Winter Knits January 27, 2007

I first learned how to knit in 2000 (the same year I learned how to sew with a machine, discovered, and started my handmade business). And in the ensuing six (seven? wow!) years I’ve always knitted a little bit here and there, but almost always in the cold months — I think the pig cellphone cozy is the only warm-weather project I’ve ever pulled off successfully.

me and David, Christmas 2000/Winter Knits

Here’s a picture of the first thing I ever knitted, a striped brown-and-blue acrylic scarf as a Christmas present for my brother David. I remember it so well! I started it in the fall on size 7 needles, didn’t like how tight it was knitting up, switched to 9s along the way, and kept going on that thing like there was no tomorrow. But since it was my very first project, I couldn’t decide how long to make it. So when I saw him at Christmas, I decided to skip the surprise — I went ahead and showed it to him in progress so he could try it on and pick just the right length himself. It was such a triumphant feeling to bind it off and hand it over, and he wore it all winter. Success!

So since this is my favorite time of year to knit, I was excited to get the Winter Knits kit (written by Sara Lucas and Alison Isaacs) and try my hand at a few things — especially these felted star Christmas ornaments, which are quick and easy to make. The 25 projects are a nice mix of gift-y things (like baby booties, Christmas stockings, and a patterned cosmetics bag) and things to wear (like hats, scarves, and adorable fingerless gloves), with a nod to all skill levels. When I get my knitting confidence up, I definitely want to make the gorgeous modern throw pillow, a simple and stylish piece with one huge circle of contrast color on each side.

Winter Knits Kit

And I love the little instructional booklet, which is the perfect size to throw in your craft bag and bring along — it’s the perfect mini-reference if you’re an infrequent/permanent beginner knitter, like me, and need a little reminder of the stitches and techniques you haven’t used in awhile. The sleek little box also has a pair of circular needles, a skein of yarn, stitch markers, and a yarn needle tucked inside, and each project is printed on a colorful card for easy reference. And the photographs are extra-beautiful, a very nice touch.

If you want to check out some other reviews from more experienced knitters, Natalie and Stacy both liked it a lot too — Stacy also has pictures of the baby booties she made in red, which I thought were adorable!

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