Archive for the ‘40th Anniversary’ Category

Heirloom Diamonds: twill towels draft by Sharon Alderman

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014
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The newest weaving draft celebrating our 40th Anniversary is the Heirloom Diamonds twill towels by Sharon Alderman woven in Valley Yarns 40/2 Linen on 16 shafts.

Heirloom Diamonds: twill towels draft by Sharon Alderman woven in Valley Yarns 40/2 Linen on 16-shafts - available exclusively at yarn.com

Valley Yarns 40/2 linen is perfect for fine linen towels as it is capable of rapidly absorbing liquids and allowing that moisture to evaporate just as quickly. Linen cloth can absorb as much as 20% of its dry weight in liquid before even feeling damp! This 16-shaft draft will produce two heirloom quality towels for you to keep or give as cherished gifts.

Heirloom Diamonds: twill towels draft by Sharon Alderman woven in Valley Yarns 40/2 Linen on 16-shafts - available exclusively at yarn.com

You’ll notice that there is a border not just at the selveges or at each end, but all the way around, framing each towel. The threading creates this border. The towels are woven so that the same borders happen along each selvege and at both ends. The treadling for the first end border is shown on the draft, the border at the other end is woven by treadling in the opposite direction.

 

The Cirro Tee from Linda Permann

Thursday, September 18th, 2014
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The Cirro Tee by Linda Permann is a simple yet gorgeous crocheted tee designed in Valley Yarns Northfield Hand Dyed by Malabrigo. Everyone is looking for that perfect t-shirt pattern and this may just fit the bill! An easy to memorize two row pattern creates a textured and flexible fabric that results in a lightweight and very wearable crochet garment. The simple cap sleeves and understated waist shaping make this a flattering shapes for almost everyone.

The Cirro Tee designed by Linda Permann and crocheted in Valley Yarns Northfield hand dyed by Malabrigo - available exclusively at yarn.com

Linda is a designer and author that has lived all over the US. Her work has been featured in many of today’s top knitting and crochet publications. “Crocheting is my passion, but I love to sew, knit and quilt too. I wear many hats: I’m a crochet and craft designer, writer, editor and a crochet/knitting teacher. I work full time at Craftsy.com, and I also teach. I love creating modern patterns using quality yarns, showing crochet in its best lightl!”

The Cirro Tee designed by Linda Permann and crocheted in Valley Yarns Northfield hand dyed by Malabrigo - available exclusively at yarn.com

We love what Linda creates, too! Crochet your own Cirro Tee in our gorgeous Valley Yarns Northfield Hand Dyed by Malabrigo or try one of our solid colors of Northfield.

Hidden Treasures for Weavers

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014
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You know how you can walk by the same thing time after time without really noticing it? Or you get so focused on looking for the new that the regular scenery just fades? I love those moments when I rediscover something wonderful that’s been there all along. Here are some of the hidden treasures I fell in love with again as a weaver:

great weaving drafts and technical informationWeaver’s Craft magazines are a gold mine of information and drafts. Jean Scorgie, a former editor of Handwoven magazine, publishes these little gems and we carry nearly 20 different issues. Each issue features a topic (laces, overshoot, baby blankets, etc.) with information, illustrations, ideas and projects. I recommend these all the time to newer weavers because she really explains the concepts and then provides easy drafts to put the techniques into practice. I am steadily building my collection of these as part of my weaving reference library.

Two of my favorite issues illustrate just how much is packed into a small space. April/May 2000 focuses on twills and includes a discussion of twills, plus sections on floating selvedges, smiling selvedges and how to fix them, gamps, and threading heddles. And it has drafts for 5 different dish towels! The Spring 2001 edition is all about weaving overshot and has articles about drawdowns, tromp as writ, designing name drafts and more, plus drafts for placemats, table runners and a drawstring bag. And all of these can be woven on a 4-shaft loom!

gorgeous weaving projectsAnother overlooked booklet on the magazine rack is Kismet, published by Hill Country Weavers. This is gorgeous, glossy eye candy for weavers loaded with inspiration for thinking (and weaving) outside the box. The projects are woven on rigid heddle looms with knitting yarns and incorporate knit and crochet details. I find the designs to be refreshing and creative and more about new ways of envisioning woven wearables than the specific type of loom used to weave the cloth. Fifteen designs are presented in full detail, ranging from scarves and shawls to blankets, skirts, and fingerless mitts. There is also a wealth of technical information including hemstitching, fringes, seaming, picking up for knit or crochet, reading a draft and a step by step pictorial guide to direct warping a rigid heddle loom.

And, speaking of hidden treasures, did you know we have our own series of weaving drafts designed specifically for the Valley Yarns line of yarns? This year we are showcasing designs created especially for our 40th anniversary in addition to dozens more that have been drafted by WEBS founder Barbara Elkins and other talented weavers over the years. Visitors to the store have the good fortune of not only being able to see them, but also to touch and investigate the drape and details of the pattern Online shoppers can find drafts on our website in a few ways. If you are looking for something to weave with a specific yarn, you will find a tab on that yarn page called “Related Patterns”. Click on it and you will be shown all the drafts/patterns we have created for that yarn. You can also find drafts on the drop down menu for Weaving and Spinning on the home page. You can narrow your search by number of shafts or just ogle the many possibilities while suffering from loom envy.

beautiful colorful woven twill towelsAvailable drafts span the full spectrum of projects, from wearables, like scarves and shawls, to blankets, bags, table runners, placemats and the ever-popular dishtowels. And, yes, dish towels are the number one drafts we sell, with the hands down favorite being Carol Birtwistle’s 40th Anniversary Ribbon Towels. There’s something for everyone from rigid heddle weavers – Draft #55 Charlemont Lace Scarf – to 4-, 8- and 16-shaft designs.

Have you discovered any hidden treasures in your wanderings? Let us know!

 

Classic Elite Celebrates WEBS 40th Anniversary!

Thursday, September 11th, 2014
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Our 40th Anniversary year has already been full of so many great pattern and yarn collaborations and the newest one is no exception. Betsy Perry and the staff at Classic Elite Yarns have pulled 3 beautiful patterns from their vaults and given them new life in new yarns and colors, and on top of that they’ve designed a gorgeous cardigan just for our anniversary!

Joni from Classic Elite Yarns, knit in MountainTop Vista - pattern available exclusively at yarn.com

 

Joni is worked in Vista, a squishy soft blend of super fine alpaca and wool with a subtle halo. This sweater is sure to become one of your 3-season favorites. You can see the original sample pictured on a teenage Uma Thurman, a one-time resident of Amherst MA. where our first store was located!

Roberta from Classic Elite Yarns, knit in MountainTop Chalet and Majestci Tweed - pattern available exclusively at yarn.com

Roberta is a classic drop shoulder cardigan with beautiful color work on the front panels worked in a combination of Chalet and Majestic Tweed.  The updated color scheme and combination of solid and tweed yarns really make this a stand out wardrobe piece.

Olivia from Classic Elite Yarns, knit in Color by Kristin - pattern available exclusively at yarn.com

 

The fun argyle accents on the Olivia pullover can add the perfect pop of color to your fall wardrobe, especially when knit  in the vibrant colors available in Color by Kristin.

Dianna from Classic Elite Yarns, knit in CSoft Linen - pattern available exclusively at yarn.com

 

Finally Classic Elite has unveiled a brand new design for us in their lovely Soft Linen yarn. Dianna is a long, cabled, open front cardigan, the perfect layering piece.

Each of these patterns is available individually or together in one eBook. And you can see all of the garments in person at our retail store on Sept. 18th when Betsy Perry and her staff stop by to introduce us to all of the new Fall yarns and full line of designs. The event is free but please register.

WEBS is forty tapestry by Micala Sidore

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014
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Our newest 40th Anniversary draft is a fun freebie! The WEBS is forty draft from Micala Sidore is a great primer for branching out with your own tapestry explorations and with 40 colors of Valley Yarns Northampton to choose from you’ll have almost endless color combinations to choose from.

WEBS is Forty tapestry draft - FREE DRAFT - available exclusively at yarn.com

Micala says, “Using words as design elements in your tapestry gives you freedom to express yourself in many ways. The look of the tapestry, the words chosen, the “font” created, and the colors can all lend meaning to your work. To celebrate WEBS’ 40th anniversary, I chose to weave the word “forty”, but tapestry can be any word or number or symbol that is meaningful to you.

You also need to consider positive and negative space as you create your design. Remember that you will be weaving a background as you weave your word or number, and you have to think about how the background can enhance or overwhelm your main image. Everything happens in relationship to everything else, so don’t forget to give equal thought to all the elements of your design. I suggest you begin by working with three colors: a ground color, a color for the letters, and a third highlight or accent color. I have used red in the “o” of forty as a surprise accent. Consider the dots of “i”s, the interiors of letters like o, b, d, etc. as opportunities for accent.”

The Gathering In Cowl by Debbi Stone

Thursday, August 21st, 2014
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We’re excited for another beautiful design celebrating our 40th Anniversary. This time it’s the Gathering In Cowl by Debbi Stone in our Valley Yarns Stockbridge. Debbi has taken one of our longest running Valley Yarns and given us a fresh, but classic wardrobe piece that works with almost any style.

Gathering In Cowl designed by Debbi Stone in Valley Yarns Stockbridge - available exclusively at yarn.comThe Gathering In Cowl is a buttoned wrap in a stitch pattern reminiscent of a gathering basket, edged in sturdy ribbing.  Perfect for around your neck or pulled down around your shoulders when the days turn crisp. The alpaca and wool blend in Stockbridge is available in a kaleidoscope of 24 gorgeous colors and is so soft to the touch. 

Gathering In Cowl designed by Debbi Stone in Valley Yarns Stockbridge - available exclusively at yarn.com

The Jazerant Set from Emma Welford

Monday, August 11th, 2014
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As we sink into the dog days of summer it’s time to think about little projects that you can work on that won’t fill your lap with yarn. The Jazerant Set by Emma Welford is the perfect end of summer project. Knit in the gorgeous Valley Yarns Northfield hand dyed by Malabrigo these two small pieces have lots of great details to keep your knitting interesting without being daunting. Non-symmetrical ribbing frames gorgeous winding cables which hide winking little beads! What’s not to love?!

The Jazerant set designed by Emma Welford, knit in Valley Yarns Northfield hand dyed by Malabrigo - available exclusively at yarn.com

Emma has worked at WEBS for several years and we’re so happy to see her designing career really starting to take off, with designs published by Valley Yarns as well as Universal Yarns, Holla Knits, Knitscene, special issues of Interweave, and her own self published patterns. For working with the beads in this pattern, which are optional, she offers two working solutions, “Beads are placed as you work on purl stitches. Place a bead on a stitch by threading the bead on to a steel crochet hook, then use the hook to draw the stitch through the bead. Alternately, slip the stitch on to a thin, flexible piece of wire, bend the ends of the wire together so it forms a long needle. Thread the bead on to the needle and slip it down on to the stitch. Purl the beaded stitch.”

The Jazerant set designed by Emma Welford, knit in Valley Yarns Northfield hand dyed by Malabrigo - available exclusively at yarn.com

Which color of the Northfield hand dyed by Malabrigo would you choose? (I’m leaning towards the Primavera!)

 

Santa Fe Summer towels by Chris Hammel

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014
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We’re smack-dab in the middle of Summer here at WEBS and thought that would be the perfect time to bring you The Santa Fe Summer dish towels from Chris Hammel as the 7th in our year-long series of special guest designer weaving drafts.

Sante Fe Summer Towels draft designed by Chris Hammel - available exclusively at yarn.com

Chris says, “Valley Yarns 8/2 unmercerized cotton is perfect for thirsty, washable, kitchen towels, and what could be better than a bright, cheery towel in lively colors that evoke a Santa Fe summer. This 4-shaft draft is easy to thread and weave and will result in an ample kitchen towel. If you would like to increase the length of your warp, you could try different treadling variations for each subsequent towel and create a set for yourself or gifts for family and friends.”

Sante Fe Summer Towels draft designed by Chris Hammel - available exclusively at yarn.com

Using sewing thread to weave 1″ of plain weave as the the under-hem for each end of the towel gives your hems a much less visible profile. Bonus: If you use a sewing thread like Gutermann you can pop the thread right onto your shuttle without needing to wind a separate bobbin!

 

The Waterfall Jacket from Debbie Bliss

Sunday, July 27th, 2014
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We’re so excited to share this next design with you! The amazing Debbie Bliss has designed the cozy Waterfall Jacket in our Valley Yarns Deerfield

The Waterfall Jacket designed by Debbie Bliss in Valley Yarns Deerfield - available exclusively at yarn.com

She has put together a modern, boxy cardigan in a simple but sophisticated broken rib pattern that is sure to become one of your go-to wardrobe staples. Designed with just the right amount of positive ease and fantastic front pockets this sweater looks great dressed up or styled more casually. You can never go wrong with a pocket! 

The Waterfall Jacket designed by Debbie Bliss in Valley Yarns Deerfield - available exclusively at yarn.com

The Maplewood Cardigan from Carol Sulcoski

Monday, July 21st, 2014
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As with each of our previous specialty hand dyed yarns, we have three amazing designs to share with you that have been knit and crocheted in our Valley Yarns Northfield hand dyed by Malabrigo. First up is the Maplewood Cardigan designed by Carol Sulcoski.

The Maplewood Cardigan by Carol Sulcoski - available exclusively at yarn.com

From Carol – “I have been a customer of WEBS for a long, long time – I remember receiving the really old newsletters that were more or less a typed-out list of what yarns were available.  I still get so excited getting the WEBS catalog in the mail, although now it’s as beautiful as a magazine. I was so excited to be asked to design a sweater for the WEBS Anniversary celebration. I do some hand dyeing, and love designing with hand dyed yarns. When I found out I was getting Northfield, I was thrilled – it is probably my all-time favorite Valley Yarns base. And the colorway dyed by Malabrigo, called Piedras, was fascinating: at first look, it reads like a semisolid brown, but the more I knit with it, the more I noticed all of the many other colors that were in it, shades of brown from golden brown to russet to taupe, and also hints of lavender, gold, gray and slate. When I thought about what to design, I decided to design the kind of sweater I’d want to make myself (if I had more time to knit for myself). That meant a minimum of finishing, it meant something without long sleeves or a high neck (since I always run warm), and lately I’ve gotten the most wear out of longer sweaters that I can wear over a dress. I also wanted to figure out a way to showcase the beautiful dyeing, so I opted for a mostly-stockinette-stitch garment, where the colors would be the focus of attention. Next I took into account the qualities of Northfield yarn. It’s got excellent stitch definition, so I opted for an edging to show off how beautifully the yarn looks in a pattern. It’s got silk and alpaca in it, which gives it drape, so that was a good match for a longer sweater that would have a bit of swing at the hem. But it’s mostly merino, which means it has elasticity to help keep it from stretching too much – also a good quality for a longer sweater. I swatched a couple of different edgings, and found the one I used in a Japanese stitch dictionary, although I modified it a little. I began knitting from the bottom hem up, starting with the edging. I used raglan shoulder shaping, and kept the sweater fronts purposely narrow so they wouldn’t need a closure (and I hope that this will make the sweater more versatile when it comes to fit; if you have a larger bust, it won’t matter because the front edges are so narrow they fall along the side of the bustline). The design came together really quickly and I didn’t have to do too much fiddling with things, although I did play around with different edgings for the armholes and neckband. I ended up using a simple crocheted crab stitch. I really do want to knit another one of these for myself!”

The Maplewood Cardigan by Carol Sulcoski - available exclusively at yarn.com

Carol also offers these useful tips, “The biggest tip for knitters who make this sweater: if you do use a hand-dyed yarn (and I highly recommend the hand dyed Northfield!), pay close attention to the slight color variations between skeins. It’s pretty much impossible to hand dye skeins exactly alike, so you may notice that some skeins look more “alike” than others. I knit from two different skeins at the same time, alternating skeins so that I knit a row or two with the first skein, then switched to the second one. (Of course if you use solid Northfield, this won’t be an issue.) I chose to switch balls of yarn at the side (imagine where a side seam would run if the sweater were seamed) so that the front edges, which are knit as you go along, wouldn’t have noticeable places where I had to weave in ends. Have fun!”