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Announcement: Martha Stewart's Encyclopedia of Sewing & Fabric Crafts Launch Party and Free Heart Shaped Potholder Pattern!

We're excited to announce a fun event being held by our friends at Martha Stewart (along with sewing machine companies Singer, Husqvarna Viking, and Pfaff).  In celebration of their new book, Martha Stewart's Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts, they are having a festive gathering of sewists called Stitch Fest and you're all invited!

Martha Stewart's Encyclopedia of Sewing & Fabric Crafts Launch

Starrett-Lehigh Building, 601 West 26th Street, NYC

Thursday, April 01, 2010 6:00 – 9:00 PM

$30 admission to the Stitch Fest includes your own copy of Martha's new book, plus cocktails and treats. The fun-filled evening will showcase a wide array of creative projects straight from the Encyclopedia's pages - from fabric crafts and easy sewing projects to embroidery, dyeing, and appliqué demonstrations.

$200 includes admission to Stitch Fest, PLUS Tote Bag 101- the evening's hands-on Introductory Sewing Workshop (taught by one of Martha's favorite sewing instructors!). Bring home the custom tote bag you make in class, Martha Stewart's Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts, a pair of Martha Stewart Crafts Scissors, AND the Singer sewing machine you learned on! All materials included. Sewing Workshop seats are limited!

Tickets can be purchased by clicking here.  We hope to see you there!

Here are some images of a few of the super cute projects in the book.

Shell Printed Sheets

Summer Sarong

Baby Shoes

We think this event is going to be so great because Martha Stewart's Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts is sure to become a classic.  This book is covers a very wide range of techniques and is very well explained.  It includes beautiful illustrations and photography that clearly guide you through all kinds of sewing techniques, from applique to quilting, to how to cut a straight line.  It also includes 150 beautiful projects with full patterns and instructions like the adorable baby shoes above.

As a special treat for Purl Bee readers Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia is sharing this adorable pattern for Heart Shaped Potholders. We think these would make perfect housewarming gifts!  To find the complete pattern, please click here

The book will be released on March 30, 2010, if you'd like to pre-order a copy from us you can do that right here, or if you'd like to read more about the book you can find it on Martha's website right here. Happy Sewing! --The Purl Bee



The BIG Move Update: A New Logo to Celebrate Our New Space!

Two weeks ago we announced The BIG Move right here on The Purl Bee.  In case you missed our announcement, we're moving our two Soho shops, Purl and Purl Patchwork to a new, much bigger space in Soho this April. You can read all about it right here.  Since we made our announcement, we've been flooded with emails, phone calls and visits from customers expressing excitement and enthusiasm over our big moving adventure.  We'd like to take this moment to let you know that we truly appreciate the positive thoughts and encouragement you've shown about our BIG move so far, thank you so much!

One question we've been hearing over and over is "what are you going to call the new store?" Since our two shops each have their own name, Purl and Purl Patchwork, and the new store will be combination of the two this is a very good question. Thankfully, this is one decision in the millions of little details we have to deal with that was easy to make.  Our new shop will be called Purl Soho, just like our website (plus so many of you call us that already anyhow!).   We think our new logo is the perfect way to acknowledge our changing name and our new space. Our goal with the new logo design was to visually communicate that while our business is changing and growing, we're still the same Purl you've always known and loved.  We also wanted it to be pretty, fun and welcoming, just like we're hoping the new space on Broome Street will be. 


The Story of our New Logo


The starting point for the new capital P in our logo came from this amazing and beautiful (and, sadly, out of print) embroidery book from Sweden.  Joelle and Page first saw this book on Fine Little Day, a blog by Elisabeth Dunker that is a source of daily inspiration for us at The Purl Bee (the previous link will take you to Elisabeth's original post about the book, but make sure you check out her entire blog here too, it's simply wonderful).  Since the book is out of print Page went on a bit of a mission to track down a copy of the book.  Her efforts were well worth it though because inside is an amazing world of alphabets, like the one below.

When we started talking about changing the logo, we loved the idea of using a cursive, capitol P in place of the cursive, lowercase P in our original logos.  We felt that this would hint at our business growing up, without being a radical departure.

The "purl" part of our original logos are closely related to the font French Script.  We chose French Script as the foundation of our original logo because we felt that it was pretty without being fussy or overly fancy and because it was round and loopy, kind of like yarn.


When we picked this cursive, capital P for the starting point for our new logo we knew we were going to have to do a lot of work with it to make sure it would honor the qualities we love about our original logo and also that it would work with the "url" part of "purl" visually.

For the first step in the process Brooke (our incredibly talented graphic designer and author of the delightful blog Inchmark) drew the new P on her computer and added it to the original logo.  We got really excited when we saw it even though we could see that we have to substantially change it to make it work.  Once we started in earnest we felt that we needed to get a professional type designer involved.  Drawing letters is both an art and an incredibly challenging technical skill, so Brooke called in Natasha Tibbott to help us out. (Natasha Tibbott has been digitally drawing everything from editorial art for The New York Times, to charts, borders, maps, bits of type and other sundry items for publications ranging from Shape to O Magazine for many years).

Here are just a few of Natasha's first versions of our new P (for these you might also notice that she added an extra little curl to the end of the L).  There was something we liked in each one of them, but there wasn't yet one that seemed completely right overall.   Brooke got out her tracing paper and pencils and went to town playing with the different elements of Natasha's P's.  Below you can see some of Brooke's beautiful drawings.

We think the subtle differences between each version are fascinating because you can see so clearly how just a slight shift in angle, line weight or curve makes such a difference in the overall feeling of the letter. 

Brooke's last hand drawn version was hands down our favorite, so we sent it off to Natasha and she completed the letter to perfection!  We truly love our new P, so please be forewarned we're probably going to start putting it everywhere! 

Once we had the P finished up Natasha did a little more tinkering with the "url" part of Purl to make the two elements work together.  You can see here that the U is tilted just the tiniest bit as well as the L. And now the L ends with a soft curve that reflects the bottom curve of the new P. 

But design is a slippery slope.  Once we placed our new Purl logo with the original lower case multi-colored "soho", it all seemed a little busy!  We didn't want to steal the show from our new P so we worked on simplifying the rest of the logo. The first step was to change the multi-colored letters to a simple, modern brown which we liked, but still we felt that it wasn't all the way there.  Luckily, Brooke came forward with the idea of changing the lowercase font (called filosofia) to uppercase (also filosofia) and there it was, our new logo was born! 


We hope you like our new logos as much as we do.  It won't happen all at once, but soon you'll be noticing it popping up in our advertisments, on our website, on our blog and in lots of other places too.

Stay tuned to The BIG Move page for more details, coming soon!


Announcing The BIG Move: We're Moving our New York shops to a BIGGER Space in Soho!

We have a BIG announcement that we are very excited to share with you:  We're combining our two teeny-tiny Soho New York Shops, Purl and Purl Patchwork into one brand new, BIG, beautiful store, also in Soho, this April!

The new space is just a few blocks away from where we are now, at 459 Broome Street between Greene and Mercer.  We'll be right next to some other great New York institutions such as Kate Spade, Gourmet Garage, Ochre and Rudy's Music, just to name a few.

Here is a map from Google that shows walking directions from our shops on Sullivan Street to our new store on Broome Street.


Any of you who have visited Purl or Purl Patchwork in New York will know when we say that our current locations are small, we aren't kidding!  The floor plans pictured above are actual to-scale representations of our shops right now compared with our new store front (seriously!).  Customers often express to us that they wish we had more room to help them with their creative projects.  Believe us when we say we have long shared that wish, so we're absolutely thrilled that we'll finally be able to provide some breathing room and space for all of your creative endeavors. Our new shop will be filled with all of the beautiful materials you have come to know and love as much as we do, as well as lots of new and exciting things we've never had room for. We're even going to have a dedicated classroom!

We have a lot of work to do in the new space before we move in, as you can see in the images above.  On the left is the new space as it currently looks, to the right is an architectural rendering of what is to come.  We're very pleased to have our friends, Architect Nick Robertson from Piano Nobile  and Carpenter James O'Malley from Brooklyn Design + Fabrication collaborating with us again to create a welcoming, spacious, functional and beautiful interior (they did all of the work inside of Purl Patchwork several years ago). 

While we couldn't be more excited about The BIG Move, we love our home on Sullivan Street so leaving our two cozy little stores will be bittersweet. We are especially going to miss our great neighbors and the warm feeling of community that this amazing block has provided over the past 8 years. It is our great hope that our new location will foster the same spirit of creativity and sense of home that our current store fronts do!

The BIG Move is taking place in mid-April 2010.   In the meantime, our shops on Sullivan Street will be open for business and filled to the brim with all of the lovely yarns and fabrics we've always had.   As we get closer to the actual BIG day we'll provide you with specific dates of the move, information on our BIG Move prizes, and details about our grand opening party.  You can keep up to date by clicking The BIG Move button on the top right of any page. Stay tuned!


Night of Knitting and Hot Chocolate at City Bakery's 18th Annual Hot Chocolate Festival!

For hot chocolate lovers, The City Bakery in New York City is legendary.  So when the owner, Maury Rubin, asked us to participate in the 18th Annual City Bakery Hot Chocolate Festival and Night of Knitting we were delighted!

For the theme of this year's Hot Chocolate Festival, How to Knit a Marshmallow, Maury was inspired by a customer at City Bakery who he spied knitting in the restaurant, they chatted and agreed that knitting and hot chocolate made perfect companions; we couldn't agree more!

The event will be at The City Bakery, located at 3 West 18th Street, between 5th and 6th Avenues on Thursday, February 18th, doors open at 7:00 pm.  Tickets cost $30 and include an all you can eat delicious savory dinner, all you can drink hot chocolate, beer, wine and knitting workshops (please note, materials for knitting are not included in the cost of tickets).  Tickets can be purchased at the door or in advance at Brown Paper Tickets (seating is limited and going fast so we recommend purchasing tickets ahead of time). 

We got a sneak peek from Leslie Koren at City Bakery of the many incredible hot chocolate flavors that will be served at the event:

  • Caramel Hot Chocolate
  • Banana Peel Hot Chocolate
  • Ginger Hot Chocolate
  • Lemon Hot Chocolate
  • Moulin Rouge Hot Chocolate
  • Milk Chocolate Hot Chocolate
  • Darkest Dark Chocolate Hot Chocolate
  • Creamy Stout Hot Chocolate
  • Bourbon Hot Chocolate

There will be 5 knitting workshops and one demonstration being hosted by 6 of New York City's local knitting shops:

  • Chocolate Bar Coasters (pictured below) by Purl Soho
  • Marshmallow Hat by Knitty City
  • Hot Chocolate Mug Cozy by Gotta Knit
  • Marshmallow Man by Brooklyn General Store
  • How to Spin fiber demonstration by Downtown Yarns
  • Beginning knitting skills by Wool & the Gang

There will be two workshop sessions each which will start at approximately 7:30 pm and 8:45 pm. You can find a complete list of materials, answers to frequently asked questions and skills required at this link.  Please note, all shops will have materials available to purchase the night of the event (cash only).

For our workshop at the event, we designed these Chocolate Bar Coasters.  The yarn, Cascade's Chunky 128 Superwash Wool, is the perfect yarn; it's super soft, comes in a great range of chocolate inspired colors and is machine washable.  We think these coasters make a perfect place to rest a mug of anything hot, but especially hot chocolate! 

In honor of the festival, Cascade Yarns has generously partnered with Purl Soho for a giveaway the night of the event!  Six lucky attendees will win a skein of Cascade's Magnum, a Purl Soho tote, US size 36 knitting needles and a full color printed pattern of our popular Eleventh-Hour Scarf!

Whether you'll be able to attend the event or not, you can pick up one of our Chocolate Bar Coasters Kits at our shop or online at starting today!  Each kit contains 2 skeins of Cascade's 128 Superwash Wool, one skein Ecru, and one skein Bittersweet Chocolate (this is enough yarn to make at least 6 coasters) and a full color printed pattern.  You can also download the pattern for free at this link!

Hope to see you there! --Purl Soho


Craft Hope for Haiti!

As all of you know the crafting community is both caring and generous. People who make things by hand have a strong inclination to give those things away. Because of this helpful, creative streak we know so many of you will share our interest in and will want to support the Etsy shop currently being hosted by Craft Hope to benefit Doctors Without Borders in Haiti.

100% of the proceeds of this shop will go to Doctors Without Borders. They have already raised over $7000 in only two days. You can donate by either buying an item here, or donating a handmade item of your own to be sold. Information on how to donate an item can be found here. We can't think of a better way to channel your creativity with so many people in such serious need of help.

There are so many lovely handmade items for sale, bags, photographs, clothing and jewelry to name a few, and there are new items being added all the time! Please consider making a donation in any way you can. Thank you!

Find all of the information you need at these links:

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