If you want to knit a gift for someone but you want it to look extra special without a lot of extra effort, check out the projects in Scarlet Taylor's Knit with Beads: Beautiful Gifts.
The companion book to her Knit with Beads: Stunning Shawls & Wraps, it contains (verbatim in places) much of the same instruction as that book along with 15 projects to show off the techniques.
Knit with Beads: Beautiful Gifts covers many different ways to use beads in knitting projects, including using beads with slip stitches, working beads into Garter Stitch, putting beads between purl stitches, knitting beads through a stitch, beading in every stitch so as to form a fabric of beads, beading with a crochet hook, knitting with sequins and beading fringe.
As mentioned above most of the techniques are described in exactly the same way they were in Taylor's earlier book, so you're not getting a lot more in terms of education in this book if you already own the first one.
What this book does provide is 15 new patterns -- one for beginners, six easy and eight for intermediate knitters -- for quick and easy gifts for everyone (and even the dogs) on your list.
The book includes clutches, a throw, a stocking, a dog sweater, socks for kids and grownups, gauntlets and a garter for a new bride, a camo bag for the man in your life and a photo album cover for a mom-to-be, all of which incorporate beads in some way.
Some of my favorites are the Urban Camo Bag, decorated with a few stripes of beads and a star on the bag's flap; the Quiggle Neckwarmer, using a thick-and thin yarn and easy ribbed pattern; the Kid's Beaded Socks, with bright colored beads on the cuffs; Scented Sachets, beaded with a heart or skull and crossbones motif; and the beaded clutch pictured on the cover.
These patterns use a range of both knitting and beading skills and cover just about anyone you might be wanting to make a gift for. Better yet, the book shows you many different ways that beads can be used in knitting projects, which should inspire you to add knitting to your own or other published patterns when you want a little extra glitz.
This book would be a great choice for people who are new to knitting with beads, or for people who already enjoy the craft and are looking for some new ideas of what to do with it.
Publication date: November 2007.