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Sunday
Nov222009

Molly's Sketchbook: Simple Embroidered Stockings

These stockings are designed to be a quick project. You can make one for each member of your family and still have time to be together and enjoy the holiday!  They are made with the rich, gloriously colored solids from Kaufman, Essex and Kona Cotton as the base, and the simply beautiful natural Essex as the lining. There is something so sweet about seeing everyone's stocking hung on the mantle in anticipation of the goodies that will soon fill them!

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Thursday
Nov192009

Colorful Crafting with Jen: SnoBuddy Family from Knitting at KNoon

These snowmen may be the cutest project I've ever completed. The pattern is from the creative minds at Knitting at KNoon, and is called The SnoBuddy Family

The snowmen were super quick and easy to make, and it was so fun to make their little tiny accessories. The tiny scarves for the mom and dad were done in no time and made my Snobuddy family come to life! 

I think my favorite accessory to make was the little boy snowman's gloves.  I'm not sure what made this particular part was so gratifying, but it may have something to do with the finished product, could it be any cuter?

To make my entire SnoBuddy family I used just one skein of Blue Sky Alpaca's Suri Merino, a super soft, slightly fuzzy yarn that reminded me of a freshly fallen snow (but any soft white worsted or aran weight yarn will work for the pattern). For needles I used Crystal Palace double pointed US size 6 bamboo needles. For their accessories, I went into my stash and found some scraps in the same gauge as the Suri Merino to ensure that the hats, scarfs and gloves would fit.

You can find the SnoBuddy Family pattern from KNitting at Knoon right here!

I hope you'll enjoy making these snowmen as much as I did! --Jen

Sunday
Nov152009

Whit's Knits: Men's Rustic Scarf from Last-Minute Knitted Gifts 

It's been five years since Purl's owner, Joelle Hoverson, published her first book, Last-Minute Knitted Gifts. Since then it has become a modern classic in today's knitting world, joining with other books to bring the craft of knitting from the dark ages of garments that seemed to come from a parallel fashion universe to the present day of beautiful, elegant hand knits.

Every day customers come into Purl, dog-eared copy of Last-Minute Knitted Gifts under arm, wanting to replicate their favorite projects. Over the past five years, however, some of Joelle's original yarn recommendations are no longer available.  At Purl we always have to be ready to suggest new, equally exciting alternatives.

One common request is for the yarn to make the Men's Rustic Scarf, a ruggedly masculine scarf perfect for all the men in our lives. Rowan no longer makes the Yorkshire Tweed Chunky that first gave the scarf its distinctive flair, so we decided to update the pattern here with a new, beautiful Blue Sky Alpacas version.

For two of the colors we used Blue Sky's Worsted and for the third we used Blue Sky's Sportweight Alpaca doubled. Both yarns are incredibly soft, which in our experience is the number one concern when it comes to knitting for men (it's true!). The textural shift between the different yarns adds a subtle layer of interest to the scarf, and the drape of alpaca gives this version a gorgeous heft.

I don't necessarily want to say that this scarf is better than the original, but it's definitely a close call! --Whitney

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Wednesday
Nov112009

Molly's Sketchbook: Miniature Patchwork Pincushions

These little pincushions are the perfect gift for any quilter friends. Each one is like a tiny version of a larger quilt, but they are a lot quicker to make. Plus despite their delicate appearance they are really useful. They are stuffed with cotton and steel wool which will keep your pins and needles nice and sharp! --Molly

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Saturday
Nov072009

Free Pattern from Kelbourne Woolens and The Fibre Company: The Fiddlehead Pullover

The Fiddlehead Pullover from Kelborne Woolens is one of the sweetest and most classic baby sweaters we've seen in a long time. It was designed by the creative minds at Kelborne Woolens and we're happy to share it with you exclusively and for free here on The Purl Bee!

This sweater is made from The Fibre Company's amazing yarn Canopy Fingering which is a soft and silky blend of bamboo, alpaca and merino that knits up into an wonderful soft and smooth fabric (the sweater above is knit in the color Fern). Canopy Fingering comes in a pretty palette of nature inspired neutrals which perfectly highlight the subtle details of this adorable vintage style sweater. We love its simple shaping and pretty details, its cute shoulder buttons and faux cable accents. It's such a quintessential little piece, the kind of sweater you can imagine passing down for generations and becoming even softer and more loved as the years go by.

Kelbourne Woolens is the distributer of one of our favorite yarns, the British based Fibre Company. The Fibre Company specializes in artisianal natural yarns like Canopy Fingering. It's no surprise then that the ladies at Kelbourne Woolens chose to name this sweater after something in nature! Fiddleheads are the young, uncurled new growth of the fern plant and are reminiscent of the little mock cables that decorate the sweater. Plus fiddleheads reminded us of the little human sprouts in our lives! If you'd like to make one for your little sprout here's what you'll need:

During the month of November Kelbourne Woolens is hosting a giveaway on The Purl Bee.  You can enter to win the yarn for The Fiddlehead Pullover or two other great Kellborne Woolen patterns! Click here to find out how to enter.  And for even more inspiration, Kelbourne Woolens has a great website where they have a whole bunch of beautiful, free patterns!

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