Go On, Have Some Fun!

The toque, shown flat, with a pom-pom on one end and a tassel on the other. The ingenious construction provides two hats in one. Photograph by Joe Coca.

Optical Illusion mittens by Sonata Eidikienė. Photograph by Joe Coca.

"Toss and Tumble" frolicking your way. Photograph by Joe Coca.

Go On, Have Some Fun!

We have invited Karen Brock, assistant editor of our sister publication PieceWork, to tell you about the latest special issue, the fourth edition of Knitting Traditions magazine. Who knew knitting history could be so much fun?

Karen Brock: The fourth of PieceWork's super-popular special issue Knitting Traditions has just arrived on the newsstands, and all I can say is "How fun!" Each issue of Knitting Traditions becomes a character of its own. In the premier Winter 2010 issue, it was all about the type of projects—socks, sweaters, gloves and mittens, shawls and scarves; for the following Winter 2011 issue, it was all about technique: colorwork, texture, and lace. For the third issue in Fall 2011, we took readers on a knitting journey around the world. For the current issue, we framed the articles and projects in terms of Useful Articles, Adornments, and Vintage. But within each of those categories is fun, a lot of fun.

In Useful Articles, Maureen McGinnis Patterson shares amusing tales of her Canadian mother and the necessity of knitting toques; she provides the pattern for these whimsical looking yet terribly practical double-layered hats. Martin Polley, a professor of sports history, offers fascinating insight into what knitting patterns can teach us about cultural history. The companion photographs from Sirdar pattern leaflets elicit a big grin every time I open the issue. 

Even in the Adornment section, which features gorgeous lace shawls and cashmere/silk Russian gloves, there's plenty of delight, too. Optical illusion mittens, based on a traditional Lithuanian design, are a bold and brilliant example of colorwork, reminiscent of M.C. Escher patterns. If you don't know what stulmeni are, you'll learn in this issue as Barbara Plakans explains the components of traditional dance costume from Latvia and, of course, shares her pattern for these decorative cuffs—for socks!

The entire Vintage section is packed with fun. I love poring through vintage and antique publications, but bringing some of those patterns to life is the best. Among a shawl, gloves, lace patterns, and intriguing instructions for making your own needles, we've included several sweet children's garments: booties, mittens, a hat, and how could it be complete without a fancy frock? But one of the most charming contributions to our vintage children's collection is "Toss and Tumble," who, after having been transported from the pages of a 1928 Needlecraft to the pages of Knitting Traditions Spring 2012, is ready for a "frolic with his wee owner."

We hope you'll have as much fun with this issue as we've had putting it together. Purchase your issue today and have a good frolic!

Have fun,

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