The October/November 2011 issue of Knitting Today! came out this past week and I love it! There are so many great patterns in here. Everything from quick holiday-themed items like the Haunted House & Candy Corn Pillows by Monica Rodriquez Fuertes to beautiful, wearable basics like the Grace Sweater by Deborah Newton. The very first things that I'm casting-on for, though, are the Pup & Puss Bags by Noreen Crone-Findley. They're super cute and I know that Robert and Venetia will love them!
Since this is their holiday issue, Knitting Today! has a Countdown to the Holidays section where they give you porject ideas for each of the 3 months leading up to the Holidays. Most of these projects are very do-able. (Like 3 months for the Gift Box Blanket by Bobbi Anderson and 2 months for the All Wrapped-Up Scarf by Sarah Wilson.) However, I don't know a single knitter who would knit a family's worth of mix-and-match hats and scarves in the month before the holidays (All in the Family Set by Jamie Strong). The patterns in the set are very pretty and knit with chunky yarn, but I still think that I would have to start that sort of gift project in July if I actually wanted to have it finished by December.
There really are just so many great projects in this magazine that I want to make. Almost all of them recommend some sort of Red Heart yarn so I'll be making lots of substitutions, but the patterns are still very nice for holiday knitting. Some of the other ones that I'll be casting-on in short order are:
- Vroom Vroom Set by Jodi Lewanda
- Baby Lamb Booties by Noreen Crone-Findlay
- Sugar Plumb Stockings by Pam Kee
- Advent Calendar by Brenda K. Anderson
- Twinkle Table Runner by Katherine Vaughan
- Sweet Treats by Monica Rodriquez Fuertes
- And someday I am going to buy all the yarn for the Alphabet Monkey Blanket by Melanie Fraser that's being published as a series in the magazine this year. It's just too cute not to make (even if it is intarsia) and I know just the little person that I'm going to send it to when it's done!
Every knitting magazine has product reviews/recommendations. Knitting Today! does too, but they also have Charity Knitting recommendations each issue which I think is wonderful. Sometimes it's so easy to focus on all the new toys that we want that it's hard to think about how we can be using these tools and skills to help others. Knitting Today! gives you an overview of the organization, their goals and how you can help. This issue the focus is on making scarves for the athletes of the Special Olympics. "Handmade scarves donated as a result of the 2012 Special Olympics USA Scarf Project will be a symbol of unity, support, compassion and empowerment, as the Special Olympics athletes, coaches, families, volunteers and supporters wear them with pride in knowing they have become part of the Special Olympics family." (Taken from the 2012 Special Olympics Scarf Project page.) As someone who has had family members participate in the SO for a number of years, I can assure you that this is a wonderful organization that helps people of all ages feel good about what they can do while making friends and having lots of fun. I encourage everyone to make at least one scarf for this charity because the recipients truly do enjoy these events and a handmade reminder is something that they can use for years to come.