Search The Purl Bee
Sign up for our newsletter!

Idea Center
Follow The Purl Bee

Whit's Knits: Giacomo's Baby Hat


My great friend Giovanna, never one for mincing words, flat out asked me to make a hat for her one year old, Giacomo. And she requested a pom pom. If you knew Giacomo, you'd have a hard time refusing too!

This project is a great opportunity to practice your Fair Isle skills. It's small enough to rip out, redo, and make a few. Also, baby's are so uncritical.

To design this hat I used the help of this great book. Besides ancient images of rugged Scottish fishermen covered head to toe in expertly knit Fair Isle gear, the book includes pages and pages of black and white traditional stitch patterns. I chose one, came up with a little border and a color scheme and here you go!  Enjoy! --Whitney

Click to read more ...


Molly's Sketchbook: Cozy Hooded Baby Towel


As soon as we got the new Michael Miller Organic Cotton Terry Cloth I knew I had to make something out of it. It is incredibly soft plus I really love that it's organic. I decided to make a baby towel with a lined hood to really utilize its lush feel.

One of the only other fabrics that can match the Michael Miller Organic Cottons in softness is the Trefle Gauze. I used the cute, gender neutral, "Bee" pattern for the binding and sweet little hood. The two fabric's create a subtle, natural looking palette, perfect for a new baby. Wrap it up with some bath goodies and you'll have a stunning baby shower gift! --Molly

Click to read more ...


Molly's Sketchbook: A Quilt for a Baby Boy


I was confronted with a challenge recently when I found out my boyfriend's sister was expecting a baby boy. I knew I wanted to make him a quilt but I was stumped when it came to the palette. I'm not someone who thinks that genders should be assigned colors (I think boys look great in pink), but at the same time I wanted to make something that this baby, and his parents, would be comfortable with.

I have been thinking about this issue a lot because many customers come in to our shop looking for fabrics for little boys. I often wish that people were more free with the fabric they used for children. I don't personally think all floral prints should be considered girlie, and I wish that great bright colors like purple weren't rejected so frequently for seeming "unmasculine". However, with all the great prints out there these days, it's totally possible to make a project that's exciting and still "boyish" enough to please everyone.

Since I work at Purl Patchwork and am surrounded by fabric all week, I was able to take my time deciding on the fabrics for my project. I took down a bunch of bolts and made a big mess. Slowly I started to put some things together. Here are some ideas I had before I settled on my final fabrics (click the thumbnail of any fabric to see it on

An outdoorsy green and brown?


Sunny yellow and blue? 


Reds with a vintage feel?


In the end I went with a blue, turquoise, and orange palette, including the Alexander Henry Zoo print (a perennial favorite of everyone at Purl Patchwork), orange woodgrain by Joel Dewberry, and plenty of very saturated Kona Cotton.

I made up a simple zig zag pattern for the quilt and I am so happy with how it turned out that I want to make a big one for my bed! If you'd like to make one too (for a boy or a girl) you can find the pattern in my Zig Zag Quilt Project Journal.  --Molly


Click to read more ...


Molly's Sketchbook: The Un-Paper Bag


I find myself bringing home the paper shopping bags we use at Purl and Purl Patchwork all the time, using and reusing them to bring my lunch, haul knitting projects, and store fabric.

Looking at one such beaten up bag I realized how easy it would be to make a similarly convenient tote out of fabric, especially using our new Olympus handbag handles. It is so much less wasteful and infinitely more attractive! --Molly 

PS: The background fabric is called "Kelly" from Liberty of London.

Click to read more ...


Whit's Knits: 70's Ski Hat


When I was a kid every guy I knew wore a hat like this. Triangular, striped and itchy. We've all softened a little in the last thirty years, so this updated version features an impossible-to-complain-about cashmere lining, which is easy once you learn how to do a provisional cast-on. 


This Christmas I'm giving one to all of the men in my family. I can't wait to look around at them wearing their 70's Ski Hats, reminding me of how much I loved those times. --Whitney

Click to read more ...