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Saturday
Oct022010

Whit's Knits: Pixie Dust Lap Blanket

This is a where-did-you-get-this?! kind of blanket. Big, loopy stitches; hand dyed, extraordinary color; and smatterings of sparkly "pixie dust" all conspire to make this no ordinary blanket.

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Saturday
Sep252010

Purl Soho's Liberty Baby Bib Kits!

Joelle was in California recently, visiting her adorable new niece Bobbie Rae. She noticed that Bobbie was using a lot of bibs, and that the most effective were super absorbent. When she came back to New York she had the idea that we should design a bib that was both beautiful and totally useful.

As you might have noticed by now, when we want to make something truly special and beautiful, we often turn to Liberty of London's Tana Lawn. The lovely detailed prints of Tana Lawn are legendary! Its silky hand is soft enough for a very precious baby gift, but still strong enough to stand up to repeated washings.

To add absorbency we decided to back the bibs with Michael Miller's 100% Organic Cotton Terry, which is another perennial favorite at Purl Soho. We just love the combination of these two fabrics so we decided to pick out multiple colorways and our Liberty Bib Bib Kits were born. We hope you'll agree that they'll make perfect baby shower gifts!

Each Liberty Baby Bib Kit makes 4 bibs (2 of each print).  The kit includes 2 fat-eights of Liberty of London's Tana Lawn in complementary colors, 1/2 yard of Michael Miller's 100% Organic Cotton Terry, Gutermann 100% cotton sewing thread, 4 large nickel plated snaps, complete directions and a pattern template. 

These bibs are a breeze to sew, you could easily make a whole set in one afternoon. You can find our Liberty Baby Bib Kits right here, or create your own by following along with the pattern below.

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Friday
Sep242010

Whit's Knits: Long Striped Hand Warmers, Revisited

We loved last winter's Long Striped Hand Warmers so much that we're still thinking about them this fall! The opportunity that a one row stripe offers to play with color is just irresistible to us. When two colors are in such intense juxtaposition they can start to effect each other in really unexpected and exciting ways, bouncing, shifting and glowing.

For the original version we used the unbelievably beautiful Swan's Island Fingering. We LOVE the Swan's Island and it's still a great choice for this project, beautifully hand dyed, sophisticated and as soft and light as a feather.

We thought that it would be an interesting (and fun!) exercise to see how the Long Striped Hand Warmer's stitch pattern would look if we used Alchemy's Juniper. Also a fingering weight merino, Alchemy's vivid palette is very different in tone from Swan's Island's more subdued colors. We knit up swatches of these six color combinations, each one surprising us in the end!

The above colors are Kai's Goldfish (bottom) and Husk (top), a mixture of spicy tomato red with a soft and mellow camel.

These are Fuchsia and Fool's Gold, a shocking cool pink with a rich curry color.

These are Hush and Fieldstone, two quiet colors, one a dusty lavender and the other a warm mushroom.

These are Turquoise Pool and Cornflower Blue, one a pumped of version of the other.

These are Tea Leaf and Dragon, a pure grass green with a deeply saturated olive.

These are Canary and Fieldstone, a sunny perfect yellow with a hushed warm gray.

It's fun to pick your favorite. We can't agree! Page's favorite is the Kai's Goldfish, Joelle's is the Fuchsia, Molly's is the Canary and Whitney's is the Tea Leaf.  What's yours?

PATTERN NOTES: If you decide to try the Long Striped Hand Warmers with the Juniper you will still only need one skein of each color, but you will probably need to go down a needle size. I used a set of US #1 and a set of US #2 double pointed needles. --Whitney

Monday
Sep062010

Whit's Knits: Color Change Scarf

Purl Soho's most subtle yarns come from Habu Textiles. They tend to be extremely fine and very delicately colored. They also tend to leave customers scratching their heads, "I LOVE this yarn, but what can I possibly make with it?" A great answer has been Habu's all white Kusha Kusha Scarf pattern, but, for this project, I wanted to also engage with Habu's amazing spectrum of colors.

I envisioned a scarf that would shift from one color to the next, making a beautiful color journey from one end of the scarf to the other. Joelle, with her unique genius for color, picked these five Fine Merinos. While knitting, my excitement grew and grew as I introduced each new color. More like painting with watercolors than knitting with yarn, it was a fascinating process!

This simple lace ladder stitch is a perfect antidote to such fine yarn. With only two easy rows to memorize and so much open lace work, you'll be surprised how quickly you fly through this scarf. The result is a perfect accessory for fall that will inspire you every day!

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Saturday
Aug282010

Molly's Sketchbook: Liberty of London Tana Lawn + Neon Elastic Skirt

Liberty of London Tana Lawn is one of our favorite fabrics. It has a smooth silky feel (even though it's 100% cotton) and its printing quality is legendary. We recently started carrying a wider variety of the Tana Lawn Classic prints. These are prints that Liberty always reproduces and many have been in print for decades. You may even remember some of them from your childhood!

One of these classic prints is Pepper, a beautifully speckled and rather modern looking print that comes in the coolest colors. The fine details of the printing and the unexpected color combinations make this particular print something very special. Since it's a very tiny print it may not be the first to grab your attention, but once you get a good look at it it's hard to ignore!

We also recently started carrying a wider variety of trims, including some very whimsical and colorful trims from Knit Collage as well as some amazingly bright neon elastic.

I had the idea to make a simple skirt with an elastic top around the same time that all of these new products were coming into the store and Page (who loves all things neon!) helped me pick out this fun combination.

I love how the simple elegance of the Liberty of London Tana Lawn is transformed into something so unexpected and modern with the addition of these neon accents. This is a very easy project to sew and can be made in any size. I think it would also be exciting to try making it from some of our more autumnal Liberty of London fabrics, like the Kingly Cord or Lantana Wool both of which we just recently started carrying. The corduroy is a very fine whale and so soft, and its whimsical prints are so inspiring. The wool is more sophisticated and has a sweeping drape that would make this skirt absolutely stunning!

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