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Entries in Gift List (183)

Sunday
May182014

Molly's Sketchbook: Drawstring Shoe Bags

I’m only 35, but I’ve already compiled a to-do list for my retirement: I’m going to get a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, bake bread and see the world. While I’m busy planning, my parents are actually living the retirement dream. My mom has opened a pottery studio and my dad has started making digital movies, but mostly, they travel, exploring all the wonderful places on their to-do list.

Before his retirement I could always make my dad a tie but these days he doesn’t have much use for formal stuff like that. So, for my dad’s new globetrotting lifestyle, I’m celebrating this Father’s Day with these super simple Drawstring Shoe Bags. With Robert Kaufman’s Double Cloth Cotton, an amazing two-sided fabric that gives a nice contrasting pop at the top of the drawstring channel, these bags are perfectly designed for quick crafting and tidy packing!

If, like me, you’ve got a travelling dad (or maybe a grad who’s off on a new adventure) these Drawstring Shoe Bags are just the ticket. With just a half a yard of Double Cloth Cotton, 2 yards of Fettucia Ribbon and some thread, you can sew up this thoughtful gift in a matter of minutes! Happy Father’s Day! -Molly

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Thursday
May152014

Laura's Loop: Edged Linen Wrap

Not much is more meditative to me than crocheting along a hemmed edge. This is not due to expertise; I am a knitter first and foremost. In fact, this is the only type of crochet I know how to do (if you discount making a chain for a provision cast on). But, oh, the joy it brings…

With a single hook in one hand and the softest of yarns flowing through the fingers of my other hand, a rhythm takes over, and in no time, a simple hemmed rectangle has totally transformed into a gorgeous wrap, seemingly with no effort at all. 

I outlined Robert Kaufman’s crisp Waterford Linen with Purl Soho’s merino beauty, Line Weight. Its brilliant color and graphic stitches highlight the natural hand and drape of the Waterford Linen, softening its edge with the wool’s subtle bloom. 

This feminine, modern wrap continues to comfort and soothe me with each wear. I hope you’re inspired to whip one up for those cool summer nights to come. -Laura

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Sunday
May112014

Molly's Sketchbook: The Purl Soho Pup

Turning a pile of fabric and stuffing into a loveable toy animal feels a bit like magic. In fact, when I was a kid I firmly believed that my own bunnies, bears and dogs came to life after I went to sleep. And even now as an adult, whenever I sew a plush creature, I can’t help but feel the thrill of new life. There is something about the last steps of stuffing a new animal and stitching its face that feels more like sprinkling fairy dust than sewing!

Creating the Purl Soho Pup was especially enchanting. With its take-me-home face, you can’t help but love this whimsically hot-doggy pup! Standing 8 1/2 inches tall and stretching 17 inches long our Pup is thoughtfully designed to stand up on its own four legs without sacrificing cuddle-bility to do it. We made our doggies out of Dorr Mill’s soft and huggable Wool Yardage and accented the paws and ears with a splash of Kokka’s handsome Large Gingham and Liberty of London’s pretty Tana Lawn

 

 

The Purl Soho Pup is not difficult to sew, but it does take time and attention, so it’s a great project if you want a bit of a challenge with a big payoff! Everything you need to make one of your own, from the fabric to the stuffing, is in our Purl Soho Pup Kit right here… Just add your own fairy dust! --Molly

P.S. Already have materials? Buy just the Purl Soho Pup Pattern, as a downloadable PDF or a hardcopy, here!

Thursday
May012014

Whit's Knits: Striped Crew Socks

I live with a five year old boy, and if you know anyone like that, you've probably noticed how much he likes to chat about dirty socks (and stinky cheese and slimy worms); and so it comes as a welcome respite for me to knit up something that is on the opposite end of that conversational spectrum. These Striped Crew Socks have such an incredibly nice, fresh feeling that all icky talk seems miles away.

A simple one-round stripe takes on a little complexity when a 1 x 1 rib moves into stockinette stitch. I love how the shift from one to the other feels like an optical illusion and, on top of that, how the different stitch patterns serve a practical function: ribbing for anti-gravitational hold on the leg and stockinette for smooth comfort on the foot.

Our favorite sock yarn at Purl Soho is definitely Anzula's Squishy. It's amazingly soft (thank you, cashmere), wonderfully springy (thank you, merino) and totally durable (thank you, nylon). It's also hand dyed in unbelievebaly beautiful colors that feel plucked from nature herself. The Nimbus blue I used here (paired with Au Natural ecru) gives the effect of rippling cool water or windswept skies, just right for a brand new pair of spring socks!

I do love my son's boyish pleasure in the disgusting and the creepy, but I have to admit, I love the quiet elegance of these socks at least as much! - Whitney

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Sunday
Apr272014

Laura's Loop: Colorblock Bias Blanket

Whenever I am faced with a pile of undeniably beautiful yarn, I turn to an old-friend-of-a-project, the Colorblock Bias Blanket. It is a project that never grows old; it soothes your knitting soul when you’re stumped by a contiguous sleeve or bogged down by too many bobbles; it inspires combinations of color and texture that never before seemed possible; and like all of my most treasured things, this pattern was handed down to me by my dear Aunt Julie.

Julie’s wild sense of color and unique personal style constantly inspire me to freely experiment with textures and values and tones. So recently, when I found myself strolling the aisles of Purl Soho with seven skeins in a vice-grip-like hug, realizing I couldn’t let a single skein go, I knew exactly how I could pull them all together.

I knit my Colorblock Bias Blanket in simple garter stitch, using three different hand-dyed, DK-weight yarns in a spectrum of seven amazing colors. Starting with pops of peach, I used Koigu’s crisp and lively Kersti Merino Crepe. Then to contrast with the smooth consistency of the Kersti, I moved on to Madelinetosh’s Tosh Merino DK, a single ply yarn that quietly shifts from thick to thin. Next I used Anzula’s luxurious Cricket , a blend of superwash merino, cashmere and a touch of nylon. Its machine-spun quality and soft, sandy colors add elegance and subtlety. And finally, I finished the blanket with two more skeins of quirky Tosh Merino DK.

The whole is indeed greater than the sum of its parts (thank you, Aristotle). Each of these yarns has its own special personality, but together, they create a rich and complex fabric. You can create your own beautiful blanket with Purl Soho’s Yarn for Colorblock Bias Blanket kit. Choose from three lovely colorways: this toasty Peach, cool Mint or burst-of-yellow Lemon! -Laura

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