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Whit's Knits: Felted Christmas Trees

This year I wanted to make something that my son would always associate with Christmas's approach; something that every year he would see me pull out of a box that would bring the smell of pine to his nose and the warmth of a fire to his feet; something that would get him giddy for Santa Claus and snowmen; something that would elevate itself to the level of treasured heirloom, not because it's fancy but because it is loved.

These trees are lots of fun to make. You get to knit them up on big needles, nice and loose, then you get to decorate them with lots of pretty French knots and, finally, you get to feel the surprise of pulling them out of the washing machine, transformed into fuzzy little trees!  Enjoy! -- Whitney

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Molly's Sketchbook: A Daisy Halloween Costume

I came up with this daisy head dress and (purl)bee pin because I like the idea of a child being able to wear something comfortable like a leotard or tee-shirt and transforming it into a whimsical Halloween costume with a few simple additions. This is also a very easy to sew project since it's made mostly out of wool felt which doesn't need to be hemmed (plus it comes in the most wonderful vivid colors!). With comfort in mind I lined the headband of the daisy head-dress so the wool felt wouldn't itch and added ribbons to tie it in place. Happy Halloween! --Molly

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Colorful Crafting with Jen: Koigu Basket Weave Baby Blanket

My friend Aimee is due in November.  She and her husband are one of the few couples I know who haven't found out if they are having a boy or a girl.  I love the idea of not knowing as the parent, but it sure does make it harder to choose colors when you are the gift giver!  I wanted to make something colorful and cheerful that would suit either a boy or a girl, but not too bright because Aimee prefers softer colors.  I also wanted the finished product to be washable, of course.  When I started thinking about this blanket, we had just received a new shipment of Koigu KPPPM (their multi-color 4 ply merino).  I chose a bright color that caught my eye and decided to knit it together with a strand of natural white Koigu KPM (their single-color 4 ply merino) to soften the overall color of the blanket.  This blanket has so many possibilities since you use two strands held together to work the blanket.  For instance, a solid other than natural white could be used to emphasize one of the colors from the multi, or you could use eight skeins of the same multi to achieve a more saturated look.   Enjoy! --Jen

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Molly's Sketchbook: Finishing a Needlepoint Pillow

Sewing a finished needlepoint canvas into a pillow is just as easy as sewing any simple pillow, it's also a very quick process, especially when compared to the time it takes to actually stitch the canvas!  Most importantly it's a great way to display the canvas so you can see it every day.

If you've never needlepointed before you may be surprised to discover just how fun and easy it is! We have a great selection of needlepoint canvases that you can find at this link by the wonderful painter and illustrator Charley Harper. We also have a brief explaination of how to needlepoint that you can see by clicking here. If you need or want more in-depth instructions on how to needlepoint we highly recommend the TNNA How To Needlepoint Booklet, which you can find at this link.

Happy Stitching! --Molly

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Whit's Knits: Crocheted Linen Grocery Tote

It's always a good time to eschew the plastic bag in favor of an earth friendly one. My favorite choice is the netted grocery tote. It has all the conveniences of a plastic bag and none of the detriments. I love that it scrunches up into a tiny ball inside my purse, weighs nothing, and fits more groceries than I can even carry - magic!

Our knit version of this bag has been a perennial favorite at Purl (check out Elisa's Nest Tote), so here, finally, is a crocheted option. It's made out of Louet's Euroflax Linen, which is as durable as it is beautiful. My favorite summertime yarn, the Euroflax has the rawness of a hardworking natural linen, balanced by a delicate luster and a graceful drape. Buying groceries will never be the same!

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