Ann Budd's Interweave Presents Knitted Gifts: Irresistible Projects to Make and Give may have a bit of a bulky title, but it's a great concept that makes for a lovely and fun book.
The book includes nearly 40 projects that are mostly pretty quick and easy to make for gifts, from scarves, hats and gloves to items for the home, socks, accessories, even a cat toy.
The projects would make suitable gifts for a wide range of recipients and occasions, from new babies to special friends and loved ones. And of course you can happily make these projects for yourself as well.
Knitted Gifts offers 37 patterns for knitters of all skill levels (though patterns do not indicate skill level, there's something here for almost everyone) and those with lots and little time to spare before their knit gift is due.
For those in a hurry there are projects like the Herringbone Scarf, which is just 3 inches wide and 40 inches long; the Learn-to Dishrag, worked in random knits and purls; Wool Lint Juggling Balls, which don't require knitting at all; a candle cozy, felted catnip mouse, bobble bookmarks and felted Fair Isle napkin rings.
For those with a little more time on their hands (and who might be looking for a little more of a challenge) there's Ulla's Scarf, an Estonian lace pattern by Nancy Bush; the Shaddi Mitts, inspired by the henna patterns and gold chains some brides wear in India; the Sugar and Spice Blanket, which has a relatively easy pattern but is worked in super fine yarn; and the Gentleman's Scarf, worked with fine yarn in two pieces and a cable and zigzag pattern.
Some of my favorite patterns include the Knitter's Duo, a felted tool case and yarn caddy basket that makes colorwork knitting easier; the Texter's Gloves, which have thumbs that flip back to make messaging easier; the Hobby Horse, which is like a giant felted sock on a stick; and the cabled and ribbed Hourglass Rib Socks.
There's also an ingenious baby bunting with slits in it to make it easier to buckle baby into a car seat, and a great felted oven mitt with stranded colorwork on the top of the fingers to bring more insulation where you need it.
Knitted Gifts is a great book for knitters who like to knit for other people but don't always know what to make. None of the projects are particularly seasonal (other than winter gear), so they're fit for year-round giving.
The wide range of skill levels, techniques and the sizes of projects involved means you're sure to find something appropriate no matter how long you've been knitting or how much time you have to finish your project.
The book has great pictures and offers projects from a range of designers, which is always a lot of fun. And some of the projects are so small you can really just use scraps from your stash to complete them, which is also a bonus.
Publication date: August 2009.