Interweave has produced the fabulous Holiday Gifts issue for the last several years, and this one is no exception (preview the upcoming issue here) . Interweave Knits editor Eunny Jang and I recently got a chance to talk about this year's Holiday Gifts, which will be available on October 27. As Eunny and I were chatting, we got to talking about lots of things, including our favorite part of the holiday season.
"To be honest, I think I love the food best; I should probably say the good cheer, the family togetherness, etc., etc. But candy, turkey and dressing, seven fishes feasts, pannetone, Yule logs—name the tradition, I'll name (and eat!) the food!" Eunny said.
I love the food, too—we usually have a traditional ham dinner—but my favorite part of the holidays is decorating the tree. I have a nice collection of glass ornaments in the German style, and I love how they sparkle on the tree. I spend a lot of time rearranging the ornaments so that they show to their best advantage, too. My favorite is a little bird in a nest, and the hanger is a gold, sparkly pipe-cleaner-type thing. It's really a special ornament.
Speaking of ornaments, Ann Weaver designed some beautiful patterns for German-inspired ornaments (at right) for Holiday Gifts.
The 2009 issue of Holiday Gifts is huge—almost sixty projects! Seeing it all come together is always so rewarding; going from a sketchy concept to a finished magazine is pretty satisfying. Some of our favorite designs in this issue include Courtney Kelley's Nuneh Mittens and Silka Burgoyne's Lace and Twist Mittens. Eunny learned a new technique from the Nuneh Mittens: the Armenian method of tacking down the yarn to eliminate long floats.
I really like the delicate Lace and Twist Gloves. They're simply beautiful; perfect for some of the fingering-weight yarn I have in my stash, and perfect for the ladies in my life (especially my Gramma, who loves pretty, feminine accessories).
The Gift of Handmade
Many of the ideas in Holiday Gifts are future heirlooms just waiting to be made, and seeing them sparked memories for Eunny and I, about some of our most cherished gifts—both given and received.
Eunny said, "My grandmother gave me her collection of crochet hooks a long time ago, and while that gift isn't something that was made for me, it is something that made countless things for others. The most memorable handmade holiday gift I've given is the year I knitted some pretty intricate, traditional shawls for my mother, aunt, and grandmother. They were all different, and all beautiful—they immediately started trading them with each other and arguing over who got what."
My most cherished handmade gift is an embroidered pillow my mom made for me. The design is the beautiful, floral love stamp from 1989, and twenty years later, that pillow still has a place of honor on my bed. As far as giving gifts, I've made lots of things for friends and family. My favorite gifts that I made are little cross-stitched ornaments with my family's names on them; they hang on the stockings to designate whose is whose.
Home (and Away) for the Holidays
Even though it's only October 12th, both Eunny and I are looking forward to relaxing during the holidays—catching up on much needed sleep, cooking, eating, drinking good wine, and watching bad movies.
Eunny will be holed up in a mountain cabin and I'll be hosting the Portland contingent of Cubleys (my brother, sister-in-law, and nephew Henry) in Spokane.
I'm thinking about making Lisa Shroyer's Nordic Striped Ball for Henry. At 23 inches in circumference, it's a fun size for a 4-year-old!
That busy, wonderful holiday time will be here before we know it, so I hope you'll get busy with some of the gift ideas in Holiday Gifts.