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Tuesday
Nov262013

Laura's Loop: Structured Alpaca Cowl in Purl Soho's New Alpaca Pure!

Purl Soho's newest yarn, Alpaca Pure, is wonderfully suited for contrasts and warmth! This elegantly plied yarn is as articulate in a textured rib as it is in smooth stockinette stitch. And in 100% of the softest and coziest alpaca fiber we've ever felt, this worsted weight yarn creates the very fabric you dream about in the bitterest depths of winter.

Our Structured Alpaca Cowl was inspired by the versatility of Alpaca Pure, its subtle sheen and sumptuous loft. A twisted rib pattern stands tall to protect the back of the neck, while a stockinette front gently drapes below the chin, framing the wearer's face and fortifying against the cold. Quick and simple to knit, gorgeous to wear, it's the ultimate last minute gift!

Our Alpaca Pure collection comes in our classic palette of neutrals and blues with pops of our favorite wildflower brights. Enjoy this quick-knitting beauty, so perfect for holiday crafting and giving! -Laura

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Sunday
Nov242013

Corinne's Thread: Winter Baby Bonnet

Nothing seems more quintessentially baby to me than a baby bonnet!  And no fabric seems better suited for one than Liberty of London’s gorgeous Tana Lawn. It’s just the right  material for this classic garment: soft to the touch and in patterns sweet enough to rival even the cutest little baby face. 
But when you have a baby born in the height of winter, with snow falling and winds howling, however cute and charming it is, a delicate hat of just lightweight Lawn won’t do. And so, for the winter baby, I made a Winter Baby Bonnet. 
Michael Miller’s sumptuous Organic Sherpa adds an extra cozy layer and an extended tie doubles as a mini scarf. Decorative and functional, this Winter Baby Bonnet perfectly frames the baby’s face while keeping her sensitive head protected from the elements.
To sweeten the deal, the whole thing is a cinch to make, made even easier with our Materials for Winter Baby Bonnet kit. It’s a good thing, too. With so many beautiful Liberty prints to choose from, I know I’ll be making one for every winter baby I know! - Corinne

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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

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