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Sunday
Jun152014

Molly's Sketchbook: Waffle and Linen Hand Towels

The beauty of these Waffle and Linen Hand Towels belies how super quick they are to make. It turns out that in the time it would take you to go to the store and pick something from a wedding registry you can handcraft a truly lovely gift… but nobody has to know that!  Bespoke objects are always more special than a blender, no matter the time (or lack thereof!) that they take to create!

Simple patterns like this call for spectacular fabric, and our Waffle and Linen Hand Towels deliver. We paired Robert Kaufman’s soft and absorbent Baby Waffle Pique with Globalweave’s elegant Duo Woven Linen to create a unique juxtaposition of cuddly and cultivated. One bumpy and one smooth, these two fabrics are made for each other! 

I can’t think of simpler way to give such a unique and thoughtful gift. If you’ve got a wedding (or housewarming) coming up, these Waffle and Linen Hand Towels might be just the thing! -Molly

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Thursday
Jun122014

Corinne's Thread: Kid's Gathered Summer Top

As always, the transition from spring to summer has caught me unawares! Over the past couple of weeks the weather here in New York has turned from damp and chilly to hot and sweaty, and I’m suddenly realizing that my poor daughter has nothing to wear!  
And so I turned desperately to my sewing machine and whipped up the quickest, simplest summer top I could think of, this breezy Gathered Summer Top. Once I got it on her, I had to do a double take. This easy-as-pie shirt is actually cute. Really cute. So cute I went back to my machine and made more! 
These Gathered Summer Tops are extra special in Liberty of London’s lightweight and silky soft Tana Lawn Classics. And with over 30 gorgeous, new prints recently added to the collection, choosing is more fun (and more difficult!) than ever. I chose the new and unbelievably pretty Navy John for one of my tops (and couldn’t resist an old favorite, Mabelle Turquoise, for the other).
The elastic casing and adjustable straps make these tanks easy to fit and even easier to sew. You can finish a whole shirt in under an hour, from the first cut to the last stitch. And to make sure I’m prepared for next year, I’ve sized the pattern from 1 to 10 years. Sneaky summer won’t catch me off guard again! -Corinne

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Sunday
Jun082014

Laura's Loop: Striped Summer Shirt

There was a great big, old, white clapboard house near where I spent my summers as a kid. The shutters were white. The doors were white. The fence that wrapped around the vast corner lot was even white. And under each and every window was a white flowerbox overflowing with brilliant red geraniums. A house that nearly disappeared during the snowy winters was enlivened every summer by those rows of exuberant red.

While a lot of red is pretty powerful stuff, a well-balanced dash of it adds vibrancy and spice, elegance and timelessness.

To design a shirt evocative of that beautiful home from my memories I turned to Habu Textiles. The white “clapboard” backdrop is a narrow ribbon-like yarn called Silk Gima. The silk stitches create a subtle texture perfect for planting my “flowers”:  garter ridges of red and salmon in Habu’s Linen Wrapped Silk. This multi-fibered yarn creates depth within the stripes and a glow, not unlike those sun-lit geraniums, where the colors transition from one to the next.

This Striped Summer Shirt is my flowerboxes. Summer is nearing, and I am ready and raring to sport these charming stripes! –Laura

PS: In a sailor boy mood? Click below to see an alternate blue color palette!

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Thursday
Jun052014

Whit's Knits: Crocheted Set-of-Three Pot Holders

Like a lot of New York City kitchens, mine is a bit underutilized, shall we say. But, while the cayenne pepper may be from 2009 and the knives that were a wedding present almost fifteen years ago haven't been sharpened since said wedding, there is an oasis in my kitchen that is well tended and totally loved, and that is my collection of kitchen textiles.

I cherish the dish towels my mother made me from the 1940's floral tablecloths she hoards and the vintage linen towel Joelle got for each of us on a trip to Switzerland, and also the needlepoint trivet my grandmother stitched (a picture of a Sumo wrestler) and even the crocheted one I designed for the Purl Bee (a watermelon slice). And so this Set-of-Three Pot Holders joins a kitchen where they may get used only periodically, but where they will always be treasured.

To make these, I put on my best chef's hat and thought about the improvisational spirit of making a seasonal soup. I started with a base of Merchant & Mills' tasty Baker's Twine, threw in a dash of Brooklyn Tweed's peppery Shelter and added a cup of Purl Soho's creamy Worsted Twist. The result is a well-balanced, nuanced and really interesting soup... er, I mean, set of pot holders!

To hook up your own, pick up Purl Soho's Yarn for Set-of-Three Pot Holders right here. Choose from three lovely colorways: Gray, Black or Red. Enjoy, love and hold dear! -Whitney

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Sunday
Jun012014

Molly's Sketchbook: Breezy Friendship Bracelets

The best summer project around? Friendship bracelets... So portable, so cute and so easy! And you don’t need to be intimidatingly crafty to make them. In fact, even if you have two left thumbs, these Breezy Friendship Bracelets are perfectly do-able.

Over the past few years, we have featured several knotted bracelet designs here on the Bee (click here to see them all), but this season's version is the easiest and breeziest. Made with two very simple knots, these bracelets work up so quickly you can make several in an afternoon and a whole armful in a weekend.

The Breezy Friendship Bracelets also have a new streamlined, adjustable closure for easy on and off. And for the first time, I used our 1 mm Chinese Knotting Cord, a durable nylon cord made for, well... knotting! You only need two colors to make a bracelet, but where’s the fun in that? Make a whole rainbow!

Kids can easily get in on this friendship bracelet action. We're thinking tokens of friendship for the end of the school year and hours of entertainment for summer road trips. But, honestly? We make and wear friendship bracelets too! -Molly

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