Archive for the ‘Valley Yarns’ Category

Designer in Residence – the Lace Motif Afghan

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015
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The sixth, and final, design from Doris Chan as WEBS Designer in Residence is the Lace Motif Afghan. A lovely square-shaped throw worked in supremely soft Valley Yarns Valley Superwash DK, in three colors. Handily sized for a decorative throw or shawl, this little beauty is constructed with two related lace motifs, a square and an octagon. For a larger afghan, simply add more motifs!

Doris Chan, WEBS Designer in Residence December design, the Lace Motif Afghan. Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Doris says, “I particularly enjoy crocheting afghans when the weather turns cold. And if they’re lightweight, pretty, and not too large or cumbersome, I enjoy wearing them as well. ”

The Lace Motif Afghan is made of two motifs arranged in alternating placements in rows and columns. Motifs are connected to each other while crocheting, joining as you go. For some measure of portability crochet the centers of all motifs first, weave in those agonizing ends in advance, then do the last rounds with assembly when you can spread out.

Doris Chan, WEBS Designer in Residence December design, the Lace Motif Afghan. Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

A simple, small scallop trim adds balance, stability and a pretty finish to the afghan edges. With over 2 dozen colors available in the Valley Superwash DK you can work up a Lace Motif Afghan to match any decor. Stay with Doris’ suggested 3 colors or go monochromatic! Who will you make this afghan for?

Doris Chan, WEBS Designer in Residence December design, the Lace Motif Afghan. Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Design Inspiration with Fiona Ellis – The power of color

Monday, November 30th, 2015
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Color, especially when it’s related to clothing, is fascinating to me. It is a powerful thing, triggering emotional responses in all of us. Each color creates a mood or feeling, can demonstrate the personally behind the wearer and evoke memories. I have been researching color for a while for a series of articles I have written for Twist Collective.  So when I came to choose the shade for my final Designer in Residence pattern I knew I should pick something that said WOW! So it had to be Red.

Fiona Ellis - color inspiration for her 6th and final WEBS Designer in Residence pattern. Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Red evokes emotions ranging from passion and power to rage and romance. Viewing red increases blood pressure, pulse and heart rates, and even stimulates appetite. These physical reactions may be why we associate red with activity. But red is also considered seductive…think of lipstick & blush colors. Being the shortest wavelength on the spectrum, red is the first color the eye sees, making it attention- grabbing— the reason that it is used for warning signs. Our learned emotional responses to red are equally varied. Red can signify a mark of honor (think red carpet), we “see red” when we’re angry, are “in the red” when business is bad, and are “caught red handed” (originally a reference to blood on the hands) when guilty.  “Red herrings” divert our attention and we “paint the town red” when we let loose after a long workweek (the origins of that particular phrase are a source of debate).

Fiona Ellis designs with Valley Yarns. Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

pictured left to right: Red Letter Day, Athasca, Sugarbeach and Paula all in Valley Yarns available in spectacular reds!

In naming this design I thought about how red is also linked to special occasions…my year as WEBS Designer in Residence has had, of course, many special days. Red letter days are so called because important festivals, holidays, and saints’ days were inked in red on medieval church calendars. So while I have your attention may I ask you to join me over on my website. I post a piece on the 9th of each month where I chat about design ideas and inspirations along with photos of what is fascinating me, I call it On-line, On-nine.

Thanks for following my wonderful year at WEBS!

– Fiona

Holiday Catalog Spotlight: Gifts to Make – Smaller Projects

Monday, November 23rd, 2015
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I’ve been paging through our Holiday catalog and there are so many great ideas for gifts this year! And with Thanksgiving happening in a few days I’m looking forward to a long weekend of gift making. The most requested items on my list this year are mittens and stuffed animals.

Quick gift knits, piles of mittens on the WEBS Blog, read more at blog.yarn.com

Thankfully there are quite a few great Valley Yarns mitten patterns to choose from. The Sprig Scarf and Mittens set in Berkshire Bulky features a basic mitten pattern with easy, fun embellishments. The Color Pop Mittens, in Berkshire, are a great neutral accessory that feature a bright pop of color! The Last Minute Mittens, also in Berkshire Bulky work up quick and easy for last minute gifts. The Sixth Button Mittens, in Huntington, are a bit more adventurous with Latvian braids and Fair Isle but the purchase price of each pattern sold goes to our favorite community organization, Safe Passage. And I love the Got You Covered Mittens in Northampton, they’re a great way to try out fair isle in an easy worsted weight yarn.

Quick gift knits, stuffed animals on the WEBS Blog. Read more at blog.yarn.com

What about the kids? We have 3 great patterns for the younger folks in your life. The Hot Chocolate Run Polar Bear and Hot Chocolate Run Penguin are a welcome and squishy addition to any child’s favorite pile of stuffies. These patterns also benefit Safe Passage so you’re doing TWO good things when you make these projects. We also have our new Holiday Bears that were featured on the cover of the catalog.  I have a couple babies in my life that these would be perfect for, I’m going to tuck a jingle bell in the ends of their hands and feet so they’ll double as rattles! And all 3 of these patterns are easy to customize by changing the color of the bears themselves, and all of the accessories.

What are the smaller projects on your gifts-to-make list this year?

Designer in Residence – Red Letter Day from Fiona Ellis

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2015
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We’ve reached the last big reveal for our 2015 WEBS Knitting Designer in Residence Fiona Ellis, The Red Letter Day cardigan.

Fiona Ellis WEBS 2015 Knitwear Designer in Residence. Her sixth design, the Red Letter Day cardigan, in Valley Yarns Northampton - learn more at blog.yarn.com

Knit in Valley Yarns Northampton, in a classic holiday Red, this sweater features ribbing in the lower section of the body that slowly morphs into a panel of cables that include magical-looking closed loops, reminiscent of Celtic knot patterning. With over 3 dozen colors of Northampton to choose from you’ll have no trouble finding just the right shade for you.

Fiona Ellis WEBS 2015 Knitwear Designer in Residence. Her sixth design, the Red Letter Day cardigan, in Valley Yarns Northampton - learn more at blog.yarn.com

The slightly flared cuffs and lower body ribbing give Red Letter Day a very feminine shape. The featured cable panel from the back and sleeves is divided in half to flank the center front opening so it can join back together when buttoned, and move effortlessly upward around the V-neck shaping.

Fiona Ellis WEBS 2015 Knitwear Designer in Residence. Her sixth design, the Red Letter Day cardigan, in Valley Yarns Northampton - learn more at blog.yarn.com

This cardigan goes to great lengths for style, but you don’t have to! Choose from any one of the 6 sweaters that Fiona has designed for us this year and you’ll be knitting your way to a stylish and comfortable sweater that’s all your own! Which design has been your favorite?

Starting Soon: Valley Yarns 670 Holiday Bears KAL

Friday, October 30th, 2015
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Valley Yarns 670 Holiday Bears KAL

If you’ve seen the cover of our holiday catalog, you know we’ve featured some adorable bears this year. They make the perfect gift for a favorite little one. Knit in either Valley Yarns Valley Superwash, or Valley Yarns Valley Superwash Bulky, they use the same pattern, but end up in two different sizes. The pattern also features accessories for your new bear friends; a hat and sweater. We’ll be starting the bears next week. In the meantime, you can collect your supplies.
Skills You Will Need (or Learn):
knitting in the round on dpns
knit in front and back of stitch (kfb)
knit 2 together (k2tog)
slip slip knit (ssk)
seaming

Things You Will Need:
Valley Yarns 670 Holiday Bears pattern (PDF or physical copy)
For 9″ bear: Valley Yarns Valley Superwash – 1 skein for bear, 1 skein for hat or sweater
For 12″ bear: Valley Yarns Superwash Bulky – 1 skein for bear, 1 skein for hat or sweater. (We’ll be knitting ours with Valley Superwash Bulky in 02 tan, with accessories in 23 grape.)
For both: Scraps of dark brown or black for face, and natural for the optional pom pom on the hat
2 sets of US 5 (for 9″ bear) or US 8 (for 12″ bear) DPNS, or size needed to get gauge
Polyfill or Superwash Merino Wool Top for stuffing (Note: if using wool top for stuffing, remove stuffing before machine washing to avoid clumping or pilling.)

Gauge:
For 9″ bear: 6 sts = 1″ (stockinette worked in the round)
For 12″ bear: 4 sts = 1″ (stockinette worked in the round)

We hope you’ll join us for this KAL. We’ve broken it up into four weeks, but you can finish much faster than that, making these bears a great gift idea.

Help Us Save Lives with Safe Passage

Thursday, October 22nd, 2015
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Each year WEBS sponsors the Hot Chocolate Run for Safe Passage. WEBS sponsors lots of events, both large and small each year, but this one is different. This one affects the heart of our community and has far reaching effects not just for the individuals and families that benefit from the services that Safe Passage can provide but for the people who participate each year. Many of our staff members, their family and friends, walk and run, and work to raise additional funds in the lead-up to this event. We tease each other at work about our fundraising efforts and egg each other on to more. Individually we post on social media to extend the reach of our call for help, we offer special handmade items, and services like knitting and yoga classes, in exchange for donations. We spend our spare time crafting and creating additional products whose sales benefit an organization we believe in. And each year there are new Valley Yarns Patterns, the purchase price of $3.99 PDFs ($4.49 paper patterns) going to Safe Passage, as one more way to help. All of this happens because it is important to us.

We decided to round up those Valley Yarns Patterns, and introduce you to the new patterns, as a way to really kick-off our efforts.

The Safe Passage Hat and Mittens Set - patterns sales benefit Safe Passage. Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.comSafe Passage Hat and Mitten Set PDF available here.

The Sixth Button Mittens - patterns sales benefit Safe Passage. Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.comThe NEW! Sixth Button Mitten PDF available here.

The Hot Chocolate Run Polar Bear and the Hot Chocolate Run Penguin - patterns sales benefit Safe Passage. Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.comThe Hot Chocolate Run Polar Bear PDF available here and the NEW! Hot Chocolate Run Penguin PDF available here.

The Hot Chocolate Run for Safe Passage happens on December 6th this year but we’ll be fundraising right up to the end on Dec. 31st. There’s one last way that you can help Team WEBS, you can make a donation to our team here. Every dollar DOES make a difference and every dollar that’s raised by our team will be matched by WEBS so your donation will be doubled!

Emerging Designer – Marcy Vandale

Friday, October 16th, 2015
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It’s time for the third and final installment of our  WEBS Emerging Designer series for 2015 with the Got You Covered eBook from Marcy Vandale, who you may know from Steppingstone Fiber Creations. Marcy has put together a collection of wonderful, transitional knits that bridge the gap between the seasons for this eBook. We asked her to tell us a bit her inspiration and designing process.

WEBS Emerging Designer Fall 2015 eBook: Got You Covered, from Marcy Vandale. eBook and individual PDFS now available at yarn.com. Read more on the WEBS Blog - blog.yarn.com

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

Marcy: I learned to knit as a freshman in college. There was an upperclassman on the hall who basically had a Lopi yarn shop in her room, needles, accessories, patterns and yarns. I picked out yarn colors and started my first project, an iconic Lopi sweater. I didn’t know anything other than the knit stitch but learned as I went along. By the end of the first semester, I had a new sweater and had started on the next one. Funny, the one thing I never learned anything about until YEARS after I was out of college was gauge! Not until about 10 years ago did I become a Knitter with a capital K as I like to say. I was doing a lot of knitting for my kids and knitting constantly. I started sample and tech knitting and then contract knitting. It was at that point that I decided that I was interested designing my own creations.

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

Marcy: My design process usually starts with a great yarn. From there, I usually gravitate to designing something I want to wear, whether it be a sweater or accessory. I do love color so I am always looking at great color combos for colorwork. I’m in a purple mood lately.

WEBS: Tell us about your design aesthetic.

Marcy: I am by nature a very practical person and that’s incorporated into how I design. I like to design things I need in my wardrobe or would want to knit, whether it be a garment or an accessory. It’s like gift giving, I always give a gift I’d love to have myself. Because I have a very busy life chasing around after my 4 kids, I tend to design things that are easy to take along to games and on car rides as well as projects I can put down without fear of losing my place. My knits usually are simple but may have one element that may make them seem more difficult or polished, like a simple crochet edging for a neckline. I also am a fan of minimizing finishing work so I design with that construction in mind.

WEBS Emerging Designer Fall 2015 eBook: Got You Covered, from Marcy Vandale. eBook and individual PDFS now available at yarn.com. Read more on the WEBS Blog - blog.yarn.com

You’ll keep your core cozy’s and warm with the Got You Covered VestValley Yarns Deerfield is a perfect fit for this long vest with feature cables and a hidden pocket for your phone! Your toes will thank you for knitting the The Got You Covered Socks, not only does the cable pattern coordinate with the vest but with a pattern that looks complex and works up effortlessly in Valley Yarns Huntington these are socks you’ll have for years to come. Finally the Got You Covered Mittens and Hat pattern, in Valley Yarns Northampton, features colorwork motifs in shades to coordinate with your vest.

Download all three patterns together in the Got You Covered eBook for just $9.99 or download any individual pattern for just $3.99 each. You can find more of Marcy’s designs here on our site, and on Ravelry and don’t forget her collaborative designs with her friend Debbi 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. And the Summer 2015 WEBS Emerging Designer eBook: Sproutlet, by Debbi Stone, a beautiful layette set perfect for your little ones.

Designer in Residence – the Superwash Hat and Scarf from Doris Chan

Tuesday, October 6th, 2015
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Just in time for for crisp Autumn days, the Superwash Hat and Scarf set from Doris Chan is the perfect extra layer to keep you comfortable at your favorite sporting events, the local corn maze, or apple picking adventure. And if you’re just getting started on holiday crocheting this set would make a great gift for the men, women or children in your life.

Doris Chan, WEBS Designer in Residence October design, the Superwash Hat and Scarf set. Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

With a simple twist on the classic single crochet stitch, and an easy to achieve biased fabric, WEBS Crochet Designer in Residence Doris Chan has created a hat and scarf set with the flexibility you expect from a knit ribbing and the cushy softness of a full-bodied superwash fabric.

Doris Chan, WEBS Designer in Residence October design, the Superwash Hat and Scarf set. Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Valley Yarns Valley Superwash is available in over 2 dozen colors so not only can you choose just the right shade for gift sets for everyone in your family but you can even try this set in bold stripes or a soft ombre transition. Who will you be making this set for?

Valley Yarns Flash Sale is Here!

Monday, October 5th, 2015
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Are you a fan of Valley Yarns? Have you been meaning to try it for a while but just haven’t gotten around to it? Now’s the perfect chance during our Valley Yarns Flash Sale. You have through October 6, 2015 at 11:59pm EDT to save 30% on Valley Yarns!

Valley Yarns Flash Sale at WEBS

Valley Yarns is our own brand that we source from all over the world. We look for beautiful yarns that will last, and strive to have them at affordable prices. You may want to take this chance to check out our two newest yarns, Valley Yarns Hatfield and Valley Yarns Sunderland. Both of these 100% alpaca yarns are super warm.

Maybe merino is more your style? Take a look at Amherst. It’s one of my favorite Valley Yarns yarns because it is so soft. Prefer something without wool? Valley Yarns Southwick, Valley Yarns Longmeadow, and Valley Yarns Goshen are all wonderful cotton blends. I have a hard time knitting with cotton, but I must say, Goshen is one of my favorite yarns, and I’ve done several projects with it.

If you’re hoping for something machine washable, we have three weights of Valley Superwash, Worsted, DK, and Bulky, that are sure to fit whatever project you are looking to make. I’m actually thinking about some quick accessories in Valley Superwash Bulky, since the weather turned a bit chilly over the last few days, and we have some great bright colors that we’ve recently added to the line.

This is just a small sampling. No matter what Valley Yarns yarn you choose, you’ll love working with it. If you need inspiration, we also have a wonderful collection of Valley Yarns patterns designed exclusively for the yarn.

Don’t forget, until October 6, 2015 at 11:59pm EDT, you can save 30% on your purchase of Valley Yarns.

Design Inspiration with Fiona Ellis – a study of lines

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015
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For the blog post this month I’m not going to be exactly “changing tack” but hoping to show you another way that I look at the lines formed by cables. If you have read my blog posts in previous months then you already know about my photo collection. This month I want to show you some photos that I have taken which I think show how a simple line or lines can become really interesting.

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

Firstly here is a definition of how line is seen as a design principle- taken from an exhibition at the Cooper Hewitt Museum that I saw earlier this year.

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

When I spot an example of interesting lines I try to move around the subject and take several photos from different angles trying to get shots that play with the way that the lines interact with each other. Here are just a few of them. Do you notice that the carpet pattern (bottom right) combines some of the same combinations of lines as the railway tracks? (by the way it was a dis-used track- I don’t want you to think I was risking my safety to get the shot). The photo in the top left corner is about parallel lines, I love how the spacing between each changes throughout the image.

Design inspiration for Fiona Ellis, WEBS 2015 Designer in Residence - Changing Tack pullover. Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Spending some time out in Vancouver by the ocean I started looking at the patterns “drawn” by vessels moving across the water. Now I must admit these observations didn’t become much more than a kernel of an idea. So rather than coming up with my own cable pattern, or re-inventing the wheel, I went back to one of my all time favourite already established cables. This is the smaller one used in Changing Tack. I love how this one zigs back & forth with each cord moving at a slightly different speed to allow them to cross over each other. It reminds me of watching a yacht tack into the wind. Not moving in a straight direct line from A to B, but zig-zaging, all the while aiming towards a specific point. This is where this sweater got its name.

If you have been following my work you will know that I love asymmetry. I know that it doesn’t appeal to everybody and that in some people it can cause him or her to shudder – I’ve seen it happen. But I couldn’t let my year as Designer in Residence go by without including an asymmetric design. So I decided that it needed to be an exercise in subtle asymmetry, one that might even tempt those lovers of symmetry.

Design inspiration for Fiona Ellis, WEBS 2015 Designer in Residence - Changing Tack pullover. Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Changing Tack has the patterning arranged so that an even number of small cables is divided, but not in half (symmetrically), rather three placed on once side of the larger cable and just one on the other side. Then I played with the larger cable, changing another tired and true pattern, changing it so that it is no longer symmetrical about the horizontal axis, the upper section does not mirror what happens in the previous rows. I hope that these playful tweaks give just the air of asymmetry without being wildly so. By the way if even this challenges your love of pure symmetry you can always work the pattern by placing two small cables either side of the larger one and mirroring the lower (or upper) section of the larger cable.

I can’t wait to show you what I’m working on for the November pattern release!