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Sunday
Apr082012

The Best of The Purl Bee Mother's Day Projects

Often it was our mothers and grandmothers who first introduced us to the crafts we love. For instance, my own mother taught me how to knit when I was about eight. I used some fabulously wild blue yarn to make my “scarf”, which consisted mostly of dropped and twisted stitches. But my mom encouraged me nonetheless, and I’m so happy that she did! Because of this creative legacy, giving our mothers handmade presents is extra meaningful, and so for this Mother's Day we rounded up some of our favorite projects, each one perfect for our dear moms! 

Happy Mother’s Day!-- Molly

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Friday
Apr062012

Molly's Sketchbook: Spring Herringbone Throw

The multi-purpose Herringbone Throw was born out of love for an amazing fabric, the super soft Ecrulet Herringbone. One hundred percent cotton, it's both cozy and breathable, perfect for warm weather breezes and chills. I love its color, drape, and feel. I even love its selvages!  To show off this very special fabric I originally planned to make a very simple scarf with untouched selvages and fringed ends secured by a twinkle of sparkling gold thread

I stuck with this plan, keeping the fabric's 45 inch width and cutting it an extra long 90 inches. Once I was done I really loved my creation, but I wasn’t so sure it was a scarf! Everyone at the Purl Bee seemed to have a different idea of how they would use it.  I envisioned taking it to the beach as an all-in-one cover-up, towel and beach blanket. Page imagined curling up by a campfire with it. And Joelle wanted to wear it as a generously oversized wrap.

In the end we decided that we loved it, whatever it was! For now, I think it will live on my couch, keeping me warm on cool spring nights until summer, when I’ll take it to the beach!

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Sunday
Mar252012

Whit's Knits: Baby Bonnet

Easter is about the only time of year you might hear talk of bonnets, but for babies, bonnets are a fact of life! Snuggly and warm, bonnets embrace the delicate contours of a baby's head, while under-the-chin ties prevent the famous "stroller fling".

 

The engineering of these little Baby Bonnets was inspired by the small miracle in sock knitting that is "turning the heel". I thought it would be neat to isolate that magical moment, using it to structure the planes of a bonnet. First from the front peak to the mid-crown and then across the entire back, you essentially "turn the heel", but somehow instead of a sock, you end up with a sweet Baby Bonnet!

Thinking about tender babies,  I turned to one of Purl Soho's most exquisite yarns, Anzula's For Better Or Worsted. A beautiful blend of superwash merino, cashmere and nylon, it is soft, sumptuous, and stunningly hand dyed. Just right for babies!

I hope you enjoy knitting this little one-skein project. It's a bit surprising and a whole lot of fun!

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Thursday
Mar222012

Super Simple Felt Easter Basket

It is a tradition in our family that every Easter I make my daughter, Coco, a special holiday gift.  From the stuffed bunny of her infancy to the still beloved Bag of Beans from a few years ago, the challenge for me lies not only in coming up with something different year after year, but also in making her something fun and cheerful without stepping over the line into saccharin. 

While I admittedly have a reputation for getting more excited than the average person about things made entirely in shades of ecru, I do get equally excited about bright pops of color accenting these neutral fields.  And so it's no surprise, to me at least, that I decided to make this super simple Easter Basket out of creamy white 100% Wool Felt with a burst of lively stitching around its rim.

I was amazed at how beautifully the thick 5mm Felt stitched together.  So soft and pliable, I felt like I was shaping a clay vessel.   And even the finished basket looks like a ceramic sculpture... until you touch it and feel just how soft it is!

The grass inside is also wool felt and makes the perfect bed for painted eggs.  For these photos, I couldn't resist filling the baskets with subtle Araucana eggs, but I can also happily picture the wee hours of Easter morning when Coco first spots her Felt Easter Basket spilling over with the colorful treats of the day!

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Sunday
Mar182012

Molly's Sketchbook: Bunny Hand Puppets

As I was making these sweet bunny hand puppets I realized that my attachment to them had grown beyond my usual care and attention and had blossomed into full blown love! They just seem to have such personalities! I found myself getting a little carried away, actually naming each one and fabricating little story lines about them. (Maybe I need to get out more!)

But enough about my eccentricities, let me introduce to you (clockwise from top left): Daffodil, Daisy, Marigold, Peppermint, Pansy, Petunia, Carrot, and Sunny, my Bunny Hand Puppets! Won’t they look great in your Easter basket?

These puppets are sewn from durable, soft 100% wool felt in ecru, accented by a vibrant Dahlia Bundle. They are so simple to sew that they're the perfect project to make with a child who is just learning. Their bright colors and happy smiles make them extra fun to construct and to play with once they’re finished!

Ps- These puppets were partially inspired by my earlier Bunny Finger Puppets, which you can find here!

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