Archive for the ‘Valley Yarns’ Category

Design Inspiration with Fiona Ellis

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015
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My goodness half of my Designer in Residence year is over and my fourth pattern was just launched! So I just did a quick review of what I’ve chatted with you about over the past few months; geometry, the humble I-cord and Morphing Cables. I guess it’s time I talked a little about how I find my inspiration. The best way I have found of generation my ideas is by taking photographs. Back on Sept 1st 2007 BI – that is “Before Instagram” (I can hardly believe it), I committed to taking photos to illustrate my journals. Up until that point my photo taking was more haphazard, but from that day on I have tried (and mostly succeeded) in taking a photo every single day. This kind of practice helps you develop a more artistic view of the, mostly mundane, everyday things that surround us. Or put another way it forces you to look at things that you see all the time (and mostly overlook) in a new light.

Ironwork - design inspiration for Fiona Ellis, WEBS 2015 Designer in Residence. Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

As you can imagine I have amassed quite the collection of photos over these past 8 years. And through this process my fascinations have become very apparent. I have become very aware of my re-occurring themes/sources of inspiration. Collar Your Dreams springs from one of my favourites – ironwork, and more specifically the Eiffel Tower. OK you got me…the Eiffel Tower is hardly mundane and everyday, but the practice of looking at those objects transfers into my picture taking when I’m somewhere exotic like Paris.

Design inspiration with Fiona Ellis, WEBS 2015 Designer in Residence. Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

I’ve used ironwork as an inspiration source many times, but what is a little different with this design is that I wanted to incorporate the openwork feel that the tower, for me, epitomises. It’s not just about the lines, but the spaces in between the lines. There is almost a lightness or airiness to the structure,and that was what I wanted to try to capture. If you have ever been lucky enough to see it up close, maybe it has struck you as it did me, that when you walk around it each vantage point produces yet another beautiful curve or line with amazing geometric shapes nestled in between the main structural braces. So I placed arcs of eyelets holes between the cables, cables that I hope capture something of the graceful lines of this beautiful structure. If you are interested in hearing about my latest fascinations I would love for you to join me on my website on the 9th of each month when I post about what I’m currently finding inspiring. This month it’s all about my recent trip to the UK.

How to Wear It – The Breezeway Pullover

Friday, July 24th, 2015
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Summer is in full swing but that doesn’t mean that you need to abandon your warmer knits or that a few cool evening aren’t going to sneak up on you! The Breezeway Pullover from our recent Valley Yarns catalog is a great transitional wardrobe piece that works well all year long and in almost any climate.

How to Wear It - The Breezeway Pullover. Show us how YOU wear your Valley Yarns knits, more info on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com #VYwearit

The loose, unstructured shape give this pullover versatility across multiple styles, and as a layering piece you can wear it in any season! We’re focused on summer looks here but you could add this over a great oxford with dress pants, or pair it with leggings, a cami, and some killer boots, topped off with a big statement necklace.

How to Wear It - The Breezeway Pullover. Show us how YOU wear your Valley Yarns knits, more info on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com #VYwearit

Hatfield is a 100% baby alpaca yarn in over 2 dozen lightly heathered colors so you’re sure to find a color to match this season’s trends or your tried and true wardrobe favorites.

We’d love to see your finished garments! Anytime you’ve made a Valley Yarns pattern be sure to tag it with #VYwearit We may feature you here on the blog, highlight you on our Facebook page, or repost you on Instagram!

Introducing Valley Yarns Hatfield

Thursday, July 23rd, 2015
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We’ve launched some great New Valley Yarns this summer, and with even more arriving in the coming weeks we thought we’d take some time to introduce them.

Valley Yarns Hatfield now available at WEBS and yarn.com

First up is our Valley Yarns Hatfield, a 100% Baby Alpaca, lace-weight yarn with over 400yds per skein. While it might seem a little early to talk about Holiday knits, who wants to think about winter when it’s 90+ outside, we only have a little over 20 weeks before the gift giving begins! This gorgeous yarn may be the perfect starting point. Light enough to be knit outdoors on a hot summer day without making you’re hands overheat, it will keep the wearer plenty warm when the cold winds begin to blow. Think shawls, lacy cowls, and even transitional sweaters!

Valley Yarns Hatfield now available at WEBS and yarn.com

And we already have 2 patterns to get you started on that gift list. The Breezeway Pullover is knit at a loose gauge into a roomy, casually shaped sweater that makes a great multi-season layering piece. The Composition Cowl uses a classic lace stitch, combined with garter stitch, for great texture without tons of work, and the length is totally adjustable! Or choose your favorite pattern that calls for a laceweight yarn. I’m thinking that maybe the Hazel Shawl, or the Greenway Shawl, is going to end up on my needles soon in Leaf Green, it’s my sister’s favorite color! What projects will you plan in Hatfield?

Emerging Designer – Debbi Stone

Monday, July 20th, 2015
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WEBS Emerging Designer Summer 2015 eBook: Sproutlet, from Debbi Stone. eBook and individual PDFS now available at yarn.com. Read more on the WEBS Blog - blog.yarn.com

We’re excited to bring you the second installment of our WEBS Emerging Designer series with the Summer 2015 Sproutlet eBook! Debbi Stone, who you may know from the Stitches of My Life Designs, has put together a mini collection of everything you need to bring that new baby home in style and keep them warm for the first few years! We’re always excited by Debbi’s fantastic accessory patterns and we couldn’t be happier with these designs! We asked her to tell us a bit about her process and inspiration.

WEBS: When did you learn to knit and what prompted you to start designing?

Debbi: I learned to knit from my grandmother the summer I was 7. She taught me to cast on and knit, no purling, and bind off. That summer I made a lot of garter stitch headbands! A few years back I was looking for a simple cabled cowl to knit for my daughters for Christmas and realized that I couldn’t find what I wanted on Ravelry. I knew how I wanted that cowl to look and how I wanted to construct it so I just started knitting. The next thing you know I had designed my first (very basic) pattern.

WEBS: Give us a glimpse into your design process, where/how do you find inspiration?

Debbi: Someone once referred to me as a “noun girl”. I take my inspiration from the people, places and things in my life. I’ve used everything from relatives, to places I love, and objects of my affection. Once I started keeping my eyes open the world of inspiration opened up to me.

WEBS: Tell us about your design aesthetic.

Debbi: I love to design accessories to pair with a simple, basic wardrobe. I wear a lot of basic black and love to put an accessory on to pull those basics together. I have found that this gives my mix and match wardrobe infinite possibilities, and creates many different looks with the same basic pieces.

The Sproutlet Sweater is an easy, top-down cardigan that you’ll reknit, in each size, every time they outgrow it. Paired with the Sproutlet Hat, and the Sproutlet Blanket, you’ll have one stylish baby ready for that first car ride home or an early autumn family picnic. All three patterns were designed in our line of Valley Superwash yarn, each using a different weight: DK, worsted, and bulky. With 12 colors available in all 3 weights you could make this set in a shade perfect for any baby, from the vibrant Spring Leaf green that Debbi chose to Soft Yellow, Natural or Misty Lilac. Or choose from over 20 other colors and create a set of hand knits in bold tones to gift with your favorite baby accessories.

WEBS Emerging Designer Summer 2015 eBook: Sproutlet, from Debbi Stone. eBook and individual PDFS now available at yarn.com. Read more on the WEBS Blog - blog.yarn.com

Download all three patterns together in the WEBS Emerging Designer, Summer 2015 Sproutlet eBook for just $9.99 or download any individual pattern for just $3.99 each. You can find more of Debbi’s designs here on our site, and on Ravelry and don’t forget her collaborative designs with her friend Marcy under Adventures Du Jour. And check out WEBS Emerging Designer Spring 2015 eBook by Angelia Robinson with three stunning crochet accessories perfect for every season.

Designer in Residence – Collar Your Dreams from Fiona Ellis

Tuesday, July 7th, 2015
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CYD DiR FB splash

Wow! July already and with all that glorious, hot summer weather, but before you know it a chill will settle into our evenings and the leaves will begin to change color as Autumn approaches. Once it does you’re going to wish you had a fantastic cardigan to ward of that cool weather. Fiona’s newest pattern as our Designer in Residence, Collar Your Dreams, may just be that perfect cardigan!

Fiona Elllis DiR FB July CYD

The Collar Your Dreams cardigan is the experienced, or adventurous, cable knitters dream, intricate and fun with just enough challenge! The cables, that incorporate eyelet holes alongside the crosses, were inspired by iron work and form shapes reminiscent of the Eiffel Tower. This multi-season cardigan sports a shawl collar worked in short rows and elegant, feature waist shaping.

DiR Pinterest JULY CYD

Knit in Valley Yarns Valley Superwash DK, with over 20 colors to choose from this one is sure to become a favorite wardrobe staple! Which color will you choose?

WEBS Mystery Blanket KAL and CAL- Joining and Edging

Thursday, June 18th, 2015
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It’s FINALLY time to put everything together!

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.

Finishing the WEBS MKAL/MCAL blankets, layout options and more on the WEBS Blog - blog.yarn.com

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

JOINS

Three Needle Bind-Off

I-Cord Join

EDGES

Attached I-Cord

Fan Lace Edge – no video for this one as there’s no new techniques, just a combination of one’s you already know!

Fan Lace edge option for the WEBS MKAL blanket, more on the WEBS Blog - blog.yarn.com

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

JOINS

Joining Single Crochet – this one will be familiar from your Tunisian square from March.

Lattice Double Crochet

EDGES

Single Crochet

Single Crochet edge option for the WEBS MCAL Blanket, more on the WEBS Blog - blog.yarn.com

Looped Chains

Looped Chain edge option for the WEBS MCAL Blanket, more on the WEBS Blog - blog.yarn.com

The square patterns as well as the join/edge instructions can be downloaded here (FREE). Did you know there’s a playlist for the full Crochet-A-Long and all the techniques on Youtube? (Keep in mind that our techniques videos are NOT the pattern! These videos are here to help you understand the techniques featured in our patterns, please refer to your pattern for specifics.)

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

We can’t wait to see your finished blankets!

I-91 SHOP HOP IS AROUND THE CORNER!

Thursday, June 11th, 2015
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If you haven’t participated in the Shop Hop in the past years joining in is super easy, all you need is $5 to purchase your passport and a sense of adventure! The I-91 Shop Hop runs Thursday, June 25th through Sunday, June 28th and you can purchase a passport at one of the 12 shops participating this year, and you still have time to purchase your 2015 passport! We are looking forward to welcoming more than 300 Shop-Hoppers to our store over the weekend.

The Annual I-91 Shop Hop is just around the corner. Get your passport now! Read more at blog.yarn.com

Why participate in the Shop Hop? At each store you visit your name will be entered in the daily prize drawing. Each of the daily prizes contains a variety of wonderful yarns, patterns, needles and accessories. Once you’ve visited all 12 shops and have your passport stamped just turn it in at the last shop on your trip and you will be entered into a grand prize drawing! On Sunday, there are two drawings: the daily basket and a chance to win a wooden swift and ball winder.  As an added bonus, each shop will have a special knit kit for sale just for Shop Hop! So be sure to hit all the shops during the long weekend and keep your fingers crossed for the daily prize and grand prize on Sunday. Hope to see you then!

The Annual I-91 Shop Hop is just around the corner. Get your passport now! Read more at blog.yarn.com

Participating Shops:
Green Mountain Spinnery- Putney, VT
Handknits- Brattleboro, VT
Sheep & Shawl-South Deerfield, MA
Northampton Wools, Northampton, MA
WEBS America’s Yarn Store-Northampton, MA
Marji’s Yarncrafts-Granby, CT
Creative Fibers-Windsor, CT
Village Wool-Glastonbury, CT
Country Yarns-Wallingford, CT
The Yarn Barn,LLC-Woodbridge, CT
Knit New Haven-New Haven, CT
The Yarn Basket-Branford, CT

Reading for Inspiration

Wednesday, June 10th, 2015
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Greetings from the Weaving Room! I love books and my personal reference library is full of everything from pattern dictionaries to technique books, structure-focused tomes and classics from weaving icons. I keep an eye out for new books coming in to the store, looking for inspiration and education.

I have found myself restless of late, yearning for my weaving to be more than just squares and rectangles. And then…..Simple Woven Garments, by Sara Goldenberg and Jane Patrick arrived this spring. Filled with gorgeous photography and layouts, this book is a great springboard into the world of sewing handwoven cloth. The project photos, of course, fall into the category of eye candy but I really loved that they took equal care in providing detailed, close up photos of techniques. Another nice feature is the use of side bars with suggestions for other fabric ideas and alternate styles. I’m a big fan of projects that encourage you to say “what if” and offer suggestions for making it uniquely your own.

The book starts with an introduction to sewing handwovens with information about shaping, sizing, cutting and sewing. I found the techniques to be simple and a great place to start (as opposed to feeling faint and intimidated at the thought that I need to learn French seams right away!). All the projects can be woven on either rigid heddle or shaft looms and the authors discuss the considerations for using one or the other. Some of the projects also incorporate knitting and I gotta say I love a good bi-craftual project.

Flame Lace Top from Simple Woven Garments by Sara Goldenberg & Jane Patrick - read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Of course I checked to see which projects used WEBS/Valley Yarns and found the Flame Lace Top with 8/2 Tencel and Variegated 8/2 Tencel combined as the weft. I love the lacy texture of the weave and the clever pulled threads to provide shaping. I wasn’t sure, however, that the blouson look  was for me. After reading suggestions in the “Alternate Styles” box, I realized I could make one of those long open vests I’ve been coveting by increasing the length and cutting it down the center front (and perhaps making an inkle facing?). I could also use Valley Yarns 5/2 Bamboo for the warp (single stranded) to give it that wonderful drape……………

See, this is what happens when you read books – you get inspired and start to dream of what you can create!

And to further inspire you, Jane Patrick will be in town this summer to teach at NEWS (New England Weavers Seminar) and she will be signing books in our booth (bottom floor of the Campus Center at Smith College) on Thursday, July 9th from 6:30 – 7:30 pm. We will have Simple Woven Garments in addition to her other books – The Weaver’s Idea Book and  Woven Scarves. We hope you can join us!

Designer in Residence – the Lace Stole from Doris Chan

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015
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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.

Doris Chan WEBS 2015 Crochet Designer in Residence, her third design the Lace Stole in Valley Yarns 2/10 Merino Tencel - learn more at blog.yarn.comLace 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!

Doris Chan WEBS 2015 Crochet Designer in Residence, her third design the Lace Stole in Valley Yarns 2/10 Merino Tencel - learn more at blog.yarn.comWhether 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?

WEBS Mystery Blanket KAL and CAL- Square Four

Thursday, May 14th, 2015
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Are you ready for our last square?

Do you have 27 finished squares from FebruaryMarch, and April? No need to stress if you don’t! Take this project at your own pace and pull all the pieces together on a timeline that works for you.

Crocheters: Crocodile Stitch is the name of the game for this square! With a square that is worked on the bias from one corner to the next, we’ll work half the square in crocodile stitch and finish off with alternating double and single crochet.

Crocodile Stitch

The pattern can be downloaded here (FREE). Did you know there’s a playlist for the full Crochet-A-Long and all the techniques on Youtube? (Keep in mind that our techniques videos are NOT the pattern! These videos are here to help you understand the techniques featured in our patterns, please refer to your pattern for specifics.)

KnittersThis square is all about texture! We’re creating an undulating chevron with knits and purls, broken by embossed sections created with simple increases and decreases. There are no new stitches in this square (yay!), but here a few tutorial to remind you of the less common techniques.

Make 1 Purl stitches

And Make 1 Knit stitches.

Purling multiple stitches together

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.), and all the squares can be found here.

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

Next month we’ll put it all together!