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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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Thursday
Nov072013

Laura's Loop: Long Lovely Mittens

As the temperatures drop and the layers build up, wintertime apparel slowly claims our womanly physiques, sometimes making it a struggle to feel like a lady at all. A dash of red lipstick can do wonders, but the best way to fight off that down-coat-yeti look? Beautiful accessories! A soft cabled hat, a brilliantly colored wrap, or my answer this season, these Long Lovely Mittens.

Reaching just shy of the elbow, the mere gesture required to slip on these mittens suggests a certain elegance. Purl Soho’s newest merino yarn, Line Weight, is perfect for this pared-down design. The stockinette fabric is incredibly soft to the touch, and it emits a gentle glow that is just right for winter’s harsh reality.

Pair these Long Lovely Mittens with anything. Even if they get buried under all those layers, having them on will definitely add an extra swing to your step. -Laura

PS: These require just one skein of Line Weight, a perfect holiday gift knit!

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Sunday
Nov032013

Corinne’s Thread: Advent Calendar

Some of my best Christmas memories aren’t from the day itself but rather from the days and weeks leading up to it: the letters to Santa, the evenings spent trimming the tree, the cookie baking (and eating), and, of course, the daily ritual of the advent calendar. 
Every morning in December my sister and I would clamor downstairs to the calendar, eager to mark one day closer to Santa’s arrival. The Christmas countdown was a real tradition in our house, made all the more meaningful by the calendar itself. Ours had been hand made by my grandmother, and it saw us through every December I can remember. Even as a kid I knew how special this was, and I loved admiring all the details of her handiwork. 
Now that I have children of my own, I am excited to bring the same kind of magic to their Christmas season. I wanted our calendar to be fun, modern and long-lasting, but mostly, I knew that nothing short of hand-made would do! 
This Advent Calendar fits the bill perfectly. Made with a colorful selection of 100% wool felt and embellished with a bevy of beautiful sequins and beads, it’s built to withstand the test of time (and small fingers), with just enough vintage whimsy to remind me of where it all began.  My girls are still too young to really appreciate the ritual yet, but I can see the spirit of Christmas Future, and it’s looking very bright! 
To make your own calendar (and to start your very own family tradition) we’ve compiled everything you’ll need in our Advent Calendar Kit. It includes…
  • 100% wool felt in 12 colors
  • 100% cotton thread in 3 colors
  • Embroidery floss
  • Embroidery needle
  • Beading needle
  • Sequins in 5 colors and beads in 3 colors
  • Straight pins
  • Iron-on transfer pencil
  • Fabric marker
  • Stuffing for ornaments
  • Wood dowel for hanging
  • 12-Page, full-color instructional booklet 
  • Cutting and transfer templates
And it all comes beautifully packaged in a sturdy tube, which makes it a great gift… even if it’s just to yourself! --Corinne

 

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