August 4th, 2016

Altering a Hand Knit Garment

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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 altered her daughter's Custom Fit sweater, details on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

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!

August 3rd, 2016

The Anthemis Cowl

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We have one more fantastic new pattern in our sumptuous Hatfield yarn for you. The Anthemis Cowl, designed by Tian Connaughton, is soft as a cloud and light as air!

The Anthemis Cowl from Valley Yarns. Learn more about the yarn and where you can get your copy of the pattern on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

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.

The Anthemis Cowl from Valley Yarns. Learn more about the yarn and where you can get your copy of the pattern on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

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.

August 2nd, 2016

Choose Your Own Adventure – Hat KAL: Week 5

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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!

Wrapping up the Choose Your Own Adventure Hat KAL on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

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.

Wrapping up the Choose Your Own Adventure Hat KAL on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

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.

Wrapping up the Choose Your Own Adventure Hat KAL on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

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.

Wrapping up the Choose Your Own Adventure Hat KAL on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

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!

Wrapping up the Choose Your Own Adventure Hat KAL on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

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!

Wrapping up the Choose Your Own Adventure Hat KAL on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

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!

July 30th, 2016

Ready, Set, Knit! 453: Kathy talks with Benjamin Levisay

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This week Kathy talks with Benjamin Levisay about the upcoming STITCHES Midwest. They chat about the importance of crochet, even for knitters, all of the amazing classes and events taking place that weekend as well as the great vendors on the show floor. Don’t forget to grab your 50% off admission coupon now!

Ready, Set, Knit! episode #453 - Kathy talks with Benjamin Levisay and Alasdair Post Quinn. Listen now on the WEBS Blog - blog.yarn.com

 

Kathy also talks with Alasdair Post Quinn about his upcoming book, Double or Nothing – reversible knitting for the adventurous. You can catch previews of the patterns and pre-order your copy on his blog! You can check out his first book, Extreme Double Knitting, now!

Kathy’s Yarn Picks of the week:

Upcoming Events:

WEBS will be at Convergence in Milwaukee, WI next week! August 2-6.

WEBS is also at STITCHES Midwest August 5-7, in Schaumburg, IL

It’s not too early to book your seat on the bus to Rhinebeck!

Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram for lots of great new products, contests and fun!

Be sure to check out all of our upcoming Events here.

Right click or CTRL+click and Save As to download the MP3 of this Podcast Subscribe to Ready, Set, Knit! in iTunes Subscribe to the Ready, Set, Knit! Podcast RSS Feed

July 29th, 2016

Kits = Best Thing Ever

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Kits seems to be the New Thing. I think that I’ve never seen so many kits in the store as I did on a recent meander through the yarns. I hasten to add that I think kits are a fabulous thing, because you have every single thing you need to knit or crochet (or weave!) a project with no need to make any kind of decision whatsoever, other than what color palette you most enjoy. There are so many different project kits I’m just dying to use that I thought I’d let you in on some of my favorites.

Project and specialty yarn kits available at yarn.com Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

The Fair Isle Box of Itty-Bitties captured my heart. If you’ve ever done Fair Isle knitting you know that you use about a yard of each color and it makes no financial sense to buy 10 different skeins of yarn and use a quarter of each to make a hat. This beautiful box of teensy skeins of sport weight yarn in 8 colors will turn into a beautiful Fair Isle hat in your talented hands. Three different colorways give lots of options.

More options await you in the Wonderland Yarns “Mad Hatter” kits. Included in each kit is a large skein (344 yards) and 5 smaller skeins (86 yards each) for a total of 774 yards of lovely sport weight yarn. That’s plenty to make the “Which Way” shawl that is free with the purchase of one of the 6 color options.

Artyarns has also conspired to seduce fiberlovers with Gradient Kits. These are colors in the same family that range from light to dark, perfect for shawls and scarves in ombre or gradient designs. WEBS carries several different color palettes including 3 that are exclusive to our customers. And Merino Cloud yarns are deeeee-lightful, a merino/cashmere blend that is twisted for beautiful stitch definition.

There are plenty more to drool over–Zen Yarn Gardens Cordoba Shawl kit, using Superfine Fingering yarn in their signature intense colors, Lorna’s Laces String Quintet kits in Shepherd Sock, Baah Yarns “Wings” cowl kit in Baah Yarns’ La Jolla, pattern included in the kit. I think you’ll have a hard time deciding to make just one project. Tell us what kits you love the most in the comments!

July 28th, 2016

Thank You!

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Once again the residents of the Pioneer Valley have voted in the Daily Hampshire Gazette‘s annual Reader’s Poll and have chosen WEBS as their favorite yarn store!

WEBS is in first place for 2016 in the Daily Hampshire Gazette's annual Reader's Poll. Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

A huge thank you to all our customers that voted. We wouldn’t be able to keep doing what we do without you!

July 27th, 2016

Twist and Shout

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I have a fondness for twisted fringe. It is so clean and elegant and adds a beautiful finishing touch to a handwoven piece. I took a stroll through our display racks to show you some fun variations to mix up the twisting.

Fringe options for your woven goods on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

First there is the graceful sophistication of the long lace fringe on the Champagne Celebration Shawl. It’s like a luxurious waterfall that I just want to run my fingers through.

Another exquisite touch is to add beads in the fringe. For the Zephyr Shawl the beads were added to a single end at the edge of each bundle and then that end was pulled into the adjacent bundle for twisting, resulting in a row of beads interspersed between the fringes at the end of the shawl. A different technique was used for the Plaited Twill Shawl to place the beads throughout the length of the twisted fringes. To achieve this effect, beads are strung on several ends of the bundle and held in place at intervals along the threads, the beads become locked in place as the fringe is twisted.

If you have more than one color in your warp, there are a few ways to handle it. When there are random or asymmetrical color changes across the warp you can just twist in bundles across, ending up with some solid color twists and some with a barber pole effect when two colors twist together, as in the Labyrinth Throw and the Dornik Twill Throw.

Another option that works well with a double weave or a more symmetrical color order is to twist the fringes in single color bundles. The resulting fringe allows each color to stand out on its own, looking crisp and clean. The XOXO Shawl is a deflected doubleweave shows this beautifully with all three colors represented in the fringe. And the fringe on the Turned Taquete Scarf shows both colors bold and pure, alternating across the edge.

Many people twist their fringes by hand, but I prefer to use the Leclerc Fringe Twister. This handy and very simple device makes the work go quickly and saves me from hand cramps.

Do you have any favorite fringe tips? Share your pictures, you know we love show and tell!

July 26th, 2016

Choose Your Own Adventure – Hat KAL: Week 4

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Let’s turn this tube into a hat! It’s time for some crown decreases

If you’re working magic loop or on two circular needles you can continue along but if you’ve been working with one 16″ needle you’ll want to transition to double pointed needles at this point.

Crown shaping options for the Choose Your Own Adventure Hat KAL on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

1 – Option 1: Spiral Decreases 

Place a stitch marker after every 10th sts, use a contrasting color marker to identify the beginning of the round. Work in rounds as follows:

Rnd 1: *K to 2 sts before marker, k2tog: rep from * around. (9 (10, 11, 12) sts decreased.)

Rnd 2: Knit.

Repeat Rnds 1 and 2 until 18(20, 22, 24) sts remain.

Rnd 3: *K2tog; rep from * around. (9 (10, 11, 12) sts)

Cut yarn, leaving an 8” tail. Thread yarn through all remaining stitches and pull snugly. Sew in all ends and block to settle stitches. 

Here’s a quick refresher on k2tog.

2 – Option 2: 4 corners 

For 18” and 22” sizes only: on the last round, increase by 2 sts at evenly spaced intervals around the hat. (92, 112 sts)

Divide your stitches evenly among 4 double pointed needles.

Work in rounds as follows:

Rnd 1: *Ssk, knit to last 2 sts on the needle, k2tog; repeat from *. 8 sts decreased.

Rnd 2: Knit.

Repeat Rnds 1 and 2 until 20(20, 16, 16) sts remain.

Rnd 3: *K2tog; rep from * around. (10(10, 8, 8)sts remain)

Cut yarn, leaving an 8” tail. Thread yarn through all remaining stitches and pull snugly. Sew in all ends and block to settle stitches.

A quick reminder of how to make an ssk

3 – Cable pattern decreases

18 and 22” sizes only, an 18st repeat

Rnd 1: *P1, c1L, c1R, p1, k1, ssk, k2tog, k1, p1, c1R, c1L, p1; rep from * around

Rnd 2: *P1, k4, p1, k4, p1, k4, p1; rep from * around

Rnd 3: *P1, c1L, c1R, p1, ssk, k2tog, p1, c1R, c1L, p1; rep from * around

Rnd 4: *P1, k4, p1, k2, p1, k4, p1; rep from * around

Rnd 5: *P1, c1L, c1R, (p2tog)twice, c1R, c1L, p1; rep from * around

Rnd 6: *P1, k4, p2, k4, p1; rep from * around

Rnd 7: *P1, ssk, k2, p2, k2, k2tog, p1; rep from * around

Rnd 8: *P1, k3, p2, k3, p1; rep from * around

Rnd 9: *P1, ssk, k1, p2, k1, k2tog, p1; rep from * around

Rnd 10: *P1, k2, p2, k2, p1; rep from * around

Rnd 11: *P1, ssk, p2, k2tog, p1; rep from * around

Rnd 12:  *P1, k1, p2, k1, p1; rep from * around

Rnd 13: *P1, (p2tog)twice, p1; rep from * around

Rnd 14: P all sts

Rnd 15: *P2tog; rep from * around

Repeat Rnds 15 and 16 once more.

Cut yarn, leaving an 8” tail. Thread yarn through all remaining stitches and pull snugly. Sew in all ends and block to settle stitches.

20 and 24” sizes only, a 20 st repeat

Rnd 1: *P1, k1tbl, p1, c1L, c1R, p1, k1, ssk, k2tog, k1, p1, c1R, c1L, p1; rep from * around

Rnd 2: *P1, k1tbl, p1, k4, p1, k4, p1, k4, p1; rep from * around

Rnd 3: *P1, k1tbl, p1, c1L, c1R, p1, ssk, k2tog, p1, c1R, c1L, p1; rep from * around

Rnd 4: *P1, k1tbl, p1, k4, p1, k2, p1, k4, p1; rep from * around

Rnd 5: *P1, k1tbl, p1, c1L, c1R, (p2tog)twice, c1R, c1L, p1; rep from * around

Rnd 6: *P1, k1tbl, p1, k4, p2, k4, p1; rep from * around

Rnd 7: *P1, k1tbl, p1, ssk, k2, p2, k2, k2tog, p1; rep from * around

Rnd 8: *P1, k1tbl, p1, k3, p2, k3, p1; rep from * around

Rnd 9: *P1, k1tbl, p1, ssk, k1, p2, k1, k2tog, p1; rep from * around

Rnd 10: *P1, k1tbl, p1, k2, p2, k2, p1; rep from * around

Rnd 11: *P1, k1tbl, p1, ssk, p2, k2tog, p1; rep from * around

Rnd 12:  *P1, k1tbl, p1, k1, p2, k1, p1; rep from * around

Rnd 13: *P1, k1tbl, p1, (p2tog)twice, p1; rep from * around

Rnd 14: *P1, k1tbl, p4; rep from * around

Rnd 15: *P1, k1tbl, (p2tog)twice; rep from * around

Rnd 16: *P1, k1tbl, p2; rep from * around

Rnd 17: *P2tog; rep from * around

Rnd 18: P all sts

Repeat Rnd 17 once more.

Cut yarn, leaving an 8” tail. Thread yarn through all remaining stitches and pull snugly. Sew in all ends and block to settle stitches.

If you’ve never done a p2tog before, here’s how!

5 – Alternate Crown: No shaping!

Continue working your hat in pattern with NO decreases until the hat is 1 inch longer than your desired depth from the cast-on edge. Fold the hat flat and use the 3 needle bind off or kitchener stitch to close the top of the hat with a flat seam.

Here’s your chance to try a 3-needle bind off

And, it never hurts to have a visual reminder of kitchener stitch!

Next week we’ll do a little finishing work, and show you our fully finished hats as well as which options were used for each. How’s your hat looking?

Be sure to post your pics to Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and tag it with #chooseyourownadventure #WEBSKAL #Myhatadventure #websyarn

July 25th, 2016

Valley Yarns 2/14 Alpaca Silk

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Our 2/14 Alpaca Silk is one of the hidden gems in our Valley Yarns collection. The fact that it’s on a cone gives some knitters and crocheters pause, but let me tell you what a boon that is. For larger projects, and even multiple small projects, it means only 2 ends to weave in at the end of your work. You read that right, only TWO ends to weave in! There’s so much yardage on one of these cones, over 1,700yds in fact, that each cone really can result in multiple projects. Like our Allamanda Shawl. The pattern requires 550yds but with the incredible yardage on these cones you could get three of these shawls out of just one cone! This makes it a wonderful choice for wedding party shawls, or other occasions where multiple versions of the same knits or crochet are needed.

Get to know Valley Yarns 2/14 Alpaca Silk! On the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

The fiber combination of this yarn, 80% Alpaca/20% Silk, results in a lace weight yarn with incredible strength and beauty. The silk gives the yarn durability and a delicate sheen while the alpaca imparts warmth and softness as well as a subtle halo. Together you get a yarn that is soft and easy to work with, even in the summer heat, that becomes garments and accessories that are surprisingly warm.

Get to know Valley Yarns 2/14 Alpaca Silk! On the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Clockwise from bottom left: The Stella Pullover, the Magda Shawl NEW, the Geothermal Tubular Scarf, the Shenandoah Valley Shawl NEW, the Vintage Vest FREE,  the October Mountain Cardigan, the Gallica Shell, the Coppice Cardigan, and the Intemporelle Pullover.

We have some truly lovely patterns for this yarn, from cozy mid-season accessories to full garments in both knit and crochet. Have you worked with 2/14 Alpaca Silk?

July 23rd, 2016

Ready, Set, Knit! 452: Kathy talks with Kate Atherley

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This week Kathy talks with Kate Atherley about her 4th, and newest book, The Beginner’s Guide to Writing Knitting Patterns.

Ready, Set, Knit! episode #452 - Kathy talks with Kate Atherley. Listen now on the WEBS Blog - blog.yarn.com

After years working as a tech editor Kate began to compile some of answer to questions she regularly encountered in the process of pattern writing.  She sees designing and pattern writing as two separate skills and this is a guide for helping designers articulate their instructions. She also gives resources for photography and pattern layout.

Steve’s Yarn Picks of the week:

Upcoming Events:

WEBS will be at Convergence in Milwaukee, WI August 2-6.

It’s not too early to book your seat on the bus to Rhinebeck!

Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram for lots of great new products, contests and fun!

Be sure to check out all of our upcoming Events here.

Right click or CTRL+click and Save As to download the MP3 of this Podcast Subscribe to Ready, Set, Knit! in iTunes Subscribe to the Ready, Set, Knit! Podcast RSS Feed