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Thursday
Nov212013

Last Minute Handmade Gifts

Wouldn't it be lovely if there were a parallel crafting universe where time expanded into endless hours of exuberant creative activity? And wouldn't it be especially nice if this universe would reveal itself right about now, the moment our holiday gift list is crystallizing into a very long holiday gift list?

Alas, this is a Christmas miracle that is not bound to happen, and so, we consider Plan B: a whole lot of beautiful craft ideas that don't require a warp in the time-space continuum to complete! These project ideas range from fairly quick to extremely quick, and all of them are designed to give with pride and love. Some of our favorites are pictured above. They are...

Top row: Cozy Ear Flap Hat, Felt Flower Sachets, and Liberty Backpacks

Middle row: Braided Friendship Bracelets, Myrtle the Purl Turtle, and Color Tipped Scarf

Bottom Row: Neon Inside Out Bag, Heirloom Needle Case, and Snowflower Ornaments

And so that no one gets left out, there are more! Pictured above...

Top Row: Hostess Lap Duvets and Purl Soho Basic Hats for Everyone

Middle Row: Lovely Ribbed Cowl in Worsted Twist and Cashmere Cuff

Bottom Row: Knit Hedgehogs and Crocheted Ribbed Cowl

A little bit of everything for everyone... We can't offer you extra hours on the clock, but some well-timed inspiration is a close second! Happy crafting!

Sunday
Nov172013

Whit's Knits: Heirloom Christmas Stocking

When it came to appraising Christmas stockings when I was a kid, I was sure grateful that my grandma was a knitter. A knit stocking meant lots of stretch, and lots of stretch meant... well, lots of stuff. Santa still fills my stocking, and nowadays, I'm not as appreciative of getting piles of loot as I am of having a treasured hand knit from my dear ol' gram.

I count the Christmas stocking as one of knitting's most gratifying projects. It is one of the only things you can knit that is practically guaranteed to be cherished year after year, indelibly marking the memory of its owner every Christmas season. What a payoff!

For my Heirloom Christmas Stocking I wanted to reflect the quiet beauty of winter with a stitch pattern that evokes windswept fields of snow, rows of icicles hanging from the eaves, and scalloped patterns of frost on the window. I also wanted this stocking to look like it could have been plucked from a mantle sixty or eighty or a hundred years ago. And that it could grace a mantle a hundred years from now.

Knitting an heirloom definitely inspires me to choose my yarn with care. I want the yarn to be beautiful and pure, to be so special that fingers a generation from now will appreciate its quality. And so I chose Purl Soho's Worsted Twist, our 100% merino wool that is as soft as Santa's beard and as special as Christmas itself! 

May your version of our Heirloom Christmas Stocking be just that: everlasting, classic, and most importantly, loved! -Whitney

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Thursday
Nov142013

Corinne’s Thread: Needlepoint Houses

As a child, I was completely obsessed with the Christmas catalogs that would deluge our house every holiday season. I loved everything in them: the big velvet bows and the sparkling ornaments, the reindeer figurines and the dancing Santas. But mostly, I pined for the little winter villages. I would spend hours poring over the pages of small houses and tiny trees, trying to convince my mom that we just really, really HAD to start our own collection. Every year the answer was the same: No.

Now that I’m grown, I can see where my mother was coming from. A room full of Christmas chotchke does take quite a commitment, but still, I long for an adorable little winter village! So, this year I decided to fulfill my childhood Christmas wish and started a small town of my own.

Unlike the ceramic houses that dazzled me with their sparkling lights and glittering snow, the beauty of these small homes is in their simplicity. Made with hand dyed, 100% merino yarn, they are soft, simple and incredibly inviting.

Construct the whole neighborhood with Purl Soho’s new Needlepoint Houses Kit. Everything you need to make 3 houses (finished dimensions are 2 1/4 by 1 1/2 by 2 1/2 inches) is included. . . .

  • 100% merino, hand dyed yarn (1 full skein of ecru, and 1 mini skein of gray, rust, dark red and bright red)
  • Plastic mesh canvas, 14 count
  • Needlepoint needle, size 22
  • Sewing needle
  • Cotton thread
  • Full-color instructional booklet, including cutting guide

And what I like best about my little trio of homes is that, without all that holiday hoopla, they can stay on display long after the singing Santas and dancing elves have been put away, making me smile all year long! - Corinne

Tuesday
Nov122013

Purl Soho Videos: Finishing Techniques

Few things inspire as much dread in a new knitter as finishing techniques. It's such a bummer to put your heart and soul into a sweater or pair of socks only to have it all undone (sometimes literally!) by messy seams. We've been there, and we're here to help!

 
The latest Purl Soho Video Tutorials cover four basic finishing techniques: Three Needle Bind Off, Seaming Garter Stitch, Mattress Stitch, and Kitchener Stitch. Laura dissects each technique, explaining it step by step. Youll see, once you're walked through the process, finishing techniques aren't scary, and instead of feeling dread, you'll feel confidence, and who knows? Maybe even a little giddy anticipation!
 
So please visit our Video Tutorials Page here to view all four videos, as well as our previous tutorials on increases and decreases, plus a new and improved Yarn Over video! As always, please let us know if youd like to see something in particular in the future! And happy finishing!

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Sunday
Nov102013

Molly's Sketchbook: Cozy Sherpa Lap Duvet

I recently learned a new Spanish verb: acurrucar. It's in a Spanish childrens song that we sometimes sing to my daughter, and when I asked my husband (the resident Spanish speaker) what it meant, he paused and said, "Just what it sounds like... to be all snuggled up." What a great word!

This winter its my goal to be as snuggled up as possible which is where my new Organic Cotton Sherpa Lap Duvet comes in! Organic Cotton Sherpa is a beautiful thing to hold and to behold. Its soft, lofty, and toasty warm, like a layer of cotton balls or a blanket of billowy cloud.

To double down on Sherpas innate coziness I used it on both sides with a layer of plush wool batting in-between. And for fun I sewed it all together with seven vertical rows of bright red tacking stitches. The finished blanket is so cuddly and warm, like a portable heater. Perfect if you want acurrucar! --Molly

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