Giveaway: By Hand Magazine and Tote Bag

February 25, 2013(updated on October 3, 2018)

by hand and bag

One of the reasons I started canning was that I wanted to make something. I wanted to find a way to make something in my own little kitchen that would last longer than the twenty minutes to eat a meal. I wanted to have something I could put on the shelf that was useful, delicious and that I could point to and say, “Look! I made that!”


Hey! That’s me!

It used to be that people made everything for themselves, from the tools that built houses, to butter they spread on their home baked bread, to the sweaters and coats that kept them warm. Knowing how to make, built, and craft was a matter of survival, artistry, and human expression.

cook section

I have no interest in going entire back to the days when every item in a home started from raw materials, but I do believe that we’ve gotten a little bit out of balance when it comes to the making of things. I think the current increased interest in knitting, sewing, quilting, crafting, baking from scratch, and canning is our culture’s response to this imbalance. We want to make things with our own hands.

tomato jam

There have been many books, magazines, blogs, and other forms of media that have appeared over the last few years that celebrate this resurfacing instinct to make. One of my favorites is By Hand (and this is not just because I’m a contributor. I’d have subscribed without ever writing a word for it). It was dreamed up by Susan Gibbs, the woman responsible for Juniper Moon Farm and the legions of adorable lamb photos that festoon the internet.


The magazine is simple and lovely. It is divided into five topic areas: Cook, Grow, Build, Stitch, and Craft. Each section features recipes, instructions, ideas, tips, and stories that will help you tackle a world of projects and dishes. The writing is clear, useful, and friendly and the photography is really beautifully done.

yeasted apple butter bread

Oh this yeasted apple butter bread recipe. I’ve been meaning to make it for months now. I have several jars of apple butter, waiting to be pressed into service. I’m hoping to try it soon and if it’s as good as I think it will be, I’ll post the recipe as a “Preserves in Action” piece.

back cover

You can browse the Fall/Winter issue digitally by clicking here and if it seems like something you want to have in tangible format, their shop can be found here. The Spring edition will be out shortly and I’m very much looking forward to seeing it.

What’s more, I have a little giveaway today. Two lucky winners will each get a By Hand tote bag and a copy of the Fall/Winter issue of the magazine (they’re in the first picture at the top of this post). Here’s what you do to enter.

  1. Leave a comment on this post and share one thing you like to make by hand (it doesn’t have to be food related, either. Just something you make). If you’ve not taken the plunge yet, share something you’d like to learn to do.
  2. Comments will close at 11:59 pm on Friday, March 1, 2013. Winners will be chosen at random and will be posted to the blog over the weekend.
  3. Giveaway open to everyone.
  4. One comment per person, please. Entries must be left via the comment form on the blog at the bottom of this post.
Disclosure: The By Hand editorial staff gave me the tote bags and the copies of the magazine. They did not pay for inclusion on the blog and my opinions remain entirely my own. 

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649 thoughts on "Giveaway: By Hand Magazine and Tote Bag"

  • I really want to learn how to crochet flowers. I saw this scarf made from all crocheted flowers and it’s turning out to be far more difficult than I imagined.

  • Speaking of apple butter…I loved making apple butter when I lived near loads of cheap, delicious apples in the fall. I still make lots of stuff in the kitchen, but I was recently gifted a little sewing machine that I’d like to become friends with.

  • I love making notecards by hand. They are infinitely more special and meaningful an a store bought card both to you and to the people who receive them. My favorite feeling is visiting these people years later and finding my cards displayed as art throughout their houses. That is the best feeling. That your sentiment made an impact and stood the test of time!

  • I really do like to make jelly. Lots of jelly. Lemon jelly. Grape Jelly. Earl Grey Tea Jelly. Triple Berry Jelly. Need I go on? 🙂

  • I’m a knitter, and also an urban gardener! There is nothing better than fresh salsa from tomatoes and peppers just picked off of your own porch! 🙂

  • hand knitted baby afghans. They are always received with surprise and delight, that they are hand knitted and not bought. Each one is specially made for it’s recipient. MY next I’m now working on, is for my very first great grandchild, a girl due in June. What a joy and honor to be able to do this.

  • knitting! bread! dinner! cards! gifts!

    damn, i would make everything in sight by hand if i had the time and the lottery winnings. i love to figure out for myself what work goes into the little things i encounter every day (even if, after i try it once, i decide it’s not worth the time/work and just decide to appreciate the makers i purchase from all the more!)

  • Instead of buying brownie, pancake or other kinds of mixes we like to make it from scratch out of my old Betty Crocker cookbook that is falling apart.

  • Ooh, I love this! And I love making jam (thanks for teaching me how), and apple brandy, and ricotta, and granola and… lots of other stuff.

  • I really enjoy knitting and sewing little things for my grandsons. I really enjoy making meals out of what I grow in my garden.

  • I really enjoy baking bread by hand. Haven’t done it in awhile though, as I’m staying away from gluten to try and clear up some health issues. Thanks! Looks like a beautiful magazine.

  • I love making anything by hand! My family think I’m crazy because I enjoy hand sewing, gardening, cooking without convenience foods, etc. , but this is what relaxes me! Love it!

  • I love to make anything food related that I can’t find in the grocery store – like boysenberry jam, a good peach cobbler, nectarine jam and passion fruit curd (lilikoi butter).

  • I make a killer zucchini frittata. And deviled eggs. And banana bread. And mashed potatoes.

    Great, now I’m hungry. 😉

  • I love to learn all sorts of new things. I desire to be creative, I keep trying new things, I even drag my husband to painting classes. I am a new knitter, I just ordered a bracelet making kit, I am correctly attempting a travel journal while I am on a road trip. I am in my 60’s and feel that learning keeps the cobwebs away!

  • Really do like to build quilts! Mostly, to design them. Finishing them seems not to be as important as creating the concept. And want to do more canning this year.

  • I like to make hand-knitted sweaters. An Easter sweater for my Granddaughter is on my needles right now 🙂

  • I crochet, cook, and attempt to garden, but I love looking at other people’s craftsy things even if I don’t attempt them. (Yet.)

    What a lovely magazine. Might have to pick one up anyway…

  • I love making things to give to other people, whether it be cooked, baked, canned or knitted. I’m always experimenting to keep it fresh.

  • I like making homemade baby wipes for my little dude! So easy and so much cheaper and gentler than store bought ones.

  • I love to cook just about anything. I spent lots of time this past summer canning. Every baby I know receives a knitted cap from me at birth. and finally, I love to make jewelry.

  • I make my own baby food. I haven’t bought any thing from a baby food jar. We bought a USA canner, just need time to start using it!

  • Believe it or not, I love to make Ketchup! It’s a bit of work so I let it cook down in a couple of crockpots. It is so good and a special treat with meatloaf, burgers and hot dogs.

  • Never heard of this magazine before, and it looks interesting. My most recent “omg” moment was when we decided to harvest our own black walnuts. Not only was it a learning experience, my fingernails were amber for a good 3 months!

  • We do this! Yes! Make and do, good people – make and do.

    Be awesome by your own hand.
    Just beautiful. This magazine is beyond.

  • I like to make all sorts of baked goods – I like to make healthy treats for the family.

  • Chocolate chip pecan cookies. I’m learning to make food from scratch and this was one of the first things I made. My family loves them and after making them and realizing how easy and satisfying baking them was, I can’t believe I ever let mass produced cookies in my home.

  • I love making food items (cookies, brownies, jam) for gifts. I also knit and have given away hats, baby blanket and scarves).

  • I just planted fruit trees to better support my jam making habit. And i like to make hummus for my kids.

  • I love to cook everything! I just started gardening recently and started seeds indoors. I hope for a large harvest of tomatoes and peppers so I can experiment with canning different savory things.

  • I love to cook everything! I just started gardening recently and started seeds indoors. I hope for a large harvest of tomatoes and peppers so I can experiment with canning different savory things.

  • I’d love to learn to crochet- so many laces, flowers, and more on the internet that I’d love to try!