Archive for the ‘Valley Yarns’ Category

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?

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.

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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?