Archive for the ‘Yarn & Craft News’ Category

Hot Gifts -Gild your Knits!

Friday, December 12th, 2014
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Last Fall we noticed a trend on fashion runways that we thought was super exciting, gilded knitwear! Sweaters and accessories where sections had been covered in silver or gold leaf. And while we’ve seen a few pieces in some high end department stores and online shops we thought this is something we can do for ourselves and so can you!

Gild Your Knits! Learn how to add metal foil accents to your knits on the WEBS blog.

We started with some bulky yarns – there are only days left to Hanukkah and Christmas after all! We knit up the Lodge Pole Cowl in Valley Yarns Northampton Bulky, the project was blocked before we began the next step.

Then we stopped by our local craft store and picked up sizing(the glue), pouncing sponges, and gold foil all from Martha Stewart. Be sure that you are using the right glue for your project! Just any old glue won’t do the job!

Working at a nice flat and stable work surface, dab the sizing onto the areas you’d like to highlight with the foil. We used a liberal amount of the sizing since the fiber will absorb some of it and you need enough on the surface to dry and become tacky before applying the foil. Once that was done we left it to dry according to the package instructions. The time may vary depending on how humid it is where you are so check on your glue every 10 minutes or so until it is tacky without being sticky.

Once the sizing had dried enough to be tacky we started to gently apply the gold foil. It will only stick to the glue but you may find that tiny pieces will tear off and float around your work area. You may want to keep a vacuum handy! Once the foil is applied and has covered all the glue use another one of your sponges to press it firmly into the fabric removing any excess foil and fly-away bits. This not only helps to set the foil in place, but burnishes the surface giving it some extra shine and helps to break up the foil so the shapes of the individual stitches show.

Gild Your Knits! Learn how to add metal foil accents to your knits on the WEBS blog.

This technique should work on most smooth yarns so avoid mohair, alpaca, angora or anything with a halo. The sizing is also water soluble so this is not a washable surface, you’ll need to spot clean any projects made with this technique. This could easily work on crochet and woven fabrics as well. So go forth and gild your knits and crochet! Make something just to try out the technique or use it to spiff up an older, but well loved accessory, and show us what you’ve made!

CGOA 2013 Design Competition

Monday, November 11th, 2013
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WEBS couldn’t be happier to be a sponsor of the Crochet Guild of America’s annual Design Competition. This year we sponsored the Accessories Category and the First Place winner was Joyce Lewis who designed  the Dragon Wing shawl, a gorgeous combination of traditional and tunisian crochet.

dragon wing shawl

Two of our other favorites from the competition were the the third prize winner from the Small Accessories Category: “Is that a platypus?” scarf designed by Laurinda Reddig.

perry platypus scarf

And the First Prize winner from that same category: Fair Isle Love Beanie designed by Deja Jetmir

heart fair isle hat

You can learn more about the CGOA at their website and see all of the contest winners on their blog.

Amy Herzog Can Help You Make the Perfect Sweater

Friday, October 25th, 2013
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Do you remember your first sweater? I remember mine. I actually learned how to knit by making a sweater. I got such satisfaction from showing it to people and saying airily, “yeah, I just made that.” Well, I don’t know who I was fooling. Of course you could tell I made it. The shoulders had a Michael Jackson-esque largeness from clumsy seaming, and one sleeve was a tad (noticeably) longer than the other. And I guess I didn’t notice myself that for one inexplicable row I changed from knit to purl and stopped halfway through and returned to knit. Plus, it was about five sizes too big.

There are 2 main reasons why most sweaters don’t fit:

Measurements (yours, incorrectly done)

Gauge (also yours, maybe incorrect)

Amy Herzog, designer of the best-ever sweaters and author of the groundbreaking book Knit to Flatter, has developed a software program that she just rolled out called CustomFit. By the way, this link takes you to my CustomFit home, so don’t go messing around with my measurements! She’ll be at WEBS on Saturday, November 2 from 11:00am – 2:00pm to show off the site and show customers our unique partnership with her website.

acorn-trail-2

Amy herself, in Acorn Trail

 

Here’s how it works: users establish an individual online account that contains their detailed body measurements.  Based on that information, knitters have the opportunity to design a customized sweater from a seemingly infinite number of styles and design details.  Here are a few examples to whet your appetite. I am a CustomFit account holder myself and am about to get busy on a gorgeous scoop-neck pullover with hemmed neck, bottom edge, and sleeves that will fit me like a glove because I spent quite a bit of time making sure my measurements were correctly done.

Amy’s store event will make that part of it a breeze, since WEBS is partnering with her to have our very own CustomFit account. We will record customers’ measurements and this information will be stored under the WEBS account in CustomFit. This gives WEBS the opportunity to provide personalized service in the form of sweater choices and yarn consults on your customized patterns.

If you love Amy’s iconic designs, you can use an existing pattern of hers, which now have CustomFit adaptations and instructions. She even has an FAQ section (which she’ll answer in-store on Saturday, November 2) so that you don’t get frustrated or lost.

It’s really perfect. So we’ll see you on November 2 from 11:00am – 2:00pm, tape measure in hand and ill-fitting knitwear in the trunk of your car, en route to a landfill or Goodwill.

 

Valley Yarns in Knit Simple

Monday, October 21st, 2013
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Knit Simple Holiday 2013 issue has a great section on dual-purpose patterns, you can have a vest or sweater a pullover or a cardigan! One of the designs, the Cowl Vest/Cowl Pullover by Cheryl Murray, uses our very own Valley Yarns Northfield.

Cowl Vest and Pullover pattern knit in Valley Yarns Northfield for Holiday 2013 Knit Simple

What combination of colors from our line of Northfield would you choose?

 

 

Valley Yarns in knit.wear magazine

Monday, October 14th, 2013
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The Fall/Winter 2013 issue of knit.wear is on the shelves now and features over 20 thoughtful patterns as well as tips and tutorials for biasing cables and color blocking. We’re thrilled to see our Valley Yarns Sheffield used in the Swaying Cable Scarf pattern by Talitha Kuomi.

Swaying Cables Scarf knit by Talitha Kuomi in Valley Yarns Sheffield

What color of Sheffield would you use?

 

Knitscene featuring Valley Yarns

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013
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The Winter 2013 issue of Knitscene magazine is out and in it’s pages you will find the Purpureus Shawl designed by Maria Leigh and knit in Valley Yarns Charlemont Kettle Dye.

Pupureus Shawl designed by Maria Leigh and knit in Valley Yarns Charlemont Kettle Dye

What color of Charlemont Kettle Dye would you use?

 

Valley Yarns Featured in Interweave Knits Holiday Gifts

Monday, September 30th, 2013
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The 2013 issue of Interweave Knits Holiday Gifts is out and we couldn’t be happier. Our own Valley Yarns are featured in two projects!

First up are the Sailor’s Mittens designed by Michele Moskaluk, and knit in Valley Yarns Huntington. Worked from the cuffs up with increases to form the thumb gussets, these women’s mittens boast lively three color patterns on the palms and backs of the hands.

Second is the Southern Cross Afghan designed by Ann McDonald Kelly and knit in Valley Yarns Valley Superwash. This afghan is made of mitered triangles made into squares. The squares are then sewn together with borders, making an interesting and cozy blanket.

Which projects are you excited to make as gifts this year?

 

 

Valley Yarns featured in Interweave Crochet

Thursday, September 26th, 2013
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Have you seen the Fall 2013 issue of Interweave Crochet yet? With almost 20 projects ranging from cowls and shawls to blankets and sweaters there is plenty to choose from to keep you busily hooking through the Fall months. Our favorite project, and we admit our bias! is the Obi Scarf crochet in our very own Valley Yarns Northampton Sport.

Obi Scarf from Fall 2013 Interweave Crochet using Valley Yarns Northampton Sport

Designed by Shelby Allaho this versatile design can be worn as a scarf or a belt and features a subtle blending of surface crochet, texture, and color-work creates a clever ribbon of fabric

Obi Scarf from Interweave Crochet Fall 2013 using Valley Yarns Northampton Sport

What colors of Northampton Sport would you use?

Be Sweet yarns featured in Interweave Knits

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013
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The new Interweave Knits  Fall 2013 issue  features a great pattern using yarn from our friends at Be Sweet.

The No. 6 Shrug, designed by Maria Leigh, is knit using the new Skinny Wool.

Worked from each sleeve cuff toward the center back, this shrug has a great lacy detail at the cuffs and around the collar.

Which color of Skinny Wool would you use?

Knitting Season is Open

Friday, September 13th, 2013
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My last post, which ran a few weeks ago, had a glaring error, and it is this: I took it for granted that I am famous enough for the entire world to know who I am.  I am indeed the new Education Manager, and my name is Amy Greeman. This is what I look like:

Amy Greeman, Education Manager

Amy Greeman, Education Manager

Ok, on to my pick this week. I lovelovelove Fall and Winter, which makes me an outcast in most groups. Knitters, however also love these seasons, because crisp air and cool temperatures mean lots of knitting. As I wander around the store, a few new yarns caught my eye and I thought I’d share them with you for your Fall knitting pleasure.

Koigu Painter’s Palette Premium Merino is the Queen of the fingering-weight set. We haven’t had this particular yarn in the store for a VERY long time and I am thrilled it’s here now. There are loads of beautiful colors and it’s just begging to be knit into socks or hats, or a gorgeous shawl.

Shibui Pebble reached it’s sporty-weight hand out and grabbed me as I walked by our showcase for it. I’m a sucker for a sport-weight, and this blend of silk/wool/cashmere is balanced just right–not too stiff and not too drapey. I would make any sweater that incorporated a lacy or knit/purl pattern stitch with this.

Clockwise: Infusion Handpaint, Koigu, Eco Highland Duo, and Pebble

Clockwise: Infusion Handpaint, Koigu, Eco Highland Duo, and Pebble

Universal Yarn Infusion Handpaint was a surprise to me. I’m not that thrilled with a lot of variegation, because I like to do very textured knitting, but this wool/acrylic blend feels beautifully soft and the colors are really blended nicely. I could see a nice, thick winter scarf or shrug to keep in a chilly office in this superwash yarn.

Finally, my new favorite yarn, I must confess, isn’t new at all. It’s a luscious Cascade standby I recently discovered, Eco Highland Duo. I’ve knit a cabled cowl in it, and am using it for a much more technical knit now, this Kira K design that will be a gift for my mom.

What is your new Fall discovery? What will you be knitting while you watch football (or the new season of Homeland) on TV?