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. 

Sharing is caring!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

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

  • I love making herbal gifts from my growing collection of favorite herbs, teas, woven Lavender blossom baskets and wands and cookies are tops. The magic of turning sunlight and love into scented gifts each season is my joy.

  • Knitting a sweater for someone else puts a smile on my face. But then again making a great meal or giving a preserved food item to someone does too! Not familiar with this magazine- look forward to checking it out.

  • I like to can, quilt, knit, make pottery on the wheel, and cook as many meals from scratch as possible, preferably using foods that I or someone I know has grown. I love the convenience of grocery stores, but I like feeling connected to the things I use on a daily basis to keep my grounded.

  • I love to make tote bags and head bands out of scrap materials! It’s the best thing! However, I haven’t made anything by hand as of late since I have a 6 month old at home, plus my other two boys, besides home cooking. 🙂 I would LOVE to win! Thanks!

  • I make my own sugar scrub, face wash & cook from scratch. I want to learn to sew & make my own laundry detergent.

  • I like making a lot of things by hand. I’ve gone through cycles of things, but always something at some time. Spinning, knitting, painting, are kind of on the current cycle. The magazine lots very interesting.

  • Making my own laundry soap makes me ridiculously happy. The next step will be making the soap I use to make the laundry soap, but time-wise, I’m just not there yet.

  • I love learning how to make all kinds of things by hand. My favorite food item to make is bread. But I also love the fiber arts, spinning, knitting, felting, weaving etc!

  • This magazine looks amazing, I can’t wait to take a longer look! I love to quilt, though I’m terrible at finishing any of them 😉

  • I got really into canning last year and do that a lot now. I also sew a lot and will be putting together an apron today, once I finish painting our window and door trim.

  • I’m a knitter and crocheter. That magazine is just beautiful and I want to hold it in my hands. Thanks for the chance!

  • I have been a crafter all my life. I learned sewing and knitting and cooking from my Mother who was great at everything. She was a child on a farm during the Great Depression and they had to make do to survive. Now that I am retired, I have really taken to spinning my own yarn and knitting with it. Of cours,e as all crafters will tell you, I cannot make enough yarn to satisfy my obsession with knitting so I have two stashes, fiber and yarn. Well, also a fabric one too as I love to sew too.

  • Knitting is probably my #1 item I like to make. Although, I’ve started to gain real satisfaction out of from-scratch cooking – especially, pizza and mac and cheese.

  • My life is lived by hand; it’s how I was raised and no need to change -smile-. I garden, can, freeze and dry food; spin wool into yarn, knit, weave, felt; heat by wood and tend to a flock of wool sheep, alpacas and horses. It’s a farmer’s way of life.

  • I love Juniper Moon – I am a member of their sock club. I am a knitter and socks are my favorite to make. I also enjoy canning. I have only canned jam and pickles but I hope to try something new this spring. Love your website.

  • That sounds like a nice little book! Home bread is the best! The fragrance of the yeast in the kitchen and the wonderful taste of still-warm from the oven bread! Yum!

  • I learned to knit when I was a little girl. Several years ago, I picked it back up and have really enjoyed it. I’m challenging myself in trying different techniques. It’s been a blast!

  • Oooh, a giveaway I can enter. Very exciting. 🙂 The magazine looks great – there are a lot of ‘country living’ type magazines available in Germany but most seem to focus very much on the decoration aspect of things, i.e. are basically just themed interior design magazines.

    The one thing I make that I think has made a big difference to me is cloths. I knit dishcloths, facecloths, whatever cloths. Use cotton rather than wool and basically just sit and knit a square. I have different colours for kitchen cloths, bathroom cloths, facecloths, etc. And it’s a great way to practice knitting techniques without having to worry too much about making mistakes (who cares about a knit where there should be a purl when you using the cloth to clean the toilet!) – I can now do increases and decreases like a champ.

  • I love to can (anything) and knit (currently on a run of baby hats). I also like to decoupage. I think jams and jelly and pesto are my favorite things to tinker with and can!

  • I love to make pies, sweet and savoury. But gardening and growing things which I think is also an off-shoot of making is where my heart is.

  • I recently learned how to knit and have been making simple gifts using wonderful yarns (I even bought the Marlowe pattern book and Marlowe yarn!) that I’ve found in my local yarn stores and on the Internet. I’ve crocheted, sewn, baked and done tons of other crafts over the last half century (good thing I’m retired now!), but knitting seemed too hard for me (guess I needed to learn more patience).

  • I love making things, canning my own fruits and jams, also I have gone back to sewing (haven’t done that in 30 years), like you said when I look at something that I made (even though it isn’t perfect), the feeling is wonderful.

  • I am a sucker for embroidery and have made a few of my own Christmas ornaments. I’ve also enjoyed darning socks and replacing missing buttons and have way more knit scarves than I really need.

  • I love to make bread (but would make it more if I didn’t have tile countertops which are a pain to clean after), and I’m also a spinner who is teetering on the edge of weaving.

  • Truthfully, I want to learn to can! I have made strawberry and blackberry preserves and loved the process. My birthday is in April and I have fold all the items to start canning on Amazon, created a wish list & sent it to my husband. Fingers crossed he got this hint 🙂

  • I knit, quilt, and cook, and I just learned to spin yarn from wool fleeces. I have not done any canning, but I would like to learn that too!

  • I am dying to make a garden. I’m nervous because so far all I can keep alive is my dog and that’s thanks to my partner.

  • I’m all about canning and bread making…they seem to be something of a lost art and I’m glad to see folks starting up again! Thanks for a terrific giveaway!

  • I am just new to canning, super new. As in I really really want to do it but I don’t have the equipment. I freeze lots of stuff though. Just found your blog and I intend to start putting up veggies and fruits come spring!

  • I do a lot of things by hand but I think that my favorite is planting my garden. It is so relaxing and gratifying to eat what I grow and then to put up food for the winter.
    Thank for the opportunity to win!

  • I think I was born a maker of things. Knitting, spinning, sewing, quilting, cooking, gardening…I love them all! Woodworking is one thing I haven’t done that I would love to try.

  • Always sewing things for friends and family – seem to make a lot of buntings! Love baking cakes and hosting tea parties.

  • I make the granola we eat every morning! Its easy, delicious and always appreciated. I need to get a move on sewing canvas projects and not worry it wont be as good as if made by a professional!

  • I have fallen in love with canning. I make Gingerbread Spice jelly from tea. I also love to make my own chocolate covered Easter eggs. When my girls (now in their 30’s) were little, making their dresses was my favorite pasttime. My mother would do the smocking, and I would sew the dresses.

  • I always thought knitting would be my creative end-all, be-all. But spinning is a whole different plane of relaxation and personal satisfaction. So I guess I’d have to say that one of my favorite things to make is my own yarn!

  • I love making bread. People are always so impressed when they hear you make your own bread, but anybody can do it. Although a Kitchenaid mixer certainly doesn’t hurt…

  • Anything from soft fibers. Quilts, pot holders, scarfs, doll sweaters, pin cushions, pillow cases, hats, mittens and napkins. Love to craft from fabric and yarn. Also love to can all sorts of food and condiments.

  • I make quilts by hand. Sometimes I use my sewing machine, sometimes just a needle and thread. I want to learn to spin, so I can make a blanket from local sheep!

  • Hi:

    I make preserves, pickles and wine in the basement! There are many things I’d love to learn how to do: knit, collage and plumbing. NO, really, I’d like to learn a useful skill!

  • Gosh, I make so many things by hand. Lately, I’ve really enjoyed making and giving away jams and marmalade. I love to wear my handmade socks. And just about every one of my friends and family has something made out of my handmade wet felt– my favorite thing to make.

  • I make homemade goat cheese all the time (with milk from my dairy goat). I would really like to learn more about basket weaving. Someday…

  • There are so many things I like to do by hand! These include: line-drying laundry; making jams, jellies and fruit butters; cooking meals from scratch, and baking bread.

  • Creme fraiche and quick pickles. I’ve made beer (once, but I want to do it again) and I really, really want to try kombucha. As for non-food things…I’ve sewn buttons back on?

  • I agree with many of items posted. I enjoy baking and knitting for family and friends. Scrapbooking is more for me: It reminds me of great memories and wonderful smiles.

  • I have been baking since I was a child. I love baking and sharing cakes, breads, etc. I also enjoy knitting small projects such as scarves and baby blankets.

  • Wow, lots of comments… I just took a bookbinding class and started to make note/sketchbooks by hand. Also, my hands finally got better enough that I can take up knitting again. But I think my favorite thing is baking, making challah and pies (not at the same time, usually).

  • I cook from my garden and preserve what we can’t eat fresh. I have made bread and need to re-start doing that. I am signed up for a class in cheese making. I used to knit and sew, but it seems I let work get in the way of that.

    I’d really love to do more, make more, and stay further from the ‘sameo’ stuff found in stores.

  • I actually just used your kumquat marmalade recipe! (With limequats, but they work the same). I discovered that (at least for small-batch stuff), if you don’t have cheesecloth, you can just boil the seeds separately and add the water to the citrus. I ended up with a really nice gel!