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Entries in Babies (74)

Sunday
Mar042012

Laura's Loop: Flannel Receiving Blankets


I'm starting to think that there is something in the water. Friends, left and right, are turning up pregnant. Thrilled with the good news, I've become a receivin'-blanket-makin' machine. No sooner am I done with one, then I am on to the next. With each blanket I find myself guessing baby names, picturing my friends in the role of 'Mom' and imagining the nervous excitement of the dads-to-be.

I am so happy sitting with this super soft flannel draped in my lap, hypnotized by the rhythm of crochet and the feeling of merino wool as it winds through my fingers. The soft touch of these remarkable materials soothes me in the same way I know it will the new babes!

While it is a pleasure to make these Receiving Blankets, it is an even greater joy to think of them in use. The foggy, warm stripes of Ecrulet's Flannel and the crisp, rich colors of Koigu's merino combine in such pretty harmony, that I can’t wait to see my friends’ littles bundles all wrapped up inside! 

Congrats to all those expecting! --Laura

PS: Check out Molly's Lap Duvets for more ideas on how to use Ecrulet’s magnificent Flannel Stripes!

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Thursday
Feb232012

Molly's Sketchbook: Windowpane Wholecloth Baby Quilt

As a rule, I am not a very patient or meticulous person. For example, even though I have knit since I was a child, I have never even made an adult sweater…. It would just take too long! Hand quilting is my one exception to this rule. I have loved this slow and contemplative process ever since Joelle first taught it to me many years ago.

For the uninitiated: Hand quilting is the method of sewing together the three layers of a quilt (the backing, the batting, and the top) in patterns of hand sewn stitches. It’s certainly not fast, but it is stunningly beautiful.  The gentle rocking motion of the needle is so soothing, and I love all of those neat rows of tiny little stitches!

My favorite way to showcase hand quilting is with the simplicity of a wholecloth quilt.  For the top of my Windowpane Quilt I used the classic Betsy print from the very special Liberty of London Tana Lawn collection. The silky smoothness of this fabric and the exquisite detail of its pretty pattern truly made this project a joy. And for the back, the Yarn Dyed Essex in Denim reminded me of a well loved pair of jeans and really added some old fashioned charm. I chose a baby size for this quilt because the hundreds of small hand stitches seem to infuse it with a little extra love! -Molly

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Thursday
Jan122012

Easy Pullover for Babies, Toddlers and Kids

The Easy Baby Cardigan from Joelle's More Last-Minute Kitted Gifts has become a Purl Soho classic... but it wasn't the original! Before she knit up that worsted weight cardigan, Joelle first conceived of a lightweight, all-season pullover. At 7 stitches to the inch, it wasn't exactly a "last minute knitted gift" and so it evolved; but Joelle never forgot the adorable prototype she had decided to shelve!

The inspiration behind both sweaters was always Joelle's intrigue with an over-the-top construction. Starting at the bottom back, knitting up and over the shoulders and sleeves, then down the front, this sweater is a one-piece engineering wonder! The Easy Baby Pullover may not be as quick as its cardigan cousin, but it's just as easy! And just as beautiful, with the gorgeous hand dyed subtlety of Koigu Premium Merino. Wonderfully soft, machine washable and as gorgeous as yarn comes, KPM is one of our all time favorites!

This timeless design is filled with design details that make it cozy for tots and easy for parents: a roomy neck opening for quick on and off, cuffs designed for rolling, and a loose, casual style for busy little bodies!  A new classic? We think so!

P.S. Curious about the cute hat too? It's our Little Fair Isle Hat and you can find out all about it right here!

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Sunday
Jan082012

Molly's Sketchbook: The Purl Bee Penguin

Winter in New York City can be hard to love with its frozen sidewalks, dirty snowbanks, and bare trees. But this winter I'm counting on my new cold weather friend, the Purl Bee Penguin, to help me through! Its happy ovoid shape and graphic palette are sure to remind me that joy really does exist in January. Just ask an Emperor Penguin!

I used our new Penguin Fat Quarter Bundle, a lively mix of black and white dots, stripes, and prints, to sew up this quirky little trio of penguins. I loved seeing how each one developed its own personality as I sewed, becoming more and more alive with each stitch!  They are also real crowd pleasers. Even my non-sewing thirty-something friends all oohed and aahed when they saw my penguins lined up on my ironing board.

The Purl Bee Penguins are pretty addictive to make, and I don’t think that I’ll be able to stop with just these three. Check back in a few weeks; I may have amassed a penguin colony!

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Tuesday
Jan032012

Whit's Knits: Little Fair Isle Hat

Before learning how to knit, I loved and admired Fair Isle knitting but always assumed that it was reserved for an elite few gold medal knitters, the kind who apprenticed on their grandmothers' knees before they could even walk. Now, of course, I know that I should never have been so intimidated!

What looks so intricate is actually just a matter of knitting first with one color and then with a second, switching between the two as the pattern slowly emerges and blossoms into a fascinating and surprising design. Fair Isle is really one of the most fun things you can do in knitting!

If you've never done it, this Little Fair Isle Hat is a great place to start, small and manageable. And if you're a veteran of the craft, then you'll appreciate the speed of this sweet knit. Either way, some baby, toddler or child somewhere is going to be sporting a very pretty hat, made by you!

It's true that an intrinsic economic difficulty of Fair Isle knitting is the necessity for small amounts of many colors. I was so happy to sidestep this problem with Koigu's little 11 yard skeins of KPM Needlepoint Yarn. They're wonderfully soft, beautiful and affordable. And with over 150 hand dyed colors to choose from, the fancy knitting may end up being the easiest part!

P.S. We also have a pattern for the adorable sweater! Just visit our Easy Baby Pullover project journal right here!

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