Enchant Your Knitting!

Sylvania Cardigan by Gabrielle Vézina

The inspiration that designers use to come up with their patterns is endless. From nature to travel, from history to personal heroes, the motivation to design knitting patterns can come from anywhere.

A great example of this is our new special publication, Enchanted Knits. Designers took inspiration from fairy tales to create fabulous garments and accessories. There are some really amazing projects in Enchanted Knits, and they're all so perfectly born from their inspiration.

One of my favorites is the Sylvania Cardigan by Gabrielle Vézina. The idea came from the setting of so many of our favorite tales: the forest. A large leaf pattern and many cables take root at the bottom edge, while the dark leaf pattern on the back of the cardigan lends a mysterious air. "Sylvan" means associated with the woods or forest; I thought you might wonder what the name Sylvania had to do with the forest.

Here's Enchanted Knits editor Anne Merrow to tell you more about this wonderful publication.

Singeli's Silver Slippers by Lisa Jacobs. Singlei is the heroine in the Swedish Cinderalla story.

Magical Knitting

The charm and the challenge of fairy tales are that they rarely make sense on their faces. Whether they're transgressive or just plain nonsensical, they generally make their own rules.

Sometimes it's laws of nature that they disobey. From animals talking in "Puss in Boots" to princesses who slumber for hundreds of years in "Sleeping Beauty," there are fairy tales that don't conform to the world as we know it. Others cheat our expectations about the outcome: The little man is denied his prize in "Rumplestiltskin," and the princess feels the pea beneath all those mattresses.

Butterfly Fairy Tank Izumi Ouchi, inspired
by the fairies so often seen in
enchanted stories.

I believe the best fairy tales are about transformation, shaking our belief that what is shall always be so. The change can be magical and physical, such as the beast who becomes a handsome prince through pure love. It can be tricky, like the wolf who passes for Grandmother by simply donning her clothing. Or it can be subtler and more earthly, like the ugly duckling whose looks change over the slow passage of time.

Knitting is our act of transformation. Not every knitter works with such desperate urgency as the princess for her brothers the Wild Swans, but working yarn into frothy shawls or sturdy mitts is a slow act of storytelling in stitches. Like the fairy tales, knitting patterns sometimes seem inscrutable but they often reveal unexpected lessons to the careful knitter.

You'll find fairy tales both moral and magical in this issue. As you work through the designs, remember two things: If the pattern seems to be disguised under a spell, check the glossary on Knitting Daily for techniques and other assistance.

Among the Birches Shawl Kate Larson honors the Hidden Folk of Norwegian tales.

And no matter how tempting it may be to charm your needles into knitting by themselves, the Sorcerer's Apprentice reminds us that objects bewitched may not always do our bidding. (In other words: Check your work, read your knitting, and enjoy the process.)

I hope you fall under the spell of your knitting.

—Anne Merrow, editor, Enchanted Knits

I've certainly fallen under the spell of this collection of patterns! Get Enchanted Knits now and join me in some charmed knitting.


P.S. What's your favorite fairy tale? Has it influenced your knitting at all? Leave a comment and let us know!

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