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Entries in Gift List (165)

Sunday
Feb122012

Laura's Loop: Grecian Rib Scarf

Someone once told me, "If you aren't ready to rip it out, then you aren't ready to knit." Years later, I fully understand. Ripping things out, or rather the ability to rip things out, is one of the many reasons I love to knit. Another reason, which goes hand-in-hand, is that I never stop learning from knitting. And now, a quick tale of both...

Recently I was working on a project that was sure to be my favorite of the season. It was a vintage-inspired, fitted cardigan vest. I had worked out the shaping and paired it with a (new-to-me) handsome stitch I had just fallen in love with,  the Grecian Rib Stitch. I was sure the combination of the stitch with the cut couldn't be beat!  Oh, how wrong I was. 

The Grecian Rib Stitch slants... a lot... even after blocking. I finished the back of the vest, and suspicious, I rigorously blocked it, only to see my askew darts still pointing off toward the top left shoulder. What should have been somewhat of a rectangle turned out to be quite the rhombus. Needless to say, I started ripping. The good news: one, I learned the nuances of this lovely stitch, and two, the Grecian Rib Scarf was born.

The Grecian Rib Stitch lends itself beautifully to bias knitting, with softly textured ribs that move gracefully from one corner to the other. And for total elegance (and comfort!), I used Jade Sapphire's sumptuous Zaego 6-ply cashmere. It's so soft and beautiful, I felt lucky to use it, not just once, but twice!  

While it's no vest, this Grecian Rib Scarf makes me smile and is, in fact, a favorite of mine. Here's to ripping things out, may it be rare, but fruitful!

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Monday
Feb062012

Molly's Sketchbook: A New Adjustable Unisex Apron and Simple Dishtowels


Since making my Adjustable Unisex Apron last summer, it has become a real staple in my kitchen! It is now worn-in and soft from repeated washes, and it proudly displays fabric ink smudged across the chest and spaghetti sauce stains on the pocket. Somehow these battle scars just add to the apron's beauty. I’ve been hankering to make another one because, as I mentioned in the original post, I wear aprons all the time, and I love to stock pile favorites!


Purl Soho recently got some incredible new fabrics from Japan that begged to be my next Adjustable Apron, but choosing proved difficult! There  was a light Linen Blend Solid in beautiful natural colors, a heavier Upholstery Weight Solid, and an absorbent, soft, and totally unique Herringbone. I loved each more than the next! And so, I used all three and ended up with an awesome new apron and a lovely set of three simple dishtowels finished with pretty Cotton Chambray Ribbon.


I’m especially excited about the dishtowel pattern, because if there’s one thing I use more than my apron, it’s dishtowels! Don't be fooled by their professional finish; they're totally easy! The apron and dishtowels together would make an incredible housewarming or wedding gift. The apron adjusts to fit anyone, and the dishtowels are pretty enough to be special and sturdy enough to use everyday. Best of all, the whole shebang can be sewn in an afternoon! Thanks!-- Molly

If you’d like to make an apron you can find the  Adjustable Unisex Apron Journal here. Thanks!-- Molly

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Sunday
Feb052012

Whit's Knits: Two-Color Crocheted Cowl

We have a long history of knitted cowls here at the Purl Bee, but this is actually our very first crocheted cowl! It's an omission we are happy to finally correct because crochet lends itself so beautifully to pretty stitch patterns and easy tube shapes. Inspired by Joelle's amazing Granny Stripe Blanket, I love the gentle texture of this pattern, like shimmering fish scales or the delicate inside of a sunflower.

The Two-Color Cowl is made especially lovely with Jade Sapphire's 2 Ply Cashmere, a one hundred percent pure Mongolian cashmere delight. Feather light and whisper downy, it makes a seriously cozy cowl. And Jade Sapphire's gorgeous hand dyed colors make up the perfect palette for inspired combinations, from high impact contrasts (like ours!) to gentler tonal shifts, whatever your mood this season! 

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Friday
Feb032012

Molly's Sketchbook: Felt Candy Hearts

One of my very first sewing projects was a heart-shaped Valentine's Day pillow. Under the fearless tutelage of my kindergarten teachers Pat and Dot, I first sewed together two pieces of bright red flannel. Then, with my shakey five-year-old handwriting, I embroidered "I  Love You" in thick white wool. We all took our time using blunt needles to spell out those three little words, and I remember feeling so proud when I presented it to my mom.

This year I'm revisiting that homey, straight-from-the-heart kind of Valentine gift with these hand stitched little Felt Candy Hearts. They're great for storing candy, notes and trinkets and are truly as easy as pie to sew. I love to think of the happy pride kids will have when they bring to school their very own sewn-with-care Felt Candy Hearts. I remember that feeling well! 

So grab a bundle of our ultra easy-to-use 100% Wool Felt (I used the pretty Fuchsia colorway) and some cheerful DMC pearl cotton, and get started, teacher! -- Molly

PS: For more speedy to sew felt Valentine's project ideas please check out the following journals (listed clockwise from top left): 

 Happy Valentine's Day!

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Sunday
Jan292012

Laura's Loop: Heart and Arrow Pin Cushion


Every Valentine's Day, my sweet twanging Southern grandmother used to recite to me:  

"Up the Hickory, Down the Pine, 
Won't you be my Valentine?" 

As a child, I would picture Cupid's arrow, zipping around trees and through limbs, avoiding all obstacles to tag me with her love. After chanting this ditty, Amama would also remind me to treat every day like Valentine's Day, to be sweet and to let your loved ones know you care. This was always followed by a big ol' hug and a "Give me some suga'!"

This Valentine's Day I am sending arrows straight to my loved ones' hearts with my pretty Heart and Arrow PIncushion. This simple Valentine motif is made modern with a funky choice of colors, plucked from Sajou's classic collection of Retors Du Nord cotton embroidery floss. 

Useful, beautiful and meaningful, plus super quick and fun to make, you'll be spreading a whole lot of love this year! Happy Valentine's Day!

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