Making Your Gift List

Fir-Cone Sachet by Alasdair Post-Quinn
Leaded Window Shrug by Annie Modesitt
Rosebud Hat by Carolyn Kern

It's gift-knitting time again, believe it or not. Time to make our lists, check them twice, and so on. The "checking them twice" part is the challenge for me.

I have been knitting hats lately, for a sick little girl, so my knitting time is accounted for right now—and probably for the next month or so. I also have my knit-along project, the Kayleen Pullover, to finish. Then there's a vest that I want to have ready to wear this fall, and a sweater that I have to finish up for my mom. Lots of stuff!

So my knitting gift list is going to be very short this year. It was last year, too. Maybe next year I'll knit for friends and family at the holidays. Their gloves, mittens, hats, and scarves might even be worn out by then.

But I know many of you have long lists and more time that I, and that's a good thing, because the new issue of Interweave Holiday Gifts is here! It's another stellar collection of perfect gifts to make for your dear ones and even some to ask for yourself! Here's editor Lisa Shroyer to tell you all about it.

Our Knitting Journeys

I suspect that you, knitter, are a fan of books. I've met many of you out in the world, and you strike me as a curious and courageous lot. As a kid, I collected books at each opportunity—every holiday and birthday. Dragons, horses, heroines all swirled in my head. When I became serious about knitting, I was knitting sweaters for those characters. I was thinking about their adventures, near misses, friendships, love stories.

If you're like me, making things remains a part of that adventure, that storytelling in our heads about who we are. Knitting books are one of my grown-up obsessions.

Thanks to a book, I recently set out on a new knitting journey. My mom picked up a copy of Dutch Traditional Ganseys: Sweaters from 40 Villages (Search Press, 2014) by Stella Ruhe a couple months ago. On our weekly walks, she prattled on about it, excitedly. The book prompted more research—who was making traditional Guernsey wool? Which shapes and stitches were native to which regions? Needless to say, the topic got me excited, too. And then Mom's sister. The three of us decided to "design" our own ganseys. I've been sketching, swatching, and paging through books. My fisherman sweater will be dense, warm, high-necked, with vertical panels of knit-purl patterns.

Sweetheart Tablet Cover by Eline Oftedal
Captain's Return Hat by Josie Mercier

A deep rib at hem and cuff. Sea-ready. Bound for adventure. These sweaters, knitted on size 2s with lots of purling, will probably take a year to finish. That appeals to me. Little needles, toothy wool, a durable heirloom. But what will be most valuable is the thread that runs throughout the project . . . working on this with women I love, seeing their designs and progress, remembering the intense discussion of plies, color, necklines, body shaping—Can we add body shaping? Should we?

Working on creative projects with other people is a gift in itself. When I get to collaborate with like-minded people and make something—a collection with designers, a photo shoot with stylists and models, page layout with a graphic designer, articles with writers and copy editors, a new fiber event with executives, an episode of Knitting Daily TV with producers, a year-long gansey with my mom and my aunt—those are magical moments in my story.

May that spirit of community inform your gift-knitting, your social-time knitting, and the many projects that make up your life. Your great adventure.

That Leaded Window Shrug is really fabulous; it would be perfect for my mom. Maybe . . . And the Sweetheart Tablet Cover would be a quick knit for so many people. Hmm.

No one ever said I was overly decisive!

Get your issue of Interweave Knits Gifts 2014 today and start knitting your gifts now. If you get an early start, you might be wrapping on Christmas Eve instead of madly finishing up the last few rows of a hat or scarf for someone!


P.S. When do you start your gift knitting? Leave a comment and tell us!

For more great gift-knitting ideas, check out the Knitscene Accessories! This special issue features 32 patterns for knitted accessories-you'll find lots of ideas for that special someone, and this issue is on sale through Labor Day!

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