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Interweave Knits: Holiday Gifts Preview

Oct 12, 2009

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.





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BarbM wrote
on Nov 2, 2009 7:28 AM

Holiday Knitting:

I've lost my pattern for a felted Christmas Stocking.  Anyone have one they would be willing to share with me?  Thanks much

Barb Meyer

ValerieT@12 wrote
on Oct 25, 2009 2:54 AM

I counted only 42 pattern projects in the magazine. There are only 42 projects pictured in total at the end of the magazine and only 42 projects shown  here on the website. Where are the other 15 plus projects to knit? The cover of the magazine states "57 Projects to Knit, Give & Get". Seriously, Kathleen, where are they?

MarvelN wrote
on Oct 23, 2009 7:37 AM

I have been looking forward to purchasing the Holiday 2009 issue and grabbed it when I saw it at the local big chain bookstore.  However, I was surprised at the cost of this issue.  I'm sorry to say that I left the store without purchasing it as I felt like I couldn't spend that much on a magazine.

jakquil wrote
on Oct 20, 2009 2:58 PM

Kathleen,  Within the last two or three weeks you posted a pattern for a hat you were knitting for your brother.  I saved it in my bookmarks, however when I went to pull it up it was all garbled.

Would you send me the pattern, I would like to make it for a Christmas gift.



kmmayer wrote
on Oct 15, 2009 10:55 AM

I completely agree IvyD. Also, what is up with the photography lately? Nearly every photo of the Whisper Cardigan on Ravelry looks better than the actual photos in the magazine. I wouldn't have seen the potential of that sweater without Ravelry.

IvyD wrote
on Oct 14, 2009 3:36 PM

I can't help but notice a lot of negative comments about increases in price, fewer patterns than advertised, reprints of old patterns, etc. I hope you guys are listening because I have also heard a lot of interweave criticism in my local knitting group and many people have even allowed their subscriptions to lapse. Interweave has been such a premier publisher of textile arts, and we're all feeling a little sad watching the quality diminish. BTW, hate the new layout...don't want to have to flip through the whole magazine to find the pattern in the illustration I am currently looking at.

JanetS@23 wrote
on Oct 14, 2009 9:08 AM

I really don't like that this issue is NOT included with my subscription.  

If I wanted to pick and choose issues, I would opt to pick them up myself and thumb through them.  

I wanted a subscription to save myself the hassle and yet, I am required to go to the newsstand anyway, even with a subscription.  

My Vogue Knitting subscription includes any and all special issues; I just received my holiday one yesterday.  

I can't help but feel a little ripped off.

Debcelley wrote
on Oct 13, 2009 10:06 AM

You really should put Holiday Gifts on news stands in September. Late October is too late for some of us, either because we are slow knitters, or have little leisure time, or so many relatives to knit for!

PAR32 wrote
on Oct 13, 2009 8:57 AM

I wish you would put out your knitting for the holidays issue in June or July instead of October, unless this gives us a start on December 2010.

Vonnie@2 wrote
on Oct 12, 2009 7:01 PM

I am so SORRY that you have fallen into the trap about "holiday" stuff and can't even mention "Christmas".  Such a shame that we can't admit to being  a Christian nation

anymore.  I am done with your Interweave press, not important to me anymore.

NinaT wrote
on Oct 12, 2009 6:58 PM

Will this issue be available in stores, or only online? I really like the herringbone kimono, and the entrelac bags. I'd love to see the magazine before buying it.

kmmayer wrote
on Oct 12, 2009 6:19 PM

Hmm...I would certainly see the value of 60 patterns. However, I have counted and recounted and had my boyfriend count the patterns shown in the preview and I count under 50 every time. Is not everything shown in the preview? The email clearly states "almost sixty projects" and also states "Over 50 projects!" in bold. Where are the other 10 (approximately) patterns?

Jean@147 wrote
on Oct 12, 2009 6:14 PM

I collect old fashion knitted Christmas Stocking patterns and I would love to see Interweave Knits include some of the patterns from the 30's and 40's where the design is actually knit right into the stocking instead of being done by duplicate stitch or sewn on.  Santas with white angora beards, trimmed trees, flying reindeer, snowmen on ice skates all would be great.  I've inherited a few of these patterns but would love to find more.

on Oct 12, 2009 5:17 PM

These certainly make warm cozy gifts.  We are expecting a very cold winter this year and these would be great.

Gauss wrote
on Oct 12, 2009 4:00 PM

But.. but... some of these patterns are reprints: Little Majolica, Wine and Roses Mitts, Cable and Bobble Headband, and others are not that original (I agree that newer knitters might need a pattern for socks or a rectangular scarf in one lace pattern, but many knitters can make these without a pattern). The pattern count doesn't seem that impressive now...

on Oct 12, 2009 2:55 PM

Hi folks!

The price of the Gifts issue this year is higher because it's so much bigger than it has been in past years.

If you compare the 2009 Gifts to your average new knitting book, Gifts is actually a real bargain because a new book costs $20+ and usually has around 20 projects—that's still only $1/pattern, but at $14.99 and 60 patterns, you're getting each pattern for only 24 cents! A pretty nice price, really.

Talk to you soon,


AnnR wrote
on Oct 12, 2009 1:23 PM

There are so many beautiful and cute things to make for the Holidays and otherwise. I would love to do them all.

I just can't seem to find the time. If I had a live in maid, a butler, and a gardener, etc. then maybe I could do all that neat stuff.

Thanks for your wonderful Knitting Daily email, it really does get my entusiasm up and I look forward to it every day.

PamelaF@9 wrote
on Oct 12, 2009 1:17 PM

As much as I enjoy Interweave Knits and the Gift issues, I will be unable to purchase this magazine this year. The reason why? The $14.99 price tag. Looking at last years, it was $8.99. Why the $6 jump? I appreciate the fact that there is more to offer in this years Gift issue but was the jump in price absolutely necessary? I wish I could purchase this but with the magazine being so expensive, unfortunately, this year I will have to do without.