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Thursday
May152014

Laura's Loop: Edged Linen Wrap

Not much is more meditative to me than crocheting along a hemmed edge. This is not due to expertise; I am a knitter first and foremost. In fact, this is the only type of crochet I know how to do (if you discount making a chain for a provision cast on). But, oh, the joy it brings…

With a single hook in one hand and the softest of yarns flowing through the fingers of my other hand, a rhythm takes over, and in no time, a simple hemmed rectangle has totally transformed into a gorgeous wrap, seemingly with no effort at all. 

I outlined Robert Kaufman’s crisp Waterford Linen with Purl Soho’s merino beauty, Line Weight. Its brilliant color and graphic stitches highlight the natural hand and drape of the Waterford Linen, softening its edge with the wool’s subtle bloom. 

This feminine, modern wrap continues to comfort and soothe me with each wear. I hope you’re inspired to whip one up for those cool summer nights to come. -Laura

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Sunday
May112014

Molly's Sketchbook: The Purl Soho Pup

Turning a pile of fabric and stuffing into a loveable toy animal feels a bit like magic. In fact, when I was a kid I firmly believed that my own bunnies, bears and dogs came to life after I went to sleep. And even now as an adult, whenever I sew a plush creature, I can’t help but feel the thrill of new life. There is something about the last steps of stuffing a new animal and stitching its face that feels more like sprinkling fairy dust than sewing!

Creating the Purl Soho Pup was especially enchanting. With its take-me-home face, you can’t help but love this whimsically hot-doggy pup! Standing 8 1/2 inches tall and stretching 17 inches long our Pup is thoughtfully designed to stand up on its own four legs without sacrificing cuddle-bility to do it. We made our doggies out of Dorr Mill’s soft and huggable Wool Yardage and accented the paws and ears with a splash of Kokka’s handsome Large Gingham and Liberty of London’s pretty Tana Lawn

 

 

The Purl Soho Pup is not difficult to sew, but it does take time and attention, so it’s a great project if you want a bit of a challenge with a big payoff! Everything you need to make one of your own, from the fabric to the stuffing, is in our Purl Soho Pup Kit right here… Just add your own fairy dust! --Molly

P.S. Already have materials? Buy just the Purl Soho Pup Pattern, as a downloadable PDF or a hardcopy, here!

Thursday
May082014

Molly's Sketchbook: Crossroads Quilt

I love quiltmaking because of its sheer limitlessness. Even in its simplest form, with no tricky Y seams or curved angles, the possibilities are endless! My Crossroads Quilt operates within the confines of a grid, but by playing with prints and colors, basic squares and rectangles become so much more!

I carefully chose a variety of fabrics for this project that, together, create the illusion of overlapping lines. The soft blue Essex linen-cotton blend sets the stage for the cool White Hatches, which run vertically, and the warm Apricot Shot Cotton, which runs horizontally. These two fabrics meet at sweet Orange Checked intersections, or crossroads, giving my quilt its name! I bound the whole thing in a beautiful yarn dyed gray fabric, which puts the whole piece solidly in a frame, like the piece of art it is! All of these gorgeous fabrics, plus the batting and thread, are available in our Materials for Crossroads Quilt kit right here.

The only real skill you need to complete this project is rotary cutting. Rotary cutting is a very important basic quiltmaking skill, but it can be a little intimidating to the uninitiated. If you’re new to it or just want some helpful tips, I’ve put together a comprehensive Rotary Cutting Tutorial as a companion to this quilt. Click here to check it out. Once you get the hang of rotary cutting the Crossroads Quilt (or any other quilt for that matter) will be a breeze! -- Molly

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Sunday
May042014

Corinne’s Thread: Boxy Tee Three Ways

A good friend of mine teases that when we go shopping she can guess what I will pick out before we even enter the store. “Anything that’s cut like a square or a rectangle,” she says. The thing is, she’s right! I always make a beeline for clean lines and simple silhouettes, and this usually means a box. 
But boxy doesn’t have to mean boring or unflattering. When working with a shape this simple, it’s all about the details. A pop of color, a pretty side slit, and a well-shaped neckline make all the difference, turning a boring box into something worth wearing. 
I made my Boxy Tees in Kokka’s lightweight and beautiful Fine Solids with fun, electric bursts of Michael Miller’s Neon Solids. Loose fitting and airy, but with all the right details, this Boxy Tee is just my style. And since I designed the pattern to mix and match three arm lengths, color blocks and a back tie detail, it can easily be just your style too! 
When I showed my collection of tops to my good friend, the first thing she said was, “Oh! I want one!” Ha! Now I know just what she’s going to wear too! –Corinne

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Thursday
May012014

Whit's Knits: Striped Crew Socks

I live with a five year old boy, and if you know anyone like that, you've probably noticed how much he likes to chat about dirty socks (and stinky cheese and slimy worms); and so it comes as a welcome respite for me to knit up something that is on the opposite end of that conversational spectrum. These Striped Crew Socks have such an incredibly nice, fresh feeling that all icky talk seems miles away.

A simple one-round stripe takes on a little complexity when a 1 x 1 rib moves into stockinette stitch. I love how the shift from one to the other feels like an optical illusion and, on top of that, how the different stitch patterns serve a practical function: ribbing for anti-gravitational hold on the leg and stockinette for smooth comfort on the foot.

Our favorite sock yarn at Purl Soho is definitely Anzula's Squishy. It's amazingly soft (thank you, cashmere), wonderfully springy (thank you, merino) and totally durable (thank you, nylon). It's also hand dyed in unbelievebaly beautiful colors that feel plucked from nature herself. The Nimbus blue I used here (paired with Au Natural ecru) gives the effect of rippling cool water or windswept skies, just right for a brand new pair of spring socks!

I do love my son's boyish pleasure in the disgusting and the creepy, but I have to admit, I love the quiet elegance of these socks at least as much! - Whitney

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