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Entries in Garments (22)

Thursday
Mar202014

Laura's Loop: Purl Soho's Cardigan Vest

A light bulb more than went off when Whitney (yes, of Whit’s Knits) walked into our Bee meeting and proclaimed, “I’d make that vest!” I was trying on the Purl Soho Cardigan Coat mid-project, pre-sleeves, when Whitney pointed out that there was a vest pattern not so stealthily hiding in my coat pattern. Honestly, I was so focused on the sweater coat of my dreams that I hadn’t stopped to notice the sweater vest of my dreams!

In my defense, it was September when I made the Purl Soho Cardigan Coat; sleeves seemed smart at the time. But it’s six months later and signs of spring’s arrival are finally appearing. And so, rather than unravel the sleeves of my sweater, I thought a re-knit was in order. (Plus, for my vest I needed less room for layers and decided to go down a size for a more snug fit!)

Like the Cardigan Coat, the Cardigan Vest is made of Purl Soho’s delightfully soft and springy Worsted Twist merino wool. This time I used Oyster Gray, a luminescent neutral color, perfect for pairing with just about anything! -Laura 

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Sunday
Mar162014

Whit's Knits: Kid's Fair Isle Vest

For this Kid's Fair Isle Vest I used a technique credited to a tiny island north of Scotland (aka Fair Isle) and a stitch pattern from another tiny island, this one west of Estonia (Muhu). In times and places where, by logic, function should have ruled sweater design, instead, knitters seemed to have taken sheer joy in form. It seems to me that, when they cast on for a new sweater, the women from these cold, isolated island places threw all of life's hardships and frustrations right out the window.

Such knitting ingenuity from anywhere, anytime is awe-inspiring, and the creation of this vest was a wonderful opportunity to get inside the minds of the incredible knitting women who came before us. Armed with the beautiful book, Designs and Patterns from Muhu Island, I used a pared-down palette and design to bring a modern sensibility to this extraordinary traditional stitch pattern.

And since my son, the intended recipient of this vest, doesn't plan on spending the next few months aboard a fishing vessel, instead of thick, scratchy wool, I chose Anzula's soft and supple Cricket. A combination of merino, cashmere and a touch of nylon, this subtly hand dyed yarn isn't necessarily seaworthy, but it is what we modern city-dwellers have come to appreciate!

The Kid's Fair Isle Vest is a fun challenge and also a truly satisfying trip into knitting history. Thank you to all those inspiring women who innovated such beauty by lantern light! -Whitney

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Sunday
Mar092014

The Purl Soho Pullover in Alpaca Pure

If you know me (or even just meet me!), you know that I love the basics. The walls in my home are creamy white; my wardrobe is a uniform of interchangeable layers; and ideally my cooking is confined to three fresh ingredients or less. In knitting, too, I love the basics: stockinette stitch, simple silhouettes, no-fuss engineering, and classic natural fibers.

When not much "extra" is going on, then little shifts have a big impact and slight changes become a fascinating design exercise. A simple garter stitch hat in a cool gray is a whole different thing from the same hat in a warm brown. And The Purl Soho Pullover, originally knit in our Worsted Twist merino, takes on a new life in our gorgeous Alpaca Pure, the latest fiber to join our budding collection of Purl Soho yarns!

Alpaca Pure knits up at the same gauge as our Worsted Twist, but its unique qualities create a significantly different sweater. To me, this is fascinating. The subtle differences in the texture, weight and feel of the alpaca mean a whole new sweater!

Alpaca, with its long fibers, is slightly downier than merino. It is also heavier and denser than merino, which means a super cozy Pullover with a drape like a warm waterfall. But a little goes a long way. For a child, the weight of an Alpaca Pure sweater feels snug and comfy, but for adults it might be a little much (stick with the Worsted Twist!). 

And now what I've really been waiting for, the perfect opportunity to show off my beautiful (smart, curious and hilarious) niece, Bobbie, in her favorite new sweater! -Joelle

To make The Purl Soho Pullover in Alpaca Pure for kids' sizes 2 (4, 6, 8, 10) you'll need...

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Thursday
Feb202014

Corinne's Thread: Quilted Vest

There's a cartoon sketch I remember watching when I was a kid. A little boy looks out the window to see that it's raining, bundles up in all his rain gear and runs outside, only to find the sun shining bright. This scene repeats a few more times until it is finally revealed that the "rain" is actually the sprinkler going back and forth across the lawn.

In the upcoming early days of spring, this meteorological back and forth will be all too real: freezing in the morning, sunny and warm in the afternoon and cloudy by dinner time. I anticipate feeling like that confused little boy chasing the whims of a sprinkler.

And so, this Quilted Vest will be my go-to for spring's unpredictable days. A layer of Dream Wool batting will keep me cozy, but its light weight will never feel too warm. It’s like a comfy blanket that you get to wear all day long but with its clean lines and delicate collar shaping, much more fashionable!

Robert Kaufman’s Chambray Union Dot makes the outside of this vest as cool and versatile as a favorite pair of jeans, while Moda 200-count Muslin makes the inside as crisp as a spring pea! Get all of the materials you need to make your own with our Materials for Quilted Vest kit right here, and no matter how the temperatures dip, curve, climb, or tease, you’ll be prepared too! - Corinne

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Thursday
Aug152013

Corinne's Thread: Smocked Dress and Shirt Kits

I have sewn tons of garments for my daughter, from teeny tiny rompers to delicate bonnets, but there’s one thing I had yet to tackle: a classic smocked dress. I have always wanted to try my hand at smocking but was too intimidated by all the tiny pleats and miniscule stitches to actually give it a go. Turns out, my fussing was for nothing; hand smocking is totally easy!

With just a few well-placed stitches I was able to check this off my sewing to-do list without a single new gray hair. And I am so glad I did! The intricate puckers and pleats of the honeycomb smocking add such fascinating and beautiful detail to this otherwise simple garment.

If, like me, you’re a bit of a smock-o-phobe, our new Smocked Dress and Shirt Pattern is the perfect place to start. It includes a Smocked Dress pattern for sizes 12 months to 6 years and a Smocked Shirt pattern for sizes 12 months to 10 years. Full-color photographs and instructions walk you through every step, from cutting the fabric and marking the smocking grid right down to the very last hem. You can use this Pattern with any lightweight cotton fabric you love!

Or if you adore classic gingham as much as I do, pick up our Smocked Dress and Shirt Kit! It includes...

Choose from four beautiful colorways, each one packaged in a sturdy Purl Soho box. All you need to add is the sewing machine, bias tape maker and the special love and care that go into every handmade garment! - Corinne

PS. Already have fabric? You can find the pattern on it's own right here, too!

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