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Sunday
Jul062014

Molly's Sketchbook: Railroad Tote

I recently had a run of bad bag luck. I had a leather purse that I loved, but it was destroyed when a bottle of water opened up inside of it. Then the pretty tote bag I used as a replacement ripped, leaving me completely bagless, disheartened and uninspired. Then one day as I was sitting by my sewing machine, I caught a glimpse out of the corner of my eye of some Railroad Denim fabric and eureka! With its sturdy weight and classic stripe, I knew I could make a winning bag that I’d be excited to carry!

A mere hour after my initial inspiration, I was tossing my wallet, lip gloss and keys into my beautiful new Railroad Tote, and my bag woes were a distant memory! I was so happy with how this tote turned out that I quickly made another using double-sided Black Washed 8 oz Denim. Both versions are hearty and strong and will stand up to washing and water bottle mishaps while still looking cute.

So if you’ve been having some bad bag luck yourself, or if you just need something fresh for summer, this project is for you. Make your own luck! -Molly

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Wednesday
Jul022014

The Red, White and Blue!

The best part of Independence Day? That would have to be Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. The second best part? Definitely the palette!

This year we're celebrating the Fourth of July with classic Purl Bee designs that employ Old Glory's signature red, white and blue. These projects also happen to be some of our very favorites for summertime, all of them designed to fill hot, lazy afternoons with fresh inspiration...

The materials for lots of these projects are available in convenient Purl Soho kits. Browse them all right here! And have a very happy Fourth of July!

Sunday
Jun292014

Molly's Sketchbook: Modular Felt Coasters

Sometimes the most original and creative things are devised because of, and not despite, limitations. These constraints can be practical, like using old clothes or flour sacks to create beautiful quilts, but sometimes they are self-imposed. Think of Piet Mondrian and the De Stijl movement using only primary colors and simple shapes or Henri Matisse creating masterpieces using just scissors and colored paper. 

These Modular Felt Coasters work within the limitations of a grid using only 2-inch squares and right triangles, but the process of creating these coasters is pure invention, much more like play than work! I love how each coaster evolves into its own little treasure, amazingly different from the others despite the similarity of their components.

In addition to being super fun to make, these Modular Felt Coasters are also super simple. Just cut and hand stitch! No machine required, so tuck a Felt Bundle into your carry on or weekend tote. And when you’re done, slip your new coasters under some tall, beachy drinks!

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Thursday
Jun262014

Laura's Loop: Tulip Tank Top

At first bud a tulip’s elongated petals are packed tightly, protectively hugging its center, but it doesn’t take long for the stance of the petals to soften. Those lovely ovals separate slightly and open finally, giving a glimpse of what’s inside. Even as the petals flounce, they remain in an embrace, now catching the sunlight, as well as the attention of admirers.

Wanting to experience the beauty and femininity of a tulip’s structure, I designed this Tulip Tank Top to wrap and overlap, to gently hug my center… maybe even to attract some admirers!

I took advantage of the beauty and drape of Louet’s 100% linen Euroflax, knowing it would fall gracefully and catch the light with movement. I knit this piece primarily in stockinette stitch for a smooth finish and a pretty, little curl along the short-row-shaped edges. And over time, you can expect the linen to soften and relax, becoming better with each wear.

I may not be frolicking amidst the actual tulips this year, but my new Tulip Tank has me feeling as fancy-free as if I were! -Laura 

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Sunday
Jun222014

Whit's Knits: Washcloths and Scrubbing Mitt

We cleanse ourselves; we perform our ablutions; we purify and detoxify. In short, we take bathing to spiritual heights. For such a journey, shouldn't we equip ourselves properly? These scrubbers should do the trick, imbued, as they are, with the devotion inherent in the handmade.

This lovely little Washcloths and Scrubbing Mitt set isn't designed for your three-minute-slap-on-the-soap-and-rinse shower. No...These beauties are for your no-one-is-home-no-place-to-go soak.

These bathing accessories are made possible by the wild creativity and impeccable touch of Habu Textiles. Their incredible Cork Chenille is constructed around a thin cotton strand bedecked by little flags of cotton ribbon. Knit up in simple garter stitch, the texture is gently exfoliating, thick, lush and deeply satisfying.

With a few little balls of Cork Chenille and a set of needles, you've got the perfect, no-sweat project for summer's traveling and lollygagging. And when you're done, take a a nice, long bath! -Whitney

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