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Thursday
Feb072013

Molly's Sketchbook: Liberty Hot Pads

Perhaps it’s just my practical Virgo nature, but my ideal sewing project is first and foremost functional. I’m not one for decorative topstitching or ornamental buttons; I want my finished projects to work (and to look good doing it)!  Hot pads are a perfect utilitarian undertaking because they’re quick to make and oh, so useful!

To keep this particular set of hot pads from becoming too hard-nosed I used the stunning new Flora Eve print from Liberty of London. This very special floral pattern looks like something in between a watercolor and a photograph and is printed with the exquisite detail and color that only Liberty can deliver.  And when paired with a rich yarn dyed denim, the contrasts take on a drama of their own: casual and elegant, inky and ephemeral,  practical and charming.     

This project is very easy to sew but uses a lot of different skills so it’s never boring. Just quilt the fabrics together using specially insulated batting and then hand sew cotton twill tape around the edges, and you’ve got a truly unique, beautiful, and best of all, fully functional hot pad! -Molly

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Thursday
Jan312013

Molly's Sketchbook: Anemone Magnets

I feel like the anemone flower is having a moment. Everywhere I go I am seeing their whimsical petals and moody color palette. Anemones seem to fall somewhere in between a poppy and rose which, as far as I’m concerned, is a good place to be! So for Valentine’s Day this year I looked past the classic rose to this more unexpected flower and designed these super pretty Anemone Magnets.

From inky navy blue to vibrant neon pink, our gorgeous new Anemone Felt Bundle evokes the drama and beauty of its eponymous flower. We love Wollfilz’s Felt for special little projects like this because its colors are spectacular and because its hem-free nature is perfect for easy hand sewing. 

These Anemone Magnets are so quick and fun to make that before you know it, you’ll have a whole bouquet! Give them this Valentine’s Day as sweet tokens of love and appreciation. Or help an older child who is learning to sew whip up a set for the whole class! -Molly

PS- For more Valentine’s Day projects please check our holiday sewing gallery here!

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Sunday
Jan272013

Double Seed Stitch Blanket

As even a casual reader of the Purl Bee has probably noticed, we are super inspired by our Super Soft Merino! Since the arrival of Purl Soho's first very own yarn, we have been busy bees, but of all our Super Soft Merino projects, the Double Seed Stitch Blanket may be our favorite!

We love how the simple double seed stitch pattern creates a subtle field of wonderfully nubbly texture. Combined with the comfort and softness of our Merino, this is a seriously cozy blanket with the reassuring weight and warmth of a handknit!

Homespun and sophisticated, the Double Seed Stitch Blanket is so pretty folded at the foot of a bed or over the arm of a couch. We give directions for every size blanket from baby to queen, so cuddle a toddler or cover an entire bed. With a vintage quilt, a linen coverlet, or a modern duvet, this blanket is right at home!

We knit ours up in Super Soft Merino's gorgeous Oyster Gray. Gentle and truly pearlescent, we love this color's warmth and modernity. In double seed stitch, it becomes something straight out of nature: a pebbly stream bed, a frosty snowscape, a starlit beach. But we can imagine equally loving a Desert Blue crib size adding handmade love to a nursery, or a Red Zinnia throw size casting serious drama into a neutral living room, or an Heirloom White queen size being just that, a true family heirloom.

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Sunday
Jan062013

Whit's Knits: Super Easy Lap Blanket

The Super Easy Baby Blanket has become something of an institution here at the Purl Bee. We love how accessible this pattern is to knitters of all levels, and even more, we love the opportunity to play with gorgeous palettes of color!

I knit up the original Super Easy Baby Blanket four and a half years ago in Alchemy's gorgeous Temple superwash merino. Later, Faye knit her own interpretation with Koigu's Kersti Merino Crepe. With its ocean and sunshine colors and a squishier feel, her New Super Easy Baby Blanket was such a smash that we made it into a super easy kit! And most recently, we used our own Super Soft Merino for a bigger, even cushier version that we call the Super Easy Crib Blanket.

And now here is our biggest version yet, the Super Easy Lap Blanket! Knit out of Manos Del Uruguay's amazing Maxima, this one is cozy soft, decadently toasty and looks absolutely stunning in kettle-dyed, hand-spun 100% extrafine merino wool.

The Super Easy Lap Blanket is perfect for drafty winter evenings on the couch and chilly mornings at the kitchen table. And in colors that meander from rich Mahogany, through the land of pinks and blues, to finish in deep Dark Chocolate, this version has a sophisticated drama that will light up any room!

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Thursday
Dec132012

Molly's Sketchbook: Liberty and Wool Lap Duvets

Every Christmas I travel to my hometown of Berkeley, California to be with my family. You might imagine it’s a warm and sunny contrast to Brooklyn, but really, the famous Bay Area fog seems to seep into everything, including my bones! I have spent many a Christmas morning snuggling my parents’ 100 year old radiators while I sneakily inch up the thermostat a few degrees. It’s moments like this that call for a Lap Duvet!

Since our first Lap Duvet project last year, these beautiful blankets have become my favorite quick sewing project, especially when I want to showcase a truly lovely fabric. This year, in anticipation of my chilly visit to California, I made an even easier version with my two absolute favorite fabrics in the world: Liberty of London’s Tana Lawn and Mary Flanagan’s Felted Wool. The contrast between the pretty detail of the Tana Lawn and the rustic beauty of the wool is just exquisite!

Since this version uses wool, there is no need for batting, making this the simplest Lap Duvet yet! Best of all, the resulting blanket is warm and elegant, with a drape that is graceful and very special. It only takes a couple of hours to make, so there’s still plenty of time to sew one or two up for the holidays, either as beautiful gifts or as welcome warmth for your shivering guests! -Molly

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