The Bouquet of Hearts Baby Blanket, woven with Valley Yarns Longmeadow, showcases both the simple beauty of plain weave and the ability to add intricate details that rigid heddle looms do so well. Brook’s Bouquet is a technique of wrapping small bundles of threads to create lace-like windows in the cloth. In the blanket, the motif is a heart, but you can graph out and add your own motif – anything from the baby’s initials to other shapes.
Another key piece of the design, says Bestor, was to encourage weavers to work beyond the width of their looms and weave panels that can be seamed together. The seam can be done by hand or machine, invisibly or as a decorative accent. However it’s done, putting woven panels together expands the width – and the possibilities – of your loom.
Greetings from the Weaving Room! As 2014 winds down and we wrap up our 40th Anniversary celebrations, I am looking forward to the new year and the new beginnings that it will bring. I am not much of one for making resolutions, but I do believe in setting goals. I am easily distracted so having goals helps me to stay focused and to move forward. And, of course, there is such a great sense of accomplishment when I achieve them – another chance to celebrate!
In the next year I am looking to stretch myself as a weaver – try new weave structures, looms, fibers. One thing that has been grabbing my interest lately is card weaving, also called tablet weaving. I am fascinated and mystified by how it works. I love the beautiful bands you can weave, and can see many ways to incorporate them into projects. We have a great DVD from John Mullarkey – Tablet Weaving Made Easy – that’s filled with instruction and inspiration. Schacht recently started making cards for tablet weaving that look perfect for beginners – the edges are color coded to help you keep track of which way to turn them. If I really get into it I may even try the six-hole cards from Unicorn.
One of the things I love about working at WEBS is the easy access to a great line up of classes and instructors. For those who live in our ‘neighborhood’ (which seems to include most of the Northeast, judging from the folks who have taken classes with me), our weaving classes offer the ideal setting to learn new techniques with hands on instruction. I am excited to take the Rug Weaving class with Jason Collingwood. His designs are beautiful and I look forward to learning from such an acclaimed teacher.
Another perk of WEBS is the daily inspiration of my colleagues and our customers. Several years ago a few of us decided to do a weaving challenge and we all chose the same draft and then individually picked our yarns. I took the word ‘challenge’ very seriously and decided to use 60/2 silk (and even chose colors that I never use). It was both terrifying and exhilarating and though I loved the end result, I have stayed away from fine threads since then. Until now. In the spirit of new (or re-newed?) beginnings, I am going to weave with 60/2 silk again. We have a 4-shaft variation on that snowflake twill I made before and I am going to weave some new scarves.
Many years ago, on the “Cast On” podcast by Brenda Dayne, I heard the phrase “Begin as you mean to go on” and I think of it every time the new year cycles around. I am beginning my weaving year with a warp on the loom and new things to learn. How about you – what will you begin with your weaving in 2015?
Our Year End Blowout Sale is in full swing online but if you’re local to our Retail Store, or travelling through for the holidays, be sure to stop in and take advantage of some pretty incredible In-Store only deals from December 26th through January 3rd.
Steve pulls out all the stops for this annual event! Please remember: WEBS opens at at 10am on December 26th and is closed on New Year’s Day, so be sure to check our store hours before heading over. Don’t miss your chance to stock up on great stash-building work horse yarns, sample garments, books, bags and one of a kind hand dyed yarns that you won’t find online!
This year, I didn’t throw myself into the knitted-gift frenzy that has made the last few years a little dicey in terms of holiday engagement. (That means I was the Grinchiest Grinch ever as I glared at every recipient of the scarves, hats, mittens, and cowls that I was knitting for them. Poor planning is my defense.) I’m taking the long view this time around. I’m looking ahead to 2015, because I’m thinking about what I might want to do differently in the coming year.
I don’t make resolutions. Too much commitment. I make vague goals and if (when) I don’t end up fulfilling them, well…lesson learned. Move on.
Next year, I’m really going to concentrate on the details. I’m going to move past my go-to Long Tail Cast-On and Knitted Bind-Off. I’m going to experiment with cast-ons and bind-offs that are complementary to my project and look beautiful.
I’m going to learn how to do Kitchener Stitch. I’ve done so much to avoid this necessary fact of knitting life, and it now seems ridiculous. How hard can it be? (stop laughing). I’m also going to learn to read charts. I can protest all I want but I love stitch patterns and cables and those babies are charted. Once again, how hard can it be? (see above.)
Lastly, I’m going to stop making the thought of perfection ruin a perfectly good knitted piece. Only I know that I bumbled a knit stitch into a purl. Nobody will ever see the mismatched decrease except me. I want my knitting to be fun and comforting, not a showpiece. That’s why I started knitting in the first place.
I might add, in a self-serving way, that some of these things can be learned in a class. And that leads me the now open-for-business winter/spring class registration! Check out our offerings and see what you might like to tackle in 2015.
This week finds us in the midst of Hanukkah and just a week from Christmas. It may be too late for us to get an order shipped out to you in time for gift giving but WEBS Gift Cards and eGift Cards could save the day!
Gift Cards can be purchased and used both online and in our retail store. If you are purchasing through yarn.com Gift Cards are typically mailed by the next business day, and there is no shipping charge if you choose Standard Shipping. If you’re local to the store be sure to check our store hours and you can stop in to pick up as many as you need!
eGift Cards can be purchased online and immediately shared with the recipients.
Please note – WEBS eGift Cards can ONLY be used online and cannot be used in our retail store or over the phone.
As we approach the end of 2014 we still have a few exciting 40th Anniversary projects to share with you and one of our favorites is the Long Collared Vest by Sally Melville. We were so thrilled when Sally expressed an interest in being part of this year’s celebrations! Working with the Burgundy color of our Berkshire Bulky she has designed a cozy knee length vest that we all wanted to curl up in when it arrived in the office.
The large shawl collar hugs you around the shoulders and neck while the textured bodice stitch helps to give the vest structure and visual interest. And just for fun there’s a decorative button band on each side of the ribbing that makes a great place to showcase your favorite decorative buttons. The Long Collared Vest is a great winter knit and the perfect layering piece. With over 3 dozen colors of Berkshire Bulky to choose from which will you cast on with?
Every knitter, and crocheter, I know has multiple projects going at any one time and project bags are the perfect way to help corral the clutter that can result. Whether you’re looking for the perfect little last minute gift for a friend or contemplating your after-holiday gift card purchases here are a few of our favorite bags.
For your smaller projects the Hadaki Multitasker Pouch and the Blue Sky Alpacas Pretty Cheep project bags can handle anything from socks to large lace shawls, scarves and hats. For your larger sweaters and baby blankets the Atenti Caddy and our exclusive 40th Anniversary Della Q Large Eden Drawstring Bags have a surprising amount of room for yarn supplies and your growing project. The Lantern Moon Repurposed Plastic Tote would be perfect for large afghan projects and is one of the sturdiest bags we carry. And if you’re just looking for something stylish that can double as the perfect purse we highly recommend the Harlow Bag from Namaste. Not only does it have plenty of room inside for your wallet, keys, tablet(or laptop!), and gloves but you fit a couple small projects in there as well! How do you transport your projects?