Search The Purl Bee
Sign up for our newsletter!

Idea Center
Follow The Purl Bee

Entries in Habu Textiles (8)

Sunday
Aug112013

Whit's Knits: New Log Cabin Washcloths

Knitting doesn't offer too many shortcuts. Maybe that's exactly why we love knitting so much, but every now and then, even diehard knitters need a little instant gratification. Enter the washcloth!

I love to give (and use!) hand knit washcloths. They are an unexpected luxury that's not on anyone's list but would be if they only knew the pleasure. And I love the satisfaction of a small square that's open to a whole world of possibilites. And finally, I love how very fast they are to knit!

These New Log Cabin Washcloths are the second set I've made using the same design principle. The first set tinkered with juxtapositions of bright color, while this set has its eye on texture. Blue Sky's organic Skinny Cotton plays the straight guy to Habu's uber-playful Natural Cover Cotton. The result is a little bit mid-century modern and a little bit now; a little bit city and a little bit country; a little bit methodical and a little bit wonky!

For a great summer travel project, choose one of our Yarn for Log Cabin Washcloth kits in Red, Navy, Shell or Khaki. Your first washcloth will be done before you return your seat back to its full, upright position!  -Whitney

Click to read more ...

Thursday
May092013

Laura's Loop: Salt and Pepper Cowl

At Purl Soho we have a customer who, no matter the season, breezes into the store draped in the most meticulously combined textures layered to perfection and always, I mean always, in neutrals from head to toe. She makes one color feel like a rainbow with her play of hues and shades, textures and cuts. This woman, she can really wear gray.
This lovely fashionista was on my mind when I coupled this dynamic duo of yarns. One, Habu’s Viscose Sizing, a crisp, stark white ribbon wrapped in a delicate black thread. The other, Alchemy’s Haiku, a gorgeous hand-dyed silk and mohair blend with a downy glow.
As with our customer’s ensembles, the Salt and Pepper Cowl is an in-depth exploration of tactility and versatility. The ends are ribbed pulling both yarns, contrasting with the nearly weightless body of the cowl, which is knit in a smooth single row stripe. A slit at one end can be worn at the top, folded over like a collar. Or flip the cowl over and wear the slit draping over a shoulder for some extra length, drama and jaunty asymmetry.
Thank you, chic, beautiful customer of ours, for the inspiration. You’re one of so many who exhilarate our senses every day! --Laura

Click to read more ...

Sunday
May052013

Whit's Knits: Woven Scarf

When I was in college I spent a January break deeply ensconced in a weaving studio in Maine learning the ins and outs of heddles, warps and wefts. I became fascinated with the beauty of woven fabric, but once the month was over, I faced the same dilemma as many aspiring weavers before me: even if I could have afforded a room-size loom, where in the world would I put it? My dorm room? Or later, my first New York City shoebox apartment?

And so, about a million years later, I'm so excited to be back at the loom! This time with Schacht Spindle Co.'s perfectly engineered Cricket Loom. About the size of a record player, this rigid-heddle loom turns out beautiful woven fabric without requiring its own room. The Cricket is also super easy and insanely satisfying!

For this Woven Scarf I worked a plain weave, choosing yarns that would add their own complexity and depth. Habu's Dyed Bamboo forms a strong, smooth and wonderfully lustrous warp. And the hand dyed subtlety of Anzula's Squishy gives the weft a gently variegated beauty. The result is a stunning lightweight scarf with all the classic simplicity of woven fabric!

As a lover of all crafts that involve my hands and some yarn, the Cricket Loom is my new best friend. It swings open the door to a whole world of fiber arts whose inspiration is truly endless!

Get the Woven Scarf how-to's right here, and be sure to also check out our Cricket Loom Tips here. Happy weaving! -Whitney

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Apr102013

Laura's Loop: Knit T-Shirt

I recently learned that the first T-shirt was born in the 19th century when someone decided to cut in half his one-piece union suit, the undergarment of choice in those days. To the wielder of those scissors, I say thank you.

Since then, the T-shirt has become a truly universal garment. From its beginnings as an undershirt for miners, farmers, longshoremen, and troops to its celebrity-inspired mass appeal as the uniform of cool (a la Marlon Brando, James Dean, even Marilyn Monroe), the T-shirt has always fit right in.

Every modern decade has integrated the T-shirt into its trends. Sure, slight alterations have been made here and there (in the 80s it was all off-the-shoulder Flashdance; in the 90s it was all down-to-the-thighs Snoop Dogg ), but it always comes back to the basic, ever-so-classic, white, "T"-shaped shirt.

While of course T-shirts are typically made of cotton, I couldn't resist the brillant white and lustrous sheen of Habu's fingering weight 100% Bamboo. It's magically cool to the touch and has a drape that's both casual and elegant. I also couldn't resist adding my own little alteration: an optional breast pocket that provides an opportunity for a POP of color, knit here in Koigu's intensely saturated hand-dyed Koigu Premium Merino.

I know I'll wear this piece for years, since there's no chance of it going out of fashion. Perhaps one day paired with jeans, the next with a long, flowing, fanciful skirt. The T-shirt, it's lasted the test of time, it knows no bounds! -Laura

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Jul292012

Laura's Loop: White Caps Cowl

My mom lives an urban life in a landlocked city, but I've always felt she belongs in a small town by the water. It's so easy to picture her hopping on a boat or walking along the shore, her salt and pepper hair mussed by the sea air, her sneakers tattered, her jeans old and worn, but her sweater a chic slip of linen or cashmere. 
Have you ever known someone who so throughly embodies a duality that you can hardly describe her? That's how I feel about my mom, but one thing I can say for sure is that my mother's elegance depends on her rustic nature. You'd never see her in make-up, but that is precisely what makes her beautiful. Whether I knew it or not, when I started this cowl, I was knitting with her in mind. It, like she, pairs unlikely opposites that together create a one-of-a-kind amalgam, radiant with depth and beauty!
I knit this cowl primarily with Habu's thick-and-thin Cotton Nerimake Slub. It creates a decadent, cloud-like fabric that is both hearty and ethereal. And set against the cotton are thin stripes of Alchemy's Silken Straw, a meticulous, flat silk ribbon with a crisp finish and pearly shine. Together, these yarns form a graceful and surprising union, each complementing the other!
We named this the White Caps Cowl because the cotton captures the feeling of frothy caps on ocean waves while the silk subtly shimmers amidst the cowl's folds and drapes, like light dancing across the surface of the sea. To add some duality to your life, you can get the full pattern for the White Caps Cowl here! -Laura

Click to read more ...