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Entries in Purl Soho Kits (44)

Thursday
May302013

Molly's Sketchbook: Wool and Liberty Teddy Bear

In my mind’s eye, the perfect teddy bear is based on my own childhood toy, aptly named “Teddy.” He would sit with his arms outstretched, all round and cuddly in his  midsection. Sadly, he was lost in a move, but his ideal form has stuck in my head.

To tackle my own version of dearly departed Teddy I knew I had to use Mary Flanagan’s 100% Felted Wool. Not only does this material feel soft and rich, it also sews like a dream. The wool’s natural elasticity smooths the edges of curves and kindly forgives little imperfections. And to make my bear extra special I finished off his ears, nose, paw pads, and tail with some sweet Liberty of London Tana Lawn. Get all this, plus thread, buttons and stuffing, with our Materials for the Wool and Liberty Teddy Bear Kit!

Usually, I am intimidated by 3-D sewing. It seems so complicated and advanced, but I’ve found that if I work slowly and methodically, it is totally doable. If you have sewn a garment or any other intermediate project, I’d say you’re ready for this project! For me, all of the detailed work was easily worth it because this sweet little bear looks and feels just like my old pal, Teddy! --Molly

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Thursday
May162013

Molly's Sketchbook: Simple Four Square Quilt

I’m not a painter, but I have always imagined that quilt making is a lot like oil painting. Both involve a detailed setup and complex series of steps, yet both tap into a deep well of freedom and creativity.  My sewing projects tend towards the quick, easy and practical, but every once in a while I like to slow down and explore big gestures using the refined techniques of quilting.

This Simple Four Square Quilt crystallizes everything I love about quilt making! It uses traditional block patterns in a decidedly unorthodox way, exploring color and proportionality much like a striking modern painting. I used Robert Kaufman’s Architextures prints, whose simple mechanical drawings I love for their clean freshness. I anchored the prints with a cool gray solid, and for fun, added a hot pop of neon orange dots.

With a project like this, it is important to do all of the steps, from the cutting to the piecing to the pressing, with care. Savor this deliberate process; it is well worth the extra time! The finished quilt is truly something special, an heirloom that is modern, elegant and simply beautiful! --Molly

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Thursday
May022013

Molly's Sketchbook: Everyday Tote

I’m someone who needs a large bag. I don’t understand how people can carry dainty little purses! Where do they put their stuff? My ideal bag needs room for a whole lot of life’s supplies: a sweater, wallet, book, notebook, cell phone, and laptop, plus some baby toys, my current craft project and tonight’s dinner. It also needs to be sturdy, easy to carry, and good looking! The Everyday Tote fits the bill… and all of my things as well!

I’ve made many bags for the Purl Bee, but I feel like they’ve all been leading me to this Everyday Tote. Using techniques honed on my 40 Minute Tote and Inside Out Bag, I think I’ve finally created my ideal carryall! Since it’s made from Cotton Duck, this bag is strong and utilitarian but also attractive with accents of Neon Bias Tape and yarn dyed fabric.

The Everyday Tote is a blast to sew. It uses lots of different sewing techniques so it’s never boring, and the result is so refined and professional looking, no one will believe you made it yourself!  Best of all, the finished bag is totally modern and totally functional. You really are going to want to carry it everyday!

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Friday
Apr052013

Molly's Sketchbook: Running Stitch Scarf

The humble running stitch is such a building block of embroidery that it rarely gets a chance to be the star of the show. But why not? The simplicity of this stitch, both in practice and in looks, should be a virtue!

So for an uncomplicated and elegant Mother’s Day gift, I turned to the regular rhythm of the running stitch!  A rich spectrum of DMC embroidery floss travels from inky navy to cloudy gray atop a natural flaxen background. And the Essex Yarn Dyed fabric is so simply beautiful that I even left the pretty selvage as is! 

Just because it’s super easy to sew, doesn’t mean the Running Stitch Mother’s Day Scarf isn’t very special. Hand-embroidered stitches, a distinctive play of color and cleanly finished side hems make this a wonderful gift, lovely enough even for dear mom!

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Thursday
Mar282013

Whit's Knits: Toddler Socks

Like most four year olds, my son can display stunning defiance, like last week when I asked him to take my first Toddler Sock for a test drive. After some coaxing, begging and finally bribery, I succeeded in getting the sock on his foot. Determining that it indeed fit, I reached down to remove the sock and was met with even more resistence, "Uh-uh, I'm never taking it off!" At last I had to admit defeat, because let's face it, hand knit socks are a total delight!

These simple socks are so cute and cozy, even a toddler can appreciate them. Plus, little socks for little people are really fun to make. All the fascination of sock knitting is in fast forward with one interesting step right after another, kind of like a great short story!

I knit up these Toddler Socks in Koigu Premium Merino, one of our all-time favorite merinos. Soft, machine washable, stretchy, and gorgeously hand-dyed, KPM is the ultimate yarn for adorable socks and happy little feet. And all four skeins I used to make all four pairs of socks are available in one Purl Soho yarn kit. Pick up either our pink and aqua or orange and aqua colorway right here!

To take a peak of my son, Bear, wearing his favorite color pink socks, check out Purl Soho's March 2013 Instagram feed right here. And to get started making your own Toddler Socks, read on! -Whitney

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