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Sunday
Mar022014

Laura's Loop: Arctic Wrap

My mom and I have a deal. Every Christmas she gives me an IOU for a class I’d like to take, and in return, I share with her what I learn. Over the years I’ve taken quilting classes, Italian, calligraphy, weaving, machine knitting, the list goes on… What will this year’s class be you ask?!?! Indigo dyeing!

I picture this class in a flower-filled garden or a breezy field (proof, I suppose, that I’ve grown very tired of winter). While I wait to find this perfect springtime class, my imagination fills with inky blues and seeping dyes, and so, I decided to translate the as-of-yet unknown art of indigo dyeing into something I do know… knitting. And since this polar winter is seemingly endless, it feels just right for right now! 

For my Arctic Wrap I used Purl Soho’s Worsted Twist merino in the color Heirloom White as a constant backdrop and Purl Soho’s Alpaca Pure for beautiful, shifting color. In a basic 1 stitch x 1 stitch Fair Isle pattern, the blooming halo of Alpaca Pure hovers over the smooth finish of Worsted Twist, highlighting the textural difference and softening the pixilated stitches into a gorgeous knit translation of a dip-dyed fabric. 

Working on this generously sized wrap has kept me cozy warm as I daydream about my indigo dyeing class, the sun on my cheeks, my fingers stained deep blue. Are any of you chronic class takers? What are you most curious about lately? Whatever it is, I hope it inspires you to create… maybe even this Arctic Wrap! -Laura

PS: You can get all of the yarn you'll need for this wrap with Purl Soho's Yarn for Arctic Wrap kit!

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Thursday
Feb272014

Molly's Sketchbook: Ombre Edge Throw

Embroidery is the very first craft I ever learned. It was de rigeur at my elementary school, perhaps as a way to instill focus and hone fine motor skills. Whatever the reason, I’m eternally grateful (shout out to Marin School in Albany, California!) because I love embroidery to this day! I appreciate the relaxing rhythm of a needle pulling thread, and too, I love that embroidery is so self-contained and versatile. 

I recently felt a new burst of embroidery inspiration while I was stitching my Felted Wool Hot Water Bottle Cover project. I was fascinated by how the zigzag blanket stitch instantly transformed something plain into something extraordinary. And so, armed with a yard of Dorr Mill’s Wool and a whimsical spring rainbow of DMC Floss, this Ombre Edge Throw was born!

This project is super quick to make but looks so considered and elegant. I originally intended it to be a couch throw, good for curling up and watching a movie, but once it was done, I couldn’t resist the urge to wear it as a scarf as well. The Ombre Edge Throw is one of those great, versatile projects that can be anything you want… kind of like embroidery itself!

To whip up your own, be sure to pick up one of our Materials for Ombre Edge Throw kits right here! - Molly

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Sunday
Feb232014

Molly's Sketchbook: Purl Soho's Little Lamb Finger Puppets

I can’t tell you how excited I am for spring to come. This winter’s polar vortexes and never ending parade of snow and ice storms have been seriously awful! But with March right around the corner, I’m hoping that the old cliché will prove true: “In like a lion, out like a lamb!”

These Little Lamb Finger Puppets are my invocation to the spirit of spring. Their sweet faces and soft wool coats are so happy and hopeful that with each stitch the winter blues seem to melt away, making room for vernal daydreams. Just imagine how cute they’ll look peeking out of an Easter basket!

This project is truly a snap to sew. A playful palette of pretty wool felt is a joy to work with, and each lamb is stitched entirely by hand. Absolutely everything you need, from the pattern and felt to the needle and stuffing, is available in our Little Lamb Finger Puppets Kit here. (Or if you already have the materials you can get the just pattern!) Let the springtime reverie begin!

Thursday
Feb202014

Corinne's Thread: Quilted Vest

There's a cartoon sketch I remember watching when I was a kid. A little boy looks out the window to see that it's raining, bundles up in all his rain gear and runs outside, only to find the sun shining bright. This scene repeats a few more times until it is finally revealed that the "rain" is actually the sprinkler going back and forth across the lawn.

In the upcoming early days of spring, this meteorological back and forth will be all too real: freezing in the morning, sunny and warm in the afternoon and cloudy by dinner time. I anticipate feeling like that confused little boy chasing the whims of a sprinkler.

And so, this Quilted Vest will be my go-to for spring's unpredictable days. A layer of Dream Wool batting will keep me cozy, but its light weight will never feel too warm. It’s like a comfy blanket that you get to wear all day long but with its clean lines and delicate collar shaping, much more fashionable!

Robert Kaufman’s Chambray Union Dot makes the outside of this vest as cool and versatile as a favorite pair of jeans, while Moda 200-count Muslin makes the inside as crisp as a spring pea! Get all of the materials you need to make your own with our Materials for Quilted Vest kit right here, and no matter how the temperatures dip, curve, climb, or tease, you’ll be prepared too! - Corinne

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Sunday
Feb162014

Laura's Loop: The Purl Soho Friendly Fair Isle Sweater

Being partial to lore and a sucker for furry creatures with power, each year leading up to Groundhog’s Day I wonder what Punxsutawney Phil will predict. And each year, I am conflicted. Do I want the warmth and light that come with an early spring, or do I want six more weeks of winter cold so I can keep knitting with gloriously thick and wooly yarns?

Well, my ambivalence didn’t stop Phil from deciding. His decree: six more weeks of winter. But fear not, those who’ve grown weary of windburn, this Friendly Fair Isle Sweater is for you! Not only is it cuddly warm for an enduring winter season, but this punchy sweater also spreads the brightness and cheer of spring. And just in case Punxsutawney Phil’s meteorological skills aren’t quite on point this year, the Friendly Fair Isle is such a fun, quick knit, you’ll be weaving in your ends long before that early spring arrives!

I designed this no-fuss pullover with a classic cut and a raglan sleeve shoulder. And for speed and coziness, I used Purl Soho’s aptly named Super Soft Merino. The colors, I picked purposely to pop out like spring’s first flower buds peeking through the earth.

Since Phil is as unpredictable as the weather itself, I’m glad that this year I have my bases covered, a toasty sweater for winter, done well before spring… no matter when it comes!

For more information about the Friendly Fair Isle Sweater, please read below. And for the full pattern, please click here. -Laura

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