If you're a knitter who also enjoys other types of crafts, particularly as a means of shortening your holiday gift list, Creating the Happiest of Holidays by Leisure Arts is sure to give you some good ideas.
While there are only a couple of knitting-related projects in the book, there are also ideas for ways to present gifts in crafted bags or boxes and with homemade gift tags that you're sure to enjoy, not to mention to jewelry, sewing, baking and cooking projects that are also included.
The book contains just two actual knitting patterns: a child's tube hat knit in the round with no shaping, finished off three different ways (squared-off top, cinched-off top and a sewn-closed hat with a pom-pom on top) and a stash busting scarf.
There's also a sewing pattern for a knitting needle roll (or a crochet hook roll, should you be crafting for a crocheter instead).
These are really simple projects that don't take a lot of time or knitting skill, so they'd be best for people who are still somewhat new to knitting but want to make something cute and easy for some of the people on their lists.
Where the book really shines is as a whole in providing a bunch of different possibilities for crafted gifts and home decor. There's a very wide range of projects and techniques included, from simple projects like a painted terra cotta candy pot and a felt stocking decorated with glued on rick-rack to more complex projects like a sewn cat snuggle pillow and a series of projects (Santa, trees and a reindeer) made of molded and painted foam pieces.
There are lots of projects for presenting gifts as well, from decorated fabric bags and boxes to embellished tags. There are ideas for making ornaments and Christmas cards, and projects you might enjoy all year such as painted coffee mugs and sewn blankets and coasters.
There are also a lot of food projects in the book, from foods you might want to give as gifts (seasoned pretzels and crackers, cookies, soup mixes and seasoning blends) to things you might want to cook for your holiday meal. There's also a whole chapter on desserts and plenty of ideas for presenting food gifts.
The bottom line is, this is a cute book brimming with ideas for crafting a great holiday season. While it's a little low on the knitting projects, if you enjoy other crafts as well you're sure to find some cute, easy projects you'll enjoy, as well as some recipes you might want to try for yourself or to give as gifts.
Publication date: June 2009.