Well, not really. As it turns out, though I did read some things in October, I didn't actually finish any of the books I was hoping to get through (sounds like most of my knitting projects ...). I do have a good excuse though, since I decided that I had too many magazines stacked up that I hadn't looked at, so I worked my way through some of them.
I do have a magazine review for you, if you are interested. I bought a copy of the special issue of Interweave Knits, "Holiday Gifts." I bought it because, as mentioned in another post, I am a Holiday Fanatic, and also because I liked the cover. (Yes, sometimes you can tell a book [magazine] by its cover.)
Now keep in mind, that by the time this was available (October 17), I had already determined that any knitted gifts from me this year were going to be a) small, b) few, or c) non-existent. So I wasn't buying it to help me with this year's birthday/Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/Festivus gifts. I bought it because of the holiday theme, and because even though I have a bazillion patterns and books, I still like to look through these types of things for ideas for gifts. For instance, there are plenty of people who I will never ever make a sweater, or a pair of socks for, but it is possible that I would knit them a pear. Really.
In that respect, the issue succeeds very nicely. I often really enjoy the regular IK, because there are usually decent photos of the pieces, and the layout is generally easy to follow. That is also true here, and there are some articles that were worth reading: a book review, an article about embellishing your knitted work once it's complete, and one about the next step after you have mastered the basics of fair isle knitting. This last one had absolutely no current relevance to me, but that's not the point. (Not every article in every magazine can be only about cake and shiny things.)
Most of the projects were things I could see people for knitting for themselves or for others, whether as a holiday gift or not. There are plenty of quick things - the pears, sachets - as well as a couple of sweaters, and some scarves and hats. (I realize that for a lot of knitters, sweaters are "quick" knits. I am not one of them. I wouldn't worry about it unless you are looking to get a sweater from me between now and this Christmas.)
Was it absolutely necessary to publish this special issue? No, I'm sure we could have all survived without it. Was it worth $7.99? That's up to you. It was for me, though in the interest of full disclosure I must say that my husband bought it for me using his discount, so my copy was slightly less. But most pattern books are more than $7.99, and using the BMST (outlined previously), paying $7.99 for approximately 25 gift ideas and patterns, most if not all of them pleasant enough to see at a minimum, some that may actually get knitted, makes it a good deal.
So if you think you might be interested, go for it. If you can't find it at your local bookstore or magazine vendor, it still seems to be available directly from Interweave Knits, through their website, www.interweave.com.
Abigail and I would both like to thank you for your kind remarks about her picture and the birthday wishes you sent along. She said to tell you she had a very enjoyable birthday, though it would have been even more enjoyable had a certain gray kitten not been there ...
One word: Yay.