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"

  • My craft is mostly in the kitchen…..jamming, baking, and cooking. Though I recently have had a resurgence of knitting, with solid dreams of sewing my own jackets. I know….big projects. Maybe its because my Italian grandmother was a master knitter, crocheter, and tailor. She made everything, literally. Impeccably tailored suits for my dad, and grandfather, and also classy dress suits with little coats for herself. This was in the 40s, 50s and 60s. So imagine the styles, superb, classy. I nabbed a few of her dress suits and coats and manage to wear them all the time. And they are still in mint condition. I want to sew like that! But alas, I intend to start small and focus on creating whatever moves me. I knitted a belt the other day with a vintage clasp as the buckle. Stuff like that…..

  • I make popcorn and most of our bread myself. The popcorn was really what started me thinking that homemade was so much better!

  • I like to make all kinds of things, but some of the easiest (and cheapest) to make are dried herb blends from the herbs I grow in my garden.

  • Coffee! I love every step. I roast my own beans (sometimes) grind with a hand crank grinder, use my manual lever espresso machine. It makes my morning every time I take the time to do it. Other than that my favorite by and thing is probably crazy jam’s.

  • I’ve recently gotten back into cooking from scratch with the decision to get a CSA organic produce delivery service every Saturday morning – soon to try my hand at canning.

    I’m also a long-time knitter, ready to expand into sewing.

  • I love making breads! I sell them as a second income in the summers (I’m a teacher), and I love finding new recipes to share with my customers!!

    I also love to cross stitch! I love being able to make personalized creations for my family’s special occasions, and have them framed to display!

  • Well aside from canning, I also like to sew clothes and quilts, and knit (mostly hats, scarves and mittens – no sweaters yet!).

  • One of my favorite (string of) things is raising my strawberries, making jam from them and then the final stage eating it on a fresh homemade english muffin. End result: Total Satisfaction!

  • When the mood strikes, I love to make shortbread….different colors and flavors! It’s far superior to the hard, bought stuff. The magazine looks yummy….pick me!

  • Right now, I’m making every effort to make dog treats for my three-legged malamute BFF. Besides saving a ton of money (wish I could claim her as a dependent), I know she’s eating good safe food. I hadn’t realized there were so many problems with dog food and treat products until a local Denver facility had to recall salmonella-tainted treats. This is a much more common problem than I realized, since we hear about human food safety problems, but not often about pet food. You’ll find a current list here

  • I love making my own bread–we haven’t bought bread for two years. It’s been a great way for me to learn, and it’s been much tastier as well.

  • I like to make my own toothpaste and deodorant. But my favorite and most gratifying handmade things are bread and jam. Sooooo homey!

  • I like to knit, and make cards to send snail mail. I don’t can much, but I wish I did. and sewing, I’d love to take up sewing. one of my goals for this year is to make a quilt using all my old tshirts I love too much to trash!

  • Through your book and website I have learned to can this year. I have always loved baking and cooking. Also this last year I have learned to knit and am now learning how to cable knit so that I can make hand knitted throws for a select few next christmas! Also trying my hand at growing tomatoes this summer along with all the herbs I usually grow. For me there is something very meditative and relaxing about making something by hand.

  • Cat toys! Which I realize could be as simple as throwing an empty box on the floor, but sewing and knitting catnip pillows is also enjoyable. >^.^<

  • I love to make birdhouses from scrap lumber. I donate them to schools, neighbors and our community gardens.


  • My favorite thing to make by hand is yarn spun from the fiber of our own animals! The magazine looks wonderful.

  • I like to make preserves my grandma remembers from her childhood but are harder to find these days. My latest gift to her was a guava lime jelly — her family used to take guava jelly, cream cheese and water crackers as their snacks while sailing in Maine.

  • I recently made a sweater for my daughter. I can all kinds of goodness from our garden every summer and I’m learning to quilt. So many crafts, so little time!

  • Actually, food is my favorite thing to make by hand just because I’m most confident (even though I’m not very experienced) and I usually just LOVE to eat what I create. I also sew and craft, though I’m still new and learning. I’m hoping to learn to can this year because that’s been on my to-learn list for about a year now!

  • I like to make so many things! Preserves, baked goods, gift wrap, skirts, cleaning supplies! I draw the line at making my own tools, however. That sounds dangerous for everyone.

  • I knit, so handmade socks, hats, gloves, even sweaters are my loves, but lately I’m trying to make more and more of our food from scratch. I have big plans for canning home-grown tomatoes this summer!

  • I enjoy anything I can do myself, to make it better, cheaper, tastier, healthier, well you get the idea……this magazine looks great.

  • I have jumped on the “by hand” bandwagon myself this year mostly because I desperately miss the days when I was a child and a majority of my free time was spent making crafty things by hand. My favorite lately is baking and cooking from scratch, no more boxed cake mixes or pizza dough from the local pizza place, I’m making it from scratch!

  • I can, make cheese, sew, do stained glass work…and lots of odds and ends for craft projects! Love being creative in lots of ways! Thanks for the give away.

  • I can, I make breads, I knit, I make cheese, I smoke fish and homemade sausage, I make soap, and I am hoping to experiment and learn more about gardening in my little plot of land.

  • I like to make just about everything by hand, at least once to learn how to do it. I knit a sweater, built a table, made cheese, and learned so much doing each. The things that have stuck with me? Growing vegetables, making cleaning supplies, moisturizer, and of course cooking.

  • I’ve always loved making things ‘by hand.’ Over the years I’ve tried about every craft. I have always loved baking the most. If its been too long I get the urge…just made zucchini bread last night! Fruit pies are certainly my favorite to bake. Every Christmas I also make at least 4 batches of homemade cinnamon buns using my Great Grandmother’s recipe.

  • I’m working on a blanket for my daughter, and I’m getting back to cooking at home instead of eating out so much.

  • I love to knit, crochet, cook and can. Currently on day 2 of the 3 day strawberry preserves recipe from Christine Ferber. I can hardly wait for it to be finished!
    The magazine looks just beautiful! How wonderful to celebrate the things we make by hand:)

  • I guess I’m a little addicted to making things with my hands: I make bread, I make jam, I make pickles … and knit sweaters, hats, scarves … and sew dresses, skirts, and shirts. One thing I have never mastered is clay, though — any pottery in the magazine? Like I need another hobby!

  • I love to knit, sew & can. My favorite is knitting a new hat & fingerless gloves for my daughter in the fall! Second is making granola every other week, we never buy cereal anymore!


  • One thing I’d like to make are bird houses. I have the cut out that I could use to make more than one (and put them on the side of my garden shed), but I’ve just never gotten around to all that wood cutting, sanding, gluing, painting and stuff.

  • I love making things in the kitchen. My favorites include scones, granola and any sweet treat.
    Aside from food I enjoy repurposing and refinishing old furniture.

  • I love making so many things by hand, and I especially appreciate the handmade work of those who have dabbled in the handmade arts in areas that I have yet to explore. Right now I am finding great joy in being creative in the kitchen and with my sewing machine. Most recently I made some napkins for a friend in exchange for some sketches of fruits and vegetables. My next project: an apron!

  • Love to make counted cross stitch initial pendants for friends and family. Stitched over 2 using linen cloth. Friends and family love them.

  • I’ve just gotten into quilting – it seems a bit of a travesty to cut up darn fine fabric just to sew it all back together again (my great-grandmother would have never gotten over that), but it’s just so darn PRETTY at the end…

  • I make string. (well, yarn, technically, since it’s almost never cotton or jute or hemp) and then I make things FROM the string- socks, hats, mittens, doll clothes, fabric, tatted lace, bobbin lace,all kinds of things . from string. that I made myself.

  • I enjoying making things – lots of different things; cards, scrapbooks, bread, growing food and making healthy meals with the bounty, sewing, crochet, and art journals. Right now I seem to be spending the most time on crochet projects.

  • I love to knit and cross-stitch. Cooking is another passion. Right now I am collecting seed catalogs to prep for a vegetable garden this summer.

  • I love to knit, spin and weave. I also love to cook, can and especially bake! My daughter and recently baked and decorated the cakes for her wedding!

  • I love to experiment in the kitchen on fun projects like homemade donuts, pastas, and infused liquors, and I also knit and crochet. But what I enjoy the most is helping my friends, who own their own shop, work on and build bicycles.

  • I’m currently crocheting a blanket for my nephew and his new wife. I love seeing how each row adds to its completion.

  • I grow a big garden and can most of the veggies that come from in. I would love to try and make homemade cheese some day.

  • I am new to this blog and so far, love what I see. I am one who likes to make as much of my own “stuff” as is possible. I try new things all the time. One of my favorites to make is my own yarn. I love to spin and love knitting or crocheting with yarn that I made myself! There is also something a little more special about making something for a friend or family member that I pretty much made completely from start to finish.

  • Putting together an embroidery/sewing box for my 8 year old granddaughter was my latest project. I loved doing this!

  • I love to crochet anything from baby clothes to afgans. I also make goodies for gifts. I am gearing up to start making sourdough everything.

  • I love the spring rite of tapping maple trees and boiling down the sap to make maple syrup from my own trees.

    The By Hand magazine looks really interesting.

  • My Mom did a lot of canning when I was little girl living in Maine in the cold winter months. It was so good to have this great food to eat. I haven’t done any but wish I did this year with all the snow we are getting. I’m a knitter, my Mom is all so still knitting at age 85. That’s a way of life here in Maine with not a lot of money for store made mittens.

  • I love to knit. I knit everyday. I teach knitting and have designed a few knitting patterns. My favorite thing to knit is a sweater. My favorite technique is Fair Isle. Thanks for for having this giveaway!

  • I make a lot of things by hand, one being yarn. I love spinning and knitting yarn that is handspun. It’s a very balancing thing to do.

  • I’ve been making my own bread (“5 minutes a day” type) for more than a year now, and it feels so great. I also love to knit gifts for my friends and family. This magazine looks wonderful. Thanks!

  • Whenever a close friend or family member gets married I sew a quilt/throw for them personalized with their wedding colors and embroided with their names and wedding date. I also exclusively make our families bread, I can’t remember the last time I actually bought a loaf. Recently I’ve been wanting to try my hand at yogurt, hopefully soon.

  • Making things makes me so happy! I make gifts. It’s how I show people affection – I make them food, or knitted things, or poems. Recently I’ve knitted scratchy hats and funky monster cat toys.

  • The thing I make most often by hand is bread (mostly artisan style). Recently I’ve experimented with making sour cream and cream cheese/chevre at home too.

  • I’m taking a knitting class next week. =)
    I just took at maple syruping class too. Now, I just have to figure out which trees are which!

  • Love to make yogurt. It is so satisfying to have that container in the fridge waiting for me to dip into for breakfast, snacks, even a late dinner when I am exhausted. Also love to crochet and cross stitch.

  • I love to grow vegetables in the summer and then use them to make our summer meals. Hope to do more preserving this year.