Archive for the ‘40th Anniversary’ Category

What’s the “Coolest” Fiber Choice?

Friday, July 4th, 2014
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Here in Massachusetts, summer has really hit us. Today is forecast to be at least 90 degrees with high humidity and that’s just the kind of weather I really hate. It’s the kind of weather that makes me not even want to knit, especially the project I have on my needles right now, which is an alpaca cardigan for my mother. God bless you, mom, but I can’t look at it.

This weather makes me wonder if weaving is the way to go. A lot of the woven fabric I like the best is in cotton or linen, which are two fibers I really don’t like to knit. However, woven, they look complex, rich, and most of all, light and cool.linen towels by Scott Norris Take for example, Scott Norris’ linen towels, which are works of art that will provide years of service in your kitchen or bathroom — if you can bear to use them for something so pedestrian as drying your hands or your dishes.

Carol Birtwistle has also done some beautiful work with cotton and cotton blends, and she is a true master of twills. These towels are perfect for summer, since they never feel heavy or sticky.cool cotton twill

In a few weeks, Convergence comes to Providence, RI. This national conference is only held every other year, and usually not as close to “home” as Rhode Island is to us. There are going to be some amazing handwovens there, and it really inspires me to finally get serious about learning to weave.

What is your hot-weather solution to the fiber doldrums? Do you like to knit with plant fibers, or do you take a break? Let’s chat in the comments!

Thank You, Again!

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014
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The second quarter of our Anniversary year is coming to a close and we have more wonderful people and companies to thank.

WEBS 40th Anniversary Knit and Crochet Patterns - available exclusively at yarn.com

To Tanis Gray, Kristin Omdahl, and Franklin Habit
Thank you for unique and beautiful designs that showcase our yarn!

Valley Yarns Huntington hand dyed by Lorna's Laces - available exclusively at yarn.com

To Lorna’s Laces,
Thank you for making our yarn shine with your incredible colorways. There are still some skeins left, get some while you can!

WEBS 40th Anniversary specialty products - available exclusively at yarn.com

To Schacht Spindle Company, della Q, and Marcy Vandale,
Thank you for the adding your special products to our celebration.

40th Anniversary weaving drafts - available at yarn.com

To Dena Gartenstein Moses, Virginia West, and Scott Norris,
Thank you for weaving textiles that bring out the best in our fibers.

UMass Fine Arts Center

To The Fine Arts Center on the Campus of UMass Amherst,
Thank you for opening your doors and letting us shoot in some gorgeous spaces.

WEBS 40th Anniversary 3rd Quarter products go on sale July 7, 2014 - available at yarn.com

Next Monday, July 7th, we’ll have all new yarn and patterns to share, don’t miss out!

Dots & Dashes Chenille Scarf designed by Dena Gartenstein Moses

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014
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The 6th of our 40th Anniversary weaving drafts, the Dots & Dashes Chenille Scarf woven in 4 or 6-shafts in our Valley Yarns Rayon Chenille, was designed by Dena Gartenstein Moses.

Dots & Dashes Chenille Scarf in Valley Yarns Rayon Chenille - available exclusively at yarn.com

Valley Yarns Rayon Chenille can be really fun to work with, once you get the hang of it. This scarf remind me of a bowl filled with brightly colored candy. On the loom, it will appear somewhat flat, but the ribbon will pop out and the scarf will get luxuriously soft when washed properly.

Dots & Dashes Chenille Scarf in Valley Yarns Rayon Chenille - available exclusively at yarn.com

A note about working with chenille: Chenille wants to move, stretch and worm, which can make it tricky to work with, but also forgiving. I like using front to back warping and just accepting the gnarls as part of the process, working them out using my sense of humor and as much patience as I can muster. If the warp snarls when beaming, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ve done anything wrong. Over time, working it out will get easier. I strongly advise against using a comb to work through your warp. This scarf is easiest woven on six shafts. It can be adjusted to four shafts, although your shed may not be as lovely as usual.

The Centuria Tam from Franklin Habit

Thursday, June 12th, 2014
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As we approach the end of the 2nd Quarter of our 40th Anniversary celebrations we wanted to focus on the third design done in the Valley Yarns Huntington Hand Dyed by Lorna’s Laces, The Centuria Tam designed by Franklin Habit.

The Centuria Tam designed by Franklin Habit, knit in Valley Yarns Huntington hand-dyed by Lorna's Laces - available exclusively at yarn.com

About the design, Franklin says, “When WEBS asked me to celebrate their anniversary with a pattern, I decided (as I often do) to look to knitting history for inspiration. What is an anniversary, after all, if not a time to think over the past?
In 1874, exactly a century before WEBS opened its doors, the legendary American magazine Godey’s Lady’s Book tempted subscribers with an octagonal counterpane that mixed texture and lace to very striking effect.
I wasn’t in the mood for a counterpane, but I did think something of the kind would look well as the top of a perky little tam. Here it is– perfect for keeping off the autumn chill or for flinging into the air in a celebratory fashion.”

The Centuria Tam designed by Franklin Habit, knit in Valley Yarns Huntington hand-dyed by Lorna's Laces - available exclusively at yarn.com

With the Huntington held doubled throughout this project the yarn creates a dappled appearance and is squooshy and soft while still holding great stitch definition. And just as Franklin suggested, it IS great  for flinging into the air in a celebratory fashion!

The Centuria Tam designed by Franklin Habit, knit in Valley Yarns Huntington hand-dyed by Lorna's Laces - available exclusively at yarn.com

 

Foxhead Dish Towels from Scott Norris

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014
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This month we present our 5th Anniversary Draft, The Foxhead Dish Towels from Scott Norris woven on 4-shafts in Valley Yarns 20/2 and 40/2  linen. Scott loves weaving with our fine linens and has put together a gorgeous draft that shows off this fiber’s beauty and versatility.

Foxhead DishTowels in Valley Yarns 20/2 and 40/2 Linen - available exclusively at yarn.com

 

About the draft Scott says, “Towels woven with fine linen are a pure pleasure. The combination of Valley Yarns 40/2 linen (warp and tabby weft) and 20/2 for the pattern weft is perfect for this delicate overshot pattern. Linen may have a reputation as hard to work with, but if you follow the instructions for these towels you will find that with a little care you will come to love the process and the product!”

Foxhead Dish Towels designed by Scott Norris in Valley Yarns 20/2 and 40/2 linen - available exclusively at yarn.com

He is a long time friend of WEBS and one of our most popular teachers. Scott will be here this summer teaching Beginning Weaving – One Week Intensive and in August, the once-monthly Weaving for the Advanced Beginner.

The Sermilik Shawl from Kristin Omdahl

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014
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At the beginning of April we introduced you to our 3 new designs with Valley Yarns Huntington Hand Dyed by Lorna’s Laces. Our featured crochet design, the Sermilik Shawl, is from the wonderfully talented Kristin Omdahl.

We were thrilled when Kristen said she would design a shawl for us! Inspired by the blue icebergs of the Sermilik Fjord in Greenland, Kristin has designed a  simple triangle shawl made of stacked double crochet shells with a delicate and lacy bottom edge that that gives this shawl a real wow-factor. Though the stitches are densely packed the open nature of the fabric means that the shawl has beautiful drape and movement while really showing off the beauty of the hand dyed yarn colors.

The Sermilik Shawl designed by Kristin Omdahl and crocheted in Valley Yarns Huntington Hand Dyed by Lorna's Laces - available exclusively at yarn.com

Kristen learned how to knit when she was young but didn’t really get going until she was in her twenties. She has been designing and teaching, both knit and crochet for over 10 years and can’t imagine doing anything else, when she’s not kayaking or hiking that is!

The Intemporelle Pullover from Marcy Vandale

Monday, May 12th, 2014
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Another friend of WEBS, Marcy Vandale, has taken our 2/14 Alpaca Silk and transformed it into a wardrobe staple with timeless style and class, the Intemporelle Pullover.

Intemporelle Pullover designed by Marcy Vandale in Valley Yarns 2/14 Alpaca Silk - available exclusively at yarn.com

This long, flowing pullover knit in one piece from the bottom up features an accompanying cowl. The body, as well as the cowl, is knit with the yarn held double while the sleeves use a single strand, making a piece that transcends the seasons. The neckline is adorned with a decorative crab stitch border and the cowl adds just enough extra warmth for those cool mornings or evenings.

Intemporelle Pullover designed by Marcy Vandale with Valley Yarns 2/14 Alpaca Silk - available exclusively at yarn.com

About her design and history with WEBS:

I  live only an hours drive from WEBS, just far enough not to be a problem (winkwink). A customer of WEBS for the past decade, I was fortunate enough to develop a friendship with Kathy on a more personal level, bonding as moms sharing similar experiences. Our kids are roughly the same ages and equally as active. Social networkers can find us trading updates from rinks and courts, fields and courses.

When Kathy asked me to design for the 40th Celebration, I was thrilled. I have dabbled in designing over the last few years while raising my 4 kids. My designs reflect my “always on the go” lifestyle in both style and knitting ease and somewhat selfishly, what I need for my wardrobe. I get dressed for the day early in the morning when the kids get ready for school. This time of year, temperatures are unpredictable but I am on the go all day and into the evening. I designed a classic sweater that could be layered as needed and will get you from volunteering at school to the grocery store and to an evening meeting after driving the practice carpools. The fabric is lightweight and comfortable and the accessory cowl allows the sweater to be a timeless wardrobe staple over several seasons. I designed this sweater to also be knit on the fly, waiting for appointments and at fields and during games. I love wearing what other moms have seen me knitting during the season.

I learned to knit in my dorm my freshman year in college, not exactly the “show and tell” my parents hoped for after that first semester. I knit occasionally over the following years but became a Knitter with a capital K over the last decade as I took classes, grew a stash, began teaching knitting and eventually designing. My designs are purposefully simple but functional to fit the lifestyles of active women and knitters.

Lattice Weave Scarf from Virginia West

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014
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This month puts us one third of the way through our 40th Anniversary year, it is flying past! To celebrate the end of this fourth month we have the next Anniversary weaving Draft, the lovely Lattice Weave Scarf from Virginia West. With a combination Of Valley Yarns 8/2 Tencel and 5/2 Bamboo your possible color combinations are almost limitless!

About the draft Virginia says, “The draft for Lattice Weave depends on the relationship of two yarns: one for the cells and a larger contrasting size for the outlines. I had previously used a similar draft to produce medallions, with curvilinear outlines in a heavier silk. This time I designed a geometric lattice weave of paired “cobblestones” in a mosaic of scattered color cells. The secret is to use a neutral weft to allow the rainbow colors to emerge with no reduction in chroma. The versatility of the draft is that  you can restrain color to two values, if you wish. Or you can use leftovers for the “cells” provided there is a contrast for the lattice. I have tried all these versions in a variety of yarns with success.

Pair a colorful warp with a neutral weft for lots of color interest.

About her history with WEBS she says, “In the late 70′s I received consistent repeat orders for my book WEAVERS WEARABLES ( and later for DESIGNER DIAGONALS) from a weaving shop in Amherst under the label Valley Fibers. I had a hunch this was a growing business. When I met Barbara and Art Elkins at Convergence my hunch was confirmed and I was bowled over by their yarn collection, now trading as WEBS. Barbara invited me to teach a workshop, the first of many, in Northampton, and these were mutually successful events for us. Still later, when I took over the revised edition of FINISHING TOUCHES from Interweave Press, the orders came as before, likewise with A CUT ABOVE.” If you’re a weaver be sure to check out our weaving contest, there’s still time to enter!

The Nikiya Cowl from Tanis Gray

Thursday, April 17th, 2014
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Earlier this month we introduced our latest 40th Anniversary yarn, Valley Yarns Huntington hand dyed by Lorna’s Laces. Just as we did for the first quarter of 2014, we have partnered with some truly talented designers to bring you some fantastic patterns for this yarn. First up is Tanis Gray‘s Nikiya Cowl.

About her relationship with WEBS, “Growing up in southeastern Massachusetts, I had heard of Webs, but we rarely drove out that way across the state. Webs seemed like some far off Mecca where yarn was as plentiful as snowflakes were in winter. When I started working at Vogue Knitting in New York City after graduating from RISD, I had the opportunity to finally go to Webs in person. It was everything I had dreamed about and I still remember that feeling of amazement, surprise and sheer joy when I walked through the doors in the back to the warehouse. Talk about a kid in a candy store! After my 4-year tenure as the Yarn Editor ended when we moved to Washington DC, my relationship with Kathy Elkins and her husband grew stronger as I became a guest on their podcast, making multiple “appearances” with each of my book releases. When knitters learn I am from Boston, the next question out of their mouth is usually “Have you been to Webs?” I am honored to be part of the anniversary collection for this wonderful store, which has turned so many knitters into the best knitters they can be.”

With just one skein you’ll knit a seamless, swirling, delicate lace cowl. What color will you choose?

Our 40th Anniversary Celebrations Continue!

Monday, April 7th, 2014
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It’s time for the second round of specialty products to celebrate our Anniversary! We’re so excited to share our Valley Yarns Huntington hand dyed by Lorna’s Laces.

We’ve chosen 9 of Lorna’s Laces’ richest colors and they’ve dyed a special Ruby Slippers colorway for our Anniversary.

Three more designers have joined us to bring you stunning designs made with our specialty yarn.

Tanis Gray has designed The Nikiya Cowl, a swirling and delicate lace cowl, the ideal accessory for Spring.

Kristin Omdahl drew on her Viking heritage to bring us the Sermilik Shawl.

Franklin Habit has worked his magic again and found an historical counterpane pattern to translate into the modern Centuria Tam.

Della-Q has another limited edition bag for us with a print that is the perfect burst of color for Spring.

We’ll also have three more weaving drafts from long-time friends of WEBS, and don’t miss out on your chance to enter the Weaving ContestFull details and contest rules are available on our website.

And we’ve still got so much more for you this year. Be sure to check out our 40th Anniversary Sale, going on now, and if you’re in the area join us for our Annual Tent Sale and Fleece Market in May. Follow us on FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle +Instagram, or on Ravelry for all the latest.