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Entries in Gift List (183)

Friday
Feb052010

Handmade Baby Elephants from Last-Minute Knitted Gifts & Last-Minute Patchwork + Quilted Gifts! 

Elephants are wonderful creatures. They are intelligent, have great memories, and live in fascinating structured social groups. Perhaps because they are such symbols of peace and wisdom they have often been the subject of children’s literature. I can’t think of any other animal that has as spawned as many memorable characters as the mighty elephant. There’s Dumbo, Ella, Horton, Elmer and of course, Babar just to name a few.  There is something so compelling about them, from their powerful trunks to their cute little tails.

Happily, The Purl Bee is experiencing a baby boom and we wanted to make some baby gifts for the new arrivals that would be soft, cuddly, and spark their imagination. We can’t think of a better creature than the elephant to do this. These two stuffed elephants, one knitted and one sewn, have so much personality and will make great companions for the little ones in your life. Both come from books written by our very own Joelle Hoverson and both are quick and easy to make!

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Thursday
Nov192009

Colorful Crafting with Jen: SnoBuddy Family from Knitting at KNoon

These snowmen may be the cutest project I've ever completed. The pattern is from the creative minds at Knitting at KNoon, and is called The SnoBuddy Family

The snowmen were super quick and easy to make, and it was so fun to make their little tiny accessories. The tiny scarves for the mom and dad were done in no time and made my Snobuddy family come to life! 

I think my favorite accessory to make was the little boy snowman's gloves.  I'm not sure what made this particular part was so gratifying, but it may have something to do with the finished product, could it be any cuter?

To make my entire SnoBuddy family I used just one skein of Blue Sky Alpaca's Suri Merino, a super soft, slightly fuzzy yarn that reminded me of a freshly fallen snow (but any soft white worsted or aran weight yarn will work for the pattern). For needles I used Crystal Palace double pointed US size 6 bamboo needles. For their accessories, I went into my stash and found some scraps in the same gauge as the Suri Merino to ensure that the hats, scarfs and gloves would fit.

You can find the SnoBuddy Family pattern from KNitting at Knoon right here!

I hope you'll enjoy making these snowmen as much as I did! --Jen

Sunday
Nov152009

Whit's Knits: Men's Rustic Scarf from Last-Minute Knitted Gifts 

It's been five years since Purl's owner, Joelle Hoverson, published her first book, Last-Minute Knitted Gifts. Since then it has become a modern classic in today's knitting world, joining with other books to bring the craft of knitting from the dark ages of garments that seemed to come from a parallel fashion universe to the present day of beautiful, elegant hand knits.

Every day customers come into Purl, dog-eared copy of Last-Minute Knitted Gifts under arm, wanting to replicate their favorite projects. Over the past five years, however, some of Joelle's original yarn recommendations are no longer available.  At Purl we always have to be ready to suggest new, equally exciting alternatives.

One common request is for the yarn to make the Men's Rustic Scarf, a ruggedly masculine scarf perfect for all the men in our lives. Rowan no longer makes the Yorkshire Tweed Chunky that first gave the scarf its distinctive flair, so we decided to update the pattern here with a new, beautiful Blue Sky Alpacas version.

For two of the colors we used Blue Sky's Worsted and for the third we used Blue Sky's Sportweight Alpaca doubled. Both yarns are incredibly soft, which in our experience is the number one concern when it comes to knitting for men (it's true!). The textural shift between the different yarns adds a subtle layer of interest to the scarf, and the drape of alpaca gives this version a gorgeous heft.

I don't necessarily want to say that this scarf is better than the original, but it's definitely a close call! --Whitney

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Wednesday
Oct282009

Whit's Knits: Elizabeth Zimmermann's Baby Booties

I have long loved these Elizabeth Zimmermann booties. Last year I made them with fingering weight yarn to fit my newborn baby, and they got him through his first cold winter. Recently my family received wonderful news that made me want to knit some bigger booties.

My sister-in-law has been trying to adopt a baby for a long time, and this month she was finally told that there is a beautiful baby boy who needs her. He gets to come home in January and, by then, will be ten months old. His name is James, and his smile would melt an ice cube.

From waiting in line to waiting for a baby to arrive, knitting is how I get through all the episodes in my life that challenge my patience. I'm pretty sure that the next three months are going to yield a whole pile of hand knits for little James!

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Sunday
Dec212008

Molly's Sketchbook: Giving Holiday Cookies

Christmas can be stressful, but taking some time to bake with my friends and family is one of the great joys of the season for me. I use leftover yarn and fabric from Christmas projects to wrap up my goodies. I love transforming simple things like paper lunch bags and leftover yarn and fabric scraps to create charming gift packages almost as much as I love turning flour, butter, sugar, and eggs into cookies! It's a fun and inexpensive way to spread some delicious holiday cheer. Happy Holidays! --Molly

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