Curl up with some cocoa and let’s indulge ourselves in some delightful nostalgia.
Holidays and memories are so intertwined. Of course, we love the feasting and the laughter and the closeness and the opening of gifts as they’re happening.
But I think we love them even more in memory.
Looking back is a kind of time travel: to when we were small, or maybe to when our children were small, or to our first celebration away from home. Wherever your most treasured or poignant memories take you, it’s usually the little details that stand out. Single moments. Small sensory things. A certain present that you’ve never forgotten.
Handmade things make beautiful gifts. They also make beautiful memories.
That’s probably the best thing about them.
So today, just before a new season of Knitvent begins, let’s remember all the Knitvents we’ve celebrated so far.
When we get to this time of year, with a new Knitvent around the corner, I always get a little bit nostalgic. I think it’s the first stirrings of that holiday magic: it has a way of sending us time-travelling.
If you think back to the first holiday season you can remember, the impressions are usually a blur of vivid sensory input: sparkling lights and delicious scents, the very specific texture of the living room carpet at you gazed up at an enormous tree, or the crackle of wrapping paper as you tore through it to a long-awaited toy.
All of this underlines what I love most about making and giving handmade gifts. It’s a very sensory experience, for us and for our knit-worthy people, and that makes it an especially powerful way to create lasting memories. Something beautiful and knit by hand becomes a kind of talisman, capable of transporting you back to a specific moment in time.
There have been eight seasons of Knitvent, which is a number I find a bit startling. My girls were so small when we started this! Knitvent 2021 will be number nine…we are sidling up to a decade of handknit gifts, knitalongs, and holiday celebrations together!
You might have been here from the very beginning: if that’s you, hello old friend, and thank you so much for keeping this knitting tradition going strong! This retrospective is a fabulous way to revisit old favourites and remind yourself of project that you’ve been meaning to knit for years.
Or you might be here for the very first time, in which case: welcome! Make yourself at home. Since Knitvent is a secret collection of patterns, this blog post is a brilliant opportunity to peek behind the curtain at what’s come before and what you can expect if you come along for this holiday knitting adventure.
After a very intense year, Knitvent 2020 was such a celebration. We had our most exciting year yet, with thousands of brave, generous knitters from around the world joining us to surprise themselves and their loved ones with beautiful knitted accessories. Our theme for the collection was “Comfort and Joy”, something we all really needed just then.
Patterns: Clockwise from top left:
The theme for 2019 was “Home” and we couldn’t have known how apt it turned out to be, with so many of us sticking very close to home in the coming year. It was an extra cosy, comforting collection of patterns, including the Habitation Throw, which has been a breakout hit in the community.
This collection was about peace, and inspired by poetry. There was a beautiful community response to these designs. I always feel that the hectic demands of the holiday season, while often fun, can make it difficult to find moments of peace and rest. Slowing down enough to make gifts by hand offers a kind of sanctuary, and that’s what these patterns are meant to create.
Large photo: Dust of Snow Wrap.
Knitvent 2017 was so fun and joyful! There was something about the Nutcracker theme that seemed to awaken everyone’s inner child, and people shared so many lovely memories. One of the best ever. It was also the year I began my tradition of designing a “scrappy” pattern (which could be made with a yarn Advent calendar) and now that’s one of the most loved bits of Knitvent!
Large photo: Land of Sweets Cowl.
This Knitvent was inspired by my love of skiing. It will be a very happy day when I can finally visit the slopes again! But for now, it’s lovely to look back on this collection of patterns. Vintage ski resort posters and postcards gave me a lot of design inspiration, and my friend Renée Callahan of East London Knit, visited us as a guest designer, contributing the retro-styled colourwork Boreal Forest hat and cowl patterns.
In 2015, I wanted to celebrate everything “Light and Bright”. The patterns in this collection are very cosy, and inspired by the childlike joy we get from the holiday sparkle: snowflakes, icicles, fairy lights, firelight, starlight, and candlelight. All that glitters. Everything that glows.
In my second year of Knitvent, I was excited about textures and details: beads and sequins, cables and tassels, ribbons and mohair. All those little touches that make a handmade gift so personal and special. 2014 feels like a very long time ago now, but it’s lovely to see these patterns still being used and loved, especially around the holidays.
The collection that started it all! I think I must have been a little mad to put together a collection of 8 designs, but I was new to making patterns and so thrilled by the concept that I just went for it. I’m so glad that I did. I couldn’t have expected such a sweet, warm, enthusiastic community to gather around my first holiday patterns, but after I saw how much people enjoyed opening their mystery patterns and knitting these designs together as a group, I couldn’t do without Knitvent in my life.
Top row, right to left: Red Robin Shawl, Checkerboard Mitts, Fresh Powder Cowl, Warm Wishes Hottie.
Bottom row, right to left: Stardust Infinity Scarf, Rella Mitts, Quicksilver Cowl, Naughty or Nice Hat.
I told you there were a lot of memories!!
If you’ve ever knit a Knitvent pattern, or if you’re just thinking about joining us in 2021, thank you. You are the Knitvent magic: your joy, your excitement, your generous hearts and your talented hands. I’m thrilled and grateful to get to do this with you every year.
If you want to make sure that you get all the Knitvent news along the way, join the Curious Crew! You’ll be the first to find out our theme for this year, and I’ll make sure you know all about the special early bird price, upcoming giveaways, and fun yarn spoilers.