Yesterday was our photoshoot for the upcoming Valley Yarns catalog. We have not had a very good spring and yesterday was no exception. It was chilly and drizzling but given the “forecast” for the remainder of the week wasn’t predicted to be much better, we made the decision to go ahead with the shoot. We won’t mention that there hasn’t been a drop of rain today and that at the moment, the sun is shining. Really. I am not bitter.
We always like to do this shoot outside, we have so many beautiful locations nearby, its fun to get out of the studio. Even in the rain, Look Park in Florence, MA was breathtaking. Here are a few shots from yesterday:
Penny & I discussing the next shot.
Look how beautiful it looked despite the nasty weather!
Even models have hair troubles when its rainy! Oh and not only is Erin beautiful she’s also a hockey player!
Kirsten sharing her vision with the team for the next shot.
Despite being wet and cold we had a great day and captured some gorgeous shots. Kirsten has done a great job with this collection.
Guest: Laura McSweeny of Creative Fibers in Windsor, CT. Laura is the creator of the Shop Hop and she chats about how she came to open her yarn shop. She focuses on changing the negatives she found while yarn shopping and turning them into positives in her shop. The have great classes, a living room with a fireplace, and offer help to customers. They’re also a big part of the community, both locally and across the globe.
Some of the yarns Creative Fibers loves and carries includes a huge selection of Koigu, and Tahki Cotton Classic in over 80 colors! They also stock Jade Sapphire Moonlight. Creative Fibers also has a twice a year retreat.
Make sure you stop by Creative Fibers on your Shop Hop, and if you can’t make it to the Shop Hop, visit Creative Fibers when you can!
Art taught Business Management at UMASS and retired in 1988 and went to work at WEBS and help it grow. One busy Saturday, Art wanted to use the restroom at the back of the house. He had to physically leave the building and go in a different door! That was the turning point for a move. There was also yarn stashed off-site, which was difficult.
They started looking for new places, and Art brought Barbara to 75 Service Center Rd. and her first reaction was “no way!” It was an old telephone company building that housed trucks and it needed a lot of cleaning. Where our front window and door is now was a garage door. They moved into the building in 1991.
We’re live from our Tent Sale this week!
This year, we have deals on bagged yarns, but also some great Grab Bags from Berroco, Tahki, and Plymouth. These are only available during the Tent Sale at the store, so if you can make it down, you’ll want to check out these great yarns!
Spinning supplies and Blue Moon Fiber Arts are 20% off this weekend only! (In-store only!)
Keep in mind that if you’re here, there will be lines. They will move, but there will be waits.
Josephine KAL with Kirsten
With the Josephine Cardigan, you can easily modify the sleeve length. It is possible to make the body longer as well, you’ll have to make the center back cable longer.
To adjust the body width, knit a few more rows on the width of the body after you pick up.
If you’re not sure what size to make, take a sweater from home you love, and compare the measurements of that one to the schematic of your project.
Send us a picture of your finished project! firstname.lastname@example.org
Fleece Market – The first Fleece Market was at 109 Main Street in Amherst in the parking lot in the back.
Guest: Vicki Stiefel, co-author of 10 Secrets of the Laidback Knitter. She wrote this book with Lisa Souza and the whole premise is to help knitters experience more joy from their knitting. The authors wanted this book to be inclusive to everyone. Make sure you check it out!
Last show we talked about making the center back cable panel, and now that that’s done, we’re ready to pick up stitches!
Now, technically, the cable could be oriented either with the cast on edge at the neck or at the bottom hem. But I put it at the top neck so it’ll look more like the cables you’re about to do from the shoulders down. This is why you’re doing the right half of the body even though it says you’re picking up on the left edge of the cable panel. By “left edge” I mean the edge that’s at the end of a RS row. After working your last row, your yarn and needles should be poised to start working here, anyway.
When I’m picking up stitches in a bulky yarn like this, I like to go into the edge stitch instead of beyond it so you don’t have a thick seam on the WS. But you can do it whichever way you’re most comfortable. You have to pick up 50 sts in 86 rows here, which is somewhere close to 3 sts for every 4 rows, not exact, but you don’t want to have to cram sts in at the very ends, and I find that the cables can compact the rows a little more than Stockinette.
So, to pick up stitches, hold the cable panel firmly in your left hand, and with your right-hand needle, go into the selvedge stitch, from front to back, wrap your yarn like for a normal knit stitch, and draw the loop through the fabric. You’re essentially treating the edge of your cable panel like it’s a row of stitches on a needle. And if you’re still having trouble, definitely google it, there are lots of videos for you to be able to see it.
Once you’re done picking up those 50 sts, you’re going to cast on 44. How do you do that? Well, there are a few different methods you can use here, but the important thing is to use a cast on that only uses one strand of yarn, not 2 like the long-tail method. I recommend using the backwards loop cast on here, sometimes called an “e wrap” because it looks like a lower case letter ‘e’. I recommend it because it’s easy, it’s somewhat stable, it’s easy to pick up from, which you’ll be doing later, and if you look closely at your long-tail cast on, you’ll see that it’s actually the same as a backwards loop cast on with one row of knitting already built into it. So there’s some symmetry if you use it here.
Art & Barbara purchased a large mill end lot of 1300 YPP Rayon Chenille. They then had it dyed and it became one of the first of the WEBS yarns. It was the first time they had repeatable colorways. They were also able to take advantage of mills in the US, which unfortunately, don’t exist anymore.
Barbara & Art used to drive around looking for mills and finding them by looking for water towers. Art made lots of contacts, and now that everything is more precise with computers, mill ends don’t really exist.
Next week – What happens when Art retires his “regular” job.
Also next week, we’ll be LIVE at our Tent Sale, so local customers can catch us on WHMP. The podcast version will go up later than usual.
Back in January at VK Live in NYC, the folks from Tahki/Stacy Charles held a fashion show featuring many of the garments from their Spring Collection. Stacy Charles himself MC’d the event which is an extra special treat!
They have now posted clips from the show on their Youtube Channel. You can click the following links for the specific brand segment!
There’s nothing better than seeing garments on a model (even if they aren’t necessarily built like you and me) and understanding a bit about the fit and movement.
I will warn you, the first 30 seconds or so of each clip has the same opening edited in and then it flips to the brand segment. Don’t think you’re seeing a dupe and Stacy is charming enough to watch for 90 seconds, that’s for sure!
You can check out many of the yarns and patterns referenced in the videos at www.yarn.com!
Alright, so we’ve got our Northampton Bulky, we’ve swatched and we’ve found the needle size we need in order to get 3 sts to the inch in St st.
Now it’s time to cast on that center back cable panel. Long tail cast on is recommended here because it gives a nice sturdy edge that’s easy to work with. Since you’re at the back neck here, the ribbing will eventually be picked up from the bottom of this cast on edge, which long-tail cast on can handle well if it’s made somewhat loosely. If you love provisional cast-on methods, you can do it here, but keep in mind that you’ll be working some cables as early as Row 2, so you might want to use a method that will give you a row or two of waste knitting to work with, otherwise the cables can distort the cast on edge and make it hard to see which stitches come first.
To work the cable, you’ll have to do a little bit of page flipping at first. The cable panel itself is only 24 sts wide, but you’re casting on 26. That’s because you have a one stitch at the left and right edges worked in garter stitch, which are the edges you’ll be picking up the left and right backs from later. But the other cables at the shoulders don’t need those selvedge edges, which is why they’re not in the chart. So, I show you how Rows 1 and 2 are worked to establish that it’s garter stitch, and you can take it from there, repeating Rows 1-24 of the cable chart, or the written cable directions, your pick, tacking on a little “k1″ at the beg and end of each row.
Just a note about the cable abbreviations: I had to do a bit of translation between the chart’s legend and the abbreviations used in the written pattern. The reason is because my charting software has kind of long, clunky names for cables (probably because it has to have a unique name for so many of them) and they don’t fit very well into written directions and they can be a little hard to read. But since we’re only working with a couple different cables here in this pattern, we can give them more readable, general abbreviations in the written directions. So at the top of page 2, I list what abbreviation means what.
So, we’ll be repeating these 24 rows a total of 3 times, using some of the cable techniques we talked about earlier. And if you’re new to cable charts, not sure if you get them yet, I recommend working from the written version, then comparing each row you’ve worked to the chart, to get a better sense of how it works.
Next show we’ll be talking about picking up the stitches for the sides of the cardigan, casting on in the middle of a project, and just how those sleeves come to be. So get cabling and happy knitting!
Guest: Julia, owner of Knit New Haven, which is part of the I-91 Shop Hop that’s coming up June 24-26. Julia describes her lovely shop in New Haven, CT. The shop has been open for about a year and a half. It is located downtown within walking distance of Yale. If you can, make sure you make the time to stop by this shop!
WEBS moved to 109 Main St. in Amherst. The store was in the basement and the entrance was in the back. Our Fleece Market actually started in the parking lot of this location. It was half and half knitting and weaving yarn. Barbara always talks about how this was a small shop and she had to balance purchasing and the money coming in.
The mail order venture started at this time as well. Art would go out and negotiate for mill ends and samples of the yarns would be cut and mailed all over.
Next Week: The History of WEBS continues, Kathy chats with Susan B. Anderson, KAL continues, more yarn picks and more on the May sale.
Stop into the store to get your I-91 Shop Hop Passport and Tote.
Guest: Laura Patterson from Fiber Dreams. Laura shares a bit of her backstory and how she ended up as a knitting designer. She also shares what she’s been working on lately. Make sure you check out her great patterns on our site here. You can also check out her site!
Steve chats a little about Stitches South. You’ll find lots of closeouts and a Deal of the Day just for Stitches, Madelinetosh, Malabrigo, Valley Yarns, Blue Moon Fiber Arts, Berroco. Anniversary Sale yarns that are there will be available at the Anniversary Sale price. Stop by and say ‘hi’ if you’re in the area.
History of WEBS – Kathy and Steve talk about how WEBS started as a loom rental business in 1974. Barbara and her business partner Donna also taught weaving in Barbara’s basement. As time went on they added other looms, spinning wheels, and a little bit of yarn. One loom was even displayed on the back porch! By the end of the 1970s, Donna left the business and the first store came into existence. The story continues next week!
Next Week you’ll find out more about one of the shops in the I-91 Shop Hop, plus KAL with Kirsten, and more of the History of WEBS!
Time for another great giveaway from our friends at della Q! This month our lucky winner will receive the Turquoise Vines Circular Needle Case:
I love the colors in the case, which just happen to be della Q’s signature color. This case is as much about function as it is about being pretty.
To be eligible to win the case, leave a comment below telling me what you are knitting right now, yarn & needles being used. Leave a comment over on the della Q blog as well. Comments must be left by midnight Wednesday, April 20th.