Are you headed to the Dutchess County Fairgrounds in Rhinebeck, NY for the annual New York State Sheep and Wool Festival? You could save yourself the hassle of driving and give yourself extra knitting time by riding the bus with WEBS!
Your ticket on the bus includes a light breakfast, your ticket to the Festival, and a chance to win fabulous prizes along the way. Register now as seating is limited!
August means Summer Sale time here at WEBS and this year we have some fantastic deals on great bulky yarns, and more, for your upcoming Holiday projects.
Modern technology makes Techno a feather-weight, bulky yarn! Baby alpaca is blown into a mesh tube of silk for really fast knitting with literally no splitting. You’ll knit up a pair of the Jive Mitts in no time! Worked in the round in an easy mock-cable pattern with just one hank of Techno, these little fingerless mitts will be great for cool mornings.
Schachenmayr Boston Mix is an acrylic & wool blend yarn in a super-fast-knitting bulky weight. Bold, bright colors mix with more subtle tones to create a fun, self-striping yarn that’s machine washable. One skein will make one hat! The My Mountain Design Contest Winners eBook comes with 12 fun and funky knit and crochet patterns.
Adriafil Scozia is a soft (very soft!) blend of wool, viscose & polyamide – in a bulky weight that knits up fast! With a time-honored tweedy look, and a range of classic colors this is the perfect yarn for cozy pullovers & cardigans, hats, accessories and blankets. The Corrib Beret by Laura Chau is a quick and easy slouchy hat, an accessory you need in lots of colours! This chunky beret is just slouchy enough without too much bulk.
Classic Elite Avalanche is a very light and lofty yarn in a blend of alpaca, wool & nylon. The long gradual color shifts mean that your projects will be done in no time when you just want to get to the next color shift before stopping. Roseau, a beautiful scarf that features reversible, ribbed cables and zig-zag edges.
With over 60 featured yarns in the sale this year there’s something for every project you can dream of!
Like many weavers, I have my favorite structures that I love to work with. At the same time I love to explore and try new ideas. Sometimes this involves an immersion in the new technique, with lots of reading and maybe yards of gamps and design work to understand it in detail. Other times I want to glean the basics about a structure and weave some projects without having to create my own designs. It’s a great way to see if I want to go further/deeper with that technique, or put to rest a fascination that turns out to be less-than-thrilling in reality.
My favorite resource for such explorations is the periodical Weaver’s Craft, published by Jean Scorgie, former editor of Handwoven magazine and longtime weaving teacher. Each issue features a weave structure and presents a solid explanation of the concepts and interlacement of threads as well as 3 – 4 drafts for projects to put the information into practice. The articles are clear and thorough and all the drafts are for 4-shaft looms. She also includes sidebars and articles about basic weaving topics – threading heddles, reading drafts, finishing details.
The most recent issue of Weaver’s Craft, #31, focuses on Warp Rep and contains many tips for weaving and designing with this structure. The drafts range from rug mugs and rep runners to a great tote bag with clever handles. One of my favorite issues is #21, Double Weave Pick-Up. She shows 2 different ways to work the pick up, with troubleshooting tips and great step-by-step photos. I love doing small projects to try new ideas and this issue has a series of rug mugs to weave with graphed designs to use plus info on how to graph your own designs. I’m looking forward to weaving a few sets of these.
Where do you turn when you want to learn something new?
I learned a new craft this weekend–well really, I learned about three crafts this weekend: making block prints, printing on fabric, and embellishing the prints with embroidery. What really stuck with me was learning to embroider, and I think that if you can knit or crochet, you can embroider. The stitches are so intriguing, and easy to do. You use yarn, or crewel wool which is basically yarn. And there are NO RULES so you don’t have to worry about breaking any.
It’s intoxicating, I tell you. Kristin Nicholas, who led our weekend retreat, is a local treasure and frankly, a national fiber and color cheerleader. She challenged us to experiment with color, and highlight the prints we made by outlining, filling in blank spaces with interesting stitches, and making negative space pop by using color as an accent.
Embroidering on knitted or crocheted projects is for the color-obsessed among us who can’t leave well enough alone. It’s so fun and makes a ho-hum accessory or garment super-special. Check out these adorable mittens designed by Kristin and imagine the possibilities. Or these cuties. How about jazzing up your phone holder?
The book that got it all started is her Colorful Stitchery. It has all kinds of ideas for using embroidery on fabric, knitted accessories and garments, and tons of how-to instruction.
Experiment with gilding the lily and make your knits colorful and exciting. Tell us in the comments below what you end up with!
Many of you know Marthe – one of our store team members. Last summer, she decided to knit a sweater as a gift for her daughter, Lilah. Standing nearly 6 feet tall, Lilah can never find garments, particularly sweaters, that account for her height and long arms, so Marthe took up the challenge to knit a sweater that fit her daughter’s shape. Marthe chose to knit a cardigan in Sweet Georgia Superwash DK in the Cranberry colorway. After lots of knitting to accommodate the 29 year old’s frame, Lilah’s beautiful sweater was shipped off to her. She was thrilled but found the upper arms to be a bit too loose which made her feel frumpy (photo). There was too much ease in the upper arms. She asked her mother if anything could be done without reworking the sweater altogether.
Marthe’s solution was a three-step process. She began by removing the mattress stitched seam from the forearm to the armpit, folding over the excess fabric, and pinning it to create a new line for seaming. She then re-seamed the sleeve to the more accurate dimension, along the folded edge, using mattress stitch. Finally, Marthe used her serger to remove the excess fabric and secure the yarn ends. She did say, however, that a serger is not essential. The same result may be achieved by using a sewing machine to straight stitch, and then trimming the excess knitted material – just like doing a steek.
The alteration was successful! Lilah was thrilled and immediately asked her mother for another handknit sweater. Her next request? Could Marthe knit the sleeves a half inch shorter next time!
Knit in the round from the bottom up, in an easy to memorize arrow lace pattern, the Anthemis Cowl gets extra oomph from a gradient of colors. Use the soft, greyish blues show in the sample or go bold with reds and oranges, frosty with pale purples, or perfectly neutral with greys or beautifully heathered browns.
With more than 2 dozen colors to choose from there’s no reason to pass up the chance to get Hatfield on your needles. With a quick and easy project like this you’re sure to have the knitting done before the cooler weather settles in, and this way you’ll be prepared for it with a striking accessory that keeps you warm while staying stylishly on trend.
Your hats are almost done! Let’s add those finishing touches that really pull it together. First you’ll want to weave in your ends.
Will you add any additional surface work before you block? Duplicate Stitch or Embroidery? Here’s a quick tutorial for duplicate stitch, which is a great way to add an extra little pop of color!
Now it’s time to block your hat to settle all those stitches. Remember how you blocked your swatch, that’s how you’ll block the hat! If you don’t have a hat form to block your hat with you can use a bowl propped over a vase or tall glass.
Add a pom pom or tassel or braids! We had some fun making pom pom!
For those of you that asked, here’s how we made our CYOA Hats!
I knit my first hat with my favorite Valley Yarn, Northfield, in the Wine colorway. I used the cable pattern and cable decreases,and added a 1 1/2″ pom pom.
Beth also used the cable pattern, but changed the smaller side cables by only repeating the first cable crosses, and broke it up with panels of moss stitch, in the Forest color of our Valley Superwash DK. She also used a twisted ribbing at the brim by knitting her knit stitches through the back loop.
I wanted my second hat to be simpler so I opted for seed stitch with a garter stitch border and the 4 corners decreases. And I knit it all in the rich Red Wine Heather color of Colrain.
Mary chose the Fair Isle pattern for her hat and opted for 3 colors in Valley Yarns Goshen, Navy, Linen and Persimmon. Using the 2-color ast on really ties it all together!
Dena also used the Fair Isle pattern but chose two colors, Silver and Eggplant, of Brimfield. She also chose to knit a short i-cord at the top of the hat arther than cinching the top closed right away, this gives the hat a whimsical little stem!
For my last hat I just wanted to have some fun! I used Stockbridge in Blue Mist, Grey and Gold, in stripes where each color was a different stitch. If you love Stockbridge you should stock up now since it’s discontinued!
Be sure to post your pics to Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and tag it with #chooseyourownadventure #WEBSKAL #Myhatadventure We’d love to see your finished hats!