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Sunday
Mar162008

Whit's Knits: Knitted Easter Egg Ornaments

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My mother is really going to freak out when she sees this post. I don't know a bigger Easter fan than my mother. Every year, we start the celebrations on Saturday, elaborately dying Ukrainian eggs (we're not Ukrainian) and painstakingly painting miniature scenes of happy rabbits on hard boiled eggs. On Sunday we perform Easter musical skits, we break open piñatas, we hide and find eggs, we exchange baskets, we hold races amongst my mother's Easter Wind Up Toy Collection (that's a whole other story...).

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We try to save the prize winning eggs from the previous year to hang on the Easter Egg tree of the current year. But often they have sadly rotten or broken or become food for scavenging mice over the intervening summer, fall and winter. So, how satisfying to make Easter eggs that won't disappoint us in that way! These can truly be heirloom decorations that become a part of our (and your!) Easter every year. --Whitney

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PS: If sewing is more your cup of tea, check out Molly's Patchwork Eggs.

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Sunday
Mar092008

Whit's Knits: Rochefort Chapeau

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Navy and white stripes are beautifully clean and classic. And for me, they also evoke a sweet nostalgia for some make-believe time of innocence when people spontaneously danced together in the street. Think Gene Kelly in The Young Girls of Rochefort, happy people twirling around a French seaside town looking for love. So flirty and jaunty!

I wanted to bring some of these associations to a cute little hat for spring. It's time to say adieu bulky winter wool, and bonjour to breezy silk alpaca. Perfect for 48 degrees and a spin in the street! -Whitney

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Saturday
Mar012008

Whit's Knits: EZ's Mitts

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I'm a huge yellow fan, especially in the context of cold, wet and gray days. I'd take a yellow umbrella over anything. Walking along under your own personal yellow sky while the rest of the world melts into non-color is a beautiful feeling.

So when this "Saffron" skein of Andy's Merino from Farmhouse Yarns screamed out to me, "Winter blues, be gone!", I could hardly ignore its pleas. Andy's Merino is one of my favorite, favorite yarns at Purl. It is very soft and light, but, more importantly, it just reeks of creative energy and originality. Carol, the engine behind Farmhouse Yarns, pours so much love and abandon into the dying process of her yarns that you can't help but be infected by the passion.

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What to make with this jewel? For inspiration, I turned to my one of my old standbys, The Knitter's Almanac by Elizabeth Zimmermann. This modest little book really packs a wallop. Along with wonderfully funny thoughts and stories, each month of the year includes brilliant patterns and ideas. From big elaborate Aran sweaters to little delicate lace ornaments, Zimmermann covers the whole knitting gamut in one short year.

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Wednesday
Feb202008

Molly's Sketchbook: Herringbone Handkerchiefs

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I am not good at hiding my distaste when I don't like things. I make a face that Joelle affectionately calls "the Molly Meter" when I come across something that doesn't appeal to me.  One day at Purl Patchwork we received a box full of fabric from Yuwa that contained bolt after bolt of what I felt were beautiful prints, until I pulled out a bolt of sheer fabric from a line called Feather Garden and the Molly Meter went off. I thought it looked so old-fashioned, fussy and busy...  I put it away on the shelf with my nose in the air.

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But as the days passed I found myself continually drawn to the sheer texture and intricate print of the fabric. Instead of thinking, "eww it's so old fashioned and busy" I started thinking "ooooo, it's so reminiscent and detailed." To make a long story short I started to love it. Like really love it. Like I wanted to buy it in every colorway and sew a bed out of it. 

Instead of doing that, I decided to make handkerchiefs. I am a big proponent of the handkerchief. They are lovely and useful, they reduce paper waste and they are soft and easy on your nose. Much like the fabric they're made of they are very "reminiscent and detailed".  I used a delicate herringbone stitch around the edge and cross stitched my initial on the corner, and even though they are entirely hand sewn they didn't take very long. -Molly 

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Monday
Feb042008

Molly's Sketchbook: Embroidered Covered Buttons

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Since Purl Patchwork opened I have deepened my love of embroidery. I own almost every Valdani's embroidery thread color in existence. I like seeing how small my stitches can be and embroidering tiny things. As my skills were improving I started thinking of different ways to use embroidery and I came up with these embroidered covered buttons.

I thought making covered buttons would be an involved process until I heard about covered button kits. They make  covering a button really really easy. Once I got the kits I was on a roll and I made over 150 buttons! -Molly

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