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Entries in Sweaters (15)

Thursday
Mar202014

Laura's Loop: Purl Soho's Cardigan Vest

A light bulb more than went off when Whitney (yes, of Whit’s Knits) walked into our Bee meeting and proclaimed, “I’d make that vest!” I was trying on the Purl Soho Cardigan Coat mid-project, pre-sleeves, when Whitney pointed out that there was a vest pattern not so stealthily hiding in my coat pattern. Honestly, I was so focused on the sweater coat of my dreams that I hadn’t stopped to notice the sweater vest of my dreams!

In my defense, it was September when I made the Purl Soho Cardigan Coat; sleeves seemed smart at the time. But it’s six months later and signs of spring’s arrival are finally appearing. And so, rather than unravel the sleeves of my sweater, I thought a re-knit was in order. (Plus, for my vest I needed less room for layers and decided to go down a size for a more snug fit!)

Like the Cardigan Coat, the Cardigan Vest is made of Purl Soho’s delightfully soft and springy Worsted Twist merino wool. This time I used Oyster Gray, a luminescent neutral color, perfect for pairing with just about anything! -Laura 

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Sunday
Mar162014

Whit's Knits: Kid's Fair Isle Vest

For this Kid's Fair Isle Vest I used a technique credited to a tiny island north of Scotland (aka Fair Isle) and a stitch pattern from another tiny island, this one west of Estonia (Muhu). In times and places where, by logic, function should have ruled sweater design, instead, knitters seemed to have taken sheer joy in form. It seems to me that, when they cast on for a new sweater, the women from these cold, isolated island places threw all of life's hardships and frustrations right out the window.

Such knitting ingenuity from anywhere, anytime is awe-inspiring, and the creation of this vest was a wonderful opportunity to get inside the minds of the incredible knitting women who came before us. Armed with the beautiful book, Designs and Patterns from Muhu Island, I used a pared-down palette and design to bring a modern sensibility to this extraordinary traditional stitch pattern.

And since my son, the intended recipient of this vest, doesn't plan on spending the next few months aboard a fishing vessel, instead of thick, scratchy wool, I chose Anzula's soft and supple Cricket. A combination of merino, cashmere and a touch of nylon, this subtly hand dyed yarn isn't necessarily seaworthy, but it is what we modern city-dwellers have come to appreciate!

The Kid's Fair Isle Vest is a fun challenge and also a truly satisfying trip into knitting history. Thank you to all those inspiring women who innovated such beauty by lantern light! -Whitney

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Sunday
Mar092014

The Purl Soho Pullover in Alpaca Pure

If you know me (or even just meet me!), you know that I love the basics. The walls in my home are creamy white; my wardrobe is a uniform of interchangeable layers; and ideally my cooking is confined to three fresh ingredients or less. In knitting, too, I love the basics: stockinette stitch, simple silhouettes, no-fuss engineering, and classic natural fibers.

When not much "extra" is going on, then little shifts have a big impact and slight changes become a fascinating design exercise. A simple garter stitch hat in a cool gray is a whole different thing from the same hat in a warm brown. And The Purl Soho Pullover, originally knit in our Worsted Twist merino, takes on a new life in our gorgeous Alpaca Pure, the latest fiber to join our budding collection of Purl Soho yarns!

Alpaca Pure knits up at the same gauge as our Worsted Twist, but its unique qualities create a significantly different sweater. To me, this is fascinating. The subtle differences in the texture, weight and feel of the alpaca mean a whole new sweater!

Alpaca, with its long fibers, is slightly downier than merino. It is also heavier and denser than merino, which means a super cozy Pullover with a drape like a warm waterfall. But a little goes a long way. For a child, the weight of an Alpaca Pure sweater feels snug and comfy, but for adults it might be a little much (stick with the Worsted Twist!). 

And now what I've really been waiting for, the perfect opportunity to show off my beautiful (smart, curious and hilarious) niece, Bobbie, in her favorite new sweater! -Joelle

To make The Purl Soho Pullover in Alpaca Pure for kids' sizes 2 (4, 6, 8, 10) you'll need...

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Sunday
Feb162014

Laura's Loop: The Purl Soho Friendly Fair Isle Sweater

Being partial to lore and a sucker for furry creatures with power, each year leading up to Groundhog’s Day I wonder what Punxsutawney Phil will predict. And each year, I am conflicted. Do I want the warmth and light that come with an early spring, or do I want six more weeks of winter cold so I can keep knitting with gloriously thick and wooly yarns?

Well, my ambivalence didn’t stop Phil from deciding. His decree: six more weeks of winter. But fear not, those who’ve grown weary of windburn, this Friendly Fair Isle Sweater is for you! Not only is it cuddly warm for an enduring winter season, but this punchy sweater also spreads the brightness and cheer of spring. And just in case Punxsutawney Phil’s meteorological skills aren’t quite on point this year, the Friendly Fair Isle is such a fun, quick knit, you’ll be weaving in your ends long before that early spring arrives!

I designed this no-fuss pullover with a classic cut and a raglan sleeve shoulder. And for speed and coziness, I used Purl Soho’s aptly named Super Soft Merino. The colors, I picked purposely to pop out like spring’s first flower buds peeking through the earth.

Since Phil is as unpredictable as the weather itself, I’m glad that this year I have my bases covered, a toasty sweater for winter, done well before spring… no matter when it comes!

For more information about the Friendly Fair Isle Sweater, please read below. And for the full pattern, please click here. -Laura

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Thursday
Jan022014

Easy Pullover for Babies, Toddlers + Kids. Now in Three New Sizes!

Happy New Year! While we welcome 2014, we can't help but consider what a big year 2013 was for us! Let's review...We were thrilled to launch three gorgeous new Purl Soho yarns: Alpaca Pure, Line Weight and Worsted Twist. We developed a collection of beautifully packaged, super inspiring Purl Soho Kits. We also began to assemble the materials for our Purl Bee projects into one-click-away, no-fuss kits. We welcomed the impeccable, inspiring and ultra-creative Corinne to the Purl Bee team, and we began building a library of clear and concise instructional knitting videos for you. Not to mention the dozens of free knitting, sewing, crocheting, weaving and embroidery patterns we shared right here on the Purl Bee! 

As our team pow-wows on making this upcoming year as exciting as the last, we usher in the New Year with a new and improved Purl Bee favorite: the Easy Pullover to Babies Toddlers and Kids. Originally sized for ages 12 month to 4 year olds, due to popular demand, this pattern is now for kids up to the age of 12! For the full, revised pattern and to read about how Joelle, one of our fearless leaders, conceived of this simple one-piece wonder, click right here.

And finally, a huge thank you to you for your ongoing readership and invaluable input over this past year. Your support, questions and suggestions are better than gold! We look forward to spending a very exciting 2014 with you!