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Entries in Holiday (25)

Wednesday
Dec222010

Glittering Cookie Recipe - Happy Holidays from Purl Soho!

When the new Gourmet Cookie Book came out just in time for the holidays this year, we ran out to our favorite local bookstore, McNally Jackson, to get it.  Since many of us here at Purl Soho grew up with Gourmet Magazine, it holds a special place in our hearts and we deeply miss its presence in our lives.  The new cookie book is a compilation of the most delicious cookie recipe from each year of the magazine's 68-year existence which spans 1941-2009.  It seems almost too good to be true!

We were so excited about the book that we decided to adapt one of the recipes for our Purl Bee readers to enjoy over the holidays.  Since we share a common love for anything almond flavored here at Purl Soho, we turned their Glittering Lemon Sandwich Cookies from the book into our Glittering Almond Sandwich cookies.  Yum!  To adorn the cookies, we wanted to find the sparkliest sanding sugars possible.  We were thrilled to find these at Williams-Sonoma.  The large granules of sugar really catch the light and make the cookies sparkle before your eyes.  Each cookie truly looks like a gem.

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Sunday
Dec122010

New Felted Christmas Trees!

Last year Whitney created a wonderful heirloom Felted Christmas Tree pattern that I've had my eye on for this Christmas.  As you no doubt have noticed if you are a regular follower of The Purl Bee, we just can't get enough of pink, red and white at Christmas so I thought it would be fun to revisit Whitney's pattern in our favorite holiday color palette (plus it just so happens that this color palette looks great in my own house!).

Last year's felted trees were knit with Cascade 220, a great basic yarn that is wonderful for felting.  This year's felted trees were knit with Manos Del Uruguay Handspun in Natural, one of my all time favorite yarns,  (two skeins made one large tree and one small tree) and it worked beautifully for this project. 

Please note, for this year's trees, I felted them BEFORE decorating them.  Once they're felted the tall tree is approximately 11-inches tall, the small tree is approximately 6-inches tall.  

I decorated the trees with Koigu KPM in hot pink, color #1150, and bright red, color #2229 (one skein each is enough to decorate about 12 trees).  I love the way the two colors work together, glowing like real ornaments on a tree.

The embroidery stitches I used to decorate the trees are very, very simple.  The challenge of the embroidery is finding a needle that is sharp enough to get through the felted wool, but big enough to accommodate the yarn.  I found several that did the job in this collection of needles.  A thimble for pushing the needle through the felted wool was also a big help.

To decorate the little tree I made little plus marks (in the neighborhood of 1/4-inch wide and 1/4-inch tall) in bright red all over the tree, then went back over a few of the larger plus signs with hot pink.  

On the big tree I first made big plus signs (around 1/2-inch wide x 1/2-inch tall) all over the tree and then went over those again in the center with a diagonal plus sign, both in hot pink.  Then I went over the diagonal plus signs again with bright red.  To finish the large tree I made small plus signs (about 1/4-inch wide by 1/4-inch tall) in hot pink all over between the large motifs.

I did the motifs on both trees totally freehand and without any attempt at uniformity which gives the design a lively quality that I am really fond of. Also, there is no need to cut the yarn between shapes (just bring the needle back out wherever you want the next motif to be) so the decorating goes very quickly.

If you need help with these stitches, please visit Molly's Asterisk Embroidery Tutorial right here which explains the technique for the motifs step by step.

I was so delighted with the way these trees turned out.  They have a sweet simplicity and happy quality that makes me smile every time I look at them.  They make great gifts too!

If you'd like to make them you can find all you need right here:

Merry Christmas!  --Joelle

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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Wednesday
Dec102008

Joelle's Puzzle Ball Ornaments

This project is based on a vintage piece that I picked up in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, several years ago. With a little research, I found out that it is called a puzzle ball. I smiled when I heard the name because my first attempt at copying the original turned out square! Eventually it dawned on me that the shape could be created entirely out of circles and the pattern was born. Although it might look a bit complicated, creating the shapes and putting it together is actually very straightforward.

 

You can find the pattern for the puzzle ball ornaments in my book, Last-Minute Patchwork + Quilted Gifts. The pattern in the book will give you a 5-inch diameter puzzle ball, but for these Christmas tree ornaments I thought it would be nice to make a smaller version. Instead of using a 5.5-inch diameter circular template as recommended in the pattern, I used a teacup with a diameter of 2.5-inches, which gave me finished ornaments that measure 2-inches across. I also added a loop of embroidery thread to hang them from the tree.

For our week of pink and white Christmas projects I used solid pink fabrics from the P+B Color Spectrum, Kona Cotton and Essex Linen and Cotton Blend collections and prints from Cake Rock Beach and Windham 19th Century Reproductions but this shape lends itself to playing with just about any combination of colors and prints!

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Tuesday
Jun032008

Father's Day Rolled Hem Hankies

hankiepocket.jpg

Every year we struggle with what to make for Father's Day. We came up with this project after visiting fine men's clothing shops around New York City who often create this type of beautiful, hand rolled hem handkerchief out of shirting fabric remnants. We love the contrast between the organic feel that the hand rolling creates and the crisp clean fabric.

You can sew one handkerchief in an hour, and even better once you've cut the fabric, you can fit everything you need to make the handkerchief in your pocket and off you go to the bus, train, plane or subway to whip up the perfect gift for dad without even skipping a beat.  Not only will your dad think of you every time he pulls one out of his pocket, but he'll look good doing it! 

hankiesfinalflat.jpg 

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