Search The Purl Bee
Sign up for our newsletter!

Idea Center
Follow The Purl Bee

Comfort Food: Book Signing with Kate Jacobs at Borders, Columbus Circle

Like most knitters we're big fans of the Friday Night Knitting Club and Knit Two, novels by Kate Jacobs, so that's why we're excited to tell you that she'll be in New York City this Thursday signing copies of the new paperback edition of her book Comfort Food.

Join Kate at Borders at Columbus Circle at 7:00 pm on Thursday, April 9th to pick up your copy, meet her and maybe join up with some other knitters, too! Here is the address and a link to their store:

Borders Columbus Circle, 10 Columbus Circle; New York, NY 10019; (212) 823-9775

If you're not in the New York City area but would like a chance to meet her check out Kate's travel schedule on her website,



Weekend Sewing by Heather Ross Book Signing At Purl Patchwork!

Weekend Sewing by Heather Ross is here! We're particularly excited about this new title from Stewart Tabori & Chang because Heather is not only the talented designer of some of our favorite fabric (including the fantastic Mendocino and Rabbits and Racecars collections) and the creator of the amazing blog Weekend, but she's also our friend and sewing teacher at Purl Patchwork.

Book Signing with Heather on February 28th!

We're so excited to host Heather at a book signing event for Weekend Sewing this Saturday, February 28, 12:00 pm until 2:00 pm at Purl Patchwork (you can find a map to our store here)! Stop by and hang out with Heather and the Purl Patchwork staff. We'll have plenty of copies of Weekend Sewing on hand if you'd like to pick one up and have Heather sign it for you!

Edited by Melanie Falick, Weekend Sewing is part of a series of craft books by Stewart Tabori & Chang that also contains Falick's classic Weekend Knitting, just re-released in paperback. Like Weekend Knitting, each project in Weekend Sewing is designed with the weekend crafter in mind, with a range of patterns that suit any sewing ability, budget or time schedule. Sewing with friends and family is strongly encouraged - there are even tips for transporting your sewing machine to a friend's house for the weekend.

Weekend Sewing's projects are a perfect reflection of Heather's own inimitable style and approach to sewing: easy going, stylish but not stiff, colorful and bright, relaxed and casual.

Heather's personal touch is found throughout Weekend Sewing, not just in the patterns, but also in the book's fabulous and plentiful and charming illustrations that accompany her concise written instructions, like this illustration of the All Weekend Sundress.

Among the patterns you can spend more time on, you'll find a gorgeous Summer Blouse, modeled by another friend of ours, Jessica Fomin, who you may know as the Yarnmonster!

And also Kai's Shirt, a little treasure which can be made to fit any occasion depending on your choice of fabric. Here, in one of Heather's most adorable prints, the mood is decidely casual!

Beginning sewers will find a warm welcome in Weekend Sewing with a very complete sewing and fabric basics section, and good tips right off the bat for organizing and storing your sewing essentials so that they're easily accessible but neatly tucked away when not in use. You'll even find deliciously simple, low-maintenance recipes to munch during the many breaks you'll have plenty of time to take! In short, you'll find everything you need to make sewing a fun and relaxed part of your weekend, no matter what your skill level.

Here is what Heather had to say about the arrival of her first book:

A few weeks ago a friend turned to me and said "I am so sorry your book is launching during such a rough economy." The only thing I could think to say in response was "Oh no, you've got this all wrong!" I think this is the perfect time for Weekend Sewing! I have been so moved these past months by how much people seem to want to do for themselves and their families in an effort to be more self sufficient, and by how many of us have discovered the opportunity for creative expression that exists in doing so.

It's so empowering to be able to decide exactly what you need and what you want to wear, what clothing is a match for your lifestyle and for your taste. I am fortunate enough to have come from a long line of creative and self sufficient women, but had I not had such a wonderful Home Ec teacher I think my life would be much different now. Mrs G's approach was simple: A household (whether it includes just one person or a dozen) is a small business, and should be managed as such with ingenuity, thrift and creativity. Sewing, cooking and a sense of style and design were all equally valued. And, most importantly, she taught us this: this life, this home, is not a beauty contest, and it's not about perfection. This is about taking care of the people you love, taking care of yourself and being happy. I am so proud to be a part of the sewing/creative living community that so openly shares resources and inspiration, and so proud that Weekend Sewing has been so well received.

Be sure to check out the contest that Heather launched this week on her blog, Weekend, inviting readers to design a summer wardrobe based on the projects and patterns from Weekend Sewing and also to get a sneak peak of her new fabric line, Far, Far Away!

We hope to see you at Purl Patchwork this weekend! You can catch Heather at Purl Patchwork for a book signing from 12:00 pm until 2:00 pm at 147 Sullivan St., New York, NY (please click here for a map to our store).


Book Signing Event for Mason-Dixon Knitting: Outside the Lines at Purl!

If you're a knitter you have probably already seen or heard about the release of Kay Gardiner and Ann Shayne's newest book, Mason-Dixon Knitting: Outside The Lines.  If you live in New York City or are planning a visit on Friday, October 17, be sure to head over to Sullivan Street because we're hosting a book signing with these two knitting superstars!  From 5:30 to 7:00 pm you'll have the opportunity to meet and talk with Kay and Ann, view samples, and get a signed copy of this awesome new book, the long-awaited sequel to 2006's Mason-Dixon: The Curious Knitter's Guide.  You can find us at 137 Sullivan Street in NYC, click here for a map to our store.

The Mason-Dixon story started with the creation of a blog,  Heralded as "The Nation's Leading Bi-Regional Knitting Blog" by Ann's husband, Mason-Dixon Knitting began as a correspondence between these two friends who live miles apart (Kay in our Manhattan; Ann in Nashville) dedicated to their respective knitting endeavors.  Then came the first book,  which became an instant favorite of ours and everyone else's too!  Now they're back with a whole new collection of patterns, stories, confessions, and of course laughs; their specialty.

Kay and Ann have a knitting pattern for just about anything (even cozies for paper lanterns and mop heads covers), so much that when a customer at Purl comes in and says, "I need a pattern for a fill in the blank," we pull their book off the shelf saying,"Oh, Mason-Dixon has a really nice one of those!"  So be sure to come by this week and check it out for yourselves.  It's going to be a really good time!


Whit's Knits: A Journey to the Source - Rhinebeck Sheep and Wool Festival




















Has your sweater ever looked up to you and asked, "Mommy, where did I come from?" And, oh dear, you don't actually know!

To develop a well-informed answer, I took a little trip to last weekend's Sheep and Wool Festival in Rhinebeck, New York.  Assembled were a whole lot of fiber-producing animals, accompanied by yarn-producing humans happy to answer a few questions for me.

Like, what's the difference between an alpaca and a llama? Kathleen LaValley of WynCrest Farms explained the major difference is that llamas are bigger than alpacas. Another distinction, llamas are used as beasts of burden, while alpacas are raised solely for their fiber.

Llamas are a proud bunch, tall and elegant. Here's a beauty having a snack.


My favorite animal of the whole festival was this cranky alpaca named Masked Crusader. He hailed from a farm in Columbia County, New York named Alpacatrax. The people there told me that it's an effective practice to mix a few alpacas or llamas into a sheep herd to keep the coyotes away. One look at Masked Crusader and I get it...









There are at least two sub-breeds of alpacas, Huacayas and Suris. Huacayas have dense, fluffy fiber, like a teddy bear. The rarer Suri alpaca has long, silky locks that hang down like an Afghan dog.

scott.jpgScott from Creekside Acres' in Pleasant Valley, New York was telling me all about it. Here he is with a Suri to the left and a Huacaya to the right.

I'm beginning to understand why so many New Yorkers harbor country-living fantasies that involve owning pet goats. Turns out, they are awfully appealing. I saw a bit of the "Colored Angora Goat Breeder National Show". (Angora goats actually produce mohair, not angora. Confusing, I know...)

This goat's owner helped it to shake off some pre-show jitters.


Look how proudly this goat awaits the judge's perusal. I think she's done this before...



The judge combed through each competitor several times, digging deep into the thick, curly hairs, examining everywhere from the hind quarters to the ears.

The first place winner was eventually chosen for the uniformity of his coat. It was the only goat whose fleece could all be "sorted into one pile", according to the judge. All the other goats' fleeces would have to be separated into at least two piles of varying degrees of quality.

Cashmere also comes from a goat, appropriately named a cashmere goat. I had always heard that cashmere comes from the chin hair of goats that only live high in the Himalayas or off on the Mongolian plains or I don't know, far away. Not so. In talking to the people from Tannery Farm in Danville, Vermont, I learned that cashmere goats are adaptable to all kinds of terrain and weather. And that cashmere comes from all over the goat, as long as it's the outer layer of the coat, not the black underlayer.

Look how soft this goat's little brown hairs look.


What about the incredible angora rabbit! What a crazy creature! Here is Mike from E+M Tack Shop in West Carthage, New York holding an English Angora Buck.bunny.jpg

This rabbit's hair is too fine to shear. Instead, it gets gently combed or clipped. It's as soft as it looks.

Finally, my trip to Rhinebeck wouldn't have been complete without communing with a couple of sheep. This one was getting a beauty treatment in preparation for judging. sheep.jpg

Sadly, her only name was the numbers on her ear tag. Her owners agreed to rename her Fusilli, in honor of her curlicue coat. I hope the name sticks. I'll have to check back next year...

bookofyarn.jpgIf you really want to delve into this subject, Purl just received this new book by Clara Parkes of Knitter's Review. Inside is lots of information about different fibers for knitting, where they come from, how they're spun, and what to knit with them. Loads of great patterns too! 



Knitknit: Profiles and Projects from Knitting's New Wave



Join us this Saturday, September 22, at 2 pm, as we welcome author Sabrina Gschwandtner to Purl for a book signing!

We are excited that Purl appears in Sabrina Gschwandtner's inspiring new book about the state of knitting and knitters around the world today.
knitknitcover.jpgKnitknit: Profiles and Projects from Knitting's New Wave combines amazing projects and interviews with some of the creative artists behind the needles, including some of our favorite designers:Erika Knight, Teva Durham, and Debbie New, just to name a few.  Artists like Mandy McIntosh, whose aran sweater gown is shown above, incorporate knitting in their films, sculpture, and performance. 

Sabrina brings the reader into the studios and craft rooms of these artists as they share their sources of inspiration.  Beautiful portraits by photographer Kiriko Shirobayashi provide colorful glimpses at some woolly worlds:


Purl customers will recognize Leah, one of our store managers and a gifted knitter in her own right. Leah models the cap-sleeve yoke sweater that Joelle contributed to the book! The rich red yarn is Koigu Premium Merino.


David Gentsch is the spinner behind one of the most daring yarns around, Ozark Handspun. His electric palette and incredible blend of mohair, wool, and silk lends to fun spinning and unforgettable knitting!


We love peeking into Nora Gaughan's sun-filled studio, where she and her cat seem to share a happy grin.  Her knits celebrate the patterns that appear in nature, and the intricate hobo bag that appears in the book is a stylish and thought-provoking project.

Visit Purl this weekend and see this terrific new book in person! The book signing takes place on Saturday at 2 pm.  Purl is located at 137 Sullivan Street in New York City. We hope you'll come by!