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Entries in Blankets (41)

Thursday
Nov152012

Whit's Knits: Bear's Rainbow Blanket

Like many parents, I soon discovered after having a baby that I'd never actually been busy before. Basic things like taking showers and returning phone calls suddenly seemed overrated. But for me, one thing that has never been dispensable is crafting things for my son, Bear.

I'm not saying that I sit around for hours, dreamily stitching away. No, it's more like a stolen moment here and a quick minute there; a few squares at jury duty, a couple more in a waiting room, and two years later a blanket is born!

As drawn out as the process was, making Bear's Rainbow Blanket was always an exhilarating ride. Each step contained a world of wonderment, from Koigu Premium Merino's incredible hand dyed colors to this fascinating stitch pattern that magically turns a circle into a square; from the arrangement of dozens of colors and 108 squares to the daydreams of Bear dragging his Rainbow Blanket off to college!

I think I could have crocheted these squares for the rest of my life, but I finally stopped myself when I had enough to make a 40 x 54-inch blanket, the perfect size for my four year old. The bed pictured here is a queen, but this blanket is also right at home on a twin bed... or under a circle of picnicking stuffed animals!

I've crafted quite a few things in my life, and though I have so much fondness for many of those things, this is perhaps the dearest to my heart. This blanket expresses not only my love for my son, but for crafting too. To pursue a grand plan to its very end is the chocolate cake of crafting: a rich and deeply satisfying experience!

To start concocting your own grand plan, read on! -Whitney

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Thursday
Oct182012

Pixie Dust Lap Blanket in Cool White!

Two years ago our Pixie Dust Lap Blanket ignited the imaginations of our readers with its fanciful large scale and whimsical twinkle. Knitters everywhere discovered the wonders of humongous needles capable of stitching up a show-stopping blanket in just a few hours!

Our original Pixie Dust Lap Blanket was knit up in a gorgeous daffodil yellow. Now this season we're exploring the arctic side of Knit Collage's Pixie Dust yarn with its cool white Snowflake color. This blanket is as fun, loopy and sparkly as its progenitor but with the elegance of a new fallen snow!

And here's an idea! Try doubling up Knit Collage's Sister. Same size needles, same pattern, same textural adventure, a Sister Lap Blanket is a beautifully affordable 100% wool alternative. Sister is now available in six lovely new colors, and you'll only need five skeins (you could even get away with four if you don't mind losing a few inches!). Here's a swatch:

To get started on your own Pixie Dust Lap Blanket (in whatever color or yarn you choose!), just visit our Project Journal right here! -Whitney

Saturday
Aug182012

New Super Easy Baby Blanket

One of our most popular projects over the years has been the Super Easy Baby Blanket. When I made it over four years ago, I was newly pregnant and full of dreams for the tiny baby who would be wrapped up inside. Now, that that baby is old enough to write his name, we thought it was time for an update to this wonderfully straightforward pattern!

Faye, whom you may know (and love!) from shopping at our store, suggested this time trying the Super Easy Baby Blanket with Koigu's Kersti Merino Crepe. Since in the last few years Faye, too, has become a mother, she thought Kersti's ultra springy loftiness would be perfect not just for a soft and cozy blanket, but also for a comfy play mat.

Plus, since Faye is one of Purl Soho's very first employees, she has spent nearly a decade with Koigu, contemplating its vast array of colors, playing with combinations and developing favorites. So she already had up her sleeve a beautiful summertime palette that starts with the blues of the cool ocean, passes into the bright light of the horizon and then rises to the hot flames of the sun. Spectacular!

If you know how to cast on, knit and bind off, you're ready to start your own Super Easy Baby Blanket! And if you're curious about the original, you can check it out right here. Enjoy both!

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Sunday
Aug122012

Whit's Knits: Lines + Squares Baby Blanket

One of my favorite books growing up was When We Were Very Young by A.A. Milne, a little collection of children's poems. The one I always loved best was called "Lines and Squares". It's about a kid who carefully avoids the lines of the sidewalk, stepping just in the squares while taunting a pair of bears "Who wait at the corner all ready to eat/ The sillies who tread on the lines of the street".  I loved the terror and the bravado of that poem!

As I knit this blanket with its red lines crissing and crossing, the verses of that poem replayed in my head, keeping time with my needles and sending me into reveries of times and places where nurseries, rice pudding and knickers were the norm. I think now that the Lines + Squares Baby Blanket with its timeless colors and classic simplicity would have been right at home there!

Although a grid to non-knitters may look like the easiest thing in the world, experienced knitters have to wonder, "How did you do that?" Luckily, there's a trick. The vertical lines aren't actually knitted into the pattern; they're crocheted on top of the knitting, nestling right into the design as if they were born there and making lines and squares a snap!

For this special project I chose one of our most special yarns, Anzula's Cricket. Amazingly soft merino with a touch of cashmere, beautifully hand dyed and machine washable, it's the perfect choice for a precious baby! And here's a vote for the main color I used, Au Natural. In person it glows like the inside of an oyster shell, complex and absolutely stunning. Pick your favorite contrast color and you've got an heirloom!

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Sunday
Jul012012

Molly's Sketchbook: Picnic Roll

From Griffith Park to Prospect Park, it’s picnic season! What could be better than packing up a basket of tasty treats for some dining al fresco? Growing up, we used to throw some sandwiches in a bag and head for the hills of Berkeley’s Tilden Park. We'd watch the hawks soaring overhead and take ride after ride on the carousel before settling down for our picnic. Now in my adopted hometown of New York City, I've discovered the fun of cosmopolitan picnicking, from evening concerts in Central Park to outdoor movies at Bryant Park!

I usually just bring along a sheet or tablecloth, but this year I decided to design something special for the task! To add some summertime cheer, I chose festive, citrus-bright colors, and to keep things simple, I geared the design toward practical convenience, easy to make, carry, use and wash!

I made my Picnic Roll out of hefty Organic Cotton Duck and crisp Essex cotton-linen. Essex comes in tons of bright saturated colors that scream summer and that are beautifully grounded by Cotton Duck's rugged neutrals. The whole thing rolls up into a neat little package thanks to orange Cotton Webbing and our sturdy new D-rings. Best of all, it’s so quick to sew that if you got started now, you could be watching fireworks on it by July 4th! --Molly

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