Author Archive

Valley Yarns on Ravelry – Deerfield

Sunday, September 9th, 2012
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This week I’m highlighting some beautiful projects on Ravelry knit in Valley Yarns Deerfield. This baby alpaca and silk yarn in a DK weight works great for patterns with textural details such as lace and cables. It’s available in an elegant color palette of 17 colors plus natural. If you don’t see a color you love, Valley Yarns Deerfield is also available in 250-gram hanks, perfect for hand dyeing. Check out how nerdyknitting dyed Deerfield for her shawl below.

Follow the links to read more about each project knit in Deerfield.

Rose Red by Ysolda Teague knit by knancyknits and misformonkey
Pattern available to download from our website.

 

Aran Wrap Cardigan by Angela Hahn knit by IrinaMS
Pattern available to download from Vogue Knitting.

 

Harper by Katie Rose Pryal knit by winemeup
Pattern available as a free Ravelry download.

 

Begonia Sweater by Trudi Brown knit by teenyfireball
Pattern available as a free Ravelry download.

 

Textured Shawl Recipe by Orlane knit by nerdyknitting
Pattern available as a free Ravelry download.

 

Madrigal by Kristen Rengren knit by TheKnittyGritty
Pattern available for purchase from Twist Collective.

Valley Yarns on Ravelry – Colrain

Friday, August 24th, 2012
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It’s time for another Valley Yarns on Ravelry blog post. This time I’m focusing on some great sweaters knit in Valley Yarns Colrain, a luminous 50/50 merino Tencel blend yarn which has some gorgeous saturated colors including my new favorite, Ocean Blue.

Valley Yarns Colrain has been around awhile and has stood the test of time. Customers love the shimmery and soft sheen that the Tencel contributes. It’s a dream to knit with and has a lovely drape. A recent customer review says it all.

“I knitted a shawlette in perwinkle colrain. Love this yarn! Almost no splitting, very soft, beautiful color and drape. I find no negatives with it at all. It’s so soft and very nice to knit with, I have ordered more! And ya can’t beat the price!” Adamina from Centennial, CO

Check out these sweaters knit in Colrain from some talented folks on Ravelry.

Swing Swing designed by Janine Le Cras; Available for free at knotions.

Sorelle Lace-Edged Pullover designed by Angela Hahn, knit by BarbieKnits; Pattern available for purchase on Knititude.

Heron Cardigan designed by Dorothy Jane, knit by bhargavip08; Available to purchase on Ravelry.

Ingenue designed by Wendy Bernard, knit by sarah1; Available from the book Custom Knits.

Opulent Raglan designed by Wendy Bernard, knit by kellygirl; Available from the book The Best of Knitscene.

Middlefield Pullover designed by Melissa LaBarre, knit by jerdlngr; Available from the book New England Knits.

So, what have you knit with Colrain? Or have you not had a chance to try it yet?

Valley Yarns on Ravelry – Huntington

Saturday, July 28th, 2012
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Valley Yarns Huntington is Steve’s Deal of the Day until Sunday (7/29) at midnight for $3.29/50g hank, normally $4.79. Use promo code FBHUNTING2 in your shopping cart to get the deal price.

Since Valley Yarns Huntington is on sale this weekend as Steve’s Deal of the Day, I’d like to highlight a few projects posted on Ravelry which use this yarn. Four years ago we wanted to add a solid color sock yarn to our collection of Valley Yarns. But as you can see below, Huntington is not just for socks. It’s also perfect for fine-gauge sweaters, colorwork, and gorgeous lacy shawls.

Check out the great projects WEBS customers have been knitting (and designing) lately.

Henry Street Shawl by Nina Machlin Dayton knit by ninaknits
Available for purchase on Ravelry.

Dot’s Lace Shawlette knit by happykat
Available as a free Ravelry download.

Shetland Shorty by Gudrun Johnston knit by craftygeek
Available for free from knitty.com.

Fields of Flowers by Sarah Bordelon knit by Laceknitting
Available for purchase on Ravelry.

Dance of Robots by Soile Pyhänniska knit by yarnbee
Available for free on Ravelry.

Baby Merry-Jane – Booties by Bekah Knits knit by aaronruby
Available for purchase on Ravelry.

Waterville Hat by Marcy Vandale
Available for purchase from yarn.com.

 

Summer Project Ideas from Kirsten Hipsky

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012
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Whew! It’s hot all over the Northern Hemisphere right now, and it’s hard to even think about those heavy wool and alpaca sweaters we love so much in winter, much less knit them. But high temperatures don’t have to mean idle hands – it can be the perfect time for some special projects that you might not think about in the other seasons.

First, there are small projects: sure, you may not want to wear hats and mittens right now, but in a few months, you’ll sure be glad to be able to throw them on for the first cold snap and to give to knit-worthy loved ones for the holidays (That’s right! Holiday knitting! In November, you’ll be glad you started now). And the small size means you can easily knit them on the go without a lot of yarn or work-in-progress in your lap.

Try the Silver Lining Hat, out of light and lovely hand dyed Valley Yarns 2/14 Alpaca Silk or crocheting the delightful Wheatleigh Hat and Gloves.

 

How’s about making some cute little penguins and polar bears to make you think of colder days? Knitted and crocheted toys are perfect little projects to carry around during the summer.

 

Another tip is working with thin yarn and plant fibers. The less warm fiber in your hands, the cooler you’ll be. Consider some fast and fun, loose-gauge lace weight sweaters, like the Bordeaux Pullover, made with Valley Yarns Colrain Lace or the elegant Iced Branch Shawl out of the cool and surprisingly easy to knit Valley Yarns Longmeadow.

Making socks? Fingering weight wool is cooler and more breathable on your hands and feet than thicker wool yarns. Try our soft and smooth Valley Yarns Huntington in the Sunny Day Socks.

If your knit-worthy gift recipient is demanding a warm winter blanket, and you have to knit it right now, no sweat! Just find a pattern that’s made of small motifs, squares or strips that you can join together later, like the stunning Amethyst Brook blanket or the refreshing Valley Log Cabin Blanket. (Hint: This tip can also apply to sweaters – even if you’re usually a fan of seamless construction, summer has a way of making you appreciate those small cardigan fronts!)

 

And let’s not forget spinning and weaving! Nothing like the cool breeze from a fast spinning wheel, and the summertime is a great time for spinning up all your fiber for fall, winter and spring knitting.

Weaving is a great way to work with less elastic, cool fibers like cotton, tencel, and linen for projects that are needed in every season. Another big bonus for weaving – none of it’s sitting on your lap! If you don’t already know these great, all-seasons crafts, consider taking the summer months as chance to learn something new. You may want to check out Learning to Weave by Deborah Chandler or the Learn To Spin Kit from Nancy’s Knit Knacks.

What kind of projects do you like to do during the hot months of summer? Share your ideas in the comments below. We’d love to hear how you deal with the heat.

Tuesday’s Knitting Tip – Pick Up Stitches with a Tunisian Crochet Hook

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012
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I love using interchangeable knitting needles. Late at night or after the yarn shop has closed, I know that I will still have just the right needle size for those spur-of-the-moment knitting projects that I just need to start…right now. Now, many knitting needle companies (Denise, Knitter’s Pride, Addi) have added Tunisian crochet hooks that work with your interchangeable knitting needle sets.

I’ve read about how if you have trouble picking up stitches you can pick them up with a crochet hook and transfer them to your knitting needle. But I find that method a little tedious. A much slicker method is to use an interchangeable Tunisian crochet hook to pick up stitches around a neck or along a button band. As you pick up the stitches with your hook, they slide along and collect on the cord. Once you’ve finished picking up the correct number of stitches, just switch out the Tunisian crochet tip for a knitting needle tip and away you go, knitting the button band or neckband.

Valley Yarns on Ravelry – Valley Superwash DK

Friday, July 13th, 2012
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Summer is the perfect time for knitting and crocheting smaller projects such as baby and kids garments and accessories. Nobody wants a big afghan or sweater sitting on their lap when it’s hot and sticky outside.

Valley Yarns Valley Superwash DK is a great yarn for baby and kids projects since it’s soft, machine washable, and comes in 22 fun colors. And at $5.49/50g ball, it’s a great price for a 100% extrafine merino superwash yarn.

In this issue of Valley Yarns on Ravelry, I’m sharing some cute projects knit and crocheted in Valley Superwash DK – hats, sweaters, an elephant and even a stylin’ chevron stripe dress.

Zippy by Valerie Morris knit by ilovemath
Available for purchase on Ravelry.

Puerperium Cardigan by Kelly Brooker knit by eversosmall
Available as a free Ravelry download.

Easy Baby Cardigan by Diane Soucy knit by chipmunk-knits
Available for free from Knitting Pure & Simple.

Elephant by Kristen rask crocheted by chipmunk-knits
Available in the book Creature Crochet.

December Stripes Hat by Elinor Brown knit by knittywood
Available as a free Ravelry download.

Sweet Little Hat crocheted and designed by April Garwood
Available for purchase on Ravelry.

What cute baby and kid projects have you made with Valley Superwash DK?

Tuesday’s Knitting & Crochet Tip – Photocopy Your Swatches on Graph Paper

Tuesday, July 10th, 2012
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When Kathy O, one of the recent graduates of the Expert Knitter Certification Program, handed in her final project and design journal we noticed an interesting tip!

Kathy knit and blocked her swatches, and then placed them on a photocopier and printed a copy of her swatches onto graph paper. This allowed her to always have her swatches with her for quick reference, without having to carry around the bulk of multiple swatches, or risk damaging the swatches. This can also be done using a scanner.

Tuesday’s Knitting Tip – How to Distribute Stitches Evenly When Picking Up Stitches

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012
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Thanks to Tina McElmoyl for this week’s knitting tip, sure to help the next time you need to pick up stitches for a collar or armhole.

When I need to pick up a specific number of stitches evenly, around an armhole or along a hem, I like to mark the pick-up edge at regular points with locking stitch markers. This helps me to distribute the picked-up stitches so that there is a similar amount between each marker. If I’m picking up along a hem, I’ll fold the fabric in half to give me an estimate of the halfway point. If I’m picking up along a circular edge, an armhole for example, I’ll mark the edge at 12 o’clock and 6 o’clock (and maybe also at 9 o’clock and 3 o’clock).

Tuesday’s Knitting Tip – Using Unconventional Tools

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012
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Leave it to Kirsten Hipsky for thinking outside the box when she doesn’t have all of her knitting supplies with her. Thanks for sharing your story for this week’s knitting tip.

I had to separate the sleeves on a top-down sweater, but I forgot my tool kit at home! Solution: a tall piece of grass. It was tough enough to slip stitches onto and lasted until I was able to get my kit and transfer them to a stitch holder.
-Kirsten

Have you ever used an unconventional item as a knitting or crochet tool before?

Tuesday’s Crochet Tip – Counting Long Foundation Chains

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012
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Thanks to Kirsten Hipsky for this week’s crochet tip. This is a great tip if counting a large number of stitches in your foundation chain is daunting.

I didn’t figure this one out until a year or two ago, but it made starting my projects so much easier.

If you’re crocheting and have to chain a large number of stitches, just chain until it looks long enough, then chain a bunch extra. Then, when you’re done with your first row, you can just undo any extra chains.

Similarly, if you’re knitting and have to cast on a large number of stitches, you could either use stitch markers to keep track of every 20 or 50, or you could use a simple e-wrap or crocheted chain cast on, make a large number of them, then drop and unravel any excess when you’re done with your first row.