Author Archive

Crisanta Shawl

Monday, July 11th, 2016
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Another wonderful new pattern this month, in our Valley Yarns Hatfield, is the Crisanta Shawl by Tian Connaughton.

The Crisanta Shawl from Valley Yarns. Learn more about the yarn, the designer, and where you can get your copy of the pattern on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Knit on a larger than expected needle for this fine, baby alpaca lace, the Crisanta Shawl is worked side to side with a delicate, leafy lace border that ripples and moves like leaves in a breeze. The perfect little something extra for chilly summer nights, this shawl is just enough to keep you warm with a long sleeved tee.

We asked Tian to tell us more about how she designs and what she enjoyed about working with this yarn.

When did you learn to knit?
I was first introduced to the fiber world via crochet. I learned to crochet in September 2001 from an older co-worker to pass the hour-long lunch breaks. For years I was content just making blankets to give away for every occasion. But that all changed in 2006, when quitting my day job as a Credit Manager to stay home with my then 2-year old son. I discovered the wonders of knitting after watching HGTV’s Knitty Gritty. Knitting opened up an even wider world for me in the fiber arts.

What prompted you to start designing?
After discovering knitting, designing was soon to follow. The television show, Knitty Gritty, was the catalyst for my starting to design. I clearly remember the episode when Shirley Paden was a guest on the show, a talented knitwear designer creating fantastic patterns. I wanted to be like her. In her, I saw myself and a whole world of possibilities beyond my corporate life. Like many designers, I began by modifying existing patterns to fit my needs and then quickly evolved to creating my own original designs.

Give us a glimpse into your design process, where/how do you find inspiration?
Design inspirations come to me in many different forms and from many sources. I get inspirations on walks with my dog, Charlie, through the snow. It could be the texture of a tree bark or the canopy of trees over head in the woods. Or sometimes, inspiration strikes at weird times such as during Downward Dog at Pilates class while staring at the pattern on the map. Usually the idea comes first, inspired by my surrounding, then I search for the yarn that will best compliment the texture and drape of the design.

What did you love about the Valley Yarns Hatfield?
I’m not a huge fan of lace weight yarns, or so I thought. When I proposed this design to WEBS, I had resigned myself to the idea and to just grit my teeth as I work through the sample because I loved the design idea so much. After winding the yarn, slowly and carefully, I set off to cast-on for the Crisanta Shawl and immediately fell in love with the yarn, Hatfield. I thought I wouldn’t like the lace weight yarn because I don’t work with that weight of yarn often. And I don’t work with that weight of yarn often because I am an impatient knitter. But working up this thin yarn on bigger needles was a match made in heaven. The stitches simple flew off the needles. The yarn now has a special place in my heart. I can see so many more projects in the future.

The Crisanta Shawl from Valley Yarns. Learn more about the yarn, the designer, and where you can get your copy of the pattern on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

This yarn has a special place in our hearts, too! With over 400 yds per skein, warm and lightweight, Valley Yarns Hatfield is ideal for garments and accessories.

Ready, Set, Knit! 450: Kathy talks with Trisha Malcolm

Saturday, July 9th, 2016
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This week Kathy talks with Trisha about the newest book from Soho, Noro Silk Garden, the 20th Anniversary Collection.

Ready, Set, Knit! episode #450 - Kathy talks with trisha Malcolm. Listen now on the WEBS Blog - blog.yarn.com

This book contains a beautiful forward by Mr. Noro about the importance of silk in Japan and the creation of this iconic yarn, as well as 30 patterns in Silk Garden, Silk Garden Lite, Silk Garden Sock and Silk Garden Solo.

Steve’s Yarn Picks of the week:

Flashsale – An additional 20% off all Closeouts and Grandpa’s Garage Sale yarns Sunday and Monday ONLY! Check the site and stop by the store.

Reminder:

Welcoming the Stranger: Building Understanding through Community Based Art. Kathy interviewed the founder, Jo Israelson,  last year, listen now.

Seeking donations of hand spun or wool yarns - any gauge, any color, at least 42” in length – to weave additional panels to enlarge “Abraham’s Tent”  at the North Carolina Folklife Festival. DEADLINE for receipt of the yarn: July 1 – September 1, 2016. Please send your yarn (and include your name, email address and your family’s country of origin) to:

Welcoming the Stranger

Guilford College Art Gallery

5800 West Friendly Ave.

Greensboro, NC 27410

ATTN: Jo Israelson

Upcoming Events:

Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram for lots of great new products, contests and fun!

Join us for our Spinshops on July 17th 10-4, sign up now!

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

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Poet’s Corner Shawl

Wednesday, July 6th, 2016
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It’s time to introduce the first of our new designs for July! The Poet’s Corner Shawl designed by Jess Gagnon for Valley Yarns and knit in Hatfield is a surprisingly lightweight and warm triangle shawl with a delicate lace and ruffle detail.

The Poet's Corner Shawl from Valley Yarns. Learn more about the yarn, the designer, and where you can get your copy of the pattern on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

The 100% baby alpaca, laceweight Hatfield has a subtle lustrous sheen and slight halo that adds an extra layer of softness to your knits. With it’s mostly stockinette stitch body, a simple lace border and graceful little ruffle detail, the Poet’s Corner Shawl is a quick summer knit that you’ll love wrapping around your shoulders when the cooler air of Autumn settles in.

We asked Jess to tell us a bit about herself and what she enjoyed about working with Hatfield.

When did you learn to knit? 
10 years ago, working as a children’s librarian, I was shelving books and noticed a children’s learn-to-knit book.  I figured if a child could learn to knit from a book, surely I could as well!  It worked, and I’ve been knitting since!  At the time, I was an avid cross-stitcher looking to broaden my crafty horizons.  Knitting fit the bill.  I’ve neglected my cross-stitch for years – might be time to cross breed the two.  Hmm…inspiration may be striking here…
 
What prompted you to start designing?
I continually want to learn new things, so I reached a point where designing seemed a good natural step to continue my learning process.  And designing helps me create a precise garment or accessory that I can’t seem to find elsewhere – I can satisfy my own need for a particular piece, and then refine it in pattern form for others.  Honestly, I used to be afraid (literally, afraid) of the idea of designing.  Math is not my forte, so was frankly intimidated by the idea of it.  Once I put a name to it, realized what I felt was fear, I make a conscious step to move past it.  I feel like the floodgates of creativity have been opened, and it’s so refreshing!
 
Give us a glimpse into your design process, where/how do you find inspiration?
Designs come at me from all angles.  Typically when I’m my most relaxed, and when I’m not trying for it, a concept will hit me (while hiking, doing yoga, going for a run, petting my cat, etc.).  Sometimes I’ll spot a design element out in public or on the news, and I’ll try to puzzle out how to take that element and translate it into knitting.   I try to keep a notepad handy so I can draft a quick sketch as soon as possible to keep the idea fresh.  I’ve been know to resort to using a sticky note and ball-point pen if those are the only resources available!
 
Tell us your favorite fiber related story.
In the 10 years I’ve been knitting, my husband has never asked for anything.  Never.  He will volunteer admiration, or ask about what I’m working on, but will never ask.  Finally, he asked if I’d make him a sweater.  He’s had a hard time finding a work-appropriate, comfortable, attractive sweater.  So, we picked out a yarn color, and worked together on design elements, and I made him his very own sweater.  Literally, his very own, as I designed it but haven’t written it up.  I love that he finally asked for something, and that we could collaborate on something to meet his exact needs.
 
What did you love about Valley Yarns Hatfield?
The softness.  It’s so important to me to have a yarn that feels good to work up.  For me, knitting is about the process, and the tactile experience.  The critical component to a fulfilling experience is the yarn touch.  Hatfield fit the bill, and then some – so soft, and delightful.
The Poet's Corner Shawl from Valley Yarns. Learn more about the yarn, the designer, and where you can get your copy of the pattern on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com
Which color of Hatfield will you choose for a Poet’s Corner Shawl of your own?

Choose Your Own Adventure – Hat KAL: Week 1

Tuesday, July 5th, 2016
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Let’s get some yarn on the needles!

Choose your favorite worsted or DK weight yarn from Valley Yarns and swatch on different needles until you’ve got 5 sts per inch. I swatched 4 different Valley Yarns  (Northfield, Sunderland,  Colrain and Valley Superwash) and found that I got 5 sts per inch on a US size 7/4.5mm needle, so I would recommend that you start there.

Because this hat is worked in the round you’ll want to swatch in the same manner!

Prepping for our Choose Your Own Adventure Hat KAL - swatching in the round. Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Cast 30 sts onto your circular needles, or one dpn.

*Slide your stitches to the right-hand side of the needle.

Gently bring your working yarn across the back of the work, making sure to leave plenty of slack, and knit the next row of stitches.

Repeat from *

Continue in this manner till the swatch measures 4” from the cast on edge.

Loosely cast off and block your swatch! Here’s a quick tutorial on swatching with this method.

Time to Block!

Not sure about blocking? Take a look at the care instructions on your ballband.

Machine Wash Regular? – Toss that swatch in the machine!

Hand Wash? – Give it a gentle soak and swish in Eucalan, then pin it to dry without too much tension on the stitches.

Dry Clean? – Steam is your friend, pin your swatch out and steam away.

The key with blocking and washing your swatch is to treat it the EXACT SAME way you plan to treat your finished knit.

Now to check your gauge!

Now that you’ve blocked you can measure for gauge.

DO NOT MEASURE FOR GAUGE UNTIL AFTER YOUR SWATCH HAS BEEN BLOCKED AND DRIED! Seriously, please.

Did you measure 5 sts per inch? Yes – then please proceed! (Make sure your swatch is no longer pinned in place when you measure!)

No – Then you’ll need to re-swatch

If you got more than 5 sts per inch you need a bigger needle. Try swatching on a US 8.

If you got less than 5 sts per inch you need a smaller needle. Try swatching on a US 6.

Keep swatching until you get to 5 sts per inch!

Prepping for our Choose Your Own Adventure Hat KAL - measuring your gauge. Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

You may need to make several swatches to get the right gauge. It’s totally worth it because you’ll end up with a hat that FITS! And don’t worry about row gauge, you’ll be working the hat length to measurements. 

This is a good time to mention that I like to swatch with 3 different needles. Start with the size smaller than you think you’ll need, the size you’re pretty sure you’ll get gauge with, and the next size bigger and purl a row of stitches between each section for a visual break. This way if your gauge is off by just a touch you’re only swatching and blocking once. I know it may seem silly to make a swatch that’s three times as big as you need but if you have to make a swatch anyway, and you really do (every time!), why not make one that works for you.

Next week we cast on our hats! Here’s a sneak peek of some of the CYOA Hats that our staff knit up!

Prepping for our Choose Your Own Adventure Hat KAL - sneak peek of some of the finished hats! Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Be sure to post your pics to Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and tag it with #chooseyourownadventure #WEBSKAL #Myhatadventure #CYOAKAL

Ready, Set, Knit! 449: Kathy talks with Andrea Rangel

Saturday, July 2nd, 2016
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This week Kathy talks with Andrea Rangel about her new book, Rugged Knits.

Ready, Set, Knit! episode #449 - Kathy talks with Andrea Rangel. Listen now on the WEBS Blog - blog.yarn.com

Andrea learned to knit as a child, but didn’t really make it part of her life until college and had her first pattern published in Knitty in 2009. This book has been in process since it’s proposal in 2014, and the yarn choices as well as the functionality of the patterns was super important to Andrea. Listen in to learn how function, beautiful details and yarn choices came together in these 24 designs.

You can follow Andrea on Instagram: @andrearknits, Twitter: @andrearknits, Facebook: Andrea Rangel Knits, or connect with her on Ravelry: Designer PageRavelry Group.

Steve’s Yarn Picks of the week:

Reminder:

Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram for lots of great new products, contests and fun!

Our retail Store is closed Sunday July 3rd, and on Independence Day, Monday, July 4th. Have a fun and safe holiday!

Join us for the 2016 Tour De Fleece! Join our  Group on Ravelry or join us in the store during our Spinshops on July 17th 10-4, sign up now!

Upcoming Events:

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

Summer School!

Friday, July 1st, 2016
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Long hot summer days are sometimes the best time to take a break from the everyday and learn something new. Besides time with like minded fiber folk, it means a few hours in a cool, air conditioned space! We have an extensive offering of classes this summer from truly basic, beginner courses all the way up to expert level skill building. Whether you knit or spin, crochet or weave, all of the above or none at all yet, we have the right class for you!

All new summer classes at WEBS! Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Try your hand at short rows, beginning rigid heddle weaving. Delve into Yarn 101, or better crochet pattern reading. Learn to fix your knitting mistakes, and spin on a wheel. Indulge in squishy brioche knitting or start filling that drawer with handknit socks!

Which classes will you take this summer? Hurry and register now, seats are filling fast!

June Pattern Wrap Up

Tuesday, June 28th, 2016
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You’ve told us you love quick, portable and lightweight projects for summer. In June we released a stunning trio of accessories in our Valley Yarns Huntington and Charlemont.

New Designs for June 2016 from Valley Yarns - details on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

The Olivenhain Fingerless Mitts and Oblique Hat are fantastic projects to stitch on summer road trips and beach days, and the Sequoyah Shawl is perfect for cool summer evenings at music festivals or family picnics. Not only will you enjoy making each of these patterns but you’ll be filling your holiday gift basket as you do!

Fresh New Designs from Valley Yarns in July - details on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

The fun summer knitting continues in July with a trifecta of stunning projects! We’ll be releasing all the details for these new patterns on July 1st, but if you haven’t had the pleasure of knitting with our Hatfield or 2/14 Alpaca Silk you’re in for a treat!

And don’t forget to check out our Summer Valley Yarns Catalog for even more stunning new patterns!

Get Ready to Choose Your Own Adventure!

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2016
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Will you choose adventure this summer? It’s time to gather your supplies for our Choose Your Own Adventure Hat KAL!

Choose Your Own Adventure - Hat KAL Cast on July 5th,  2016 on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

You’ll need:

120-250 yds of DK or light worsted weight yarn – this will depend on what type of hat you choose to make. We’ll be aiming for a gauge of 5 sts per inch, in stockinette in the round. On July 5th we’ll have tips and tutorials on how to swatch in the round!

(There’s colorwork, cables, and stripes to choose from. A simple hat with an all over texture might only use 120 yds of one color, but if you’d like to do colorwork  you’re going to need more yardage and in all the colors you might want to use! Think about what kinds of colors and textures you might like and plan accordingly. And don’t worry about having too much yarn. You can always take off on another adventure with what’s left!)

 Needles (Size US 7/4.5mm recommended) –  double points ,  a 16″ circular2 circulars, or magic loop, however you normally would knit a hat.

additionally you may need:

stitch markerstapestry needlescissorscable needlepom pom makertassel maker

Choose Your Own Adventure - Hat KAL Cast on July 5th,  2016 on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

I’ll be making a striped hat in Valley Yarns Sunderland, I prefer double pointed needles for the whole sh’bang. I’m going to need a stitch marker to denote the beginning of the round, and I plan to top it off with a tassel. So, there I am all set and ready for July 5th when we’ll swatch for gauge!

Join us for the Choose Your Own Adventure – Hat KAL here on the WEBS Blog in July!

One pattern. Hundreds of possibilities. Cast on July 5th.

Valley Yarns Charlemont

Monday, June 20th, 2016
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We’ve been in love with Valley Yarns Charlemont since the first sample skeins came in! With a blend of superwash merino, mulberry silk, and polyamide, this yarn has an incredible depth of color, a silky sheen and drape that you won’t believe! A wonderful choice for both knit and crochet projects,  as well as weaving, with 439yds per skein, you’ll keep coming back to Charlemont.

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

I’m fairly partial to our Amethyst Brook Afghan, having designed it!, but Dena’s version in Charlemont is one of my most favorite finished projects from this pattern. Combining some of our solids with hand dyed colors of Charlemont, and using all cool tones, makes these interlocked hexagons look like the ripples from raindrops on a pond. What a fantastic combination of pattern and yarn!

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

Whether you prefer knit or crochet, accessories or sweaters, we have a full ines of patterns just for Charlemont!

left – right: the Colorfall Cardigan, the Katya Pullover, the Veranda Tam, the Sequoyah Shawl, and the Chapel Falls Shawl

Dena tells us why she loves Charlemont! Have you knit or crocheted with it? Tell us all about your favorite project.

Ready, Set, Knit! 448: Kathy talks with Andra Asars

Saturday, June 18th, 2016
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This week Kathy talks with our Berroco rep, Andra Asars, about all the new Fall yarns and patterns!

Ready, Set, Knit! episode #448 - Kathy talks with Andra Asars. Listen now on the WEBS Blog - blog.yarn.com

Check out Cotolana, Ginko, Millefiori, Macro, Noble and Tuscan Tweed, and watch for all the great new pattern books like Portfolio 2, Cozy and Country Side that will be arriving soon. There are also new colors in almost every line of Berroco Yarns, check out the refreshed color palettes!

Steve’s Yarn Picks of the week:

Reminder:

Be sure to check our Facebook page on Monday to see Steve’s Yarn picks from this week!

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

Our retail Store is closed on Independence Day, Monday, July 4th.

Join us for the 2016 Tour De Fleece! Join our  Group on Ravelry or join us in the store during our Spinshops on July 17th 10-4, sign up now!

Upcoming Events:

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