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Wednesday
Mar302011

March Mini Quilt of the Month: Masking Tape Quilt

We are so excited about our Mini Quilt project!  Each month this year we are bringing you a pattern for a new mini quilt. These small projects are the perfect way to learn a new skill and make something beautiful in the process. To see all of our Mini Quilts so far please click right here. We are all extra excited about March's Mini offering, this Masking Tape Quilt which was inspired by some beautiful vintage quilts that we admire.  We love how the contrast between the shapes creates play between the foreground and background. For instance, if you focus on the darker shapes the quilt looks like hatch symbols, but if you shift your focus to the lighter shapes the whole thing looks like a series of diamonds that are connected by rectangular pieces. The traditional name of this block is "Churn Dash" but we thought these rectangular pieces looked like little bits of masking tape and so we called it our Mini Masking Tape Quilt. 

This is a great project if you've just started quilting and want to try your hand at a slightly more complicated block. There is nothing very difficult about it but the sewing needs to be fairly precise in order for all of the pieces to fit together neatly. It's kind of like a very fun and creative jigsaw puzzle.

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Sunday
Mar272011

Whit's Knits: Joelle's Favorite Vest

About every six months or so at our weekly Purl Bee meetings Joelle mentions a vest that she knit years ago, "Let's design a version of this!". This favorite vest of Joelle's comes from the wonderful pattern company, Mac and Me. They call it the Ribbed Sweater Vest and used Blue Sky's Sportweight Alpaca for a toasty warm and beautifully drapey look. All we needed was a reason to make any changes to this already great garment.

At a recent meeting when Joelle made her biannual appeal, we realized that we finally had the perfect inspiration for developing our own ribbed sweater vest, the brand new Tosh Merino Light from Madeline Tosh! A very fine, beautifully hand dyed merino, we knew that a ribbed vest in Tosh Merino Light would be really special indeed. It would be feather light for spring, and the hand dyed color would provide a gorgeous shimmer throughout the vest.  We also changed the proportions so you can wear Joelle's Favorite Vest short with a dramatic collar or turn it upside down for a longer hemline and smaller collar (as pictured in our photos). Either way, you'll probably end up like Joelle, with a favorite vest!

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Wednesday
Mar232011

Welcoming Purl Soho Bunny Finger Puppet Kits! 

Last year Molly created an adorable set of Bunny Finger Puppets with 100% wool felt in a cheery Spring palette. Ever since then, this blithe little group has been hanging out in the window of Purl Soho greeting customers with their cute whiskers and soft tails.  They've been one of our most popular projects to date. Children go just nuts over them!

This year we decided to make the project into our Bunny Finger Puppet Kit so you can make your own borough of bunnies in a snap. The kit includes everything to make twelve bunnies, including the pattern, felt, embroidery thread and yarn for the tail. This is a super quick and simple project.  You could make all of them in a weekend with time to spare.

These little guys would be so sweet nestled in an Easter basket next to the chocolate eggs and Peeps. If you'd like to make your own you can find your very own Bunny Finger Puppet Kit right here.

Happy Easter!-- The Purl Bee

Sunday
Mar202011

Colorful Crafting with Jen: Bunny Hop Bunnies from Knitting at KNoon

When I saw these adorable bunnies from Knitting at KNoon's Bunny Hop Pattern in January I knew I would be soon be making them for Easter on The Purl Bee.  Like the Knitting at KNoon SnoBuddy family I made 2 winters ago, I think these bunnies are among the cutest knit toys I've ever seen! 

The bunnies have lots of parts: bodies, ears, arms, feet and charming accessories, but still I managed to make the four of them pictured here over just three evenings after my daughter's bedtime.  

Like the snowmen, it was the accessories for each bunny that made them come to life.  I especially loved knitting the sweet tiny carrot that the little boy bunny is holding.

If you'd like to make your own Bunny Hop Family to look like mine, here is what you'll need:

Bunny Hop Pattern from Knitting at KNoon

For the bodies, feet, arms, ears and pom pom tail:

For the accessories, eyes and noses, 1 skein each Gumnuts Blossoms Needlepoint Yarn as follows:

  • Flower stems and carrot top:  color 608
  • Flowers: color 709
  • Carrot: color 787
  • Apron: color 843 for the apron, plus small bits of 785 and 706 for the bows
  • Kerchief: colors 909, 961 and 859

For the accessories I used US size 4 double pointed needles

Happy Easter! -- Jen

Wednesday
Mar162011

Our Favorite Spring Projects

After a winter full of gray skies and heavy coats we're so excited to get started on our Spring craft projects!  To celebrate Spring's imminent arrival, we collected this group of our favorite projects from years past:

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