June 10th, 2016

Valley Yarns Huntington

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Valley Yarns Huntington is an amazing yarn for socks, and it can be worked up into shawls, hats, and even sweaters. Not only does it knit beautifully but it crochets like a dream! A durable and soft combination of Superwash Merino wool and Nylon mans that you can work up beautiful projects that will last for years to come.

Get to know Valley Yarns Huntington! On the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

The Crocus Lace Stole has long been one of my favorite projects. Originally crocheted in our slinky and soft 5/2 Bamboo, it makes a fantastic summertime accessory. But I got to thinking that it might be nice to have a more transitional piece for Spring and Fall, warm enough to ward off the chill of an errant breeze, but not so much that you start to overheat. Then I thought about stripes, and colorblocking and I wanted to redo this pattern with something that wasn’t too heavy but that had great colors choices. Huntington was the perfect choice, great stitch definition, easy to work with, lots of colors, durable and warm.

Get to know Valley Yarns Huntington! On the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

One of the best things about this pattern is that it’s just one row! Once you’ve done it a few times through it’s easily memorized. For the Huntington version I used 2 colors, Arctic and Seagull, and alternated color every 2 rows. I carried each color up the side of the work as I went rather than cutting the yarns and having a pile of ends to weave in afterwards! I knew that 2 skeins wouldn’t be quite enough for the whole piece, but I didn’t want to break into a 3rd skein and then I remembered that I had also thought about color blocking, so I decided to do the last third in just the seagull colorway and then edge the whole thing in that same color.  I worked 40 inches in the stripes, 20 inches in the solid grey and then did 2 rounds of single crochet around the edge. Remember how I said that I just carried the color up the edge when I made the stripes? I crocheted over those little floats of yarn as I added the edge! I pinned it all out and gave it a good steam block to set the stitch pattern, and I’m really happy with how it turned out. Total project cost for 3 skeins and the pattern was only $19.33, and I had it done in less than a week.

Get to know Valley Yarns Huntington! On the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

There’s fantastic pattern support for this yarn, both in knit and crochet, and lots of choices if you love knitting socks!

top l-r: Got You Covered Socks, Sunny Day Socks, Five College Socks, French Vine Socks.

bottom l-r: Simple Shawl, Hyannis Cardigan, Alexandrium CardiganSermilik Shawl

Give Huntington a try with your favorite sock pattern, or be a bit adventurous and remake a favorite accessory with a new twist! Tell us all about it in the comments

June 9th, 2016

Do you have your Passport?

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Don’t miss  your chance to visit twelve amazing yarn stores, along the I-91 corridor, with tons of chances to win some incredible prizes!

Join the fun at the 2016 I-91 Shop Hop! Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com
Here’s why you should join us and make a weekend out of it! We’ve designed a calendar just for you. Each store has designed a pattern for their month, and collecting all 12 gives you a year full of fantastic new knitting. You have to visit each store to collect the whole calendar, and kits for each design are available at that month’s store. If you can’t make it to all the shops, no worries you will have a chance to purchase the calendar after the Shop Hop. You will also be entered in the daily gift basket drawing, with each basket including a certificate  from each of the participating shops, wonderful yarns, patterns, kits, needles, and more! On Sunday, each shop will have two drawings, one for the daily basket as well as a chance to win a wooden swift and ball winder set. All customers who entered in the previous raffles during the weekend will be entered for a chance to win the ball winder and swift set. There is also a chance to win the grand prize! When your entire passport is stamped, simply leave the stamped passport at the last store you visit and it will be entered in the grand prize drawing.

Here’s your chance to explore new yarn shops and win some great prizes. You can complete the Shop Hop all in one day, or make it a weekend event.

I-91 Shop Hop begins June 23, and runs through Sunday June 26th. Get your passport now at any participating store for only $5!

Passports are available at all of these fine shops:

Green Mountain Spinnery (Putney, VT)
Handknits (Brattleboro, VT)
Sheep & Shawl (Deerfield, MA)
Northampton Wools (Northampton, MA)
WEBS (Northampton, MA)
Marji’s Yarncrafts (Granby, CT)
Creative Fibers LLC (Windsor, CT)
Village Wool (Glastonbury, CT)
Country Yarns (Wallingford, CT)
Knit New Haven (New Haven, CT)
The Yarn Barn LLC (Woodbridge, CT)
The Yarn Basket (Branford, CT)

See you at the Shop Hop!

June 7th, 2016

Valley Yarns 2016 Summer Catalog is here!

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You can browse our new summer catalog now!

Valley Yarns Summer 2016 Catalog - available to view online now! Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

3 new Valley Yarns, 22 new patterns, and almost a dozen editorials and write-ups for yarns, products we love, and a designer we’re beyond happy to feature! Get a jump on your Summer knitting now! Physical copies will be landing in mailboxes mid-month. If you’re not on it already, sign up for our mailing list and you’ll receive our Fall catalog in September. If you’re local you can pick up a copy in the store! Which new yarns and patterns are you excited about?

June 6th, 2016

The Oblique Hat

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We’ve had a few, brief previews of Summer weather here in New England, and it’s got us all thinking about smaller portable knitting projects, because let’s face it, there’s no way we’re going to stop knitting just because the thermometer is topping out in the 90’s!

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

Evie Scott has designed the fantastic Oblique Hat for Valley Yarns in our super versatile Huntington yarn. Not only is this a stylish, and truly unisex hat, but it’s available in 4 sizes, with instructions for knitting the beanie style shown, or adding some depth for a slouchy version. The super stretchy band of ribbing seamlessly flows into an architecturally inspired spiral. A simple two-stitch cable twists upwards in columns to the crown, a great time to practice cables without a cable needle!

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

With a veritable rainbow of over 2 dozen solid colors to choose from Valley Yarns Huntington is a perfect choice for hats for the whole family. Extremely soft and machine washable this yarn has beautiful stitch definition and longevity. Who will you knit an Oblique Hat for, and in what color?

Be sure to check out all the new patterns from Valley Yarns here, (psst, the patterns for our new catalog are up already!). Tell us which one is your favorite and what kinds of designs you’d like to see  in the comments.

June 4th, 2016

Ready, Set, Knit! 446: Kathy talks with Amy Greeman

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This week Kathy talks with WEBS Education Manager, Amy Greeman, about upcoming Summer Classes.

Ready, Set, Knit! episode #446 - Kathy talks with Amy Greeman. Listen now on the WEBS Blog - blog.yarn.com

Check out Knitting 1 for all the friends and family that keep asking YOU to teach them! Advanced Lace Knitting with Todd Gocken, Spinning Camp for adults and Fiber Camp for the kiddos. And Jason Collingwood is back this summer! Check out all the class listings on our site and sign up early, summer classes fill quickly!

The amazing Amy Hendrix of Madelinetosh is here for a meet and greet later today!

Valley Yarns Summer 2016 Catalog will be online on Monday and in mailboxes mid month. Make sure you’re on the mailing list now to get a copy of our Fall catalog in September. And join our e-mail list to see the e-catalog first!

Steve’s Yarn Picks of the week:

Reminder:

Our retail Store is closed on Independence Day, Monday, July 4th.

The I-91 Shop Hop will take place June 23–26th. Get your passport now and plan your weekend!

Upcoming Events:

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

June 3rd, 2016

Gifts, Just Because

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Normally, this time of year means Father’s Day, graduations, weddings, all kinds of big-ticket events which require big-ticket gifts. But as a mom, I’ve found that this time of year is also the time to think of babysitter gifts (thank goodness WEBS is located in the middle of 5 colleges. My kids had babysitters for any occasion.), teacher gifts, playdate-host-mom gifts…the list can be endless. While many of my friends/babysitters/kids’ teachers are fiber crafters, sometimes they aren’t. WEBS has lots of fun stuff that doesn’t necessarily require that you know the word “gauge” to enjoy.

Gift ideas on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Frabjous Fibers produces the cutest little notion bags I’ve seen in a long time. The bags come in varied sizes and shapes, like this itty bitty sheepy, this “Mama Sheep” scalloped-edge envelope, and this fun brightly-colored bag big enough to hold tissues, a juice box, and your phone. You can also get an adorable felt “embellishment” which I’d put on a backpack or pin to a hand-made hat for a special caregiver.

If you want to get a little fancier, what about a shawl pin? They don’t have to go on a knitted or crocheted shawl, you know. This Moving Mud Shawl Closure is so stunning that I’d wind it into a scarf or onto a bag. This is a great gift for a harried mom who has driven carpool for so long that she dreams in Cheerios.

The lovely Beckys Glass stitch marker charms look as good made into earrings as they do adorning your knitting needles. Or maybe you could string them onto an inexpensive chain to be used as a grown-up-looking birthday gift for a party princess?

I hope this gives you some ideas for fun presents that don’t have to break the bank. If you have a particularly difficult personality to buy for, throw a skein of yarn and some needles into a gift bag, and promise your skills as a teacher. The gift of your time is always appreciated!

June 2nd, 2016

Are you ready for an Adventure?

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Choose Your Own Adventure - Hat KAL Cast on July 5th,  2016 on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

We thought the long summer days would be a great time to practice and hone some of your knitting skills on a small and portable project. But it’s summer, there’s places to go, and lots of exciting things to do and see, so a boring staid project just won’t do! How about a project that lets you choose your own adventure?

A part of the pattern will be revealed here on the blog each week during the month of July, and with each new part you can choose from multiple options. Change it up with different cast ons, brims, and stitch patterns for hundreds of possible combinations. Use 1, 2, 3 or 4 colors! Keep it simple and solid, add cables, or add a splash of color with stripes or our fair isle pattern!

Join us for the Choose Your Own Adventure – Hat KAL here on the WEBS Blog in July! One pattern. Hundreds of possibilities. Cast on July 5th.

June 1st, 2016

Project Planning – Ready, Set, Sett?

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One of the first factors that needs to be addressed in planning a weaving project is the sett of the yarn. Knitters talk about the gauge of the yarn – stitches per inch, for weavers it is sett. It tells you how dense the yarn will be in the warp (ends per inch) and the weft (picks per inch) and this information is used to determine how much yarn is needed for the project.

What makes sett feel intimidating is that it’s not a simple “if the yarn is this size, the sett is this” equation. You also have to factor in the weave structure as well as the intended use for the fabric. This is why we list a range of setts with all of our weaving yarns. If you look on the yarn page for tencel  on our website, or the shelf tag in the store, the sett is listed as 20 – 27 epi. The lower end of the scale is for plain weave and the upper end is more suitable for twills.

So where to begin if you have a mystery cone with no information? For the unknown yarns, start by using a yarn balance to determine the number of yards per pound. Knowing the fiber content is also useful as plant and animal fibers behave differently and this will affect the sett. If you can’t tell the fiber content just by look and feel, many people recommend doing a burn test. Be sure to follow safety guidelines if you try this. THere’s a fantastic chart for burn tests here, and a simple but eye opening video here.

So now you’ve got yardage and fiber information, the next step is to determine the range of setts that will work. I often use the Master Yarn Chart compiled by Handwoven magazine. It lists sett for all the yarns used in their projects since 2000 and will give you that range I was talking about above. You have to join their weaving community to see it, but it’s free and provides access to this and other great resources.

Understanding sett and using a swatch maker for your weaving, on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Another tool that just came out is the Swatch Maker 3-in-1 Loom. This little sample loom is brilliant as it allows you sample three different setts (8, 10 & 12 epi) to see which will work best with your chosen yarn. It’s a quick and easy way to test possibilities and minimizes the amount of yarn used for sampling. I’ve been using it to check my ideas for the cloth I want to weave for a summer top.

Understanding sett provides a good foundation for weaving beautiful cloth, take advantage of the available tools to explore the compatibility of yarn and sett for your next project.

May 31st, 2016

Valley Yarns: Spring Pattern Wrap Up

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Wow, what a run of exciting new patterns. Between our Spring 2016 catalog that came out in March, new patterns for Haydenville and Longmeadow in April and all new designs for Goshen and Southwick in May we’ve introduced 13 brand new patterns to you in the last 3 months! On the off chance that you have missed any of these beauties we thought we’d pull together a little recap.

spring 2016 wrap up

Our Spring Catalog featured the Tulip Pullover in Stockbridge, the Sieberi Shawl in Longmeadow, the Leaves and Lines Afghan and the Grayson Baby Set in Haydenville, The Tink Cardigan in Sunderland, the Marguerite Scarf in Leyden and the Anemone Mitts in Goshen. A bright cheerful collection of knits for Spring from our own Valley Yarns Design Manager, Kirsten Hipsky!

fresh picks mosaic

Then we partnered with some wonderful Indie Designers for a spate of all new pattern in April and May. Three gorgeous tops in Longmeadow, Ascending Leaves, the Easy Day Tee, and the Rose Sorbet Tank, the New Hope Pullover and All Dressed Up Stole in Goshen, the Vertical Pullover in Southwick and the Honza Baby Blanket in Haydenville. We asked these designers to let the yarn inspire them and boy did it!

fresh picks june preview

And don’t worry! We have even more exciting new designs ready to reveal in June! Here’s a sneak-peek at some of the featured yarns and Indie Designs you’ll see, but we’ll also release our Summer Valley Yarns Catalog with over 20 additional new patterns. Get your needles ready, you’ve got a lot of knitting in your future!

And if you love Longmeadow or Stockbridge stock up now! Sadly, both of these yarns have been discontinued and once our current stock is sold through, it’s gone forever.

May 30th, 2016

Anniversary Sale Spotlight – Last Chance!

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Our Anniversary Sale is coming to a close tomorrow! We’ve had two full months of incredible deals on yarns for knitters, crocheters and weavers, as well as needle and hook sets. With just over 24 hours before these sale prices end you have one last chance to shop these deals and build your stash for summer and even holiday knitting!

anniv sale last chance

left, top-bottom: Tahki Cotton Classic Lite, Noro Taiyo, Knitter's Pride Dreamz Deluxe Interchangeable 
Needle Set and Cascade 220, Debbie Bliss Boheme, Lorna's Laces Solemate
right: Jade Sapphire Khata

Take home your choice of over 100 yarns and needle/hook sets now, at savings of up to 30%, while you still can! Wednesday morning at 12:00am they’ll all be full price again.