Guest: Gail Callahan, our Kangaroo Dyer, and author of Hand Dyeing Yarn and Fleece and The Kangaroo Dyer’s Color Grid. Her Color Grid is so versatile and useful beyond knitting! Use it for decor, flower arrangements, and more. Gail explains how she came up with the concept for the Color Grid.
There are just 4 days left of the April portion of our Anniversary Sale. One of the yarns on sale through Monday is Valley Yarns Longmeadow, an incredibly soft cotton and microfiber blend in a DK weight. Longmeadow normally $3.49, is on sale for $2.49. That’s quite a deal. Check out some of these customer projects found on Ravelry. Apparently the Lettuce color has been popular, a nice spring green.
This week the staff at WEBS is buzzing about everything from our anniversary sale to crocheted monsters! It’s a bit of a mix this week, but the patterns being talked about are great finds.
I found the little monsters in Crochet Bakemono to be just SO adorable. The patterns are simply written with easy to follow charted instructions and whimsical illustrations that are sure to appeal to new and seasoned crocheters. And there is no better time to dive into the world of crochet monsters with Cascade 220 at an incredible sale price during our 38th Anniversary sale! Grab 3 or 4 colors and you have enough yardage to make 1/2 a dozen monsters or more. > Sara D.
I just had Amy knit a store sample using Debbie Bliss Bella. I chose a pattern out of the latest Debbie Bliss magazine for spring/summer 2012. Striped Yoke Top is the name of this pattern. The yarn has incredible stitch definition. Your garment will come out fantastic with one constantly looking at it saying “did I really make that?” The fiber combination of cotton, silk and a tad bit of cashmere gives your knitted piece a nice light touch! > Karen M.
I was excited to see the new Lorna’s Laces Sportmate come into the store this week. It contains Outlast fiber which is supposed to help moderate temperature. As someone who is warm most of the time, I like this idea, especially combined with the gauge of the yarn. I think it will make a nice lightweight cardigan that I can wear indoors. The colors are rich and have a bit of a sheen. > Leslie Ann B.
We were named a Top 20 finialist in the This Is Retail Contest. We submitted a two-minute video. Please go check it out and vote for us! http://www.RetailMeansJobs.com/thisisretail/SteveElkins Voting for the first round ends Sunday, April 8th. You’re allowed to vote 10 times per day per email address. Thank you for taking the time to vote!
Guest: Bruce Weinstein, author of Knits Men Want chats with Kathy. Bruce stresses that if there’s a failure with the sweater, it’s not you! It could be the choices you make for the sweater, but he’s certain it’s a fantastic garment. He says there are things you need to know, like Rule #7: Not all men are worthy of cashmere. Interestingly, Bruce’s other books are cookbooks, and he believes that a knitting book should be no different than a cookbook – patterns (recipes) should be tested and clear. Bruce also points out that many men have multiples of things (like 12 navy sweaters) because that’s what he likes.
Bruce will be at WEBS Thursday, April 26th at 6:00pm-7:30pm. He’ll also be bringing a treat from one of his cookbooks, so you’ll want to come visit with him if you’re close!
He also has a new cookbook coming out soon and a new knitting book headed for shops in December.
These will only be on sale the month of April. Check out all of the weaving yarns in our sale.
Make sure you also check out the mill ends we’ve received recently
Our Next Big Adventure: We recently purchased a new building 6 miles down the road in Easthampton. This location will only be shipping and customer service. The store will not move and this new space will not be open to the public. The back warehouse will still be shoppable, it’s just the behind the scenes portion that’s moving.
This week the WEBS staff is buzzing about some of the great yearns in our Year End Sale.
Valley Yarns 10/2 Bamboo – It’s so soft and shiny and the colors are so luminous. 4200 yards on one cone makes this an amazing deal for the lace knitter and crocheter. > Kirsten H.
Classic Elite Yarns Verde Collection Allegoro – I knit up a super comfy and cool top in Allegoro a few summers ago. The crisp hand of this cotton/linen blend yarn is perfect for lightly structured summer knits, and it drapes gorgeously. Plus, Classic Elite has good free pattern support, so you’ll be sure to find something nice to knit with it! > Elisabeth P.
I knit a cropped cardigan from Fitted Knits by Stephanie Japel several years ago in Cascade Pima Tencel. It was nice to work with and the finished cardigan was super soft and a great layer for spring and summer. I was able to wash it on the gentle cycle in my front-loading washing machine and lay it flat to dry, but you’ll of course want to test your swatch before you put your whole garment in the wash and give it a spin!! I love that there are so many colors available and the sale price makes it super affordable. > Mary K.-H.
Six skeins of Valley Yarns Greenfield is going to make a great gift for my grandmother who loves to crochet. I plan to include Valley Yarns pattern #366 Crocheted Pot Holders and Trivet which calls for two skeins of three colors. I chose Laguna Blue, Shale Green, and Spring Green. I can’t wait to see how they turn out! > Lindsey P.
Queensland Collection Joey’s Baby Silk – I was lucky enough to snag the store’s sample garment knit in this yarn and with the lovely selection of colors still available, this is my pick for the Year End Sale. It’s super soft, with a subtle shine and a great fiber blend, good for adult garments as well as projects for children. > Ashley F.
I wove a scarf for a friend using two colors of Di’ve Zenith in his favorite team’s colors. The scarf is warm and cozy, but doesn’t feel heavy because the yarn is so springy. A perfect combo. > Tina M.
Our Year End Sale continues online through January 1, 2012. And if you’re in the area, our Year End Sale in the store starts December 26th. You’ll find even more items marked down.
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.
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!
- Addressing something we didn’t mention in the last podcast that we should have: what does holding the stitches to the front or back do? You’re literally crossing two sections of knitting, one over the other, like crossing two strands in a braid.
- Charts are a great way of visualizing what’s being crossed over what. Often, charts use symbols for cable crossings that look like the resulting cable. If you have trouble reading cable charts, I recommend not trying to memorize what symbol means what set of steps, but looking at the chart and at your knitting and crossing your stitches so they look like the picture.
- It’s possible to work a cable without a cable needle! Definitely faster, but it involves dropping the stitches off your needles briefly and picking them back up again, so I’d say it’s best with cables involving 4 or fewer stitches. Essentially, instead of taking stitches off the needle and holding them for later while you knit another group, you’re just rearranging the order of the stitches on your left needle and knitting them in the new, crossed order.
-Stay away from mohairs and cotton/silks – the slippery yarns when cabling without a cable needle.
- Let’s try a basic cable where you’re crossing 2 knit stitches from right to left over 1 purl “background” stitch. This might normally be written “slip 2 sts to cable needle and hold to front, p1, k2 from cable needle”.
- slip all 3 sts to your right-hand needle
- skipping the first stitch (the purl stitch), insert tip of your left needle down into 2 knit sts on the RS of the work
- slip all the sts off the right hand needle, that little purl stitch has sprung free from the needles!
- retrieve that runaway purl stitch with your right hand needle, going behind the two knit stitches
- slip the purl stitch back on to your left needle
- now all 3 sts are back on your left needle, in a new, crossed order: purl, knit knit, with the 2 knit sts crossed in front of the purl st