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Entries in Sweet Stitching with Erin (5)

Sunday
Oct142012

New Cashmere Bandana Cowl!

Our original Bandana Cowl is a Purl Bee favorite, knit up it Swans Island beautiful merino Bulky. We love it too! But we couldn't resist the temptation to get even cozier with the help of Jade Sapphire's extraordinary 8 Ply 100% Mongolian Cashmere. Carefully selected, gorgeously spun and lovingly hand dyed, it doesn't really get any better than Jade Sapphire's cashmere!

For a whole new perspective on winter, put this quick knit at the top of your list. For Erin's original pattern, plus even more fabulous yarn suggestions, visit her Bandana Cowl Project Journal right here!

Friday
Sep072012

Sweet Stitching with Erin: Needlepoint iPhone Cases

September is always teeming with gifts to give: another cousin headed off to college, a friend to thank for watering my cactus while I've been away, a birthday to celebrate in a family strangely full of autumn birthdays. I always want to give each and every one of these people a thoughtful handmade token, but with so many gifts to make, time is certainly of the essence!

So with efficiency in mind, I used Leese Design's iPhone Cases to stitch up this classic pair of Needlepoint iPhone Cases. They make the perfect last minute gift that college-bound cousins and little brothers will love just as much as that cactus-caretaking friend!

The Herringbone Corduroy Case is a real shape shifter. I can easily picture everyone from my dad to my best friend to my niece loving the tonal grays and classic pattern that lend this case a bit of sophistication without ruining the fun.

And this yellow Scotch Stitch Case is sure to brighten the pocket (and the day!) of anyone who receives it. Its bright colors and graphic simplicity give this case a cheeky boldness and a sunny disposition, just right for a birthday!

Last fall I made these bright and cheery Cross-Stitched iPhone Cases. I still love the cross-stitched cases, but stitching them up is a real time commitment! The new cases, with their larger needlepoint stitches, can be finished in a just day or two, making my September a whole lot easier! 

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Sunday
Dec042011

Sweet Stitching with Erin: Cross-Stitch Ornaments

It happens every year, the morning after Thanksgiving I wake up with an undeniable urge to start Christmas crafting. Usually this urge culminates with me buried under my fabric and yarn stashes with no idea where to start thankfully this year is different. For the first time my husband and I will have our very own Christmas tree and I thought we should have some beautiful, hand-made ornaments to mark the occasion!

I know these ornaments will grace my tree for years to come so I want them to be special without being too time consuming! Cross-stitch is such a lovely, detailed craft that strikes just the right note for a keepsake like these ornaments. To keep them from seeming old-fashioned or stuffy, I chose a clean graphic font from DMC's Cross-Stitch Library, and the fun message "Cheers"! I'm also planning on making individual initials to serve as gift tags this year!

I used Moda's gorgeous Prairie Cloth for the front of my ornaments; not only does it have an intriguingly rustic quality, it's heavy weave also allows it to be cross-stitched. In the interest of timelessness, I chose to keep my ornaments neutral and classic, with a cheery pop of orangey-red to keep things fun! 

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Tuesday
Oct112011

Sweet Stitching with Erin: Bandana Cowl

Working at Purl Soho, I have a front row seat to the parade of effortlessly chic people that give our neighborhood its renowned style. From here I can report that, for men and women alike, this season's prevailing trend in neckwear is the bandana. Jauntily tied around the neck, it tops off everything from Sunday's T-shirt and jeans to Friday's night-on-the-town dress! The bandana is a sassy, casual touch that suggests that the wearer possesses an innate stylishness. It's the perfect accessory  for those cool mornings when you've hit snooze a few too many times and need to turn "thrown-together-in-a-rush" into "casually glamourous"!

My Bandana Cowl is inspired by my desire to make "effortlessly chic" even more effortless. I was so excited to create something with the same freshness as the tied bandana but without the fiddly aspect of actually having to tie anything! 

I chose to make my Cowl out of Swan's Island Bulky, a brand new yarn made from a beautiful blend of undyed merino and alpaca that feels wonderfully soft against the skin. The yarn creates a dense, rich fabric that's cuddly perfection for the chilly days of fall!

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Tuesday
Oct042011

Sweet Stitching with Erin: Cross-Stitch iPhone Cases

I freely admit to being one of those people who stands on the street corner with my iPhone, checking emails, looking for the closest Chinese restaurant, and calling my mom... all at the same time. But as a crafter and general lover of all things homey and handmade, Ive longed to somehow make this sleek plastic piece of technology fit into my aesthetic worldview a little better.

So, when the Leese Design Cross Stitch iPhone Case arrived at Purl Soho I could feel my crafty fingers just itching to give it a try. I couldnt decide if I wanted a modern, punchy and fun design, like the iPhone's , or if I'd prefer an ironic twist, juxtaposing four year-old technology with centuries-old craft. So, I made two!  

The Bird in a Tree version of the iPhone case, features a pattern from Caroline Vincent’s Sampler Workbook: Motifs & Patterns, an expansive collection of cross-stitch themes from the 17th through 19th centuries. The historical Autumn Tree Pattern is a classic design with a fresh and modern edge. I worked this pattern in Sajou's Retors du Nord, a lovely collection of 4-ply embroidery floss. Sajou uses vintage reproduction thread cards to wind their floss, so it felt totally natural to use their beautiful Retors du Nord for this traditional pattern.

For the striped design, I turned to the classic 6-ply DMC embroidery floss. With hundreds of colors in the DMC spectrum, including fluorescents, narrowing them down to twelve was both a pleasure and a challenge. I loved experimenting with different size stripes, mixing and matching the order of the colors to create both subtle shifts and sharp contrasts. Freeform cross-stitch is rare, so it was fun to design a project where I could really indulge my creative whims!

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