely cold it can be nice to have a set of handwarmers handy just in case.
- Scissors - you can never have too many. New embroidery scissors or clever travel scissors are good stocking-sized choices.
- Marking pens/pencils/Sharpies - pens run out, they hide, they get left in the other bag. More are always welcome.
- Measuring tape - using a cloth tape means it needs to be replaced every couple of years anyway due to stretching. A smallish metal tape is nice for some applications, but sometimes the flexible tape is a necessity. Also useful for many crafters is a really nice straight edge/ruler like this stainless steel one.
- Craft gloves - repetitive motion becomes an issue at some point for almost every crafter. Having a pair on hand can be a lifesaver.
- Notepads - like the pens, they have a tendency to wander and are consumable. Don't get ones that say Grocery List or Things to Do unless you know she won't take it as a hint and make you sleep on the couch.
If you have a knitter to buy for, you're lucky. They need all manner of nifty things that will fit in stockings.
- Luxury needles - like these super sweet carbon-fibre DPNs. Or some pretty wooden needles.
- Cable needles - mine have a tendency to escape into the wild and are never seen again.
- Yarn needles - maybe I'm just bad at owning needles.
- Fancy yarns - get her something she wouldn't get for herself, like a ball of qiviut/silk blend. Or if she's a sock knitter get her something she would get for herself - sock yarn! (Remember that it takes 100 grams of fingering weight yarn to make a pair of socks. Most sock yarns come in either 50 gram or 100 gram balls.)
- Row counter - this is where my partner came up a winner last year. I had been using polyhedral dice to keep track of my patterns. (I'm such a geek.) Being able to tote my counter along with my project is a huge improvement!
- Stitch markers - pretty stitch markers abound, on Etsy and elsewhere. (Example search of Etsy.)
Mostly the same as knitters, but I'll note the differences as they're kind of important.
- Fancy hooks - pretty wood hooks, ergonomic hooks, light up hooks...all fun and a little different.
- Yarn needles - same as above.
- Fancy yarn - crocheting takes around 30% more yarn than knitting, so keep this in mind when purchasing.
- Row counter - I never used one for crocheting, but I also never had one before. I'm guessing it's as handy for hooking as it is for needling.
- Stitch markers - similarly useful, but crocheting stitch markers must be removable/openable.
- Needles - this is getting to be a theme. In this case you might have to ask what kind she uses - take notes!
- Travel scissors/snips - I really like these ones, and TSA has never given them a second look.
- Luxury thread/floss packs - DMC Light Effects are fun, as are hand dyed flosses.
- Magnetic needle keeper - either for the table or on a necklace or brooch. Until I got one of these I just parked the needle in my shirt...you can guess how happy that made the people who wanted to hug me!