Winter Knits Preview!

 Note from Sandi: Ever wish you could get a glimpse into editor Eunny Jang's mind as she plans the next issue of Interweave Knits magazine? Imagine sifting through gorgeous yarns, mulling over sketches and swatches, knowing that you get to choose what everyone will be knitting this season. What fun! But what a daunting prospect…how does Eunny do it? Here to introduce the Interweave Knits Winter 2008 preview, and to share some of her thoughts on putting together this issue is Eunny herself:


Though I'm getting ready to move to the chillier climate of the Mountain West, I've spent most of my life around the Mid-Atlantic. Generally, winters in DC and Baltimore are mild, wet, and a little dreary–we rarely get snow that stays pretty for longer than a day, and while it never gets cold enough to wear 100% alpaca, neither is it ever warm enough to wear just a hand-knit sweater without a jacket. I make a lot of gloves and hats, light scarves, and thin, layerable sweaters.   


On the other hand, Colorado gets really and truly cold and snowy. Thick cables, stranded colorwork, and bulky yarns–here I come! I'm looking forward to knitting thick boot socks in wool, and making sweaters out of yarns heavier than worsted-weight. Quiviuk and alpaca might finally become practical, rather than simply indulgent, knitting.

My grandmother, who lived in Los Angeles for many years, has still another definition of winter knitting: silk and cotton tops with long sleeves rather than short, vests, and the occasional lace scarf. If she knits anything wool or heavy, it's as a gift for someone who might see the mercury dip below 50 degrees Farenheit.


Knitting from December through March can mean a lot of different things across our global knitting community. To that end, we've stocked the Winter issue of Interweave Knits with options: Sweaters that can function as outerwear and fitted sweaters for layering; scarves, hats, and mittens in a variety of fibers and stitches that range from rugged to mostly-decorative; even quirky home accessories for those who don't want to knit garments at all. We've explored our favorite winter yarn, tweed, but looked for fiber blends and silhouettes that make it work for any climate; interesting "woven"-style fabrics that look great in bulky and in delicate yarns; simple stitch patterns that look great on projects large and small; and textures that range from warm and cozy to delicately etched.


Casual weekendy cardigans for tramping in the snow, refined pieces appropriate for overheated offices or warmer climates, hoods that chase the chill, scarves that could work as year-round accessories–no matter what your winter is like, we've got something to keep you knitting.


What do you knit from December through March? We'd love to hear from you!


— Eunny Jang
Editor, Interweave Knits


View the Interweave Knits Winter 2008 Preview

What's on Sandi's needles? I cannot tell a lie. I'm almost done with a pair of the Aran Slippers from Knits Holiday Gifts 2008. No, I haven't finished the socks yet. Yes, I am working on the lace shawl. Yes, I have a couple other projects scattered around the house right now. What can I say? Would you have better self-discipline if you worked for Interweave?

Other Things You May Like to Check Out:


Knitting Daily Blog

48 thoughts on “Winter Knits Preview!

  1. I actually have a small sweater vest on my needles in a cotton/acrylic blend for a toddler. Next item on the list, a pair of over alls for the toddler’s little sister. Then back to sock knitting. Even though I live in Texas, I believe in wool socks. I love how they breathe and yet keep feet so warm. Every single person in my family who gets their birthday socks, loves them and wants a new pair, constantly. I devised the birthday socks since buying so many people gifts is just so expensive and since I am a fiber artist, I dye up my own colorways and they get unique socks no one else will ever have. 🙂

  2. Hi Eunny!
    If you are moving to the Front Range of Colorado where ~80% of the population lives (Colorado Springs, Denver, Boulder, Fort Collins) you’ll still be wearing (and knitting) the kinds of things you did in DC. It doesn’t get very cold, it doesn’t snow very often and it is very sunny! Now, if you are moving to the mountains of CO, then that’s a whole ‘nother thing! Hope your move goes well!
    Fort Collins, CO

  3. I am in a group of women at church that have a Bazaar every November. I knit from January to November doing everything I can think of. New mittens, hats, scarves and dish rags. Baby booties, sweaters and baby blanklets. Also afghans with leftover yarn for the needy. I have just knitted wash cloths and scarves to a girl in Iraq. She was a girl on my school bus that I drove for 15 years in IL. Now I am retired to Mountain Home, Arkansas. Love all new ideas and crocheting to and crafts. Keep up the good e-mails to me. Thanks.

  4. Oh Joy!!! The new magazine is on it’s way and I can’t wait!

    From December to March, I knit mostly hats, gloves, socks, cardigans, and once in a while scarves. What I like to do is work with heavier yarns that pool in my lap and keep me warm while in progress.

    It’s also the ideal time for me to work with mohairs, angoras and silks because my hands stay dry and there’s less likely to be hair a-flying. I learned that transporting ‘hairy’ yarns in the cold makes them less likely to shed (or is it my imagination?).

  5. The sad thing, for me, is that the issue comes too late for me to knit anything to wear this winter. Here in Oregon’s temperate Willamette Valley, there are really only about two months a year – December and January – when it’s cold enough to wear substantial sweaters. And since I work full-time, by the time I knit, say, a sweater, it’s already too warm to wear it.

  6. After the Christmas presents are done, I’ll get back to some charity knitting…a good chance to use up the odds and ends from my Christmas presents! I usually make knit caps for the homeless men’s shelter (They call them toboggans in the South! Imagine this Michigan transplant’s surprise when she heard people wear toboggans on their heads here!) My daughter works at Childrens Hospital, so baby hats and blankets go there. “Chemo caps” go to the cancer center at our university hospital. A new baby is on the way in my own family, so she’ll be getting a blanket, too! Linda D.

  7. This looks like a GREAT issue. I love the mix of projects. It seemed for the past several issues that the focus had shifted to women’s sweaters. (Not that I’d ever want to stop knitting those!) I also like the range of styles–both fashion forward and classic. Can’t wait to see the issue in my mailbox.

  8. RE: Winter Knits Preview

    I live in South Florida so even though the months say winter, we get warm weather year round. The most I will ever need is a warm sweater. Thanks for having a variety of patterns for the variety of climates. I appreciate that!

    M. LoSardo
    Ft. Lauderdale, FL

  9. Dear Eunny and the IK editorial team:
    What a beautiful issue. Aside from the fact that there are loads of items that seem to have been designed especially for me, I am impressed with the elegance of the design, the variety of challenge and the beauty of the color choices. In this way it reminds me, Eunny, a little of your blog, which should remind all of us of why you were asked to do this job. In contrast to other commenters, I am finding a perfect balance of things for me to knit now for living in VERY temperate Silicon Valley, California and for my wintertime 2 month visit to Hawaii. (Hey, somebody has to do it.) So, on the needles now? The Notre Dame de Grace pullover from IK Summer ’07, started this summer for wearing in December. From December to March? Probably the Rope and Picot cardi in yarn appropriate to air conditioned summers. IK rocks!

  10. Sandi, I ALWAYS have at least 2 projects going at a time (I try to limit myself to two, but it usually ends up being 3 or 4!)! I always have a pair of socks going, and something on larger needles (usually a sweater), so when my arthritis acts up & I can’t do the small needles, I still have something to knit. And there’s usually a crochet project, too (usually a stuffed animal for one of my grandsons, although I do an ocassional scarf or sweater), along with a cross-stitch project (right now, I’m wading through a Christmas tree skirt for each of my four kids. I might finish in the next 5 years!)

    In the winter months, I work on larger projects – sweaters, blankets, etc. – in heavier yarn, as then I can stand having the warmth & weight in my lap while I’m working. In the summmer it’s smaller items – hats, baby items, scarves, etc. – and done in lightweight yarn, otherwise I overheat too much. (I hate being at that age where I carry my own “personal summer” with me wherever I go!).

    And THANKS for the wide variety of weights in the current issue!! I have relatives all over the globe & need projects for ALL weights & types of yarn!

    Lois N, Michigan

  11. Snowing here and pretty cold (well we are inside The Arctic Circle) so never without wooly socks on the pins all year round. They are so handy to have for the times when I am too tired for anything else or just can’t concentrate on a pattern.
    Catherine, Northern Norway

  12. There were very few items in this issue that I would make. I would like to ask for more baby and children patterns, as well as more sweaters for women who don’t want to wear garments that are tight or fitted around the waist! No matter how well shaped or fitted the garment is, that is just not attractive on so many women. Living in the midwest, we do need warmer sweaters in the winter but it is easy to get carried away because most of the time a heavy wool sweater is too much for indoors. I usually do make warm sweaters, hats, and scarves during the winter months.

  13. Normally, I knit and felt bags and other items that I design or make changes from patterns to sell during the summer at an outdoor market. I enjoy this because of the people interested in knitting and the felting process. However, since this year we are expecting 3 great-greandchildren, so I have been making and looking for different patterns for babies and toddlers. They are keeping me busy. I do love the Interweave Knits that I get and have been getting for years. It is my favorite knitting mag. and now the only one that I receive. I love cable and Irish knit, the more complicated, the better. I sometimes take the cables patterns from different pictures and make a new pattern for an adult sweater. They usually fit longer than a child’s. So, keep the great ideas and patterns coming. I am looking forward to the next issue. Judy Rockett, Carver, Massachusetts.

  14. I have most of my knitting of winter things done by fall, then start on spring things. But this year, I’ll be making gift leg warmers for my daughters. A few people here have mentioned charity knitting, and I love that idea! So perhaps some preemie hats. Around January or February, I’ll start on an afghan, which will be a wedding gift for my daughter’s violin teacher. In between all these, my usual small projects, like socks. I like to have multiple projects going, so I don’t get bored.

  15. I am budgeting my time with a homework assignment due December 7th (a body and two sleeves on the needles for a sweater class I’m taking…and why did I pick WORSTED??!?) but I have completed one of Carolyn Doe’s magical hats and couldn’t help myself but start another new pattern. Masochist? Maybe. More like helplessly addicted to color and fiber. I will later be doing a pair of gauntlets with he Mooi I have staring me down….just gotta get this blinkin’ cardigan done.

  16. Living in North Florida, I usually don’t get to knit with warmer, fuzzier yarns during most of the year because they make my hands sweat! Larger projects I now can jump into, and I am knitting a vintage pattern sweater jacket for myself with that gorgeous Surf and Turf Tweedle Dee shaded yarn. I am also making Alan Dart characters and animals. I love his tiny ‘Santas’, they come together so neatly and very fast! I teach beading as well as knitting and polymer clay classes at The Bead Chick, here in Old St. Augustine, We are making Swarovski beaded puffy hearts that use 73 crystals, for gifts, and I also teach several seed beading classes. My favorite bead stitch is the Nedebele Herringbone, and it has over a dozen variations I enjoy using. I am hoping to finish and embellish a couple of knitted beaded bags. It is so much fun to knit with beads, and count groups of beads like stitches! Enjoy the season, Good Folks, and your projects as well! Nancy

  17. Here in Adelaide, South Australia, my knitting from December to March consists of lots of cotton sleeveless or short-sleeved tops. Our temperatures can stay at over 40 degrees Celsius for days on end, so they are cool to wear and cool to knit. The result of getting your magazine at a different season to which it was intended, means that I plan ahead a good deal. Barbara B.

  18. It’s interesting how different people can have different experiences in the same climate. I’ve lived in San Diego most of my life, and unlike Eunny’s grandmother, I find that cotton sweaters are not warm enough here in winter. I wear (and knit) light weight wool sweaters for myself in the winter — I’ll even find it’s cool enough to wear cashmere sometimes. I also do a lot of knitting for my family in the SF Bay Area, where it’s considerably cooler than here — so they get all of the worsted and heavier weight sweaters.

  19. It’s Christmas giving until Christmas, and then I get to knit for me! I have two winter sweaters planned so far, and always a pair of socks on the needles. I’m also looking into my stash and using it instead of buying new yarn. Why does yarn you just had to have lose its lustre?

  20. I like to work on afgans-baby or full size-It’s always nice to have them around to give as gifts-great for stash busters-plus they keep me warm as I work on them as they get bigger and bigger.

  21. Hi my name is Cathy I live in Scotland. Just for a change the weather here is mild. I always have knitting on the go plus I am learning to crochet. I love the knits in your fall book and would definately do the scarf,hat, and so many others. Living within a budget means I have to buy budget wools so never quite get the effect I want though they turn out quite well. Knitting has been a passion of mine for many years and find it relaxing especially when it is wet and windy outside. Thank you for the work you and your team put in to making all of this available and possible.

  22. Socks, socks, socks. My feet sweat and wool is the only fibre I am comfortable wearing on my feet because it retains warmth even if damp. And I’m slow, so I just keep the Perennial Sock in my purse and keep on keeping on. I could only wish I had time for a nice sweater!

    From the Sock-Shaped State, Marjorie

  23. Warm sweaters and socks! By the holidays, I’m done knitting gifts, and concentrate on a warm but interesting sweater to get through the cold months. Socks are a wonderful project to take to all of those appointments and occasions where waiting is an issue. Since I started making all of my own socks, my feet have never been cold during the winter months!

  24. I knit babies items most of the time , I enjoy knitting babies and toddlers clothes with double knitting yarn ,it’s so soft!!
    Knitting sure is a great pastime,I’ve been knitting for 40 years or more . I just love knitting. i always have something setup on needles.
    Meta Hillier

  25. A lovely issue. I love the design of the man’s sweater – unfortunately none of my picky gentlemen would wear such thickness of yarn. I hope we will get to see some galleries (please). Because of the wonderful drape and elasticity of knitted fabric getting the neck and shoulders just right can make a garment – much easier with collars and high necks than lovely wide or lower necklines

  26. Here in southern New Mexico, in the mountains, we can have all kinds of weather – so anything goes with the knitting. After Christmas, I’ll relax, go through old issues of Interweave Knit, and Spin Off for inspiration. I’ll go to my local yarn store, Yada Yada Yarn, hang out with friends at our weekly group (which seems to be sneaking up to more like three days a week), and we’ll see what ideas we can toss around. Several of us are knitting Tit Bits, hand knit prosthetic breasts to donate to our Cancer Center, for women to use after mastectomy. Several are knitting baby hats for the local first born program. Instead of planning gifts, I’ll probably browse around the store, find some yummy yarn and then find a pattern to use it. Barbara M

  27. You have me REALLY looking forward to this issue. Living in northern California, I appreciate items for warmer climates – unfortunately I can rarely wear wool much less any of the warmer fibers. That’s not going to stop me from knitting Pfeiffer Falls Hooded Scarf! I’ll go coatless just to wear it! I enjoy knitting scarves, socks, purses, afghans… The sweaters in this issue look fabulous, so I’ll be looking at fiber substitutions or going without a coat.

  28. I’m in Southern California, and all my family have migrated here, too, so it’s cotton, light cotton at that. cardigans, silk and lace. I ‘m an IK subscriber, but debated before signing up. I used to buy only the spring and summer issues, since there wasn’t much in the others that I could make.

    I have done some felted purses, but don’t enjoy knitting with large needles, so prefer other projects, ideally lightweight garments with a little lace for ventilation, and definitely no turtlenecks.

  29. This isssue has a lot of projects that I would love to make. The Blooming Cardigan and hooded scarf in particular. I just got some beautiful lace weight alpaca that I am going to use for the Bleeding Hearts Stole from Spring ’08. I try my best to stick to one project at a time so that I can be sure to complete it. Of course I then go to the yarn store and start petting, and well… we all know how that’s going to turn out. 🙂 I can’t wait to get this issue. Happy knitting everyone!

  30. Since most of us have many projects going on, shouldn’t someone come up with the idea of showing winter garments in the summer – to give us time to get them done, and summer projects in the winter – for the same reason.

  31. I knit whatever my desire dictates regardless of the time of year. Right now I am mixing solid color regular acrylic yarn with multi-colored fun yarns to make some really beautiful scarves. Some are for gifts, and I may sell some. Some of the things I make go to various charities. debt (above) has a good idea, since some projects take quite a bit of time.

  32. Like BarbaraB, I live in Australia, where it’s summer – though I’m in Queensland, which has a sub-tropical climate and is very humid as well as hot. So knitting rather goes on the back burner for a few months. But socks are my favourite at present & they don’t get big enough to be too hot to handle. A bit of talcum powder on the hands can help, and an efficient fan! Air-conditioned shopping centres should start knitting circles…

  33. After practicing sweater making with mini sweater ornaments, I’m working on my first “real” sweater for my sister for Christmas. The pattern is called a Bardot sweater and features a big draping collar. There are only 2 pages of directions, so seems like an easy first to try. After Christmas, I will be making one for me with the most fabulous yarn I can find. I wish people sweaters were as easy to do as the minis! Happy knitting everyone!

  34. I knit everything all year round. Colorado Springs has some really cold days, but the sun is usually shining. I don’t wear a coat in the car in the daytime because I get too hot! Sweaters are perfect; wool socks are almost always on. I love the climate here and the knitting is always in style. Stoles are almost always suitable.

  35. I live in the “icebox of the nation” as my friend puts it (it’s only Wisconsin!), so I knit things that are warm yet fashionable. When I get to work in the morning, the 100 year old building is usually at 55 degrees, so I need something to keep me warm at work. You can only wear so many layers before you can’t put your arms down. I like to add cute but quick scarves for a little extra “snuggle”.

  36. I’ve been working on Christmas gifts since late summer, so I consider the after holiday period to be a return to “Me Time” when I knit for the pure pleasure of crafting something beautiful. Last year I started to explore lace scarves. This year I might try to make a larger shawl or make a sweater with lacy details. It will probably be in a bi-seasonal fiber like a silk/wool or cotton/wool/viscose blend. I want something pretty to lift my spirits during the winter months ahead.

  37. I have searched long and hard – and never found – a pattern for a classic cardigan that would be suitable for wearing indoors or in an office.
    I want one that has a jewel neckline and inset pockets with no bobbles or other detail (except maybe some very simple cables), and uses worsted weight or finer yarn. I want to knit a fine sweater; not a blanket or an overlay decoration.

  38. This year, since I have been unemployed for a few months, I am dipping into my stash to make Christmas gifts. Everybody gets socks and/or tea cozies!!! I also have two baby sweaters in the works.

    I am really looking forward to the Winter Knits issue. It looks wonderful all around, but I truly can’t wait to get my hands on the Climbing Vine Pullover pattern!

  39. Most of my knit projects are socks. Love socks. Also knit sweaters at the same time, but different locations. I like to knit for my granddaughter because at 15 she stands out in the cold weather waiting for a bus or light rail train. I have knit for over 65 years and never get tired of it.
    Phyllis in Minneapolis MN