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Handmade Baby Elephants from Last-Minute Knitted Gifts & Last-Minute Patchwork + Quilted Gifts! 

Elephants are wonderful creatures. They are intelligent, have great memories, and live in fascinating structured social groups. Perhaps because they are such symbols of peace and wisdom they have often been the subject of children’s literature. I can’t think of any other animal that has as spawned as many memorable characters as the mighty elephant. There’s Dumbo, Ella, Horton, Elmer and of course, Babar just to name a few.  There is something so compelling about them, from their powerful trunks to their cute little tails.

Happily, The Purl Bee is experiencing a baby boom and we wanted to make some baby gifts for the new arrivals that would be soft, cuddly, and spark their imagination. We can’t think of a better creature than the elephant to do this. These two stuffed elephants, one knitted and one sewn, have so much personality and will make great companions for the little ones in your life. Both come from books written by our very own Joelle Hoverson and both are quick and easy to make!

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Molly's Sketchbook: Heart-Shaped Zippered Pouches

Nothing says Valentine's Day like a heart-shaped box of candy! My box always comes from See's Candy in California (from my dad) and I love opening up the box and picking out my favorite pieces, the Walnut Squares, the Molasses Chips, and the Dark Bordeaux. Yum!

I wanted to send my nieces their own boxes of candy, but one of them has food allergies so I didn't want to send her something she couldn't enjoy. Instead, I decided to turn the whole heart-shaped box idea on its head and sew heart-shaped pouches instead. I love the idea that I can fill them with non-allergenic candies and that the girls can re-use them even after Valentine's Day.

For fabric, I chose some fun, playful dots in pinks and reds and used our brand new 15mm Grosgrain Ribbon for the looped handles. I also decided to take advantage of our wide selection of zippers and added a zippered closure along one side of the pouch. Even though I was a little scared of tackling sewing in a zipper on a curve I'm very happy with how it turned out. I think it makes the pouches so much more usable and, as with so many sewing techniques, it wasn't as hard as I'd made it out to be! Happy Valentine's Day! --Molly

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Whit's Knits: Spiral Rib Leg Warmers

For many of us, the mere mention of leg warmers conjures up vivid images of ripped sweatshirts and really big hair. Having grown up in the eighties, I love Olivia Newton John as much as the next person, but that doesn't necessarily mean I want "Let's Get Physical" to be my theme song for 2010. However, I'm not so curmudgeonly that I can't appreciate new takes on old trends.

So, instead of acrylic and rainbow stripes, these 21st century leg warmers are super soft merino and naturally subtle colors. Hand dyed by Manos del Uruguay's cooperative of local craftswomen, this 5-ply Merino is perfectly now. A South American rural community sustaining itself through its traditional crafts sounds like a very beautiful future to me!

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Molly's Sketchbook: Rose Barrettes

With Valentine's Day coming up I designed these little girl's barrettes in celebration of the rose. I liked the idea that they could add a little Valentine's spirit to any outfit, and also to be used long after the big day. --Molly

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Page's Felt Flower Winter Wreath

I have been wanting to make a wreath in all white and ecru felt for some time now, but when we got in our fun, new neon threads I knew I had to bring the two worlds together to create a wintery white wreath with playful bursts of color that would bring a smile to my face all winter long. 

The pairing of the soft, snowy neutrals with the intense, colorful neons make this piece glow in a way that words can't describe. Enjoy! --Page

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