A Decade of Knitting with Interweave

A note from Kathleen: It's been quite a decade for us here at Interweave. Our editorial director, Marilyn Murphy, recently took a stroll through our pattern collection and she's chosen one design for each year that she thinks represents that year in Interweave designs. Marilyn has been at Interweave for the past 16 years, so there's no better tour guide!

We've linked to the locations of these patterns; many are located in our fabulous pattern store, and some are presented now in books. I'm sure you'll have a wonderful time traveling down memory lane with Marilyn. Bon Voyage!


A decade of unforgettable knitting and knitwear—what an explosion! Looking back at over 1000 designs that have appeared in Interweave Knits, Knitscene, and our books, it was amazing to think about just how far a knit and purl stitch could be pushed.

In 2000, Melanie Falick was editor of Knits, followed by Pam Allen, and for the past three years the brand has been led (and it still is) by the creative force of Eunny Jang. Each of these women had their own take on knitting and a sense of what would appeal to you; each upheld a unique vision that translated through the collection of designs and stories in its pages. They also had the ever-talented associates Ann Budd and Lisa Shroyer to ensure the quality of every pattern. And I got to work with all of them as Publisher and Editorial Director.

During the same period, a complete knitting frenzy took hold of the nation. We knitted through good times and bad. We knitted on subways, trains, planes, buses, and cars. We knitted in our heads, texted and talked about knitting, shared photos and mishaps online, and created a universal community. We were proud of our stashes and got hooked on more fibers and more gadgetry than ever.

So what follows as representing a decade of knitting aren't necessarily my all-time-favorite designs, nor do they epitomize the knitting flavor of the year; they are a blend of different styles, designer's signature looks, and people I admire. It doesn't even scratch the surface—it's more like a sniff test!

2000 It's no wonder Kathy Zimmerman is known as the Queen of Cables—Welcome Back, Old Friend is one of about twenty-five cable sweaters that Kathy has designed for Interweave Knits alone since 1997. This last year, I worked on producing her new video, Classic-to-Creative Knit Cables, and not only did I learn some nifty tips and techniques, I was inspired to see how she designs these simple and complex cable combinations—she makes it look so easy.     
  2001 Nancy Bush came to visit Interweave shortly after a trip to Estonia, bringing with her a satchel of lace scarves and shawls. She was so taken with the country, the people and the knitting traditions, that her enthusiasm for sharing all of it was catching. The Estonian Lace Scarf is one of the first patterns she designed using the stitches she had learned from the village women. It was also the start of her dream to write a whole book on the subject and Knitted Lace of Estonia was born in 2008! Lucky me—I got to interview Nancy and write her profile for the upcoming Interweave Knits Spring issue.      
  2002 How does Norah Gaughan's brain work? It boggles my mind the every-which-way she transforms the knit stitch into making the most intriguing sweaters ever. The Sunburst Pullover is a stunning example of this. I'm sure Norah started a new evolution in knitwear design.      
  2003 My personal list of designers who excel at color work is fairly short and Kristin Nicholas is right up there. Her designs were my top sellers when I owned a store in Chicago, and she continues to be one of my all-time favorite designers. The Stop-Traffic Circles sweater is a sweet combination of color, pattern, and cables—a signature style of hers.      
    2004 Knits has featured about 100 sock patterns over the years—really. Plus add all the socks featured in our books, and I'd say socks rock. They rocked big time in 2004—a very pivotal year when many, many knitters picked up those DPNs and never looked back. Evelyn Clark's Retro Rib Socks and Waving Lace Socks were two fine examples of the reason why. These also made it into the final selection of our book, Favorite Socks. 2004 was also the year of the scarf—when many new and returning knitters came into the fold.      
    2005 This was the year of the wrap—a.k.a. poncho, shawl, capelet. It was the year of the Martha-released-from-prison Poncho. I still have many pages flagged from Knits and from Wrap Style. We created our own "free-to-be-me" ponchos here, and more in the latest Knits Accessories.

If lace knitting can be a rage, then Miriam Felton's Icarus Shawl, was part of it. Not only did shawls continue to be hot—we released Wrap Style in fall 2005—lace was picking up big steam and this combination was a true winner. (This was also the year I learned about lace lifelines.)

    2006 If I say "CPH," do you know what I mean? Has anyone not made Heather Lodinsky's Central Park Hoodie? Kathleen just finished the knit-along on Knitting Daily. It's hands-down our top-selling pattern in the store. Plus, Lisa Shroyer, editor of Knitscene (where the pattern first appeared), added many more sizes to Heather's original design, which was  featured in Knitscene Fall 06.      
  2007 Jared Flood's early designs appeared in Interweave Knits. When the issue came out—an all-out bestselling issue—I kept hearing the buzz about the Cobblestone Pullover and the many people making it. It didn't take long to figure out the top reasons why this issue sold out quickly—Jared's pullover, Norah Gaughan's Tilted Duster, and Eunny Jang's Tangled Yoke Cardigan.    
  2008 Fit and flatter—my how our knitting expertise shined this year. No more loose-fitting garments for us. No more hiding our curves. Deborah Newton continued to out-do herself in this category—Windowpane Jacket was the Fall cover. And we were flattered even more by the new designer, Connie Chang Chinchio and her Printed Silk Cardigan.    
  2009 Simplistic, intriguing, refreshing. The Whisper Cardigan by Hannah Fettig is just that—thick-and-thin texture, great Merino lace wool, and larger-than-usual needles. It sums up what we needed to balance out the chaos of a year.      

May we continue to stick our needles out and, stitch-by-stitch, whip up more great designs in this decade. And may each stitch bring you peace and joy!

—Marilyn Murphy

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