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Thursday
Oct312013

Whit's Knits: Woven Plaid Scarf

Not infrequently, my son, husband and I leave our apartment, get out onto the sidewalk, take a look at each other and realize that we're all wearing plaid. True, my son and husband bear the last name Ogilvie, but what's my excuse?

I just love plaid, always have, always will. Plaid does have lovely associations with outdoor ruggedness and indoor woodfires, but more compelling for me is the pure logic of its structure. I could endlessly travel the paths and intersections of plaid's colored highways, taking pit stops to ponder the neighborhood where pink crosses gray and to follow the hair-thin lines that interrupt the landscape.

And although knitting and crochet have their methods of creating plaid, nothing replaces a woven plaid for simplicity and sheer beauty. Plaid is, in fact, the very reason I ever became a student of Schacht Spindle Co's Cricket Loom. It's indeed a breathtaking endeavor to watch as stripes morph into plaid, like a smile breaking across a face!

Purl Soho's Line Weight yarn gives this plaid project a very special feeling. Line Weight glows with a smooth, downy softness, creating a fabric that is more gentle and elegant than you might expect from the same pattern that brings you hunting coats and horse blankets!

Inspired to equip yourself with a mobile weaving studio? Pick up the whole ensemble: a 15-inch Cricket Loom, a 12-dent reed and seven skeins of Line Weight, with our Materials for Woven Plaid Scarf kit. Or if you're already a seasoned weaver and just need the yarn, click right here. I hope you have as much fun making yours as I did mine! -Whitney

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Tuesday
Oct292013

New Book! Lena Corwin's Made by Hand

Lena Corwin's new book, Made by Hand, is as brilliant as it is beautiful! Made By Hand includes an incredible collection of projects, ranging from printed and dyed textiles to knit toys; from fabric origami to soap making; from sewn garments to weaving, and much more. We are excited to have a handful of these projects on display at Purl Soho right now!

Lena is known for celebrating beauty and craftsmanship through collaborations with an impassioned community of creators. Here, she has brought together an enormously talented group of crafters: Cal Patch, Jenny Gordy, Shabd Simon-Alexander, Jennifer Sarkilahti, Liane Tyrrel, Caitlin Mociun, Wendy Hanson, Jaime Rugh, Ilana Kohn, Emily Eibel, Sian Keegan and Erin Considine, with stunning photography by Maria Alexandra Vettese and Stephanie Congdon Barnes.

These simple and effective projects are inspired by the classes Lena has held in her studio… classes Lena taught or curated or found herself wanting to take. Each project includes a materials list and step-by-step instructions, plus in-progress photographs which make you feel like Lena's right next to you.

Purl Soho is honored and delighted to have contributed to the making of this fantastic book with the donation of some of Lena's beautiful materials. Below are some images of projects from Lena’s book, as well as the materials you can find at Purl Soho to make your own versions!

Rotary-Printed Cloth Napkins with Lena Corwin

Lena used: 1 yard of muslin (for test printing) and 4 yards of light or medium weight cotton

Try: Purl Soho's Collection of Solids

Knitted Socks with Jenny Gordy

 Jenny used: 2 skeins of Koigu’s Koigu Premium Merino and 1 skein of Anzula’s Squishy for the contrast yarn

Sewn Children’s Tops and Bottoms with Wendy Hanson

Wendy used for the Bottoms: 3/4 yard of 45-inch wide fabric (for Pants), 1/2 yard of 45-inch wide fabric (for Bloomers), 21 inches of 1/2-inch wide soft stretch elastic, 17 inches of 1/2-inch wide soft stretch elastic

Wendy used for the Tops: ½ yard of 45-inch wide fabric, 3/4 yard of 45-inch wide fabric, 11 inches of 1/8-inch soft stretch elastic

Try: Liberty of London’s Tana Lawn Classic or Seasonal prints along with Kokka's Fine Solids 

Woven Placemats with Jamie Rugh

Jamie used: ¾ yard of quilting-weight cotton fabric per placemat for the warp and 1 yard quilting-weight cotton fabric per placemat for the weft

Try: Liberty of London’s Tana Lawn Classic or Seasonal prints along with Robert Kaufman’s Brussels Washer or Rowan’s Shot Cotton 

Knitted Cat Toys with Emily Eibel and Ilana Kohn

Emily and Ilana used: 1 skein of Madelinetosh's Tosh Merino DK and 1 skein of Koigu’s Koigu Premium Merino

Freeform Knit Throw with Erin Weckerle

Erin used: 12 to 18 skeins of worsted weight yarn in a variety of colors

Try: Purl Soho’s Worsted Twist or search our entire collection of worsted weight yarns here

Sewn and Stuffed Toys with Sian Keegan

Sian used: 1/4 yard of 4 quilting-weight cotton fabrics, in shades of dark red, red, pink and cream and 1/4 yard of green felt in different prints

Try: our Shop by Color function! Or how about our red Spectrum Bundle? And for green felts, click right here!

Woven Camera Strap with Erin Considine

 

Erin used: 3 skeins of sportweight linen yarn in colors of your choice

Try: Louet’s Euroflax

To get a copy of Made By Hand, just click here. To read more about it, visit the book’s site here. Also, check out some behind-the-scenes videos here. And don’t forget to swing by our shop at 459 Broome Street in the Soho district of New York City to see some of these treasures in person!

PS: For Lena Corwin's other book, Printed by Hand, click here... and for more books from the publishers Steward Tabori + Chang, including Purl Soho's very own Joelle Hoverson's three books, click here!

Sunday
Oct272013

Molly's Sketchbook: Running Stitch Napkins

I love Thanksgiving traditions! Every year I need to turn on the parade and the dog show for background ambience as I make my requisite three pies (pumpkin, apple, and a chocolate truffle tart). And every year I need to dress up in something semi fancy and take a walk in the crisp fall air on the nearly empty streets of Brooklyn. I need to have turkey, even though I dont really like it except in sandwiches the next day. Oh, and those sandwiches have to be made on white bread with cranberry sauce, iceberg lettuce, and mayonnaise. And finally, I need to make a set of napkins for the Purl Bee!
 
This years set is close to my heart because it uses three of the most beautiful Liberty of London Tana Lawn Seasonal prints that Ive ever seen. Together they make such a handsome autumnal mix! I chose to keep the sewing simple with a straightforward set of muslin-lined napkins, although at the last minute I couldnt resist hand sewing the top stitching just to make each napkin extra special. You could certainly do a quick machine-sewn running stitch if the timers about to pop on the turkey!
 
With or without the hand stitching, these Thanksgiving Napkins will dress up the table nicely,  really adding to the richness of your Thanksgiving traditions. If youd like to see all of my previous Thanksgiving napkin projects you can browse our archive here! And Happy Turkey Day! --Molly

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Thursday
Oct242013

Page's Hostess Lap Duvets

The goal of a handmade gift is to make something lovely and unique that lets the recipient know just how much he or she means to you. Of course, this is a great idea, but it can go wrong so easily! The project can end up taking forever, or it might hit a technical snag, or worst of all, it might end up banished to the back of a drawer.  Lap Duvets have become our go-to handmade gift precisiely because they avoid these pitfalls. They are quick and fun to make, super useable and easy to love!

Page and her friend Alexa recently whipped up a set of Lap Duvets as a hostess gift for some close friends, and we all fell in love with the serene palette that she picked out. The mix of big Pocho Dot with pretty yarn dyed Veronica Voile and sweet Indigo Dot seems like it would be appreciated by anyone. They are all backed with cool, soft muslin, giving this stack a timeless and perfectly classic feel.

Lap Duvets are really quick to sew without sacrificing thoughtfulness or beauty.  And theyre a great way to celebrate a favorite fabric and a favorite friend!
 
Here's a list of the materials we used for these special Hostess Lap Duvets. If youd like to make your own you can find the full pattern here!

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Tuesday
Oct222013

Whit's Knits: Line Weight Hats for Newborns

Because it feels like a new baby enters my circle of friends and family about every two minutes, it's pretty hectic trying to welcome each one with a hand knit gift. And although I'm short on time and long on babies, I would hate to give new parents the impression that I whipped some yarn into something vaguely wearable and oh-by-the-way-congratulations-about-the-baby. In other words, I'm in serious need of a quick, but exquisite baby gift.

Nothing's quicker than a hat, but how to convey that this is no ordinary hat? Easy, choose an extraordinary yarn! Purl Soho's Line Weight is instantly special with its simple purity and understated beauty. A single ply, soft and cozy merino, it is as light as a feather and as soft as a kitten. Plus, the almost 500 yard skeins mean that I'm all set for the next round of babies!

Pick up both skeins of Line Weight in these timeless and delicate grays with our Yarn for Line Weight Hats for Newborns kit. Or browse our whole collection of Line Weight to pick the color scheme that's right for the babies in your life! -Whitney

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