Archive for the ‘Valley Yarns’ Category

Introducing Valley Yarns Pocumtuck

Thursday, May 19th, 2016
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I’m  so excited to share our newest yarn with you! Valley Yarns Pocumtuck is a 100% Cashmere yarn in a super versatile DK weight and in 24 bold and modern colors.

Valley Yarns Pocumtuck on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

I am an admitted fiber snob, most of the time, and I was gobsmacked by the incredible softness and squooshyness of this yarn. It has a cable plied construction which helps to give some strength to the yarn and lends the stitches a crisp definition without making the hand of the yarn too crunchy or stiff. I’m not sure if there’s a staff member here who didn’t take a few skeins home this week and immediately cast on with hooks or needles!

Valley Yarns Pocumtuck on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Our Design Manager Kirsten pulled together two lovely colors for a beautifully unisex pattern, the Petra Cowl, and it’s FREE! Just two skeins of Pocumtuck and an incredibly simple stitch pattern, worn in reverse, gives you an accessory with  bold architectural lines and a surprisingly lush feel that’s perfect for anyone on your gift list. Everybody deserves a little cashmere in their life! How will you work Pocumtuck into your project plans? Tell us in the comments.

All Dressed Up Wrap

Monday, May 16th, 2016
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Not only is our Valley Yarns Goshen part of our May Anniversary Sale but we’ve also got exciting new designs in this yarn for you, and the All Dressed Up Stole is the newest!

The All Dressed Up Stole from Valley Yarns. Learn more about the yarn and design, and where you can get a copy of the pattern on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Drape this stole loosely over your shoulders and secure with a bright shawl pin over a floral summer dress, or let it hang long and loose with a stylish belt for a more tailored look. This piece is a truly versatile addition to your wardrobe that works as a perfect extra layer in Spring and Fall.

The All Dressed Up Stole from Valley Yarns. Learn more about the yarn and design, and where you can get a copy of the pattern on the WEBS Blog at blog..yarn.com

Knit in Valley Yarns Goshen, the All Dressed Up Stole takes advantage of the silky drape of the yarn for a garment with beautiful fluid movement. With 25 colors to choose from you could go with an understated neutral like the sample, which was knit in #26 Steel, or add a bright splash of color to your summer wardrobe with #12 Lake or #10 Green Apple. Which color is calling your name?

Valley Yarns Goshen

Friday, May 13th, 2016
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Whether you’ve been a loyal fan of Goshen since it debuted back in 2007, or you’re just discovering it this Spring, there couldn’t be a better time to get this yarn on your needles or hook!

Valley Yarns Goshen! On the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Goshen is a worsted weight blend of 48% Peruvian Cotton, 46% Modal, and 6% Silk that is milled and dyed for Valley Yarns in Peru. These long smooth fibers are blended together to enhance each other’s durability, strength and shine resulting in a yarn that has incredible stitch definition and longevity. This yarn is super resistant to pilling! The shine from the silk and modal, which is a rayon fiber made from recycled tree-based cellulose, really makes your stitches pop. Whether you’re making cables or an allover textured pattern with your stitches this yarn will showcase them beautifully.

Valley Yarns Goshen! On the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

This unique mix of fibers also lends an incredible smoothness to the yarn that not only feels silky to the touch, but actually feels cool against your skin, making it perfect for warm weather projects. My older daughter is a big fan of wearing beanies all year long and she loves my hand knits hats, but she’s not a fan of wool hats in the summer.  So I dug through our collection of Valley Yarns patterns and landed on the Embers hat. Originally knit in Amherst, this hat has a fantastically easy to remember 2 row repeat. You could easily knit this hat in one color for a beanie with great texture, but the magic really happens when you introduce a second color! While this may look like a complicated stitch pattern, or one that involves slipped stitches, you are only knitting with one color in each round and there are NO slipped stitches, just knits and purls! I chose the Green Apple and Seafoam colorways of Goshen for a subtle tonal quality. I used the same size needle called for in the pattern and knit to gauge. in the end I used less than a full skein of each color and used what yarn remained to make the pom pom.

Valley Yarns Goshen! On the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

l-r top: Hen Plaid Wrap, Winter Lake Henley, Goshen Crocheted Jacket, Park Pullover l-r bottom: Twilight Short Sleeve Sweater, New Hope Pullover, Anemone Mitts, Purlless Pullover

We’ve showcased Goshen in some of our most popular Valley Yarns patterns over the years. If you’re looking for everyday knit tops, accessories with a pop of color or cozy wraps, you’ve found the ideal yarn. What will you knit with Goshen? One of our original Goshen patterns or one intended for another yarn? Tell us all about it in the comments! Pick up a few skeins of Goshen today and give it a try. It’s part of our Anniversary Sale through May 31st, meaning you get each skein for only $2.79. That’s right, you could knit the Embers Hat for less than $6.00, or splurge a little and grab a bag, 10 whole skeins, for only $27.90!

New Hope Pullover

Thursday, May 5th, 2016
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One of our newest patterns from Valley Yarns is the New Hope Pullover designed by Nadya Stallings. Knit in Goshen, our worsted weight, cotton/modal/silk blend, this a-line top is cozy enough for cool Spring evenings but cool enough for breezy, Summer beach days. Broad rolling waves fill the cable panels of this warm weather sweater, and the set in sleeve construction helps to give it structure and stability without hampering the flow and drape of the fabric.

The New Hope Pullover from Valley Yarns. Learn more about the yarn, the designer, and where you can get a copy of the pattern on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Pair this with jeans and chunky boots for a weekend hike or toss it on over your favorite shorts and tank when a cool breeze kicks up. Shown here in crisp summer white it would be equally stylish in classic Navy, a neutral like Fawn or Linen, or add a pop of color to your wardrobe with Green Apple or Persimmon.

We asked Nadya to tell us a bit about herself and her work.

When did you learn to knit? 

I learned to knit, when I was 10. And it was not my mother who taught me, although she was doing all kind all crafts, but I was stubborn enough to not let her. Instead, I watched a TV show (in Russian) , called “Magic Yarn Ball”. That is how I learned to cast on the stitches, and I just kept doing it until I could without even looking at my needles.

What prompted you to start designing?

Since I grew up with  just a few magazines that could give me some ideas of knitting, and not much else, I just was making them up for my own needs and desires. I had no feeling that it would be called “designing”! I moved to USA and looked through all those knitting magazines, I thought: “I know I could do this kind of work!’, but I just did not know how to approach the editors. In 2009, I was laid off, and very soon after that I received a catalog with announcement that they accept independent designers’ submissions. So, I went on-line, made my first submission and dared to send it out. Surprisingly, it was accepted!

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

Inspiration comes from everywhere: watching TV, fashion shows, other designers’’ work, very often from some words, or music, and nature. Sometimes (more often) I come up with just a detail, an element, and try to figure out what silhouette would work with it. Very often, I develop a few variations of the design because I think the general idea would be good for them all. I tend to design garments with a bit more challenge,  it makes the design work more interesting. Besides, I wear my garments, my daughter and granddaughter do too!

Tell us about your design aesthetic.

I admire people who dress themselves thoughtfully. I keep this in mind while designing, too. I do love vintage, but not being old-fashioned. I love to discover new color combinations that bring joy to my eyes. My recent favorite is the combination of different shades of brown with different shades of blues. And I love to design dresses and skirts! Or, at least the tops that are styled with skirts.

What did you love about the Valley Yarn you worked with?

I love to touch it, it feels so natural. I love to look at them, because the colors make me happy. I love how smoothly stitches slide from one needle to the next, and  I love its drape.

The New Hope Pullover from Valley Yarns. Learn more about the yarn, the designer, and where you can get a copy of the pattern on the WEBS Blog at blog..yarn.com

Valley Yarns Goshen is an ideal yarn for warm-weather knits! With it’s unique blend of fibers you get the sturdy durability of cotton, the memory and softness of modal , and the incredible shine and drape of silk. This versatile yarn feels cool against the skin but is squishy and cozy when knit into bouncy fun cables! What color of Goshen will you choose when you knit the New Hope Pullover?

The Rose Sorbet Tank

Monday, April 25th, 2016
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With summer just around the corner now is the perfect time to get to work on a beautiful and fun new piece for your wardrobe. The Rose Sorbet Tank by Krystalle Diaz is knit in our scrumptious Valley Yarns Longmeadow, a blend of cotton and microfiber that is ideal for warm-weather knits. This lovely and delicate tank starts as a top down shawl, so you get the beautiful centered lace panel, and is then joined in the round to complete the body of the piece. Top it off with a couple quick straps and you’ve got a super cute summer top!

The Rose Sorbet Tank from Valley Yarns. Learn more about the yarn and designer and where you can get a copy of the pattern  on the WEBS Blog at blog..yarn.com

We asked Krystalle to tell us a bit about herself and her work.

When did you learn to knit?

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I learned to knit when I was 12, from a book I begged my mom to buy me from the fabric store.  I had always admired knitting and wanted to learn, but something about that day- maybe the book cover featuring happy kids making these fantastic sweaters- made me actually want to sit down and learn!  I convinced her to get me a crochet hook, a pair of knitting needles, the book, and a cheap ball of acrylic, and began a six month journey of frustration and constant giving up.  Those six months include the time it took to read the book, get the guts to start, tear out my swatches, and repeat the cycle for about a month, a long break in between of stuffing everything into the corner of my bedroom, and getting it out again to suddenly find that everything “clicked”!  I could cast on 20 stitches and knit the same number without accidentally decreasing or increasing for a full square, I could purl and knit, and I could increase and decrease!  After that it was just a natural progression of trying new things to knit.

What prompted you to start designing?

I can’t ever follow directions.  I don’t think I ever followed a pattern.  My first garment was only loosely based off a shrug in a pattern book I have- I used the pattern to determine my cast on number, then promptly proceeded to ignore almost everything else.  I still wear that dress every year, and except for some awkward bunching at the sleeves, which I did block out eventually, it is a beautiful and serviceable garment. I’m not sure how I got onto crazy things like lace and such- probably my love of shawl knitting.

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

I’m always doodling designs in several sketchbooks.  When I do decide to actually make on a reality, it typically starts with the yarn, then a gathering of a inspirational images, which can be anything from fashion photographs to nature photography, depending on the design.  I will usually doodle several ideas on the sides of a page, then sketch the final concept and put notes on it. Then I swatch, keeping detailed notes on my computer, and eventually I will turn that swatch into a finished piece.

Tell us about your design aesthetic.

I never thought about it until now, but it’s quite feminine and classy.  I love 80s, Victorian, and roaring 20s fashions especially, and emblems and inspirations from these constantly creep into my designs, whether in the stitch pattern or the silhouette.  I think there may also be something of a seaside cottage look to the designs I’ve actually published and made available, too- something very nature-y but decidedly boutique-like.

What did you love about the Valley Yarn you worked with?

I have deliberately avoided working with plant fibers the entirety of my knitting and crochet repertoire, unless they are blended with silk or wool.  So working with Longmeadow was a learning experience, since it is a microfiber and cotton blend.  And much to my joy, I did not hate it!  I was surprised by how soft it was, and that it did not hurt my hands as I knit with it.  It had good stitch definition, which for me is always a plus, given my lace and cable obsession.  The only real hurdle I had to conquer was blocking- I had to steam block my design to get it to even out and lay flat, but I did enjoy seeing the transformation take hold.

The Rose Sorbet Tank from Valley Yarns. Learn more about the yarn and designer and where you can get a copy of the pattern  on the WEBS Blog at blog..yarn.com

In bright beachy colors, like purple haze and willow, Valley Yarns Longmeadow is a wonderful yarn for light layers. Knit the Rose Sorbet Tank and wear it with a strappy sundress, or a cami and shorts and stay cool and stylish all summer long! Which color will you choose?

Twist Collective Spring 2016

Thursday, April 21st, 2016
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We always look forward to new issues of Twist Collective and not only is this issue full of the stunningly creative designs that we’ve come to expect but two of them are in our Valley Yarns!

Twist Collective 2016 Spring

Ormond is a flattering, wonderfully light and airy seamless jacket that will keep you warm when you take a stroll on a cool night. A 2×2 rib front band is worked concurrently with an overall Rickrack Lace pattern. This gentle and slimming jacket is knit flat in one piece up to armholes to minimize seams, and the waist shaping is done by changing needle size. Knit in Valley Yarns Deerfield a 80% Baby Alpaca/20% Silk blend that results in a lightweight but snuggly and warm cardi with incredible drape and shine.

Cedri is a fun and flirty summer top, with a slightly cropped length, that features an eyelet lace chevron pattern across the yoke and sleeves and up the sides . This shell is worked in two pieces from the bottom up with minimal shaping, then sewn together. Valley Yarns Longmeadow is the ideal yarn for an active top like this. Cool cotton will keep you from overheating and the microfiber helps the yarn to keeps it’s memory and shape.

What pieces are you excited to knit from this issue?

Love for Longmeadow

Monday, April 18th, 2016
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Longmeadow is longtime favorite from the Valley Yarns family of yarns, it’s blend of cotton and microfiber gives you a soft and washable yarn that really stands up to use and wear. It’s ideal for babies and kids knits as well as sweaters and home goods and I thought I’d share some of my favorite patterns for this yarn with you today.

longmeadow post

The Snowdrop Baby Blanket features a delicate, eyelet lace pattern reminiscent of Snowdrop petals and it’s just one of the sweetest baby blanket patterns we have. This one is knit corner to corner which is perfect for knitters like me who tend to get bored about halfway through a project at the prospect of more of the same. With this kind of construction, just as you get to the middle the blanket starts getting smaller again so it feels like it races along to the finish with shorter and shorter rows!

A fantastic sweater for any child in your life, the Picnic Pullover is a soft and comfortable sweater that they’ll love to wear. With simple, textured stripes of ribbing and stockinette, this top-down, sweater is easy to adjust for length in the body and sleeves. Knit it all in one color or change it up and switch colors when you switch textures!

Finally, the Manta Tee is one of those sweaters that you fall in love with and wear over and over.  Let me tell you why I love this sweater! First, it’s top down which means NO SEAMS, but our clever Kirsten Hipsky has also given us simultaneous set-in-sleeves for a more flattering fit. Second, there’s a slight a-line flare in the shaping of this sweater that beautifully allows that extra bit of room for those of us with ample hips. Third it’s so, so comfortable in the Longmeadow, like your favorite pair of jeans. This yarn feels like butter against the skin and it’s not too warm! A tank, jeans and this sweater are enough to get me through most Spring and Fall days.

What have you knit with Longmeadow? What was your favorite project?

Introducing Southampton!

Thursday, April 14th, 2016
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We’re really excited to share our newest member of the Valley Yarns family with you, Southampton!

Southampton, the latest from Valley Yarns. Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

This incredibly versatile yarn is a blend of kid mohair and mulberry silk, with a shiny plied core surrounded by a fluffy, fuzzy halo of loose fibers. This yarn can easily be worked at multiple gauges from lace to worsted, and if you double, or triple, stand your work you can even knit at bulky and chunky gauges. Knit or crochet beautiful, lightweight garments and accessories, or even colorful and cozy throws!

What kind of projects are you excited to make with Southampton?

 

“Weavers, Break Out Your Skeins!”

Wednesday, April 13th, 2016
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I am often asked by weavers if they can only use coned yarns for weaving. The answer is an enthusiastic no! After all, why should crocheters and knitters get to hog all the fun colors, textures and feels of skeined yarns? Of course, there are factors that determine the suitability of yarn for warps, so be sure to evaluate your yarn first. The yarn needs to be strong enough to withstand tension as well as the abrasion of the reed moving back and forth. Hold a piece of the yarn and pull firmly. Keep in mind that the tension will be spread across the entire warp and please don’t yank, because there is no yanking in weaving. More importantly, hold the yarn taut and scrape with the side of your thumbnail. See how it behaves with abrasion – does it pull apart or fuzz out?

How to choose the right knitting yarn for your next weaving project on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Another characteristic to keep in mind is the stretch factor. Yarns spun for knitting/crocheting are often springy and stretchy, which is great for sweaters, but not always compatible with looms. Some of these yarns continue to stretch under tension and then spring back when taken off the loom, resulting in a very dense piece of cloth (i.e. scarf that drapes like a rug). Give your potential warp a strong pull and release to see just how elastic it is. It’s not that you can’t weave with stretchy yarns, just use enough tension to create a good shed while resisting the temptation to over tighten. And probably avoid the spandex.

Weft yarns, on the other hand, are a wide open garden of creativity. Yes, the weft needs to play well with the warp in terms of intended care, shrinkage and wear. But the weft is free from the constraints of tension, abrasion and size so let your imagination run free.

Our Weaving Sourcebook for 2016 features a few drafts using skeined yarns. The XOXO Shawl, draft 91, is woven with Hatfield an exceedingly soft laceweight baby alpaca that feels like a wearable hug. Lisa Hill designed a beautiful deflected double weave pattern that creates circles and dots of color. Each face of the cloth shows a different color emphasis, making it fun to wrap and change the look.

How to choose the right knitting yarn for your next weaving project on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Sunderland is one of the newer yarns in our Valley Yarns collection. Also spun in 100% baby alpaca, it is a worsted weight with a palette of rich heathered tones. Paula Veleta designed the Golden Plum Tartan Scarf, Draft 99, for the rigid heddle and the gorgeous effect comes from the carefully placed lines and blocks of stunning color.

Do you have a favorite skeined yarn you like for weaving?

Anniversary Sale Spotlight – Cashmere!

Tuesday, April 12th, 2016
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I have to tell you, even I was surprised by the luxury fibers in this year’s sale! We have 6 yarns with cashmere!

Cashmere yarns in WEBS 42nd Anniversary Sale. Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

If you’re looking for a workhorse yarn for incredible garments that has just a little extra oomph we’ve got two choices for you.  Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran is a classic,  a machine washable blend of 55% Merino Wool/33% Microfibre/12% Cashmere in over 3 dozen saturated solids is perfect for trend defying garments and accessories that you’ll wear for years. And if tweed is your thing then Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran Tweed couldn’t be better. A softly plied and lofty blend of wool, silk and cashmere in tonal tweeds for classically rustic garments, and shawls you want to wrap up in all year long.

Cashmere yarns in WEBS 42nd Anniversary Sale. Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

DK is a versatile weight equally suited to adult and children’s garments and accessories and there’s no reason to shy away from a little bit of luxury there. Sublime Baby Cashmere Merino Silk DK is a touchably soft blend of merino wool, silk and cashmere for a yarn with lots of bounce and shine! With over 30 colors to choose from it’s ideal for colorwork projects. And if you want a little hand dyed color in your cashmere stash, pick up a few skeins of Mrs. Crosby Hat Box. the color wizards at Lorna’s Laces have dreamed up all new colorways reminiscent of exoctic locales and travels.

Cashmere yarns in WEBS 42nd Anniversary Sale. Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

On the finer side, if you’re a lace or shawl person Dream in Color Smooshy with Cashmere is another gorgeous hand-dyed yarn with a superwash merino, cashmere and nylon blend that would be gorgeous for shawls and durable enough for incredible socks! But my favorite of the cashmere yarns in this sale has to be the Greylock from Valley Yarns. This beauty is 100% cashmere, lightly spun and plied for an airy yarn with the slightest halo. It’s soft and squishy with an incredibly generous 300 yds in each ball.

That Greylock is honestly calling my name, and the JoSharp has my wheels turning. Which yarns will you be adding to your stash?