Archive for the ‘Valley Yarns’ Category

The Ascending Leaves Pullover

Monday, April 11th, 2016
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Our Valley Yarns Longmeadow is the perfect yarn to bridge the seasons, and the new Ascending Leaves Pullover designed by Ashwini Jambhekar is the ideal springtime sweater! Cool and soft against the skin, but fluffy enough keep you warm on breezy April days, this pullover features a climbing vine lace pattern that circles the hem and flared sleeves.

The Ascending Leaves Pullover 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

 

 

Ashwini Jambhekar talks Valley Yarns and design inspiration on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

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

When did you learn to knit? 

My “learn to knit” story is pretty traditional: my mom taught me when I was quite young, around age 4. And in keeping with tradition, my first project was a garter stitch scarf. The yarn was a department-store acrylic in a lovely coral color. I made the scarf for my grandmother, who lived in the heat and humidity of Mumbai, India!

What prompted you to start designing?

I started designing in graduate school, when I discovered the lovely LYS Artfibers in San Francisco (now closed). The shop samples were very youthful and shapely, unlike the large, bulky acrylic or wool samples on display at the time in the east coast chain stores, which were my only other exposure to yarn and garment design. The Artfibers staff used to create new designs for their samples, and after learning a bit from them, I began by making minor modifications to patterns and was soon creating whole designs from scratch.

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

I like to think about the different kinds of shapes and lines that can be created in a garment, and what features they emphasize. For ideas, I often browse sewing patterns. I also look through stitch pattern dictionaries and try to imagine various ways to arrange a pattern on a garment, and how the placement affects the overall look of the garment. Unfortunately, the latter can’t easily be determined by swatching, but I definitely swatch to get a sense of how a pattern looks in a particular yarn (and to calculate my gauge, of course!).

Tell us about your design aesthetic.

I primarily knit women’s garments, and strive for a look that’s elegant and feminine. My work as a scientist isn’t compatible with too many frills, so I try to keep the silhouettes pretty sleek. This design is one of my first ones to incorporate flared sleeves, which I love in theory, but perhaps not so much when I’m working.

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

I loved the smooth, crisp stitch definition of the cotton in Longmeadow, coupled with the wool-like resiliency provided by the microfiber.

The Ascending Leaves Pullover 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

Valley Yarns Longmeadow has long been one of our favorite Valley Yarns, both for it’s versatility and durability. With a washable 60% Cotton/40% Microfiber blend and all-purpose DK weight, this yarn is ideal for everything from baby knits to homegoods. Which color will you use for the Ascending Leaves Pullover?

Valley Yarns Feature – Haydenville

Thursday, April 7th, 2016
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haydenville 1

Valley Yarns Haydenville is one of our newest yarns and we’re still marveling over it! An extraordinarily soft blend of superwash merino and acrylic microfiber, it’s just about the perfect yarn for everything! It knits at a worsted weight and has a wonderful sheen that adds to the fantastic stitch definition. And just look at the projects we’ve already created up for you with a yarn that is fast becoming one of our favorites.

haydenville 3

A diminutive chevron stripe accents all 3 pieces in the Grayson Baby Set. The pullover is worked in the round from the top down and is easily adjusted to different lengths.

haydenville 2

The Leaves and Lines Afghan is cleverly constructed from bias-knit counterpane squares, adorned with embossed leaves, eyelets and textured ridges. Try laying them out in different arrangements for totally different looks!

haydenville 4

Our newest pattern, the Honza Baby Blanket is a minimalist garter stitch blanket with intarsia blocks in pops of contrasting colors. Perfect for a crib or as a cushy play mat for the floor this lovely blanket has us dreaming of garter stitch goodness!

How will you use Valley Yarns Haydenville?

The Honza Baby Blanket

Monday, April 4th, 2016
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Our first new Valley Yarns pattern for Spring 2016 is the incredibly versatile Honza Baby Blanket, designed by Ann Klimpert, the perfect, easy-care blanket, knit in Valley Yarns Haydenville, for any baby in your life!

Honza blog fb

This cozy, squishy blanket is knit all in garter stitch with bold, modern intarsia blocks of color, and a crisp pinstripe of color added along the edges with surface crochet. And don’t let that crochet technique give you pause, we’ve got a quick tutorial to help you out.

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

When did you learn to knit?

I began knitting when my kids were in elementary school. It filled a void in that it let me work with my hands but was still portable. It was both creative and practical.

What prompted you to start designing?

After knitting for a few years, I found I was making small changes in patterns, the length, sleeve style, stitch patterns, etc. After a while, it was a small jump to actually designing an entire project.

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

Just about anything can spark an idea, from the lines of a bridge to the colors in a painting. Once I have a rough idea, I swatch for days!

Tell us about your design aesthetic. 

My background is in industrial design so I tend to favor pure, clean designs. I love garter stitch for its squishy playfulness and simplicity. It’s rugged and elegant at the same time.

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

I used Valley Yarns Haydenville for my baby blanket and it has the perfect blend of wooliness and practicality for baby items. Machine washable and soft but substantial. And the color selection is fantastic!

Honza blog

The Honza Baby Blanket is knit in Valley Yarns Haydenville, a washable and dryable blend of superwash merino and acrylic microfiber, for a truly easy care knit. You can try one of our colorways or choose your own from over 30 different shades. The original blanket was knit with Light Grey, Pompeii, Navy, and Natural, but we think it would also look adorable in Chocolate, Natural, Pink, and Burgundy, or Yellow, Teal, Lake, and Sage, or Sage, Purple, Red Purple, and Grey.

The combination possibilities are almost endless! What colors of Haydenville will you choose?

Rigid Heddle Revels

Wednesday, March 30th, 2016
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Spring is here and with it is the 2016 Weaving Sourcebook. Our annual weaving catalog is not only filled with color cards of our coned yarns – oh so helpful – but features pictures and links to our new crop of weaving drafts. This year we are especially proud of the stunning array of projects for Rigid Heddle looms. These drafts run the gamut from beautiful colorwork to textured weaves and unique finishing techniques. It’s a great time to be a rigid heddle weaver!

The Textured Towel (Draft 92) uses double heddles to handle both the fine size of the 8/2 cotton as well as add great texture to make these towels really pop. Our 8/2 cotton  has such a great range of colors, you can match the décor of any kitchen. I’ve got a family wedding coming up and a set of these towels will be perfect for a gift to the young couple. As many of you know, I love to make sets by varying the weft colors and this plaid design will be great for playing with stripe placement.

The Nightscape Pillow - draft now available at yarn.com Read more about this and other new drafts and products in the 2016 Weaving Sourcebook on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Another fun textured design is the Nightscape Pillow (Draft 98) woven with Brimfield. The decorative popcorns are created by pulling up loops across a single pick in a bright color that makes it really pop. The background stripes are in plain weave with a syncopated color order that keeps things lively. Brimfield is one of our newer yarns and is soft and squishy with a color palette that continues to expand.

We round out the hand manipulated drafts with the Comfy Couch Throw (Draft 100) made with the supersoft Superwash DK in both solid and hand dyed colors. The unique construction of the throw is set up in the warp, where some slots are left empty. This creates channels of weft floats in the middle of the cloth and loops along the edges. The panel is woven in two pieces which are then joined together by pulling the edge loops through each other to form a decorative seam and finished selvedges. Surface texture is added by using the weft floats to anchor crochet chains in a color pattern of choice.

So celebrate your rigid heddle loom and add some new techniques to your weaving vocabulary!

What is your favorite thing to weave on your rigid heddle loom?

Fresh Picks for Spring

Monday, March 28th, 2016
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We’re always working behind the scenes to design, write,  knit/crochet samples, and photograph beautiful new patterns in our Valley Yarns. We’ve partnered with some big name designers in the past few years to bring you some stunning patterns for our 40th Anniversary in 2014 and as part of our Designer in Residence Series for 2015. This year we thought we’d change things up a bit and share our Valley Yarns with some independant designers and see how they were inspired. And boy, were they!

fresh picks

Throughout 2016 we’ll be featuring 2 Valley Yarns each month along with some great new designs, and designers! Starting in April we’ll be sharing our love of Longmeadow and Haydenville. You can look forward to yarn reviews, pattern features for some of our most beloved patterns and the newest designs for these yarns!

What is your favorite Valley Yarn?

Valley Yarns for Dyers

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2016
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Did you know that some of your favorite yarns from Valley Yarns are available specifically in undyed, natural hanks for your own dyeing experiments?

100g hanks of your favorite Valley Yarns for all your dyeing needs. Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Our Franklin has been available on cones for dyers for years but many of you don’t know that we carry other Valley Yarns in 100g hanks.

Try Berkshire,  Berkshire BulkyColrainStockbridgeDeerfieldNorthfield, BFL Worsted,  and Valley Superwash.

Or experiment with any of our other Valley Yarns in the natural color, though you’ll find these in skeins,balls or cones that need to be wound into hanks, or in smaller 50g hanks.

2016 Weaving Sourcebook

Monday, March 21st, 2016
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Each year we work behind the scenes to bring you a weaving catalog chock full of new and exciting products and this year we’ve outdone ourselves! Flip through the new Weaving Sourcebook now!

weaving

In these pages you will find new yarns, like our Hatfield and Sunderland, both 100% Baby Alpaca, or our 6/2 Cotton in 29 stunning colors! Our new favorite tool is the Swatch Maker from Purl & Loop. Plan out your next weaving project with confidence! And speaking of next projects, we have 18 Brand New drafts for you in this catalog with 6 that are perfect for Rigid Heddle!

What exciting weaving projects will you create in 2016? Join our email list now to make sure you don’t miss out on any great deals, and if you don’t already receive a copy of our catalog you can request one here.

Valley Yarns challenges at Design Wars

Friday, March 18th, 2016
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Have you seen some of the fantastic patterns coming out of the Design Wars challenges?

Valley Yarns Hunting challenge at Design Wars. Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Each challenge features two designers using the same yarn, readers get to vote on their favorites and enter to win prizes. And don’t miss each designer’s review of the yarn. This week’s challenge featured our own Valley Yarns Huntington and we’re so thrilled with the resulting designs! We’re loving the bold graphic design of the Heart Sweater from Accessorise and wish we had a pair of the cozy Mint Chocolate Chip Socks from ACCROchet.

Valley Yarns Hunting challenge at Design Wars. Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Be sure to check out the Valley Yarns Superwash Challenge from February and sign up for the Design Wars newsletter to find out when the next Valley Yarns challenge will happen!

Longmeadow in Vogue Early Spring 2016

Tuesday, March 8th, 2016
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With each release of Vogue Knitting we look forward to seeing what wonderful new garments designers have imagined with our Valley Yarns and Early Spring 2016 does not disappoint!

High Low Tunic knit in Valley Yarns Longmeadow in Vogue Knitting Early Spring 2016. Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Julie Turjoman has designed the close fitting, High Low Tunic, with a split back and gorgeous slipped stitch texture. Once the body pieces have been knit and seamed the bodice is picked up and worked in the round. While we are sold out of the Winter Lake colorway we have quite a few fun and summer color in Longmeadow. Go classic and beachy with Natural, or add a splash of color with Periwinkle or Coral.

New designs from Vogue Knitting Early Spring 2016. Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

And don’t miss out on all the other incredible designs in this issue!

#4 Graphic Top by Yoko Hatta in Cascade Yarns Anchor Bay, #5 Striped Romper by Courtney Cedarholm in Blue Sky Alpacas Skinny Dyed, #13 Open Waves Top by Jacqueline van Dillen in Rowan Creative Linen, #16 Cable & Lace Duster by Yoko Hatta in Plymouth Yarn Linen Concerto, #17 Deep V-Neck Duster by Deborah Newton in Classic Elite Yarns Soft Linen, #18 Lacy Cardi by Sarah Hatton in Rowan Pure Linen, #19 Deep Rib Tank by Annabelle Speer in Cascade Yarns Fixation Solid, #24 Eyelet Top by Yoko Hatta in Fibre Company Meadow.

Valley Yarns Tulip Pullover

Thursday, February 25th, 2016
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The NEW Tulip Pullover from Valley Yarns is a classic pullover with some fun texture and color.

The New Tulip Pullover from Valley Yarns. Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Worked seamlessly from the top down, with a crew-neck and set-in sleeves, the bold, rich colors of spring flowers and a band of subtle ribbing brings an unexpected twist to this simple sweater shape. Knit in Valley Yarns Stockbridge you’ll have almost 2 dozen colors to choose from, and with that variety why not think about changing up the colors? You could swap out just one color and use Soft Grape instead of the Deep Red.

The New Tulip Pullover from Valley Yarns, simple color options. Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Love a gradient? Try Natural, Camel and Chocolate, or Natural, Light Gray and Gray, or Deep Teal,  Blue Mist and Lake. Or try for a pop of color and knit the top and bottom in Light Gray with the center section in Kiwi or Gold. What colors will you cast on with?

The New Tulip Pullover from Valley Yarns, simple color options. Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com