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Japanese Crafting with Mari: Nani Iro + Drafting Japanese Sewing Patterns


One of my favorite Japanese fabrics is Nani Iro by Naomi Ito.  I first discovered it on a trip to Japan last May.  Imagine my thrill when I first started working at Purl and discovered that we carried it too!  I have been (im)patiently waiting for the past few months for her new line to come out, and I wasn’t disappointed.  On top of a beautiful collection of fabrics, Naomi Ito has put out a book, Nani Iro Pattern Book, with patterns using her fabric.


This book features clothing for both women and girls, as well as a few accessories.  Nani Iro is a double faced gauze fabric, which lends itself nicely to loose, flowing pieces versus highly tailored clothing.  None of the patterns have zippers, and only a few have button or hook enclosures.




I made two dresses with the fabric. 


This dress is the one on the cover of the book.  It’s a loose fitting tunic dress that could be worn over pants or a skirt.


One of my favorite things about this pattern is how she uses the selvedge motif along the collar and hem.
This simple tank dress is so comfortable I never want to take it off!  It’s a slip dress with no fasteners to get in the way. 

If you'd like to make a few of the beautiful patterns featured in Naomi Ito's lovely book but feel daunted by the task of working with a Japanese sewing pattern, please visit my Japanese Pattern Drafting Tutorial for directions. --Mari


Whit's Knits: Baby Shorts


These cotton bloomers are wonderful, not only for their vintage style, but also for the flexibility of the fit. The ribbing and elastic waistband allow the garment to grow with the child, useful first as bloomers over diapers and then later as regular shorts.

These are quick and easy to knit. Almost no seaming! I think I've found my new baby gift standby!


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Molly's Sketchbook: Quick Bias Tape Bib


This darling little bib is made with Michael Miller Organic Fleece so it's as absorbent and soft as it is cute! The new Kokka Haikara makes a pretty and functional crumb catcher and best of all the whole thing comes together in less than an hour using our new Capitan 88 Linen Bias Tape, which is 100% linen and comes in a nice neutral palette. This would be a wonderful baby shower gift, you can whip up 3 or 4 of them in no time! Enjoy! --Molly

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Whit's Knits: Stars + Stripes Felted Hot Pads


Whatever our politics, I think we can all agree that America really lucked out in the flag department. Our flag just embodies great design. It's bold and distinctive and jaunty. It's happy, but not insipid; spunky, but not undignified. I think it perfectly suits us as a country.

This Fourth of July, I'm celebrating the fresh graphics of the American flag with some flag-inspired hot pads. Your Fourth of July barbeque may be an ideal place to debut them, but they'll certainly fulfill their function year round! The striped hot pad is very easy, a great start for beginners.

These are based on Joelle's Felted Hot Pads from her Last Minute Knitted Gifts book. They're quick and fun to make, and a great dip into Intarsia Knitting if you've never done that before.

But the best, best thing about these hot pads for me has been the cheer they've added to my kitchen. I never knew hot pads could bring so much joy and good humor! I'm not sure a Fourth of July barbeque should be without them! -Whitney


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Whit's Knits: Tulip Socks


I designed these socks for my mother for her birthday. Besides being a big time sock lover, my mother is also a serious gardener, so I wanted to bring something of the garden to the fair isle design. I thought of tulips because they have a simple graphic quality that lends itself well to the limitations of drawing with stitches. Plus tulips are old favorites!

If you'd like to try your hand at creating an original fair isle design, please visit our new Design Your Own Fair Isle Tutorial. It's a great way to bring even more creativity to your knitting, enriching the process and the results.

Or, if knitting socks, let alone fair isle socks, is challenge enough for you, make a pair of these! Knitting is always its own reward, whether you're knitting your own design or someone else's. Thanks! -Whitney


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