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Sunday
Dec152013

Molly's Sketchbook: Super Simple Dishtowels

It’s the last day of Cooks Week  here on the Purl Bee where we have been presenting a series of easy last minute gifts for all the cooks on your list. This last pattern is the easiest and quickest of the bunch, and it’s also a truly great gift: our Super Simple Dishtowels! No mitered corners, no tricky stitches, just some beautiful fabric and a few straight seams!

Dishtowels are not only essential kitchen companions (for minor spills, hot handles, and wet dishes), but they also give personality to a kitchen with a dash of color and an element of surprise! 

For this set I used Robert Kaufman’s awesome Double Cloth woven cotton. With two different sides, Double Cloth delivers a unique and unexpected contrast with almost no effort at all. You can whip up a set in less time than it would take to go to the store and buy one. Plus, your dishtowels will be made with love! --Molly

PS- To check out our other Cooks Week projects, please click here for our Simple Linen Apron and here for our Simple Stitched Hot Pads. Wouldn’t all three together make a wonderful gift?

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Saturday
Dec142013

Molly's Sketchbook: Simple Stitched Hot Pads

It’s Cooks Week here on the Purl Bee, the time to share great sewing patterns (that you still have time to make!) for all of the chefs and sous chefs in your life. Today we present one of the most crucial kitchen accessories: the hot pad!

These Simple Stitched Hot Pads may be ultra easy to make, but they’re so elegant and cleanly finished that no one will guess how little time they took. They’re made of  a gorgeous array of denim blues on one side and a soft wool on the other, a sum that equals understated beauty! 

The subtle fabric and pretty handstitching may not seem cut out for hard work, but lined with heat resistant Insulbrite, these Hot Pads are built for the reality of blistering handles and burning pans., And with their long rectangular shape our Simple Stitched Hot Pads work equally well as hot pads, oven mitts, or trivets! 

To see our previous Cooks Week installment, the Simple Linen Apron, click here. And to see what’s cooking next, stay tuned… -Molly

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Friday
Dec132013

Molly's Sketchbook: Simple Linen Apron

From rolling out cookie dough to mixing champagne cocktails on New Year’s Eve, so much holiday action takes place in the kitchen. The warmth and cheer of this time of year just seem to belong there!

With this in mind, we are launching Cooks Week here on the Purl Bee. This week we’ll be posting three great sewing patterns, all for the cooking enthusiasts in your life. These quick and ultra-useful projects make perfect gifts that will be appreciated long after the tree comes down!

First up is our lovely Simple Linen Apron. With handy adjustable neck ties and long waist ties, I designed it to fit anyone, and I made it with sturdy 100% linen, which lends both durability and timeless charm. The pocket is Robert Kaufman’s Double Cloth, a very special cotton fabric that has two distinctly different sides and adds just a hint of playfulness and color. And best of all, this apron takes about an hour to sew! What better way to celebrate the cooks in your life! -Molly

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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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Sunday
Nov102013

Molly's Sketchbook: Cozy Sherpa Lap Duvet

I recently learned a new Spanish verb: acurrucar. It's in a Spanish childrens song that we sometimes sing to my daughter, and when I asked my husband (the resident Spanish speaker) what it meant, he paused and said, "Just what it sounds like... to be all snuggled up." What a great word!

This winter its my goal to be as snuggled up as possible which is where my new Organic Cotton Sherpa Lap Duvet comes in! Organic Cotton Sherpa is a beautiful thing to hold and to behold. Its soft, lofty, and toasty warm, like a layer of cotton balls or a blanket of billowy cloud.

To double down on Sherpas innate coziness I used it on both sides with a layer of plush wool batting in-between. And for fun I sewed it all together with seven vertical rows of bright red tacking stitches. The finished blanket is so cuddly and warm, like a portable heater. Perfect if you want acurrucar! --Molly

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