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Entries in Home (62)

Tuesday
Nov292011

Whit's Knits: Eleventh Hour Blanket

It's not too late to wrap your favorite people in hand knit love! True, starting a knitted blanket now would normally be a recipe for big time holiday stress; but since we should all banish yuletide overdrive from our lives, I decided to design a blanket that, even if you worked at a leisurely pace, you could start now (or next week!) and be done in plenty of time for Christmas!

Of course, for this plan to work the blanket would have to be the kind of beautiful gift you love to give. And so for inspiration, I turned to a perennial Purl Bee favorite, the Eleventh Hour Scarf, and borrowing the concept, the yarn and the stitch pattern, the Eleventh Hour Blanket was born!

Doubling Cascade's very soft and very bulky Magnum means not only a quick knit, but a deep and toasty blanket, perfect for cuddling and snoozing. It may not be the eleventh hour to the holiday season, but as far as knitting blankets goes, it is!

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Tuesday
Nov222011

Whit's Knits: Hudson's Bay Inspired Crib Blanket

We love the Hudson's Bay Blanket for its classic simplicity and beauty. And maybe more, we love the underlying belief that, even in the midst of the great Canadian wilderness with its arduous cold and haunting vastness, the Hudson's Bay Blanket will protect us. 

Originally, the Hudson's Bay Blanket's lightweight warmth and insulation made it common barter for Native American goods, like beaver pelts, buffalo robes and moccasins. But in the last three hundred years the Hudson Bay Blanket has come a long way. Now it is practically a national symbol to many Canadians, and to the rest of the world, an unmistakable design icon.

I love the idea of a handknit version, borrowing the iconography of the original and lending it a little homemade twist! Sized for a baby's crib, I'm also tickled by the notion of a small child wrapped in the gear of a rugged adult. No baby in sight? Use it as a gorgeous throw over your favorite chair, in front of a roaring fireplace. It may not be an open fire deep in a white pine forest, but, hey, you're probably not a fur trapper either!

For this special project we turned to Anzula's absolutely gorgeous For Better or Worsted. A merino, cashmere, nylon blend, it is the perfect blanket yarn with its machine washable durability and cuddly soft coziness. And its quirky hand dyed colors give the Hudson's Bay Blanket a fresh look, warm and bright!

So, for a great barter idea this holiday season, give a handknit Hudson's Bay Crib Blanket. In exchange, you'll get a whole lot of love!

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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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