September 4th, 2015
One of the best parts of my job this year has been helping with the development of a new line of coned yarn for weavers. We looked for something close to home and are proud to say that the cotton is grown, spun and dyed in the USA. The fun really began, however, with creating the color palette. It was equal parts giddy excitement (I can pick any color I want!) and challenging (the colors have to play well together). I was satisfied with what we we put together, but even more so when I saw them all on the shelf – it just looks happy. And now that it’s here, it’s time to launch our newest Valley Yarn – 6/2 Unmercerized Cotton in 30 gorgeous colors.
A little heavier than the 8/2 cotton we know and love for dishtowels and and other household handwovens, the 6/2 is deliciously soft and cozy and will be perfect for blankets, throws, shawls and, of course, thicker towels. We have been sampling it in a variety of weave structures and the hand is lovely and shows great definition for laces and twills.
We began brainstorming ideas for projects as soon as we got the first samples of the yarn and asked a few weaving friends to design drafts for us. Chris Hammel’s Summer Garden Towel was in our booth at NEWS and now you can buy the draft and weave it yourself. Thick and absorbent, this delightful towel combines the new Valley Yarns 6/2 Cotton with our Valley Yarns 10/2 Cotton and is woven in a Summer and Winter structure. I love the feel of it and I think I may expand the draft to weave bath towels for our house.
We have more drafts to come – a summer shawl in a blended draft of lace with overshot borders, a dishtowel in a crepe weave and warm color palette, and here’s a sneak peek of the cuddly cozy baby blanket that is guaranteed to be the favorite lovey for a special little one.
So join us in welcoming our new ‘baby’ – Valley Yarns 6/2 Cotton. What will you make with it?
September 3rd, 2015
Remember all that fun we had back in July during Tour de Fleece? Well, we get one more week of prize-winning, spinning fun with Spinzilla!
Registration is open now, and you’d better go register for your team, they’re filling fast. You can always spin on your own as a rogue and still compete for prizes. Go here to register now! And keep an eye on the blog in the coming weeks. We’re going to have some great spinning tips and tricks for you to get ready for all that spinning excitement. We’ll have all kinds of things happening in our store that week so keep an eye on our website and if you’re local come join us. In October we’ll even have some great posts about what to do with your handspun for knitters, crocheters and weavers!
September 2nd, 2015
September always seems to sneak up on you. The last heatwave of August rolls right into the first frosts of autumn. To celebrate the changing of the seasons why not knit Changing Tack, the newest pattern from our Designer in Residence, Fiona Ellis. The Valley Yarns Brimfield is a gorgeous blend of extrafine merino and silk with a shine you won’t believe. Be adventurous and use the peridot color in the sample or try one of a dozen other shades.
Changing Tack is a perfect between-season sweater, inspired by traditional cabled sweaters but with a modern twist. The pattern placement and repeats are set asymmetrically on the figure-flattering silhouette to give an updated look. The slightly flared sleeves add to the feminine appeal. Knitting with Valley Yarns Brimfield takes this pullover to the next level with gorgeous stitch definition and a wonderful sheen from the silk.
Five gorgeous patterns already this year. Where does the time go?! You have just enough time to knit Changing Tack before we reveal the final design from Fiona in this Series. Which design has been your favorite?
August 29th, 2015
This week Kathy talks with WEBS 2015 Crochet Designer in Residence, Doris Chan!
The talk about the surprising simplicity of her newest design, the Crocheted Goshen Jacket, and how sophisticated and elegant it can look.
WEBS was a sponsor of the 2015 Crochet Guild Crochet Design Contest – check out the winners on their recap blog post.
Steve’s Yarn Picks of the week :
Fall classes are open. Register now, they’re filling fast!
Bathroom renovations are happening in our retail store. We are now restricted to a single stall for all our customers and employees. Please plan ahead for restroom stops before and after your visit to help alleviate lines for other customers and staff. We will be down to just one bathroom stall through the Labor day weekend – PLEASE plan ahead.
Registration for Spinzilla opens Sept. 1st at 10am. Are you ready?
Sign ups are open for our annual bus trip to Rhinebeck – get your seat now!
Be sure to check out all of our upcoming Events here.
August 28th, 2015
Even though it’s still hot enough to be annoying, school is in session here at WEBS. Fall classes are available online even as we speak! Fall has always been my favorite season, because I’m way better at starting things than finishing them. Our Handmade Holiday workshops will guarantee that you’ll have a finished project in a day or two; quickly enough that you can make all kinds of gifts and decorations for the last part of fall without breaking a sweat.
For instance…Amigurumi Halloween Monsters. How cute are they? So cute. This three-hour class teaches the basics of amigurumi (small crocheted figures, monsters, food, etc) and you’ll end up with a Frankie, a Mrs. Frankie, and a baby Candy Corn. Amy Stephens, our resident photography coordinator, will be teaching her very popular Snow Families and Evergreens class, and you may remember those from last year’s Holiday Catalog cover. It won’t take long for you to be enraptured with these fun, simple projects to decorate your home, or give to a special friend.
We haven’t left out the traditional favorites, either. Challenge yourself with Carol Feller’s Barkentine pattern in Intermediate Sweater Skills. Finally delve into the world of woven cloth in Weekend Weaving. Learn intricate stitch patterns and how to conquer them once and for all in Stitches: Textures. Or whip up a seamless sweater custom-fit to you in Top Down Raglan Sweater from Measurements.
Our guest instructors are pretty awesome this fall–returning for a second visit is Kate Atherley, author and technical editor at Knitty.com. She’ll be teaching a day of design and pattern-writing skills, as well as showcasing techniques from her new book, Custom Fit Socks. And for spinners, Shannon Herrick from Frabjous Fibers will be here in November to play with 3-D Fiber spinning.
Even if you aren’t near enough to WEBS to take a class, you can choose from tons of great pattern and technique books on our site, or go to our YouTube Channel to learn a new skill! What would you like to master this fall?
August 26th, 2015
I don’t know about you but I’m glad that there’s a little something for me in the midst of all this back-to-school shopping! I have a high-schooler and a middle-schooler this year and between the backpacks, notebooks, binders, new clothes and the equipment for Fall sports I was feeling a little left out of all the shopping fun. The good news is I can add a few great yarns to my stash, get a jump start on holiday gift projects and not have to pay for shipping!
I’m loving the new Hatfield from Valley Yarns, buttery soft baby alpaca in some gorgeous colors. The Fruits of the Forest Shawl would be just perfect for my Sister-in Law and I’ll only need 2 skeins!
Another great 2 skein project is the Tokudama Socks in Valley Yarns Huntington. I’m planning on making socks in my oldest daughter’s school colors for spirit days, orange and black! That right there is $25.56 in Valley Yarns, FREE Shipping is mine!
I’m going to add a Pepperberry Knits Fun Size Bundle to my order and make a stripey, chevron cowl just for me! And I might add some single skeins of Color by Kristin, and a few cones of the 30s Yorkshire Wool for some weaving projects I have in mind.
How will you take advantage of the FREE Shipping offer? Will you plan out a few projects, fill your stash with great workhorse yarns or take the leap with a few luxury splurges?
August 25th, 2015
Every one needs that perfect go-to sweater for Fall, the one that fits beautifully and goes with almost everything in your wardrobe. The Converging Cables Cardigan fits the bill! Knit in Valley Yarns Stockbridge a 50/50 bland of superfine Alpaca and wool with almost two dozen colors to choose from, you won’t have a problem finding the perfect color for you.
This pattern integrates top-down, seamless design with set-in sleeves, ribbed saddle shoulders, and traditional Aran cables that grow closer together over the length of the body. Ribbed panels on the front and back help give it the perfect fit.
We’d love to see your finished garments! Anytime you’ve made a Valley Yarns pattern be sure to tag it with #VYwearit We may feature you here on the blog, highlight you on our Facebook page, or repost you on Instagram!
August 22nd, 2015
There’s no new show this week, but but you can cool down a bit just by listening to this episode from February of this year when we were in the grip of a record breaking cold snap!
With some steadily hot temperatures and high humidity in the Northeast this past week it’s been hard to find projects to work on that didn’t make it even worse! What do you knit/crochet when it’s too hot but you just can’t help yourself?
August 21st, 2015
Have you taken advantage of our End of Summer Sale? Did you stock up on Color by Kristin, Blue Sky Alpacas Techno, Noro Shiro, Rowan Frost and almost 60 other yarns? Did you take advantage of the incredible sale prices on Colonial Needle Company Rosewood needles? Did you check out the amazing coned yarns? And don’t forget the yarns that got added after the sale started, Aslan Trends Royal Alpaca and Discontinued colors of Louet Gems Fingering, Sport and Worsted!
It’s your last chance! Stock up your stash and plan your holiday projects now while you can still save up to 60% off the original prices on some of these incredible yarns.
August 20th, 2015
We’re continually trying to find new ways to make your shopping experience easier when you visit us in Northampton. The store and warehouse are enormous, and if you’re visiting for the first time, our size and selection can be overwhelming. For the past several months, we’ve been producing a weekly flyer which lists a variety of store-related news and events—from new yarns and accessories to upcoming classes and events. The back of the newsletter has a store map, indicating general locations throughout the store.
If you’ve visited us recently, you might have noticed a few changes we’ve made. As soon as you enter the store, you’ll find a frequently-changing central display that features some of the most recent additions to the store. We’ve created a new Fingering weight section (see the map) where the novelty yarns used to be. And in the Sport/DK and Worsted sections of the store, we’ve separated the hand wash and machine washable yarns. That way, if you’re looking for a machine washable DK weight yarn, you have an entire wall of yarns to choose from. None of these improvements takes the place of speaking with one of our staff members, however. We’re here to make your shopping experience as enjoyable as possible, so please let us help you find just the yarn or pattern you’re looking for.