The Knits Americana Issue is Here!

My bedside table is precious real estate: only the most important possessions in my life earn a place there. On any given night you’ll find a half-finished knitting project, a family photo, a felted figurine of Jon Snow, and a large stack of books. The only permanent resident of that stack is a dog-eared, well-loved copy of Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass. It hasn’t left its place since I was an undergrad, and I often reach for it when I can’t sleep. Reading it is like having a conversation with an old friend that pulls me back to center and allows me to drift off into sunlit dreams. Since I drew the volume out of The Strand’s stacks fourteen years ago, Whitman’s poetry and prose have had a profound effect on my worldview, my ethics, and my perception of humanity. His love for America and his soaring prose on her beauty and promise instilled in me the desire to discover America for myself. That desire sparked the inspiration for this issue of Interweave Knits: The Americana Issue.

The word “Americana” has several definitions, but here we use it to refer to something that is quintessentially American. Definitions of “quintessentially American” change from person to person and from generation to generation; in this issue, we don’t wish to present a single viewpoint, but to capture the spirit of America in its many—and often contradictory—forms.

We begin with a Kerouac-esque road trip west across the Great Plains and open roads of America in our Wanderlust story. This beatnik-rambler story is full of on-trend knits for the traveler, including the cabled and fringed Astral Road Ruana, which is certain to become an iconic Knits design.

Astral Road Ruana by Cheryl Toy
Yarn – Blue Sky Fibers Woolstok

All Who Wander Cowl by Kyle Kunnecke
Yarn – Mountain Meadow Wool Jackson

Tangled Up in Gray Pullover by Sloane Rosenthal
Yarn – Hudson Valley Fibers Hudson

Goldsmobile Top by Danielle Chalson
Yarn – Sugar Bush Yarns Chill

In our Homestead story, we’ve curated a collection of modern classics for every generation, featuring the colorwork, cables, and textures you love with refreshing, alluring style.

Left: Nelson Pullover by Irina Anikeeva
Yarn Brown Sheep Company Nature Spun
Right: Subterraneans Cardigan by Anne Hanson
Yarn Bare Naked Wools Stone Soup Fingering

Subterraneans Cardigan by Anne Hanson

Prairie Wind Cardigan by Amy Gunderson
Yarn Universal Yarn Deluxe Worsted

Gold Rush Shawl by Meghan Jones
Yarn Manos Del Uruguay Milo, dist. by Fairmount Fibers

Cash Pullover by Jenny Williams
Yarn Cascade Yarns Longwood

Left: Angelina Pullover by Mary Anne Benedetto
Yarn The Fibre Co. Cumbria, dist. by Kelbourne Woolens
Right: Whiskey Creek Pullover by Amy Christoffers
Yarn Berroco Tuscan Tweed

And in our Maker’s Tools review, you’ll find eco-friendly, sustainable products for and from the earth.

This edition of Knits is beautiful, inspiring, and thoughtful—and I am grateful to every person who contributed to this exceptional issue. The Knits team comprises a talented, diverse, and passionate group of people who often go unsung and unseen. I’m taking a page from Whitman’s book and recognizing the work—both the everyday tasks and the remarkable efforts—each person shared to produce this magazine. You all made my journey across America worthwhile, and I found a place where work and friendship are not mutually exclusive.

Readers, I hope you recognize the love that we poured into these pages and see a place for yourself in them.

—Meghan Babin

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  1. Suet L at 10:04 am August 18, 2017

    Great work on the Americana issue!
    I haven’t ordered this particular magazine in a few years.
    But, things are looking up.
    I had to download it this time because there were six patterns I wanted to make.
    I lived everything about this issue- the patterns, the models, the styling of the knit pieces on the models, and most importantly, the editor’s thoughtful writing about the issue. Thank you for the optimism because despite the negative stuff out there, this is still a great and beautiful country, and it was shown in this issue.

  2. Merrilyn B at 9:18 pm August 18, 2017

    I recently received my print copy of the Fall 2017 Interweave Knits, and I find it difficult to express how extremely disappointed I was with it. The Wanderlust section was fine, but the Homestead section was depressing in its darkness. I can’t figure out if it was the printer, the photographer or the editor that was responsible for the horrible illustrations. I found that I had a really bad time trying to see detail in most of the photographs. Between the dark backgrounds and the shadows, I really couldn’t get enough information to decide if there was a project there that I would be interested in doing. The description for the Angelina Pullover interested me, but I could not see enough detail in the photos to decide if it was something I wanted to do.

    Another thing that I find irritating is that at the beginning of the directions for a pattern, there is no reference to a page number for the other illustrations of that pattern. It is a pain to have to go back and page through the magazine to find where it was originally shown.

    Finally, I was interested in seeing how the Gold Rush Shawl was knit, but there was no schematic showing the general shape and measurements of the finished item. How can it be blocked out when finished without this information?

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