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Pure Improv Weekend Workshop with Denyse Schmidt!


Pure Improv Weekend Workshop with Denyse Schmidt


May 31 - June 1, 2014


Anyone interested in unleashing your intuitive creative self!


Denyse Schmidt’s Bridgeport, CT Studio

I’m very excited to announce our new weekend version of Pure Improv, featuring inspiring extras including an evening at the beach!

I’ve been teaching Pure Improv for a few years now, and it’s a powerful learning/unlearning experience.  I call it “pure” because it gets to the root of what improvisation is all about.  My earliest experiences of improvisation in dance, music, and theatre taught me that structure is key, the essential foundation that makes improvisation possible. A musician must learn a tune so completely that she can depart from the written notes, respond in the moment to what she is experiencing and hearing, and allow her creative ideas to fly. An actor knows the script forwards and backwards, allowing him the freedom to be present in the moment and to find new inspiration and meaning that resonates with the audience. 

In my workshop, we explore the farthest reaches of improvisational patchwork—and our own creativity­­—using traditional patterns as a foundation. We begin with super-fun, fast-paced exercises to become completely familiar with a single quilt pattern.  Once we internalize its basic structure, we apply the principles of improvisation to create spontaneous expressions of a single theme. It’s the basis of creativity and making – learning to be present and working off a foundation that allows us to trust our own unique, intuitive and creative ideas. (Read what folks have said about the workshops here.)


Last fall, I was teaching a daylong workshop and during our brief half-hour lunch (it’s a lot of material to fit into a day!) caught snippets of conversation. Two of the women owned renowned local bakeries (a happy coincidence since I have a wicked sweet tooth), and a couple of friends who had travelled together from Toronto were both writers.  Selfishly, I wanted more time to get to know these interesting, creative folks!  I also wanted to share the best parts of where I live with them.  My studio is located in a rough part of town, so it’s hard for people to imagine the beautiful, tranquil beaches and stunning sunsets just a few miles away!  On the other end of the spectrum, Bridgeport is also quite close to NYC.

The weekend offers two days of class and many amazing extras: A fabulous, private evening with cocktails and farm-fresh dinner in an adorable beach cottage that will instantly transport you back to your favorite summer vacations – just minutes from the studio! We’ll have special guests joining us for dinner, including Joelle Hoverson of Purl Soho, and Kate Spain fabric designer extraordinaire! 

Bring an extra suitcase for all the goodies you might find when we take a trip to the Elephant’s Trunk Flea Market. This is one of my all-time favorite places for inspiration!  I’m really excited about getting to spend time with you all and to share the special places that inspire and rejuvenate me. Scroll down to sign up here and don’t forget your bathing suit!

Can’t make it that weekend? Join us in September for Advanced Improv Weekend!-- Denyse


New York Yarn Crawl Starts Tomorrow!

(Pictured Above: Purl Soho's Super Soft Merino)

REMINDER: The 2013 New York City Yarn Crawl is THIS weekend! We're only one day away from the 5th Annual NYC Yarn Crawl. Get ready to explore the city and to celebrate your yarn infatuation with free prizes, raffles, a scavenger hunt, and so much fun!


The New York City Yarn Crawl


This weekend: Saturday and Sunday; October 5th and 6th. Purl Soho's shop hours will be 12am-6pm on Saturday and Sunday.


You, your friends, and 10 of New York City's most exciting yarn shops, including Purl Soho! 


All over New York City, from Brooklyn to Central Park to Soho

(Pictured Above: Manos del Uruguay's Classica Handspun Semi Solids)

Join the Yarn Crawl's free raffle for a gigantic prize basket filled to the brim with lots of yarn, knitting patterns, books, knitting needles, crochet hooks, kits and more. Featuring goodies from Purl Soho, Berroco, Cascade Yarns, Classic Elite, Erika Knight Knits, Interweave, John Arbon Fine British Yarns, Knitter’s Pride, Lantern Moon, Plymouth Yarn, Rowan, Swans Island and more.

(Pictured Above: Monos del Uruguay's Classica Handspun Multi Colors)

There will also be a super fun scavenger hunt. Visit every participating shop during the two-day Crawl, find all of the "clues", and you could win an additional prize! 

And at Purl Soho's Manhattan store, Manos del Uruguay's handspun Classica Semi Solids and Multi Colors will be 20% off, as well as all Spud & Chloe yarns including Fine, Sweater and Outer

(Pictured Above: Spud + Chloe's Fine)

We will be hosting our own free raffle too. Every customer will be entered to win prizes from: Jade Sapphire, Blue Sky Alpacas, Cascade Yarns, Swans Island, Anzula, Alchemy, Madeline Tosh, Brooklyn Tweed, Knit Collage, Manos del Uruguay, Skacel, STC Craft | Melanie Falick Books, Unicorn, Monterey Bay and more!

We don't want to spoil all the surprises, so be sure to visit us this weekend for the Yarn Crawl. Can't wait to see you!


New York City Yarn Crawl 2013!

What better way to kick off fall than with a self-guided tour of New York City's finest yarn shops? On the weekend of October 5th and 6th come explore the city and discover its vibrant knitting community with the 2013 Yarn Crawl! 


The 5th annual New York City Yarn Crawl! Raffles, gifts, discounts, scavenger hunts, and tons of free fun!


Saturday and Sunday; October 5th, and 6th. Purl Soho's shop hours will be 12am-6pm on both days.


You, your friends and 11 of New York City's most exciting yarn shops, including Purl Soho! 


All over New York City, from Brooklyn to Central Park to Soho!


Click here for all the details.




The Taproot Gathering at Squam, Co-Sponsored by Purl Soho!

Photo by Elizabeth Duvivier

Purl Soho is so happy to co-sponsor the next amazing retreat at Squam, September's Taproot Gathering! Taproot magazine's motto of "living fully, digging deeper" perfectly reflects the spirit of mindfulness you'll find at Squam. Located on the spectacular shore of Squam Lake, this 5-day event will bring you into close communion with not just the wilderness of New Hampshire, but also with fellow crafters who appreciate early morning swims, intensive learning, delicious meals and a whole lot of laughter and fun!

Photo by Susannah Conway

Your long weekend will be filled with unusual and inspiring classes, covering the craft gamut from hand carving spoons to knitting sweaters that fit, from making handmade dairy products to dyeing yarn with foraged materials. Every workshop is an adventure taught by expert craftspeople who love to spread the word!

And for the first time ever, this year's retreat will include a whole range of textile classes. Knit, crochet and sew with some of the leading teachers on the subject, like Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, Anne Hanson, Gudrun Johnston and Cal Patch.

Photo by Kaitlyn Bouchard

And because good food is such a necessary ingredient for good times, expect unbelievably fresh and yummy meals from the Bread & Butter Catering Company, one of Portland, Maine's premier providers of organic fare. Locally sourced and lovingly made, know that your body and soul will be well fed!

Purl Soho's Snowflake ScarfSince we too care about "creativity as a way of life", Purl Soho is so excited to be a part of this year's Taproot Gathering. Our donation of Super Soft Merino yarn in Heirloom White will be the perfect canvas for your hand-dyed creations or for whatever knitting inspiration strikes you. Plus, enjoy each meal with your very own handsewn napkin made for you by, yes, us!

Photo by Elizabeth DivivierThe Taproot Gathering promises to be an unforgettable experience. Hear what alumni have to say about their Squam adventures right here. And to feel like you're already there, be sure to watch this video from last year's gathering!


You're Invited! Launch Party for Heather Ross's Briar Rose Collection!

Come chat with Heather Ross as we celebrate the release of her newest fabric collection, Briar Rose!

What: Briar Rose Fabric Launch Party

Where: Purl Soho, 459 Broome Street, NYC

When: 6:30-7:30pm on Thursday, June 20th 

Heather Ross is a long time friend of Purl Soho, and we always share in the delight of her prolific offerings. Besides designing seasonal collections for Windham Fabrics, Heather is the author of Weekend Sewing and Heather Ross Prints and the illustrator of the Crafty Chloe children's books.  She is also a beloved guest teacher here at Purl Soho, as well as at her own Weekend Sewing Workshops

But the party on June 20th is all about her newest creation- Briar Rose! This whimsical collection is inspired by Heather's love of summer, the buzzing of bees and chirping of crickets, muddy puddles, and snuggly handmade quilts on chilly June nights. Purl Soho and Windham Fabrics are honored to present Heather Ross's always lovable prints, now in a versatile lightweight quilting cotton!

For all the lovers of Heather's designs, our friends at Windham have put together pre-cut Collectable Fat Quarter Bundles, 10-inch Charm Packs and 5-inch Charm Packs. Each bright bundle includes all 20 Briar Rose prints and is the perfect building block for your summertime inspirations.

We also will have available for purchase limited edition prints of Heather's favorite ode to summer: the wild strawberry. Heather will be signing and personalizing these iconic prints during the party, so you can take home your own sweet berry to remind you of summer days all year long! 

Our minds are already whirring with all the creative possibilities for these delightful prints! To get a jump start on your own summer crafting, please join us on Thursday, June 20th at 6:30pm for a memorable evening with all of us at Purl Soho, Windham Fabrics and Heather Ross!