Monday, November 10, 2008

Interweave Knits Holiday Gifts 2008

It’s a knitting magazine. I must buy it. I didn’t even look inside, I just grabbed it out of the magazine rack and it was mine. Along with another $85-some-odd in yarn that I either needed or just had to come home with me and live in my stash.

Am I thrilled with the magazine? At first I would have said no, but after writing the review and now typing it out, I have to say yes, I’m very glad I picked it up, it’s going to help me out a lot in the next few weeks.

There are some great patterns in it that were completely worth it for me. Most notably is the Frost Flowers Stole by Charlene Schurch. The lace is so delicate and looks just like a frosted window pane, I’d have bought the magazine even if this was the only pattern I liked. It seems serendipitous that I picked up two skeins of Fleece Artist silk “seconds”. They’re called “seconds” because they’re a test colour that may not be continued. These particular skeins are a beautiful Easter-y yellow-and-pink, perfect for the stole pattern. :::Sigh::: add them to my growing queue.

Another pattern I’m happy to have found was the Aran Isle Slippers by Jennifer Lang. A traditional loafer-style, these slippers are knit in aran-weight/10-ply yarn with a cable-paneled upper vamp, seed-stitched surround, and stockinette soles. In sizes for the whole family, these just might be the solution to the dilemma of my Dad’s Christmas gift!

Need another quick-knit project that looks great? There are two armwarmer/fingerless glove patterns with different looks to satisfy your recipient. The first pair comes from one of my favourite designers, Veronik Avery with her Arrowhead Arm Warmers. I love the look, the lacy pattern, and especially their elbow-length. They’d also be an easy pattern to turn into fingerless gloves, which I just might do.

Have someone who likes slightly different designs or details? Caroline Bautista offers her cable-trimmed Helix Gauntlets with buttons at the cuffs and around the knuckles. Great details, I’d never thought of cuffs on gloves before.

Something else I’d never thought of? Knitted lace curtains. Annie Modesitt’s Sheer Bathroom Set is lacy and delicate, and I don’t know if I like the curtain set better or the lace insert idea in the shower curtain. But I do know that the next bathroom I decorate - hopefully mine! - will use at least the curtain pair, I have glass shower doors around my tub.

Don’t think there’s enough to entice you to pay the cover price? Sign up or log in to IK’s Knitting Daily website and you can download their Staff Project feature with four ornaments and a mini gift bag which could doulbe as an ornament itself in Ozark Handspun, or your own favourite handspun yarn.

There’s also sweaters, hats, scarves, blankets, embroidery & embellishment tips, and a gorgeous Delft Pillow from Eunny Jang, but I was looking for quick gifts to finish up my Christmas knitting list. Thanks to the Aran Isle slippers, I may yet get my Saskatchewan parcel mailed in time without having to pay priority shipping! So it was worth it for me. Now to wind up that Easter-egg silk…

Debbie Bliss Knitting Magazine Fall/Winter 2008 - Premiere Issue

I recently knit myself another pair of fingerless mitts out of a single skein of creamy Debbie Bliss Cashmerino yarn and embellished them with lazy daisies and French knots in the same yarn. They look very chic with the cream-on-cream embroidery, and I feel very chic wearing them, even if only by association because they’re “Debbie Bliss”.

So when I saw Debbie Bliss Knitting Magazine's Premiere Issue in my drugstore’s magazine centre, I wondered first if it was just going to be a 100-plus page advertisement for all things Bliss, so I am guilty for practically reading the entire magazine in front of the rack before making my decision. And yes, I bought it.

The first reason I bought it? She included her own recipe for English Tea Scones. A knitting magazine with a recipe! No, it’s not Martha Stewart (thank goodness!), it was just a neat surprise. Plus product and book reviews, interviews and questions for other knitters/designers, a store profile, and… PATTERNS. Ohhh the patterns.

A series of gray patterns from silver to charcoal featuring sweaters, socks, a dress, and a great messenger bag. Another series of candy-coloured feminine sweaters all paired with girly skirts and dresses, a nice layout. Home decor patterns, kitchen decor (I must make the egg sweaters!), a needle-roll case, baby and child treats, and… a set of four, very classy, stylish, MEN’S SWEATERS!

I’m convinced that the Millford - somehow there is a typo in my copy and it was titled “Shawl Collared Sweater”, thankfully it’s changed on the Ravelry pattern link now - and the Cabled Hooded Top could cure the boyfriend/fiance “sweater curse”. I almost want a boyfriend so I can test this theory!

So happily, it’s not just one big Debbie Bliss ad, there’s a great range of my much-anticipated advertisements with bright colours, listings of yarns and shops (both brick-and-mortar and those online), and lots of other patterns to ooh and aah over.

But there is a downside. Looks like I’ll be out another nine bucks each time, but at least it’s only publishing seasonally.