This week Kathy talks with first time guest, Christina Fagan, founder and owner of Sh*t That I Knit, a Boston based knitwear company.
Christina left her full-time job to run her company, employing a great group of knitters, most of whom she met through Instagram. She was even featured on Chronicle recently and looks forward to seeing her company grow.
Attention Spinners! Team WEBS Tour de Fleece 2015 registration is now open! If you’ve never heard of the Tour de Fleece, it’s a Ravelry spin-along that shadows the Tour de France bike race during the month of July. This is not a competition! It’s a chance to come together with other spinners, set personal challenges for yourself but, most importantly, have fun. If you don’t have a consistent spinning habit, the Tour is a great incentive to spin on a regular basis for a month. You’re welcome to use wheels and/or spindles and there will be prizes at the end of the Tour. If you’d like to join us, please pop over to the All Things WEBS group on Ravelry and let us know you’re participating by this Friday, July 3.
Here are some guidelines, not rules, for those of you just joining in this year – and a refresher for returning spinners:
Try to spin every day that the Tour is riding, July 4-26. There are days of rest, July 13th and 21st, so feel free to take those days off.
There are challenge days, when the riders are climbing. Give yourself a challenge on those days by spinning a new fiber or try a new spinning style, but save your biggest challenges for the second climbing stage, like when they tackle Alpe d’Huez on July 25th – seriously LOOK at the climb up that mountain! See the full route here.
Climbing stages 10 -12 from July 14, to 16
Climbing stages 17-20 from July 22, to 25
Celebrate as you go with the colors you wear.
Wear Green: green is for sprinters, if you’ve been spinning FAST this color is for you!
Wear Polka-dots: dots are for climbing so break them out whenever you’re taking on a challenge!
Wear White: white is for rookies so this is the color for you if this is your first Tour!
Wear Yellow: the leaders wear the Maillot jaune, or Yellow Jersey, following each stage of the race, so wear it whenever you feel particularly successful. And be sure to wear it on July 26th to announce your victory in completing the Tour!
The Tour runs Saturday July 4th through Sunday July 26th, this year. And don’t worry about how much you have to do to participate! There is no minimum, or maximum amount of fiber you need to spin through. You don’t have to spin every day and you don’t even have to measure what you DO spin. The whole idea is just to get you spinning and to have fun with it! However we will be announcing some prizes on July 1st and there will be specific minimums or types of fibers and yarns you’ll need to spin to win. Keep an eye on the Ravelry group for specifics!
This week Kathy talks with Leslie Ann about N.E.W.S., the bi-annual weaving conference hosted by the New England Weaving Guilds. This year N.E.W.S. is at Smith College the weekend of July 9 – 12.
Learn from internationally know teachers in a wide array of classes from short 3 and 6 hour sessions to multi-day classes on every topic from beginner basics to advanced weaving, and even specific techniques. You can register for classes now.
Check out the vendor show, as well as the gallery and fashion shows(the runway show is Friday night) that are open to the public.
In the WEBS vendor booth you’ll find a Toika computer loom set up for demonstration that is for sale at 15% off, lots off mill end yarns, tools and accessories, benches, boards, and books!
I-91 Shop Hop is HAPPENING RIGHT NOW! You still have time to shop and hop, all stores are open today until 6pm and will be open again tomorrow from noon till 5pm. And don’t forget there’s a special kit with exclusive patterns available at each shop!
We are closed on July 4th and 5th to celebrate Independence Day – Shop in-store on the 3rd until 5:30pm and we’ll see you again on the 6th at 10:00am! Enjoy a safe and healthy holiday weekend.
Summer Classes are online – sign up now before all the seats are filled!
This week Kathy talks with Andra about the new Fall yarns from Berroco.
Northstar is a chunky, superfine alpaca with a touch of nylon, in all natural colors. Gusto is a thick-n-thin wool acrylic blend great for quick garter or stockinette accessories while Briza is a worsted weight nylon netting filled with blown in mohair for easy, lightweight cardigans and accessories
Artisan fills the need for a hand dyed look with great, repeatable kettle dyed colors, and don’t forget to check out Colora and Folio Luxe. Also be on the look out for Berroco’s extensive pattern support which will be arriving in the coming weeks, including Portfolio Vol. One – Celebrating 10 years of Ultra Alpaca!
If you’ve been keeping up then you’ll have 36 finished squares, 4 squares in each of 9 colors. If you’re setting a slower pace for yourself or joined us in mid MKAL/MCAL NO problem, the patterns will remain free and at these links! If you’re just joining in you can find all the square patterns here(MKAL), or here(MCAL)
You may want to take some time and lay all your squares out in a couple different configurations to see which one really clicks for you. Here we have 3 different options for you but they’re not the ONLY ones! Play with the texture and color layout for a day or two before you decide to make sure you’re really happy with it. You’ll note that the last option we show has only 35 squares – you can use that extra one as an accent pillow.
Knitters: We’re offering you two option for both the joining and the edging! For both joining options you’ll need to start by picking up stitches, you then have the option of a three needle bind-off or an I-cord join. Once all your squares are together you can add a tidy attached I-cord edge or be little more fancy and add the Fan lace edge. We’re showing the Fan lace with each row worked in one color from your blanket.
Picking up stitches
Three Needle Bind-Off
Fan Lace Edge – no video for this one as there’s no new techniques, just a combination of one’s you already know!
Don’t forget, we have a playlist for the Knit-A-Long blanket on Youtube to make it all easier (Please note that our techniques videos are NOT the patterns! These videos are here to help you understand the featured techniques, but you’ll need to refer to your pattern for specifics.) All the squares and join/edge pattern instructions can be found here.
Crocheters: You also have two option for both joining and edging your blanket! As with the knitters options, having a nice clean edge to work on before you start your joins really helps to bring the blanket together, so you’ll want to add a row of single crochet to each square edge before you begin your joins. Joining single crochet is a skill you got to practice earlier in the blanket, as well as a more open lattice double crochet join. For edging you can choose rounds of single crochet or a neat looped chain edge, both are shown with a row worked in each color of your blanket.
Adding a single crochet edge
Joining Single Crochet – this one will be familiar from your Tunisian square from March.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions and tell us about your progress! You can do that here, on Facebook,on Twitter, on Ravelry, or post pictures of your progress on Instagram and tag them with #WEBSMKAL or #WEBSMCAL
Beth relocated from Wilmington Vt and rebuilt after the devastation of Hurricane Irene. You’ll find lots of great, small and local fiber sources as well as your favorite brands. There are great raffle prizes at each store, each day, as well as a Grand Prize that you can enter to win.
June is here and summer is just around the corner! While we might all be ready for poolside barbeques and heat waves, Mother Nature seems to have different plans. It’s been rather chilly in the Northeast lately and the newest design from Doris Chan might be the perfect thing to keep you warm at that Graduation or late Spring wedding! The Lace Stole, crocheted in Valley Yarns 2/10 Merino Tencel is the third design from Doris Chan as WEBS Designer in Residence.
Lace accessories are not about warmth or coverage; they’re all about drama. Yes, in the cold you could gather up the Lace Stole and softly twist it around your head and neck for a scarf and enjoy the cozy feeling of silky wool yarn. But the glorious nature of a lace weight stole is truly revealed when you think of it as a statement piece. This whisper-light, crush proof, packable stole is born for travel. Simply stash it in a compact bundle in your bag (hopefully protected from snagging on anything), and when the moment is right to transition from dress-down casual to dress-up drama, pull it out, shake it loose with a flourish, and fling it around your shoulders. Graciously accept all the compliments!
Whether you prefer classic neutrals, or rich jewel tones, there’s a shade of 2/10 Merino Tencel that’s perfect for your own version of the Lace Stole. Which color will you choose?
It’s no secret that I am a big fan of cable patterns, and ever since my designs were first published (1999) I have been exploring creative ways to update the classics.
I have long held the notion that maybe cables don’t have to be strictly vertical in placement with the same row pattern being repeated over and over. Maybe they can change, or morph, into new patterning so that they appear to determine their own path through the garment piece. I have played with this notion a lot over the years – Made to Border is my latest in this series of what I call “morphing cables” designs.
Along the way I have designed patterns where the cable gets wider and wider until it forms a yoke, attached I-cords to give the appearance of the cables beginning outside of the fabric piece, cables that have just given up and become simple stockinette, or ones that extend beyond a hemline or have parts cut away. The idea is always to make it look deliberate, rather than something odd happening because the knitter forgot to follow the pattern. In order to achieve this look I have found that each section has to relate to each other rather than simply introducing (in the words of Monty Python) “something completely different”.
What this means for the knitter is that there is often a complete change of pace part way through a garment, which I hope makes for interesting knitting – a carrot being dangled as it were. Of course there is a comfort to a learned pattern being repeated over and over, but sometimes we want something a little more challenging or to break up the regularity. The downside is that the charts for this type of patterning can be large and somewhat daunting at first glance. But they always build on the patterning that you have already worked (remember Monty Python), so when you do reach the point of change it seems like a natural progression.
In Made to Border I have lightened the overall look of the cabled garment by adding lacy elements. Nestled in between the lace are simple rope cables, which slowly begin a journey through the piece, first defining the border and then playfully diminishing in size, before finally becoming the simple rope once again. The lacy element comes along for the ride by being reintroduced in the center of each diamond shape. The cardigan is edged with an elegant attached I-cord, which you will know from my earlier posts is a personal favourite in combination with cables, but is also a minimal finishing look which doesn’t detract from the cables within the piece.
I hope that you have as much fun knitting this project as I had designing it! If you would like to hear more about what inspires me please join me on my website where I post on a new theme on the 9th of each month – I call it On-line, On-nine.