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Topic: Ideas for lots of gifts?  (Read 2684 times)
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« on: September 14, 2007 08:18:54 AM »

I'm going to Japan this winter to visit several friends, host families, and teachers.  I may be staying at some of their houses, and gift-giving is a huge necessity in the Japanese culture.  The problem I'm having is that the people I need gifts for are generally very classy people, so I don't just want to get them cheesy "America!" stuff.  So I thought I'd try to make them some nice stuff.  I'm kind of a moderate-level knitter, but I'm willing to try out new techniques.

So, what I'm hoping you can all help me with is coming up with several gift ideas that aren't too time consuming (I have a lot of people to visit!), and are classy for the adults, or cute for the teenage girls and kids.  There's also a teenage boy, but I really have no idea what to do about that one.

Thanks for reading, and I look forward to any suggestions!
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2007 08:21:49 AM »

a fancy bar of soap and a knit soap bag...

something like this:


« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2007 10:29:33 AM »

knit flowers?

scarves made with good yarn on great big needles? Say 15+. Fast and impressive.

Felted thrift-shop sweaters for hats, bags, and potholders?

FWIW, soap can be culturally tricky. Some people take it as "you are dirty." What's the Japanese reading?

Congratulations on your trip!


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« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2007 12:09:53 PM »

ha ha ha...oh boy!  hadn't thought of that one...telling a japanese host family they smell bad?  Yeah, maybe that's not the a good idea without a little more research...
« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2007 12:43:04 PM »

The Teenage boy - what about a scarf or a beanie for him?  think about what teenagers in America like to wear and go for the same sort of thing...

teenage and pre-teen girls might like much the same sort of thing (but maybe make them lacy for the girls?) or wristwarmers?  little kids, can you knit a toy of some sort?  even a little knitted bag would be appreciated by a little girl - my girls LOVE carrying stuff round in bags that I knitted for them!

Adults?  well ladies would like much the same stuff as the teenage girls I imagine - just go with a pattern that isn't quite as "young girl"...  or a felted bag (sophie from Magknits springs to mind), and plain knitted scarves (maybe 2x2 rib in a masculine colour?) for the men...  or how do you feel about knitting socks?  from my experience hand knitted socks are ALWAYS appreciated!

« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2007 01:06:34 PM »

Last year for Christmas I made about 30 of the SnB Kittyville hats without the ears and used pompoms at the end.  After the first hat, they knitted up pretty quickly (I made all in about a month) and the girls that I worked with loved them.  I even gave one to my brother and boyfriend and just made theirs in navy instead of red or cream.  I even ended up making small ones for friends children afterwards.  Cold climate, they might enjoy thinking of you everytime they bundle up Smiley

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« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2007 01:57:28 PM »

Arigumi seems to be big in Japan. Maybe some of the teenagers or kids would like something similar to those. I've made these jezzeblog dolls and are a pretty quick knit. (not quite arigumi, but close)

These Skully keychains are also cute (you could change the image to something more Japanese, like a manga char, or an initial). They could also be used as cell phone/electronic charms.

And to piggy back on the socks idea, many Asian cultures wear slippers in the house so I think those would be appreciated.


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« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2007 07:33:43 PM »

SnB Kittyville hats with ears might be just the thing for Japanese teenagers. Also, there is a really awesome super quick and easy pattern for felted slippers in Knit 2 Together (your local library might have a copy) - made out of a soft merino or alpaca they'd be quite swank.
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« Reply #8 on: September 20, 2007 06:24:04 AM »

You should knit those socks for thong slippers!!


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« Reply #9 on: September 20, 2007 05:38:40 PM »

Welcome to my delemma every winter when I send some of my host families in Japan gifts!  I lived in the southern part of the country where it doesn't get super cold (only snowed once while I was there and it didnt even stick  Sad) For the teen girls I've found my host sisters loved "trendy" scarves.  Basically by that I mean anything that isn't just stockinette stitch.  I was so rushed for one I just made it in garter on size 15's and she acted like it was the coolest thing in the world.  For the host mothers you could make lap blankets.  Maybe it was just me but for some reason all my families always seemed to be cold at all times.  A hankercheif type thing for when it gets hot might be cute too- like with a thin yarn in lace so it's flowy.  Men and teen boys I'm lost on!  Well the boy you could make a beanie if he's into fashion at all.

I hope I was some help!  Where in Japan are you going?
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