Knitting Gifts: It's that time again!

Knitted Pinecone Ornaments by Jesie Ostermiller

A note from Kathleen: A new issue of Interweave Knits Holiday Gifts is out! I think of it as a gift for me, and if it helps me knit for others (which it always does) more's the better. I have a real soft spot—and therefore a huge collection—for Christmas ornaments. I have a large tree, a medium tree, and a tiny tree (with darling tiny ornaments!), and I think I'm going to need another one soon. So of course I'm going to knit Jesie Ostermiller's Pinecone Ornaments (shown at left). They'll go wonderfully with my real pinecone ornaments!

This new edition of Interweave Knits Holiday Gifts will get you started knitting gifts for everyone on your holiday gift list! Here's Editor Lisa Shroyer is here to tell us a little bit about the issue and her philosophy on gift knitting.

Leadville Cowl by Annie Watts. You can also get this project in a kit!
Tartan Mitts by Carolyn Kern
Frosted Pines Hat by Corrina Ferguson

Spreading the Joy

The last gift I knitted was for a boyfriend. Let's not talk about how that relationship turned out.

Boyfriend curse aside, I really enjoyed making that hat. Most of my knitting projects are for my own use or for work. Picking out a design I knew he'd like, a yarn, and a color were satisfying acts of affection, of reaching beyond my own whims and wants.

When I think about it, the two previous gift knits before that were also hats, Hats make good gifts for people who aren't knitters—hats are accessories that they're familiar with, that they know how to style and wear. Accessories make great gifts, hence our focus on such projects in this annual holiday issue.

One thing the boyfriend hat has reminded of me is this: if you knit a gift for someone, you can't know the fate of that object. Control, after all, is not a part of giving. When you give something, you also give up control of that thing.

You stitch with love. You block and wash and pack and wrap—then hand it away. Will the recipient love it, wear it, care for it? Will you see it sported around town regularly, a pink cabled hat coming through the door on girls' night, at the yoga studio, on the sidelines at football proactive? Or will it disappear into some distant closet? Will the recipient himself fade from your life, hat in hand, a keepsake of a certain time in his life?

And that, to me, is a cool thought. Something I made has left the sphere of my own life and moved into the world. Whether it serves the purpose I intended or not, it has taken on its own life. It has its own fate.

Walker Scarf by Andrea Babb

Whether we knit for charity, for our friends and family, for customers, or purely for the sake of our own expression, those knitted objects become something outside of us.

But they are forever imbued with us, each loop formed by the unique way we hold needles, wrap yarn, draw through stitches. You could say that, along with your affection, your *tension* is part of the signature that marks your gift.

So remember to check your gauge and block the thing (if tension be the maker's mark …)! But with all sincerity, knit with love, give with hope, and have a lovely holiday season.

Get your copy of Knitted Gifts today, and if you love the Leadville Cowl (above left), order your kit right away, before they sell out!


P.S. Have you started your gift knitting yet? Leave a comment below and let us know what you're working on!


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