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Monday
May122008

Whit's Knits: Wedding Washcloths

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When we got married, my husband and I didn't register for gifts. We were young and naive and just felt kind of weird asking people to give us stuff. So instead of gravy boats and champagne glasses, we got lots of funky and surprising things, like these salt and pepper shakers. They came from my wonderful Aunt Rosemary who collects vintage treasures wherever she goes. We never could have registered for these!

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I have to admit that sometimes I do regret the decision to not register, like in the morning when I eat my cereal out of my Ikea bowl with my Ikea spoon at my rickety kitchen table. But, really, I would trade a thousand silver spoons for the thoughtful, personal and often handmade gifts we did receive.

So, in that spirit, I decided to make my cousin Maria and her soon-to-be-husband, Len, a set of cotton washcloths for their June wedding. Blue Sky's new Skinny Cotton is organically grown and, in the case of the tan and cream, undyed. It is soft and sturdy, and will just get better and better as Maria and Len grow old together!

These organic cotton washcloths are a cinch to make. The two styles, one seed stitch and the other stockinette with a seed stitch border, are both easy enough for very beginners. But I don't think the washcloths will be less appreciated for their simplicity. They are beautifully soft and sturdy and will definitely stand out as having been made with love!

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I'm also giving them some heart shaped soaps that I got at a store near Purl called Sabon (You can get them online too - click here.) Weddings are the perfect time for such luxuries! Thanks! - Whitney 

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Thursday
Apr172008

Molly's Sketchbook: A Cute Japanese Coin Purse

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Even since we got the Inazuma Antique Gold handles in the store I have been wanting to make a coin purse. There there was just one (big) problem.... the instructions were in Japanese! Usually I pride myself in being able to figure things out from pictures but no matter how hard I tried I couldn't make heads or tails of the simple pattern included with the handles. Luckily for me the very talented Mari was willing to help me out. She and her mom translated the pattern and answered my clueless questions.

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Once I knew what the pattern was saying the construction of the purse was fun and easy. I can't think of a better quick gift than this fully lined, darling little pouch. I have a feeling I will be making many more! -Molly

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Monday
Apr142008

Whit's Knits: Pom Pom Peds

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Remember Tretorn tennis sneakers? The canvas ones with the bright colored little arch on the side? And remember how you had to wear them with the little peds with pom poms on the cuff?

In the mid-70's Chris Evert rocked the classic combo. The pom pom was probably meant to keep the sock from slipping down into the the sneaker. Such a whimsical solution to such a practical problem!

A decade later The Official Preppy Handbook ordained Tretorns with Pom Pom Peds a "must-have". In Connecticut, the hypocenter of preppy behavior, where the Handbook was barely satirical, we all competed to have the newest Tretorns, the most pom pom socks, the best color combinations. Sick stuff, but, man, I loved wearing those socks!

Now, two decades later, I'm loving making these socks! They reduce sock making to the most fun parts, to the action of the sock: the heel, the gusset, the toe. And so many color possibilities beyond the classic white with rainbow color trim! I could fill a drawer... -Whitney

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Friday
Apr042008

Molly's Sketchbook: A Trip Around the Wool

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I love the simple graphic design of a traditional "Trip Around the World" quilt. I have a thing for concentric shapes, plus it's just a bunch of squares so it's realtively easy to put together. I also love the Mary Flanagan wool felt that we carry. It comes in the best, most vibrant colors. Since it's felted you don't have to hem it, it won't unravel. This makes it ideal for applique and handsewing.

I have long had a desire to sew an entire blanket out of the wool felt. One day we got in a large shipment and I couldn't resist any longer. I picked 25 pieces in eight beautiful colors, practically cleaning out the shelf, and went to work.

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This project is entirely hand sewn. It's not difficult but, it does take a while. It's the sort of long term project that you can pick up from time to time, and when you're done you have the most beautiful, drapey, lovely, handmade object. I really love this project and I never get tired of looking at it. --Molly

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Sunday
Mar302008

Cake Rock Beach is Here! PLUS Joelle's Framed Botanical Pillow

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Our very first line of fabric, Cake Rock Beach, has arrived!  We first told you about our collection in October 2007, so we're very happy to finally make it available to you!  Above is the "Earth" palette. Cake Rock Beach also has four other palettes, Leaf, Water, Fire and Coral which you can see below.

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Leaf

 

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Water

 

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Fire

 

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Coral 

Joelle's Framed Botanical Pillows 

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Over the years I've collected many cherished decorative objects from the late 19th century (including the Wedgwood pitcher shown below).  When I created Cake Rock Beach, I was very excited by the prospect of including some of my own designs in the mix of botanically inspired objects around my home.

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