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Thursday
Jan232014

Laura's Loop: Garter Ear Flap Hat

This Garter Ear Flap Hat was an engineering feat to get me back on my feet. You see, I didn’t exactly have that quintessential fresh-start feeling that so often comes with the New Year. Instead, I spent January 1st in bed with the flu and its attendant fever, aches, chills, and delirium. Just as the worst was passing, Mother Nature blasted us with a Polar Vortex that I did not have the strength nor will to face.

Cabin fever set in! Groggy from illness and stir-crazed from quarantine, I was determined to prove my health (and sanity), and so, making this hat became a triumphant product of my bruised spirit. I created this hat that simultaneously hangs on and hugs my head, which provides protection and insulation from a season that had been beating me down.

Still enamored with the ease of working short rows in garter stitch (as with my Knit Elbow Patches), I constructed this hat in one seamless piece using Purl Soho’s soft and lush Alpaca Pure. The more I knit with this incredibly comforting yarn, the better I felt. And the topper made it official. Slightly pointed with a tiny tassel, the finish delivered cheer and whimsy. I was back to my healthy self!

With my head toasty warm and back in full heath, that fresh-start feeling did arrive… just a little late this year. A belated Happy New Year to all! May it be a healthy one. -Laura

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Sunday
Jan192014

Corinne's Thread: Fleece Baby Jumpsuit

One of the magical things about babies is that no matter their shape or size, they always seem perfect. Long and lean, totally chubby or just a little pipsqueak, every baby I meet makes me think, “Oh, yes! That is exactly the way a baby should be!”
Unfortunately, baby clothes don’t come in as many sizes as the babies themselves. From the day my daughter, Nieve, was born she was too tall for newborn sizes but was too small to fit in anything larger without looking like she was on an early enrollment plan for clown school. Knowing that my baby couldn’t be the only one struggling to find a suit that fits, I designed this one-pattern-fits-most Fleece Baby Jumpsuit. With just a few easy adjustments, this pattern will fit almost any baby of almost any shape or size from ages 0-9 months. That’s right, we’re talking bespoke babywear!
Not only did I want this Jumpsuit to fit, but I also wanted it to be cozy and warm. Michael Miller’s Organic Cotton Fleece makes this piece so soft and cuddly, and the juxtaposing fuzzy and smooth sides of the fabric add a bit of playfulness to the monochrome palette.   
Despite its made-to-measure details, the simple lines, limited seams and forgiving fabric make this Jumpsuit a breeze to whip up. This is a very good thing, since my little beanstalk may need a new one every month! -- Corinne

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Sunday
Jan122014

Molly's Sketchbook: Felted Wool Hot Water Bottle Cover

It’s miraculous that in this modern world sometimes the best cure for life’s aches and pains is as simple as a little hot water. A rubber hot water bottle is the perfect conveyance for healing warmth, inexpensive and virtually indestructible. 

Our Felted Wool Hot Water Bottle Covers celebrate this straightforward utility. I made them with Dorr Mill’s 100% wool, which I washed until it was soft and felted and then stitched together with a handsome zigzag blanket stitch.

The result is homey, classic and my favorite thing… practical! These Covers do what hot water bottle covers have always done; they keep the hot water hot and your body warm.  

If you’ve never tried blanket stitch this project is a great introduction. The gentle rhythm of the stitches is a real treat, and the combination of the soft felted wool and the smart stitching make for a very satisfying endeavor. And just like the water bottle itself, it’s built to last a lifetime! --Molly

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Thursday
Jan092014

Laura's Loop: Knit Elbow Patches

It’s astounding how many sweaters my dear friend Taylor has with elbow holes. It wasn’t until I spotted her plinking away at a computer keyboard that I realized the cause… she’s a leaner, a focused leaner. The more she focuses, the more she leans, and the more she leans, the more worn her wares become. She most definitely puts her sweaters to work.

These Knit Elbow Patches were developed with Taylor in mind, out of love and necessity. To knit up these Patches I used two strands of Purl Soho’s brilliantly colored, 100% merino Line Weight, and to sew them onto the offending elbows, I used a single strand of the same. These super simple shapes feature little details that make them work: short row for a tailor-made shape and edges that perfectly hide sewn stitches.

Are you or is someone you know a leaner? Help protect those elbows. Or maybe you didn’t score that sweet sweater you asked for from Santa? Revitalize your old, holey favorites! These Knit Elbow Patches are my solution (and my New Year’s resolution). Happy mending! -Laura

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Sunday
Jan052014

Joelle's Diagonal Pinstripe Scarf

I've written several books with the words "Last-Minute" in the title, so you can imagine that I occasionally relish the exact opposite! Especially in the depths of winter, I love to sink my teeth into a project whose gratification may not be immediate but whose pleasure is deeply satisfying. My Diagonal Pinstripe Scarf is just that!

Not only does this scarf represent a month or two of on-again-off-again knitting, but its pinstripes actually serve as a record of my production. I wanted the stripes to be syncopated and unexpected, but have you ever tried to be intentionally random? It's hard! So instead, I devised a rule that would ensure arbitrary line-placement: If I put the project down for more than eight hours I would start the next knitting session with a stripe. I figured my available knitting time was the most random thing I could chronicle!

For a three-season decandently soft scarf, I used our very own Line Weight. It creates such luminosity with its fine halo of downy merino, and in Heirloom White with fine lines of Dark Loam, the effect is like a graphite drawing on cotton rag paper, loose and mysterious.


For long-term knitting, I almost always choose garter stitch. I love its rhythmic certainty, its simplicity and lofty warmth. And knit on the bias, garter stitch has a fresh, graphic impact that satisfies my inner aesthete! I hope you enjoy the mesmerizing cadence of my Diagonal Pinstripe Scarf as much as I did! -Joelle

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