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Holiday Knitting: Ready, Set, Go!

Aug 20, 2012
    
The Cough. Cubley kids, Christmas 1984

A note from Kathleen: Yes, it's that time—time to start your holiday knitting. And we're here to equip you with fabulous gift patterns that you need, in the new edition of Holiday Gifts! In her Letter from the Editor, Lisa Shroyer talks about favorite holiday memories, and I thought I'd share one of mine with you. The photo at left is lovingly called The Cough in our family, a.k.a "the year I ruined the Christmas photo." This was in 1984, before digital cameras, and my mom didn't realize my cough happened right as she took the photo. Oh, well. It's become a favorite, with other Christmas photos lost in albums or photo boxes.

    
Hidden Picture Cowl by Sara Spencer (look for the owls!)
Later Gator Hat by Ashley Rao
Dalahast Stocking by Amanda Scheuzger (right) and Snow Bird Stocking by Kristin Spurkland

Back to knitting, though. Lisa provides a good reminder in her editor's letter, below. Making knitted gifts should bring joy for both the knitter and the gift recipient; it's not a knitter's race to the finish line!

Here's Lisa to tell you more:

Make It Yourself

Can you name your favorite holiday memory?

Do you have a single specific moment or afternoon that you cherish? What are the elements of that memory? For me, my best memories center on making: in the kitchen with my mom and sister, alternating between prepping, cooking, and sitting down for a hand of cards. Making a fire, jumping up from my knitting every so often to adjust a log, or add one. Creating gift tags for presents.

Knitting gifts has always been part of my holiday making, but it hasn't always led to happy memories. More often than not, gift knitting was a blur of stressed-out speed stitching, pinned to a couch, which for all its proximity to a crackling fire and glinting tree, felt all the world like punishment to me.

How about you? As the year draws into its second half and even closer to its final quarter . . . do you hear the clock begin to tick faster? Do you scan your WIPs, strewn about your home or neatly bagged, as they may be? Do you think to yourself, "Okay, if I can finish that sweater this weekend, then I can finally start on my holiday knitting"? Do you write up a list of people, with things like "cabled hat" and "shawl" written next to the names? Do you sort your stash, piling skeins up according to project, to person?

Of course, we love to give. We love to knit precious things for those people we cherish. But as knitters, we tend to be overambitious, over-inspired even. It can be tough to find the right balance this time of year.

Personally, I stopped trying to make everyone a gift each year. I knit gifts very selectively now—so that I can actually finish them in time and so that the making of them flows into my joyful creative time, next to baking and wrapping and planning parties.

The truth is, this special holiday issue is not intended to serve as a "gift for everyone on your list" pattern collection. The designs in these pages are meant to serve as inspiration, to fit into your knitting and your holidays as bits of joy, comfort, and delight.

If you find the perfect gift for that special someone, wonderful. If you find something to make for yourself, either before the holidays pick up or after they slow down, wonderful. Or, if you just need a new project to work on during those fire-lit hours, alone or with loved ones, then hopefully you'll find something here. Make your holidays memorable, and let your knitting always bring you joy.

Download your copy of Holiday Gifts now, or pre-order the print magazine version—it'll be shipped to you on August 20, 2012.



P.S. What are your holiday knitting plans? Leave a comment below and let us know!

 


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Comments

marywoods wrote
on Aug 31, 2012 12:11 PM

Holiday memories are some of the best.  I think one of the best I have is growing up on a farm and going for hay rides on Christmas Eve.  When the ride was over, we would gather and Grandma and Granddad's and make popcorn balls.  During the ride we were bundled up in warm hand made quilts, crocheted afgans  and often hand knit hats, scarves and mittens.  Quilting, knitting and crocheting were just a normal part of my life.  My mother and grandmother taught me those skills as well as embroidery.  Now I have passed those skills on to both of my daughters and they keep just as busy with it as I do.

KathyM@93 wrote
on Aug 20, 2012 4:53 PM

Looking for Holiday ideas - this is perfect!  Will the  magazine be available in stores - like Joanns?

KathyM@93 wrote
on Aug 20, 2012 4:53 PM

Looking for Holiday ideas - this is perfect!  Will the  magazine be available in stores - like Joanns?

KathyM@93 wrote
on Aug 20, 2012 4:53 PM

Looking for Holiday ideas - this is perfect!  Will the  magazine be available in stores - like Joanns?

KathyM@93 wrote
on Aug 20, 2012 4:53 PM

Looking for Holiday ideas - this is perfect!  Will the  magazine be available in stores - like Joanns?

on Aug 20, 2012 10:58 AM

I am knitting a Trekkie Scarf for my son for this Christmas.  He's a fan of all the Trek TV series, and most of the movies, watches them in sequence.  As a route manager for the local paper, he has two to three routes he throws and in the winter, it gets cold at 4 am~! So hoping to finish this scarf with the Star Trek preamble and the Federation symbol on either end.  If it is not long enough, I may include the names of the Captains of each generation's show!

For my stepmother, an Eiffel Tower shawl in a lovely avocado green baby alpaca yarn!  A few socks and hats and quickie scarves and I should be set.  For some of the recipients of recent FO's in the shawl and lace categories, I have several unique shawl pins I have bought or made!  Happy Crafting everyone! Tis the season to CRAFT and GiVe! :)

yllacaspia wrote
on Aug 20, 2012 7:49 AM

It's selfish knitting all the way for me this year. I;ve devoted 2012 to destashing and knitting up the projects I;ve always wanted to tackle but was too busy knitting for others to try. I'll be knitting a couple of items, but in the main, people will be getting shop-bought gifts, or non-knitted handmade gifts.

The stuff I'll be knitting for me is a mixture of made-up-by-me, patterns from my Ravelry queue and patterns from French Girl knits. And having given myself a whole new wardrobe, I'll be able to knit gifts for other people in 2013...