Knit all the gifts! November 21 2013

Greetings, fiber fans – guest blogger Elizabeth (your trusty book designer) here to wrap you in the giant afghan of holiday excitement that we have pouring forth from Team Cooperative Press. Whether you're looking for some quick gifts to knit or wanting to immerse yourself in some escapist fantasy, we've got you covered. Spin me a tale ... One of the many things I love about knitting is how it immerses me in a fantasy world, and not just because I enjoy reading, listening to, or watching stories while I knit. The act of knitting also creates its own narrative: as I knit, I imagine myself (or the recipient) looking gorgeous in what I'm making; I line up in my head the other things that I plan to knit; I conjure up other knitters of the past – I especially love to imagine a Laura Ingalls Wilder / Little House in the Big Woods kind of grouping – and dream about what we might say to each other as we do our needlework. So I am always so happy when another storybook comes in the door at Cooperative Press. All knitting books tell a story, but some have an especially compelling narrative voice. They don't just provide patterns – they invite us into a world. SubversiveSocks_frontcover Tabetha Hedrick has a story to tell you in socks: a story of having-had-just-about-enough, a tale of thumbing your nose at the world. Her Subversive Socks is for those times when you have something snarky to say and – well – why not say it on your feet? Your calves can secretly read "bite me" all day long underneath your work trousers – or they can shout that message to the rooftops when worn with a flouncy skirt. It's up to you. These socks are made for walkin' / and that's just what they'll do / One of these days these socks are gonna walk all over you. [caption id="attachment_1436" align="alignnone" width="264"]Bite Me Bite Me[/caption] If swears aren't your thing, then neither is this book. Don't worry: this post includes a lovely section below about puppies and cute kids – meet you there! When you're done sticking your middle toe up at the world, it's time to stock up to save it.... DoomsdayKnits_coverdraft Alex Tinsley's forthcoming Doomsday Knits is a feast of post-apocalyptic knit fantasy – everything you need for battling zombies and foraging the ozone-depleted forests for provisions. The book's editor, Alex, dedicated months and months to accumulating the styling pieces, locations, and makeup skills to create the illusion of a total wasteland wonderland. The results are stunning. Here's Theressa Silver's luscious Lunar Progression wrap ... lunar ... you know, for when the world has ended and you're one of the few still left eating sardines out of a can in a dilapidated mansion. Or for when, in real life, you just need to look stunningly hot. If you're more of a timey-wimey sort of person than an apocalyptic, you must go check out Heatherly Walker's new Dalekenium sock pattern .... 8616671191_f44b6f48b4_h This is a sneak peek pattern from her forthcoming book with Allison Sarnoff, Unobtainables: Fake Elements, Real Knits. All the designs in the book are inspired by sci fi, comic books, video games, mythology ... ahhhhh! happy geek overload! And I absolutely cannot wait for you to see knitting designer Larissa Brown's novel, Beautiful Wreck (forthcoming from our trade imprint in January 2014). Science fiction mixed with 11th-century Vikings mixed with romance mixed with fiber? YES, PLEASE. Let's just say if you enjoyed the Outlander series, this definitely belongs on your shelf. ________ Gift me ... Fantasy aside, the ticking clock of frantic gift knitting has begun. Need some help? Perhaps you have some kids to knit for? Whip up some quick, fun, utterly wearable accessories for them with Katya Frankel's infectious new book, Head to Toe. HeadtoToe_frontcoverdraft Katya really knows how to design for kids: each pattern in this book can work for boys or girls (truly), and each one fits so well into a kid's real life. For instance, consider this: did it ever occur to you to knit a cowl for a kid? And now that I've said that, doesn't that seem like the most obvious thing in the world? Because cowls don't fall off or trail in the mud? BOOM. [caption id="attachment_1416" align="alignnone" width="198"]Mallard Mallard[/caption] The photography in this book meets Katya's usual standard of genuine, fun-having adorableness. (Seriously what cow just licked that boy's hair into such a cute shape?) All shot in the park spaces in Northumberland, UK, it's the essence of fall fun. Got younger kids in mind? Get ready to plotz from the cuteness, because we've got a book about puppies! HankGracieSavetheDay_frontcoverdraft   [caption id="attachment_1447" align="alignnone" width="293"]Sample story page Sample story page[/caption] OK, they're full-grown Westies, and they totally do save the day when a baby bird falls from a nest outside their yarn shop. Authored by Stacy Klaus – owner of the Knitting Nest in Austin, Texas – this sweet picture book tells a heroic story of dog rescue, has coloring pages for kids, and includes four simple knitting and crochet patterns that are tied to the story. [caption id="attachment_1444" align="alignnone" width="300"]Pattern: Adding a crocheted edging to a flannel blanket Pattern: Adding a crocheted edging to a flannel blanket[/caption] Your kids will love that another kid – Stacy's incredibly talented, high-school-aged niece, Molly Wade – did the illustrations. The book is up for preorder now but will be available in digital next week. (Print coming soon thereafter, as always.) If you now need to wipe a tear from your eye because you are overwhelmed by PUPPIES!, might we suggest a lovely dishcloth? DishclothDivaKO_frontcoverdraft Deb Buckingham, who brought you our much-loved Dishcloth Diva, will release her follow-up book this Friday: Dishcloth Diva Knits On! Whether you need some quick handmade gifts – perhaps to wrap around some handmade soap? – or just need an uncomplicated knit to whisk you away from the holiday family drama, Deb's got you covered. My favorite is the cheery, slip-stitched Lucille Bell ... lucillebell1 Happy knitting!