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Entries in Home (60)

Tuesday
Nov012011

Whit's Knits: Felted Thanksgiving Oven Mitts

The thought of Thanksgiving puts me right into the heat of my mother's kitchen. We chop and stir and baste for days, scrupulously following stuffing recipes many pages long, peeling endless sweet potatoes like we're in the galley of an aircraft carrier, praying that some relative will notice the difference between a parsnip and a turnip and the fact that we've pureed both.

Of course all the toil is an act of love, and while the meal is important, the preparations are the true heart of the holiday. So this Thanksgiving, I'm adding to the pleasure with the sumptuous goodness of hand knit Felted Oven Mitts. Now I'm looking forward to every basting!

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Sunday
Oct232011

Molly's Sketchbook: Fall Leaves Coasters

Fall is my favorite season but that hasn't always been the case. Growing up in California, we didn't have much in the way of seasons, so I never understood the true glory of autumn until I moved to the East Coast. My first year in New York, I unwittingly took a weekend trip to Swarthmore, Pennsylvania right at the peak of fall foliage. I arrived at night and in the morning, woke up to a breathtaking riot of colors. As I wandered the town, I felt like I was in a kaleidoscope of yellows, oranges, red and pinks. I collected a bunch of my favorite leaves that day, thinking that they would keep their brilliant colors and was so sad when I realized they wouldn't.
Because the beautiful foliage is, in fact, so fleeting, I wanted to make some pretty leaves that would last all year long. I made these Fall Leaves Coasters with our brand new Fall Leaves Felt Bundle, a neutral taupe complemented by four bright autumnal colors. Like my previous Felt Coaster projects (which you can see here and here) these are easy (and addictive!) to make. And with Thanksgiving around the bend, a set of Fall Leaves Coasters will surely make an elegant addition to your festivities!

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Friday
Oct212011

Molly's Sketchbook: Pulled Fringe Napkins

I have celebrated Thanksgiving all over the country, from sunny California to crisp New England. Everywhere I've spent the holiday has unveiled its own unique traditions. One year I went to Kauai and ate poi with my turkey, while an army of giant ants enjoyed our homemade pies. Last year I helped my friend Nicole make a delicious Mexican mole turkey in Richmond, Virginia. But no matter where Thanksgiving finds me, there are always some comforting constants: good food, friends and family, and a thoughtfully set table.  

I've made it something of an annual tradition to contribute a new set of cloth napkins to the Thanksgiving table, wherever it is! In fact, this is my fifth set! (You can see all of them here.) It's a tradition I love because, even if you're like me and don't have real silver or good china, it feels special to embellish your mismatched plates and odd serving dishes with some beautiful homemade napkins!

This year's napkins were inspired by pretty antique linens. I used the soft and lovely Prairie Cloth, whose subtle texture and loose weave lend a warm, homespun feel. I gave the edges a fringed finish to add to the napkins' old fashioned charm. My Pulled Fringe Napkins are as simple as pumpkin pie to whip up and will surely make your Thanksgiving festivities a little extra special!

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Thursday
Oct132011

Felted Wool Patchwork Throw

Our Felted Wool Patchwork Quillow has been a favorite Bee project ever since we posted it last winter. And no wonder! It's quick, practical and totally gorgeous!  The Quillow's rich beauty comes from Mary Flanagan's incredibly soft Felted Wool, which is hand dyed in a spectrum of warm, earthy colors. We're thrilled that this wonderful wool now comes in bundles of smaller, 7-inch by 8-inch pieces. Inspired by these little stacks of sumptuous fabric gems, we decided to revisit Mary Flanagan and her perfectly patchwork-able Felted Wool!  

This time around, instead of a quillow, we decided to make a simple throw . We picked out eight lovely bundles ranging from the soft golden palette of "Straw" to the deep purple tones of "Blackberry". The effect is like a walk through the countryside, with each bundle evoking its own special place: a grassy hill, a plowed field, a bubbling stream.

Expanding on Page's original detailed instructions and ingenious construction, the Felted Wool Patchwork Throw is a snap to make. It's amazing to be able to sew such a substantial throw (53-inches by 56-inches!) in a weekend! Best of all, because it's made from such special material in such a cozy palette, it comes out looking absolutely beautiful!

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Thursday
Sep292011

Big Stitch Crocheted Alpaca Rugs!

Just about this time each year, our old drafty home begs for super cozy area rugs.  Each time I step out of bed I think of how happy my feet would be if they landed on a soft, lofty rug, and each time my daughter and I read books in front of the fireplace I think of how nice it would be to have the warmth and comfort of something hand made beneath us.  I've been determined to make these rugs myself for years, but only if I could find the super bulky and natural yarn I was seeing in my mind.  Imagine my excitement when we found the perfect yarn for my fantasy rugs!  Our Big Stitch Alpaca Yarn creates the softest, loftiest rug your lucky toes will ever step on.

The Big Stitch Alpaca Yarn is grown and handcrafted in the USA. The Alpaca that makes up 70% of this amazing yarn is gathered by hand from fiber shed naturally by the Alpacas and then spun together with 15% wool and 15% nylon by a tiny mill in Ohio.  Each skein is called a "bump" and is approximately 140 yards long. 

Two bumps will make the small gray rug pictured above (approximately 42-inches across) and four make the large rug (approximately 70-inches across).  

Enjoy!  -- Page

 

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