Author Archive

Tuesday’s Tip – How to Join with the Magic Knot

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014
Share Button

If you’ve ever run into a big knot in your yarn while working on a project, this is a great way to join in your new strand of yarn. The Magic Knot joins two strands of yarn together with virtually no visible ends. It could even be used to join a new skein and avoid weaving in ends!

This technique is best used with a dense stitch pattern like garter stitch or seed stitch. A more open stitch or lace won’t hide the knot. It is also best used with a sturdy plied yarn. Single plies and delicate fibers aren’t strong enough to hold up to the strength test and will fall apart.

Tuesday’s Crochet Tip – Keep your Crochet Hook Secure

Tuesday, January 7th, 2014
Share Button

How to Keep your Crochet Hook SecureIt seems like every time I put my crochet project down, I lose my hook! I started inserting the hook through the project to try to keep the two together, but found it just slipped out eventually.

Now, I wrap a rubber band or a hair tie around the hook. It adds a little extra stickiness that keeps it in place. No more crawling around on the floor or digging in your couch cushions searching for your hook!

Tuesday’s Knitting and Crochet Tip – Be Careful not to Twist!

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013
Share Button

Be Careful not to Twist! Use Clothespins to Make Joining in the Round EasierI love to knit and crochet projects in the round; it makes it so much easier to mindlessly work along during a movie or in the car. And you can’t beat colorwork in the round. The only hurdle is the long cast-ons with some projects, and having to join those in the round without twisting.We’ve all seen the pattern instructions that say, ” CO 247. Join in the round, being careful not to twist.” Almost nothing is worse than casting-on all those stitches, then starting to knit, only to realize your project is twisted.

It’s tricky not to twist these many stitches in the round, but here’s a handy trick. Lay your cast-on out flat, and join clothes pins to the back sides. Smooth your cast-on flat and add another clothes pin. This gives you much smaller section to work with so you can be sure you’re not twisting your project!

 

Tuesday’s Tip – What to do with Unfinished Gifts

Tuesday, December 24th, 2013
Share Button

Photos by Lindsey TophamChristmas Eve is here and time is almost up! If you haven’t finished all of  your handmade gifts this season, there are still some options (other than staying up all night of course!).

– Wrap your unfinished gift and let them open it this way. Depending on how much work you have to do, you can take it back and finish it Christmas day with them there, or take it home and mail it to them in a few days.

– If your hand made gift didn’t make it onto the needles yet, wrap up the yarn and the pattern for them instead. This way they get to see what their gift will look like, and you can take your materials back to finish their gift after Christmas.

– If you still want to keep things a surprise, write out an IOU for the present. A note in a Christmas card telling them to “Stay tuned for an awesome gift!” will let them know they haven’t been forgotten.

Of course, the basis of handmade gifts is the thought. Your loved ones will be thrilled you thought to make them a gift, and will treasure it no-matter when they receive it.

Tuesday’s Knitting and Crochet Tip – Project Bag Essential

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013
Share Button

photos by Amy StephensOne project bag essential that is often overlooked are simple nail clippers!

They won’t snag your projects and are perfect for snipping your yarn on the go. They’re inexpensive, and it’s easy to have one for each project bag. I never leave home without them!

Tuesday’s Knitting and Crochet Tip: How to Weave in Short Yarn Tails

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013
Share Button

How to Weave in Short Yarn TailsOh no! You cut your yarn tail too short and now you can’t weave in your ends. Or maybe you ran low on yarn while casting on 275 stitches and really don’t want to rip back and start over, just so you have a long tail to weave in.

This is definitely one of those, “Why didn’t I think of that!?” tips.

Just insert your yarn needle into your project first, then thread it. This makes it possible to work with much less yarn than if you threaded the needle first. It’s so simple, yet so helpful!

Tuesday’s Knitting and Crochet Tip: Factor in Stretch – Swatching with Clothespins

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013
Share Button

Factor in Stretch Swatching with Clothespins

 When working with a notoriously stretchy fiber, it can be hard to tell how your finished project is really going to drape. The stretch and weight of cotton yarn can add inches to a finished sweater. You can’t really tell how much the project will stretch from your swatch alone, since it’s the weight of the entire project that distorts it.

A great solution is to attach clothespins to the base of your swatch to add some weight. Now you can see how much your swatch stretches and factor that into your project. No more surprises!

 

Tuesday’s Tip – How to Use Small Skeins of Handspun Yarn

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013
Share Button
This week’s tip comes from Sara Delaney, WEBS Marketing Coordinator. Sara has a great idea for what to do with those little skeins of handspun you may have sitting around.
How to Use Single Skeins of Handpsun Scrobble Cowl
Sometimes you have that perfect little braid of fiber, 4oz or less, that spins up into a gorgeous yarn, but you don’t end up with much yardage ,so it languishes in your stash. Languish no more, little skeins! Pair that handspun with a skein of sparkly mohair and make a simple cowl with alternating stripes. You won’t even have to purl! You’ll have great visual interest with the different yarn weights and sparkle, as well a textural interest with the mohair.
Click here to check out Sara’s Scrobble Cowl pattern!

WEBS Staff Spotlight – Linda

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013
Share Button

LindaLinda is the Customer Service Manager at WEBS and goes well beyond the fiber arts with her creativity. Seemingly endless hobbies just weren’t enough to satisfy this self proclaimed “do-it-yourselfer”, so Linda now runs the Pioneer Valley Vineyard with her family. “Making wine really falls along the lines of crafting to me. It’s just so much fun to create things from scratch and I love being outside in the vineyard.” Linda definitely keeps herself busy. There is work to be done in the vineyard all year round!

How long have you been knitting? 
I learned to knit at age 8, but I learned to weave when I began working at WEBS. In between, I played with crochet, embroidery, needlepoint, needlepunch, quilting, sewing, and wood working

How did you learn?
My grandmother taught me the basics of knitting and I just took it from there. I took some classes but don’t have a lot of “formal” training. Mostly I prefer to just figure it out for myself. The same with crochet. Weaving on the other hand, I knew was not something I could learn well from reading a book.

What is your favorite yarn to work with?
I really like wool cotton blends, like Spud and Chloe Sweater or Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece. I like the softness of the cotton on my skin and the wool gives the yarn memory and warmth.

Linda's Afghan 2

Do you have a favorite fiber project you completed or one you’re most proud of?
I recently completed an afghan in Debbie Bliss Cashmerino that took a lot of time and I am glad I stuck with it. My plan is to make a special afghan for each of my grandchildren and to give it to them when they are older.

What is your favorite fiber art?
If I could only pick one it would have to be knitting. I can’t imagine not knitting.

Would you consider yourself artistic?
I wouldn’t say that I am artistic, it’s more crafty, or a do-it-yourself-er. I once built a large 2-sided gazebo type swing from scraps of wood. I enjoy making candy, tempering chocolate and dipping different flavored fillings in pretty molds and giving them as gifts.

What fiber project are you working on right now?
I’ve made some crocheted critters for my grandchildren and am working on a few small gifts for Christmas.

Pioneer Valley Vineyards

How do you like to spend your free time?
Most of our time is spent in our winery and 3 acre vineyard; Pioneer Valley Vineyard. We offer free wine tastings at the winery on weekends in the fall and spend the spring and summer caring for the grapes so they will give us the best wine possible. It’s an incredible amount of work and equally rewarding. It still gives me goose bumps when we harvest in the fall and press the grapes and taste the sweet juice that pours out of the press.

Big E's Medals

Linda started working at WEBS 14 years ago. “I answered an ad in the paper for ‘one of the Valley’s best knitters’. It was an ad I could not resist! I started part time and I never could have imagined it would lead to what I am doing now.” Linda has helped WEBS grow into the company we are today. What started as a part-time job to help combat a little empty nest syndrome as evolved into a 14 year career. We don’t know what we would do without her!

Tuesday’s Tip – How to Count Hard to See Stitches

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013
Share Button

Counting Hard to See Stitches

We all know how important it is to do a gauge swatch, but sometimes your stitches can be hard to see. Knitting and crocheting with fuzzy yarn, ruffle yarn, or even just a super bulky yarn can make counting your stitches really tricky.

To make it easier, hold your project up to a window so the light can shine through.  This will allow you to see your stitches for easy counting! Just make sure you don’t stretch your project, otherwise it will distort your stitch count.