May 31st, 2016

Valley Yarns: Spring Pattern Wrap Up

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Wow, what a run of exciting new patterns. Between our Spring 2016 catalog that came out in March, new patterns for Haydenville and Longmeadow in April and all new designs for Goshen and Southwick in May we’ve introduced 13 brand new patterns to you in the last 3 months! On the off chance that you have missed any of these beauties we thought we’d pull together a little recap.

spring 2016 wrap up

Our Spring Catalog featured the Tulip Pullover in Stockbridge, the Sieberi Shawl in Longmeadow, the Leaves and Lines Afghan and the Grayson Baby Set in Haydenville, The Tink Cardigan in Sunderland, the Marguerite Scarf in Leyden and the Anemone Mitts in Goshen. A bright cheerful collection of knits for Spring from our own Valley Yarns Design Manager, Kirsten Hipsky!

fresh picks mosaic

Then we partnered with some wonderful Indie Designers for a spate of all new pattern in April and May. Three gorgeous tops in Longmeadow, Ascending Leaves, the Easy Day Tee, and the Rose Sorbet Tank, the New Hope Pullover and All Dressed Up Stole in Goshen, the Vertical Pullover in Southwick and the Honza Baby Blanket in Haydenville. We asked these designers to let the yarn inspire them and boy did it!

fresh picks june preview

And don’t worry! We have even more exciting new designs ready to reveal in June! Here’s a sneak-peek at some of the featured yarns and Indie Designs you’ll see, but we’ll also release our Summer Valley Yarns Catalog with over 20 additional new patterns. Get your needles ready, you’ve got a lot of knitting in your future!

And if you love Longmeadow or Stockbridge stock up now! Sadly, both of these yarns have been discontinued and once our current stock is sold through, it’s gone forever.

May 30th, 2016

Anniversary Sale Spotlight – Last Chance!

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Our Anniversary Sale is coming to a close tomorrow! We’ve had two full months of incredible deals on yarns for knitters, crocheters and weavers, as well as needle and hook sets. With just over 24 hours before these sale prices end you have one last chance to shop these deals and build your stash for summer and even holiday knitting!

anniv sale last chance

left, top-bottom: Tahki Cotton Classic Lite, Noro Taiyo, Knitter's Pride Dreamz Deluxe Interchangeable 
Needle Set and Cascade 220, Debbie Bliss Boheme, Lorna's Laces Solemate
right: Jade Sapphire Khata

Take home your choice of over 100 yarns and needle/hook sets now, at savings of up to 30%, while you still can! Wednesday morning at 12:00am they’ll all be full price again.

May 27th, 2016

Valley Yarns Southwick

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Southwick is another longtime favorite in the Valley Yarns line. And with almost 10 years of pattern support you have over 25 dedicated patterns to choose from! (just click on the “Related Patterns” tab at the top of the yarn page on our website to see them all)

Get to know Valley Yarns Southwick! On the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Bamboo and Pima Cotton combine in this slinky, worsted weight yarn for finished projects that have incredible shine and drape. A versatile color palette gives you great options for gradients and colorwork, or solid projects with textured stitches that will really pop. The yarn has a fantastic lustre and the colors are richer with more depth because of it.

Get to know Valley Yarns Southwick! On the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

I’ve always liked the wide striping ripples of the Paradise Pond Cowl, I’m also a big fan of our Northampton so it was a winning combo all around.  I work in an office, in a building that houses our retail store, education department and classrooms, and marketing departments, and there are very few times a year when it’s actually a steady comfortable temperature. I love winter and adore being able to bundle up, but I don’t necessarily want to be wearing wool just to ward of the chill of the AC in the summer. I dug through our pattern archives and decided that this cowl worked in Southwick would be perfect, and I was right! I used 3 balls of #26 Classic Navy for the main body, 1 ball of #22 Teal for the stripes, and 1 ball of #21, Blue Mist for the edging. I didn’t have quite enough of the Blue mist left for the edging and I likes the look of the 3 colors used for the original. I also moved up to a slightly bigger hook. I used an H, the pattern called for a G, but I wanted to make sure the stitches could move around and the resulting fabric wouldn’t be too stiff. It worked beautifully and I’m super happy with the finished cowl. The whole project, 5 balls, cost me only $26.95!

Get to know Valley Yarns Southwick! On the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

With over 8 years of great pattern support you have a full range of project choices from knit or crochet! Pictured above is a selection of my favorites.

top l-r: Pincushion Moss Shawl, Blue Mist Cardigan, Nakota Cardigan, Fiddle Head Set

bottom l-r: In the Loop, Beveled Silver Wrap, O’Quinn Cowl, Vertical Pullover

And don’t miss Greta’s review of Southwick from our Youtube Channel You can find reviews of many of our Valley Yarns, great technique tutorials, product reviews and extra special tidbits! What will you knit with Southwick? One of our original patterns or one originally intended for another yarn? Tell us all about it in the comments!

May 26th, 2016

Want to be Inspired?

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Do you have a knitter in your life who consistently amazes and inspires you? Someone who tackles challenging projects and actually finishes them on a timely basis? As Store Manager, I’m fortunate to get to know lots of WEBS customers and their work. Sometimes I’m so impressed that I ask them to be sample knitters for the store. I’d like to introduce you to one of these ladies today. Her name is Susan Drew and if you’ve been in the store and admired one of our samples, there’s a good chance that she knit it.

Susan and I have had many occasions to talk and when I hit on the idea of featuring some of our customers and their beautiful work as an occasional feature of my blog posts, I immediately thought of her. Susan is one of the smartest, accomplished and conscientious knitters I know. We sat down a couple of weeks ago to talk about her knitting life.

Customer project spotlight on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Clockwise from top left: Russian Medallion Shawl by Inna Voltchkova(Piecework Sept/Oct 2015) in JaggerSpun Zephyr Wool-Silk 2/18, Curry. Kowhai and Fern Shawl by Margaret Stove from Wrapped in Lace in Juniper Moon Farm Findley, White. Daydreams in Lace by Brooke Nico(Knitter’s Magazine 100, Fall 2010) in Jojoland Ballad, Coffee Beaded Diamond Shawl by Catherine Devine in Schaefer Yarn Company Andrea Beaded Wedding Purse by Susan Rainey in Red Heart Fashion Crochet Thread (size 5), Silver This shawl was knit by my mother in the early 1960’s. I do not know the name of the pattern or yarn.

 

Like many of us, Susan’s mother taught her to knit at the age of eight. After a 20 year hiatus (during which she worked and raised a family), Susan picked up the craft again, exploring a new world of fibers, teaching herself new techniques, attending Stitches conventions, and enrolling in our WEKP program five years ago. After some initial difficulty with a complicated lace shawl using 100% silk yarn, she realized two things: she was intrigued by lace knitting and, lace was not the type of knitting she’d be able to do for the rest of her life (fine yarn and tiny charts!). Susan wanted to create a collection of exquisite knits to pass on to future generations who would wear them and appreciate the art and craft of knitting.

Susan has built her Heirloom Collection around projects that she loves the most. A stole that her mother knit was the piece that launched her Collection. She is drawn to traditional lace from around the world and is intrigued by the stories behind the designs, particularly Estonian and Russian creations. She’s even made her peace with nupps using bamboo needles that she sharpens herself! Susan credits Ravelry as a research tool for upcoming projects and as a means of communication with other knitters and designers world-wide. A portion of Susan’s Heirloom pieces are featured in the photos here. All knit with luxurious fibers, being able to appreciate them in person was a real treat.

I join Susan in her belief that knitting is one of the most rewarding things that we do. Knowing that we’ve used our own hands to make something unique is a pleasure that all crafts people share. We are all very privileged in perpetuating a centuries-long art and making it our own.

If you know of knitters or crocheters who inspire you, drop me a note.  I’d love to share their work here.

Knit away!

May 25th, 2016

Anniversary Sale Spotlight – Favorites!

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This week I thought I’d share some of my favorite yarns from the Anniversary Sale this year. I knit and crochet but these yarns are versatile enough to be perfect for both and they all make great stash yarns for future, unknown projects!

WEBS Anniversary Sale yarns - staff favorites. Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

I love a good one skein project and Frosted Leaves from Louisa harding is just that! A simple, repeating leaf motif with a garter stitch border that shows off the stunning self-striping colors of Amitola Grande, this pattern is one I keep in the last minute gifts folder. Not only is it a free pattern but the yarn is a heavy worsted weight and one skein completes the project. During the sale that means this whole project only costs you $17.49! Amitola Grande is a single ply yarn with a blend of 80% wool and 20% silk, you get warm fluffyness from the wool and strength and shine from the silk, and there are some gorgeous colorways here.

WEBS Anniversary Sale yarns - staff favorites. Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

I’ve made several projects with yarns from Mrs. Crosby and Train Case is one of the best.  A blend of  superwash merino, nylon and Outlast – that futuristic rayon fiber technology that continuously interacts with your body to moderate your temperature and keep you from being too hot or too cold. The future is here! not only that but it’s machine washable. The hand dyed colors of this yarn are just stunning and sometimes you really need to just let them take center stage. And sometimes you need a project that has lots of visual interest when finished but doesn’t take a lot of brain power in the making, I can’t keep track of a complicated project and pay attention at my daughter’s softball game! The Color Affection Shawl is just the right fit, lots of easy-peasy garter stitch and simple stripes to keep you going without too much effort, and the result is a stunning shawl!

WEBS Anniversary Sale yarns - staff favorites. Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

The Jo Sharp yarns are just some of the classiest yarns I have in my stash. Silk Road DK Tweed is an incredible blend of 85% wool, 10% silk, and 5%cashmere in earthy, organic tones with pops of tweedy color. The two-ply structure and fiber blend knit up into a fabric with a beautiful hand and great drape but it still has a good amount of body. I love this yarn for garments. I am also a big fan of versatile patterns and the Wide Collar Vest and Cardigan pattern is just that. Take your pick of a cropped cardigan or a longer vest, both with generous lapels. The vest seems like the kind of layering piece that I would wear a lot! Loose and casual with a tshirt and jeans around the house, or more tailored and belted with dress pants and a button down shirt for the office.

WEBS Anniversary Sale yarns - staff favorites. Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Finally, Berroco Ultra Alpaca is one of the first yarns that I stashed and I keep finding ways to use it, it’s just that good. With over 40 incredible colors, in soft heathered solids from striking jewel tones to classic neutrals, there’s color for almost every project you can imaging.  The Avocet B sweater, a free PDF, is one that’s been in my queue for a long time and this might just be the right time to cast on. An incredible comfy cardigan in all-over garter stitch, I might just live in this one!

So there you have 4 of my favorite yarns from the May portion of our Anniversary Sale. What are some of your favorites and what plans are you hatching for them?

May 24th, 2016

Introducing Valley Yarns Bromley

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Everytime I turn around we have a brand new Valley Yarns pattern or a new Yarn and I think it can’t get any better than this. And then it does! This past week Bromley arrived and I can’t stop dreaming about ways to use it.

Valley Yarns Bromley on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Let me tell you about this yarn. Two gently spun singles are loosely plied around one another for a yarn that works beautifully at a DK weight when knit a bit on the loose side and as a sport weight if knit a little tightly. This stuff is so soft! The cashmere is, cashmere, with all the inherent soft-as-a-cloud-ness that you would expect. The super kid mohair brings 2 important qualities to the yarn, a fiber that takes the dye differently than the cashmere base for a more deeply heathered look and an underlying shine to the finished yarn. There’s a faint shimmer to this yarn, an almost opaline quality.

Valley Yarns Bromley on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Once I swatched this beauty I knew that I wanted to wear it next to my skin, a lot! I wear fingerless mitts at work almost every day to keep my hands warm while I’m at my desk and I remembered the Orchid Mitts pattern for our now discontinued Northampton Sport. This yarn and pattern were made for each other! I’m working with the #09 Natural and the #18 Willow and I am enjoying every stitch. I can’t wait to finish these so I can wear them while I make more pairs! I only need 2 balls of Bromley to complete the pair and at just $13.99 a ball, that means I have a gorgeous pair of mitts for only $27.98!

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, everybody deserves a little cashmere in their life! Which Valley Yarns are you working with? Tell us in the comments.

May 23rd, 2016

Vertical Pullover

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With the warm days of Spring rolling in it’s tempting to think only of tank tops and cute summer shorts but those chilly May nights will remind you right quick that it’s not quite time to be without an extra layer or two.

The Vertical Pullover from Valley Yarns. Learn more about the yarn, the design, and where you can get a copy of the pattern on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

The new Vertical Pullover from Valley Yarns is that perfect layer! A roomy sweater with 3/4 length sleeves, and it’s namesake vertical bands of stockinette and textured stitch patterns, that’s worked from the bottom up and seamed for structure. Being a little longer than usual, hip length, makes this pullover a comfortable and casual, mid-season layering piece.

The Vertical Pullover from Valley Yarns. Learn more about the yarn, the design, and where you can get a copy of the pattern on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Knit in Valley Yarns Southwick, a 52% Pima Cotton/48% Bamboo blend, this pullover will last through a lifetime of wear and the surprising shine from the bamboo means that your stitches won’t lose definition over time! With 20 colors, from bright and cheerful to muted neutrals, there’s a color of Southwick for everyone.

Be sure to check out all the new patterns from Valley Yarns here. Tell us which one is your favorite and what kinds of designs you’d like to see  in the comments.

May 21st, 2016

Ready, Set, Knit! 445: Kathy talks with Vickie Howell

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This week Kathy talks with Vickie Howell about her new book, Wee Garter Stitch. She was brave enough to do a fashion show for the book at VK Live in Pasadena last week!

Ready, Set, Knit! episode #445 - Kathy talks with Vickie Howell. Listen now on the WEBS Blog - blog.yarn.com

Vickie talks about her path to the crafting industry, when she learned how to knit, and how this book reflects what she’s learned about crafters and knitters during her career.

And stay tuned for a big exciting new project here at WEBS with Vickie Howell later in the year!

Steve’s Yarn Picks of the week:

Reminder:

Our retail Store Closed Memorial Day,  Monday May 30th.

Seats are going fast in our Color Theory Class with the amazing Amy Hendrix of Madelinetosh! If you can make it to the class you can join us for a meet and greet, please register so we know how many to expect.

Upcoming Events:

The I-91 Shop Hop will take place June 23–26th. Get your passport now and plan your weekend!

Be sure to check out all of our upcoming Events here.

Right click or CTRL+click and Save As to download the MP3 of this Podcast Subscribe to Ready, Set, Knit! in iTunes Subscribe to the Ready, Set, Knit! Podcast RSS Feed

May 20th, 2016

Closeout Gold

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Because I have been affected by our Anniversary Sale, I have been prowling around the warehouse like a thief, looking for something extraordinary to add to my ever-growing stash. (Mind you, it’s not that I need yarn. Oh no, no, no.) I found Classic Elite Fresco in some discontinued colors in our closeout row and it made me unreasonably happy. First of all, favorite gauge, hands down, is sport weight. Second of all, it’s a happy combo of 60% wool, 30% baby alpaca, and 10% angora. That means that the wool keeps the alpaca in line, not allowing it to get drapy and saggy. The alpaca keeps the angora in line, toning down what sometimes is an unruly halo to a fine shadow around each nicely-twisted strand.

My mother-in-law once made my notoriously picky youngest son a gorgeous argyle vest in Fresco, and try to remember that you like me when I tell you that I stole it right out from under him. He doesn’t even know where that vest lives, but when he sees me wearing it, he gets a resigned expression and no doubt, plots his escape to college and how he’ll hide that vest in his sheets and make a clean getaway.

Great discontinued colors at WEBS, like Classic Elite Fresco. Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

I saw just the thing that will restore family harmony: this vest, designed by my knitting idol, Veronik Avery. You can find it in Classic Elite’s Saturday Afternoon pattern booklet, and it’s dreamy. A deep V-neck and soft, heathery colors make this so appealing right now, when it’s freezing cold in the morning, and warm and spring-like in the afternoon.

Fresco is a top-quality yarn and we have lots of colors on sale! Come check out Aisle 600 in our warehouse, or shop it online and stock up. You’ve got some knitting to do!

May 19th, 2016

Introducing Valley Yarns Pocumtuck

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I’m  so excited to share our newest yarn with you! Valley Yarns Pocumtuck is a 100% Cashmere yarn in a super versatile DK weight and in 24 bold and modern colors.

Valley Yarns Pocumtuck on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

I am an admitted fiber snob, most of the time, and I was gobsmacked by the incredible softness and squooshyness of this yarn. It has a cable plied construction which helps to give some strength to the yarn and lends the stitches a crisp definition without making the hand of the yarn too crunchy or stiff. I’m not sure if there’s a staff member here who didn’t take a few skeins home this week and immediately cast on with hooks or needles!

Valley Yarns Pocumtuck on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Our Design Manager Kirsten pulled together two lovely colors for a beautifully unisex pattern, the Petra Cowl, and it’s FREE! Just two skeins of Pocumtuck and an incredibly simple stitch pattern, worn in reverse, gives you an accessory with  bold architectural lines and a surprisingly lush feel that’s perfect for anyone on your gift list. Everybody deserves a little cashmere in their life! How will you work Pocumtuck into your project plans? Tell us in the comments.