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Entries in Holiday (26)

Sunday
Dec082013

Molly's Sketchbook: Taffy Twist Felt Garland

Every Christmas Eve my family and I dress up, drive to the city, and climb the grand staircase of the War Memorial Opera house for the San Francisco Ballet’s performance of the Nutcracker. As an adult I’ve come to appreciate the beautiful music and dancing, but as a kid it was sometimes a little hard to sit through the whole ballet. However, I always did look forward to the second act with its amazing Land of Sweets, a magical place where confections pirouette and pas de chat into life!

Inspired by the Land of Sweets, my Taffy Twist Felt Garland uses a rainbow of brightly colored felt that would be right at home in the costumes of the Russian Candy Canes and Mother Ginger’s Children. And best of all, it’s so easy to make that even a kid who has trouble sitting through a ballet will be able to help!

Super simple to whip up and adorable to have around, this garland is sure to join my family’s other wonderful traditions! Here’s to a sweet holiday crafting season! -Molly

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Saturday
Dec072013

Molly's Sketchbook: Ribbon Candy Felt Ornaments

With its looping curves and bright sugary colors, ribbon candy is a thing of beauty. I love its old-time Christmas feeling too. What I don’t love is eating it! If we’re talking holiday candy, I’d much rather go for a peppermint candy cane or a chocolaty piece of Hanukkah gelt. Ribbon candy is awkward to break apart, dangerously sharp and a little bland on the taste buds. Plus, it’s too pretty to eat!

These Ribbon Candy Felt Ornaments deliver the charm of this traditional treat without getting you sticky! They are made from our new Confection Felt Bundle in a  rainbow of cheerful colors, accented by equally spirited machine-sewn zigzags.

Small ornaments like this are, for me, the perfect kind of holiday sewing, They are quick but considered, colorful yet classic, cute but unfussy. Maybe it’s their old fashioned motif or the fact that they are sewn in an assembly line style reminiscent of Santa’s workshop, but these sweet little baubles really scratch that yuletide itch… and best of all you don’t have to eat them! -Molly

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Tuesday
Dec032013

Whit's Knits: Crochet Candy Ornaments

This year the Purl Bee is celebrating Christmas with the sweetest inspiration we know: candy! From rolling ribbon candy to twisty taffy, this whole week will bring ornaments and projects all inspired by the confections of the season. Yum!

Kicking off the week, our Crochet Candy Ornaments evoke the spirit of classic lollipops and peppermint swirls. To make them, I crocheted simple circles with Purl Soho's soft and gentle Line Weight and then used Koigu Premium Merino Needlepoint Yarn to embroider colorful rings. I also backed each ornament with a circle of ecru-colored Wool Felt to give it structure and year-after-year permanence. Get all the yarn and wool felt you'll need to whip up two dozen of these sweeties with Purl Soho's Materials for Crochet Candy Ornaments kit!

I love the idea of these ornaments decorating a tree or a branch but can also imagine them strung on a garland or dangling from a wrapped gift. They seem to radiate a small burst of joy and goodness, which makes them perfect for the season!

And here's a sneak peak at some of what the upcoming week on the Bee will bring: a confectionery of ornaments! Stay tuned for all the who's-whose, how-to's and what's-whats!

Have a very sweet and merry Christmas! -Whitney

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Sunday
Nov172013

Whit's Knits: Heirloom Christmas Stocking

When it came to appraising Christmas stockings when I was a kid, I was sure grateful that my grandma was a knitter. A knit stocking meant lots of stretch, and lots of stretch meant... well, lots of stuff. Santa still fills my stocking, and nowadays, I'm not as appreciative of getting piles of loot as I am of having a treasured hand knit from my dear ol' gram.

I count the Christmas stocking as one of knitting's most gratifying projects. It is one of the only things you can knit that is practically guaranteed to be cherished year after year, indelibly marking the memory of its owner every Christmas season. What a payoff!

For my Heirloom Christmas Stocking I wanted to reflect the quiet beauty of winter with a stitch pattern that evokes windswept fields of snow, rows of icicles hanging from the eaves, and scalloped patterns of frost on the window. I also wanted this stocking to look like it could have been plucked from a mantle sixty or eighty or a hundred years ago. And that it could grace a mantle a hundred years from now.

Knitting an heirloom definitely inspires me to choose my yarn with care. I want the yarn to be beautiful and pure, to be so special that fingers a generation from now will appreciate its quality. And so I chose Purl Soho's Worsted Twist, our 100% merino wool that is as soft as Santa's beard and as special as Christmas itself! 

May your version of our Heirloom Christmas Stocking be just that: everlasting, classic, and most importantly, loved! -Whitney

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Thursday
Nov142013

Corinne’s Thread: Needlepoint Houses

As a child, I was completely obsessed with the Christmas catalogs that would deluge our house every holiday season. I loved everything in them: the big velvet bows and the sparkling ornaments, the reindeer figurines and the dancing Santas. But mostly, I pined for the little winter villages. I would spend hours poring over the pages of small houses and tiny trees, trying to convince my mom that we just really, really HAD to start our own collection. Every year the answer was the same: No.

Now that I’m grown, I can see where my mother was coming from. A room full of Christmas chotchke does take quite a commitment, but still, I long for an adorable little winter village! So, this year I decided to fulfill my childhood Christmas wish and started a small town of my own.

Unlike the ceramic houses that dazzled me with their sparkling lights and glittering snow, the beauty of these small homes is in their simplicity. Made with hand dyed, 100% merino yarn, they are soft, simple and incredibly inviting.

Construct the whole neighborhood with Purl Soho’s new Needlepoint Houses Kit. Everything you need to make 3 houses (finished dimensions are 2 1/4 by 1 1/2 by 2 1/2 inches) is included. . . .

  • 100% merino, hand dyed yarn (1 full skein of ecru, and 1 mini skein of gray, rust, dark red and bright red)
  • Plastic mesh canvas, 14 count
  • Needlepoint needle, size 22
  • Sewing needle
  • Cotton thread
  • Full-color instructional booklet, including cutting guide

And what I like best about my little trio of homes is that, without all that holiday hoopla, they can stay on display long after the singing Santas and dancing elves have been put away, making me smile all year long! - Corinne

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