For the Early Birds

Yes, it's August. It's still summer, and it's still hot. The latest Knits special issue might make you believe otherwise. Interweave Knits Gifts 2014 is already up for pre-order and will be on sale in stores in a few short weeks. This issue has a whole new look that separates it from past Holiday Gifts issues, and it's full of fun and quick projects perfect for holiday gifts, whether finished early or at the last second. Not to mention there are some great stashbusters in here (check out Nancy Shroyer's Stashbuster Hats!). 

Even though it's still summer out there, many of the Gifts 2014 projects are actually great for summer knitting. Cowls, hats, toys, and other small projects are great for taking with you, and you won't be buried underneath a mountain of yarn. 

Swagger Sweater, Swagger Hat, and Snowflake Coozie
by Holly Priestley 
Fir-Cone Sachet
by Alasdair Post-Quinn 

I just love the little sweater, hat, and coozie designed by Interweave Knits Project Editor Holly Priestley. These are such quick little projects that add so much whimsy and fun to holiday parties! I'd love to knit a bunch of these for all of my friends and have them over around the holidays to use them. And the Fir-Cone Sachet by Alasdair Post-Quinn is a truly beautiful double-knitted piece that smells divine. This issue includes an article written by Alasdair with tips about double-knitting, taking away the intimidation of this technique and pattern. The pouch is filled with balsam fir needles (or whatever you prefer) to bring a rich and seasonal smell, then is seamed closed. 

Fairbanks Cowl
by Ágnes Kutas-Keresztes 
Voussoir Hat
by Robin Allen 

These wearable gifts are also great for summer and early fall knitting. The Fairbanks Cowl by Ágnes Kutas-Keresztes is a good transeasonal cowl that will wear well through both fall and winter (and that part of the year that is supposed to be spring but you wouldn't know it by all of the snow). The Voussoir Hat by Robin Allen has a simple and pretty twisted stitch pattern thoughout the cap, with an easy-to-follow chart in the pattern. This hat will take almost no time to knit up for the hat-wearer in your life, and will keep your interest (but not be difficult!). 

If you are looking for something a little more time-consuming and involved, the Cottage Christmas Blanket by Ann McDonald Kelly is a great fall and winter project. The blanket is worked in garter stitch and joined as you go along, and the trees have some cute little decorative bobbles. The HiKoo Simpliworsted that this pattern calls for makes the blanket warm, hardy, and stretchy – absolutely perfect for snuggling under during one's holiday break at home.

Cottage Christmas Blanket
by Ann McDonald Kelly 

There you have it! That's just a quick look at some projects from this issue. Check out the main preview page to get a peak at all the projects, articles, and other features that will be in this issue. I hope your fingers are itching to get in some holiday knitting early. We all know it never hurts to start early, especially when it comes to holiday gift planning. 

Happy gift-knitting!

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