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Sunday
Oct172010

Purl Soho Kit: The Super Easy Baby Blanket!

More than two years ago Whitney designed our Super Easy Baby Blanket, and to this day it remains one of The Purl Bee's most popular patterns. Customers love its simplicity, "super easy" means super easy!

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Saturday
Oct162010

Molly's Sketchbook: Candy Corn Trick or Treat Bags

Halloween celebrates many things, ghosts and goblins, the crisp Fall weather, and of course candy! I wanted to make a quick and easy set of bags for all that trick or treating loot but I was having trouble coming up with a good idea that said "Halloween". After much brainstorming Joelle, Page, and I had an Ah-Ha moment: we could make them in a candy corn shape!

Even though it is the simplest of candies (they are basically made of sugar, and appropriately, corn syrup) I have a soft spot for candy corn. They are such a fun shape and I love their sunny colors. For me they signify Halloween and the Fall, and despite their meager ingredients I love the way they taste!  Plus I thought the idea of putting candy into a candy shaped container was cool!

To make the bags I used our beautiful 100% wool felt. It comes in the most lovely saturated colors and needs no hemming. The finished bags are about 10-inches deep so they can hold a lot of candy, and since it's made from sturdy all natural materials they can be used for years to come. These are so quick and easy and make Trick or Treating all the more special! 

Happy Trick or Treating! --Molly

 

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Saturday
Oct022010

Whit's Knits: Pixie Dust Lap Blanket

This is a where-did-you-get-this?! kind of blanket. Big, loopy stitches; hand dyed, extraordinary color; and smatterings of sparkly "pixie dust" all conspire to make this no ordinary blanket.

The yarn comes from the incredibly creative yarn company, Knit Collage. We used their super funky Handspun Yarn to knit up the Fun Kid's Hat last spring, and now we're turning our attention to their more subdued (relatively speaking!) Pixie Dust yarn. A blend of wool and mohair, Pixie Dust is a handspun, ultra bulky yarn that really sparks the imagination. I'm transported right into the land of fairy tales. With this color (Lemon Meringue), I can't help but think of Rapunzel and "Let down your golden hair!".

You won't be the only one who thinks your new blanket is awfully cuddily. While I was making the Pixie Dust Lap Blanket, my cat Butterfly stalked my every move, waiting for the moment I would set down my needles so she could finally claim her rightful place deep inside the blanket's soft stitches. Now that the finished blanket is at Page's house her cat, Sylvy, has taken up right where Butterfly left off!

I can't think of an easier way to makeover a room than to whip up this show stopper. Provided you can wrest it from your cat, it may even keep you toasty warm all winter!

The Materials

  • 7 skeins of Knit Collage's Pixie Dust, a blend of Wool, Mohair and Pixie Sparkles. This color is "Lemon Meringue".
  • A US #36, 32 or 40 inch circular needle.

Other Ideas!

We also knit up the Pixie Dust Lap Blanket in a cool white "Snowflake" version. It's equally gorgeous!

Or try doubling up Knit Collage's Sister. Same size needles, same pattern, same textural adventure, a Sister Lap Blanket is a beautifully affordable 100% wool alternative. You'll only need five skeins (you could even get away with four if you don't mind losing a few inches!). Here's a swatch:

The Pattern

Gauge

1 stitch = approximately 1 inch in 1 x 1 rib

Finished Size

Approximately 26 inches wide by 56 inches long

Begin

Cast on 27 stitches.

Row 1: *K1, p1, repeat from * to last stitch, k1.

Row 2: *P1, k1, repeat from * to last stitch, p1.

Repeat Rows 1 and 2  until you have used all 7 skeins minus about 4 yards (or until piece measures 56 inches).

Bind off in pattern and weave in the ends. (Little Tip: Rather than wresting this yarn through the eye of a tapestry needle, just use your hands to weave in the ends. It's easy - you'll see!)

Saturday
Sep252010

Purl Soho's Liberty Baby Bib Kits!

Joelle was in California recently, visiting her adorable new niece Bobbie Rae. She noticed that Bobbie was using a lot of bibs, and that the most effective were super absorbent. When she came back to New York she had the idea that we should design a bib that was both beautiful and totally useful.

As you might have noticed by now, when we want to make something truly special and beautiful, we often turn to Liberty of London's Tana Lawn. The lovely detailed prints of Tana Lawn are legendary! Its silky hand is soft enough for a very precious baby gift, but still strong enough to stand up to repeated washings.

To add absorbency we decided to back the bibs with Michael Miller's 100% Organic Cotton Terry, which is another perennial favorite at Purl Soho. We just love the combination of these two fabrics so we decided to pick out multiple colorways and our Liberty Bib Bib Kits were born. We hope you'll agree that they'll make perfect baby shower gifts!

Each Liberty Baby Bib Kit makes 4 bibs (2 of each print).  The kit includes 2 fat-eights of Liberty of London's Tana Lawn in complementary colors, 1/2 yard of Michael Miller's 100% Organic Cotton Terry, Gutermann 100% cotton sewing thread, 4 large nickel plated snaps, complete directions and a pattern template. 

These bibs are a breeze to sew, you could easily make a whole set in one afternoon. You can find our Liberty Baby Bib Kits right here, or create your own by following along with the pattern below.

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Friday
Sep242010

Whit's Knits: Long Striped Hand Warmers, Revisited

We loved last winter's Long Striped Hand Warmers so much that we're still thinking about them this fall! The opportunity that a one row stripe offers to play with color is just irresistible to us. When two colors are in such intense juxtaposition they can start to effect each other in really unexpected and exciting ways, bouncing, shifting and glowing.

For the original version we used the unbelievably beautiful Swan's Island Fingering. We LOVE the Swan's Island and it's still a great choice for this project, beautifully hand dyed, sophisticated and as soft and light as a feather.

We thought that it would be an interesting (and fun!) exercise to see how the Long Striped Hand Warmer's stitch pattern would look if we used Alchemy's Juniper. Also a fingering weight merino, Alchemy's vivid palette is very different in tone from Swan's Island's more subdued colors. We knit up swatches of these six color combinations, each one surprising us in the end!

The above colors are Kai's Goldfish (bottom) and Husk (top), a mixture of spicy tomato red with a soft and mellow camel.

These are Fuchsia and Fool's Gold, a shocking cool pink with a rich curry color.

These are Hush and Fieldstone, two quiet colors, one a dusty lavender and the other a warm mushroom.

These are Turquoise Pool and Cornflower Blue, one a pumped of version of the other.

These are Tea Leaf and Dragon, a pure grass green with a deeply saturated olive.

These are Canary and Fieldstone, a sunny perfect yellow with a hushed warm gray.

It's fun to pick your favorite. We can't agree! Page's favorite is the Kai's Goldfish, Joelle's is the Fuchsia, Molly's is the Canary and Whitney's is the Tea Leaf.  What's yours?

PATTERN NOTES: If you decide to try the Long Striped Hand Warmers with the Juniper you will still only need one skein of each color, but you will probably need to go down a needle size. I used a set of US #1 and a set of US #2 double pointed needles. --Whitney

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