This is the 13th year of the event! From a humble start in 2004 with just 500 participants that helped raise $6,000 to an incredible day of fun and unity celebrating our desire to help change and better our communities with 6,000 participants, as well as countless observers and volunteers, that raised almost $500,000 last year.
I tried out a new circular needle recently and it was a game-changer. Knitter’s Pride Royale fixed circular needles are wood with metal tips, which I like (somehow, metal seems pointier). What I really love about the Royales are that they SWIVEL at the join. Come on! Yes, they do. No kinking up, no twisted joins, just smooth sailing. This swivel is only available in the fixed circular needles, not in the interchangeable sets, alas. But what a great reason to stock up on sizes you may need for your holiday knitting! They’d be a great stocking stuffer for a knitting group buddy, or an in-law at a gift exchange.
I’ve been making some deadline projects lately, but once I free up my time and buy the right size Royale, I’ll be casting on the Genevieve Baby Cardigan for a special baby arriving in December. So fast, so delightful on the right needles. Check them out!
When I was at Convergence this summer I looked across the aisle and saw a table piled with what looked brightly colored UFOs. Imagine my surprise when I saw the person at the booth pick one up at start spinning yarn with one! My curiosity was piqued and I went over to check it out.
I met Scott Snyder, the spindlemaker, and he told me the brightly colored arms on his drop spindles are made on a 3D printer. Talk about a modern twist on an ancient craft! I wondered about the plastic he used and he said he uses Polylactic acid (PLA), which is derived from renewable resources like cornstarch and tapioca roots and is biodegradable.
These spindles are like a Turkish-style drop spindle, with arms that slide out of the cop, giving you a beautiful center-pull ball of handspun yarn.The Destiny features 4 arms that interlock on the shaft and is a hybrid variable weight spindle. It’s made of 3D printed plastic arms, hand turned hardwood shafts and steel screws. The combination of materials used allows for the mass to be on the outside of the spindle, to increase duration of the spin. The screws are removable so you can fine tune the weight of the spindle. You can choose either Mini or Medium depending on your size needs.
Scott also makes a Turkish Glider, available with either 3D printed arms or finely polished wood. The Glider arms swoop outward with a slight upward tilt at the end, allowing the spinner to spin a lot of fiber in one cop.
In addition to the fun and playful colors of the 3D printed spindles, we are also carrying the beautiful wood spindles that Scott makes. These also feature a shaft that is hand-turned on a lathe and have a small final at the top to hold the half-hitch. The wooden spindles are available in turkish and glider styles and, because I love anything sheep-ish, we brought in some that have sheep cut outs on the arms.
If you like to carry your spinning with you and want a beautiful, portable tool, be sure to check out our new toys!
Starting November 17th you’ll chain on for the Kitschmas Stocking, a granny-striped decoration that can be crocheted in mere hours — that’s right, folks, hours! That means it may actually be attainable for more than one person in your family to get a handmade stocking this year. (Vickie will attempt to make enough for her family of 5. Can she do it? Nobody knows — least of all her!)
You’ll need 3 balls of Valley Superwash Super Bulky (2 balls of the main color and 1 ball of the contrast color), and a U.S. M (9.0mm) crochet hook.
Head on Over to Vickie’s Facebook Page and join the CAL event! Just post a comment letting her know, “I’m in!”
Feel free to post photos on the events page for others to see. You’ll also have the opportunity to ask questions and share tips. Vickie will be there to lead the conversation, answer questions, and fawn over your mad crochet skills!
Both of these designs were knit in Valley Yarns Northampton. This is one of our core yarn lines and it’s available in over 40 colors. With a wide variety of heathers and solids with an incredible depth of color, there’s no end to the possible color combinations you can add to your wardrobe.
First up is the cozy, textured Cabello Cowl by Lori Wagner. Lori learned to knit back in 7th grade as part of 4-H, but didn’t pick her needles up again until years later. A Designing Cowl class with Laura Nelkin sparked her interest in creating her own knit designs and started self-publishing in 2014. For the Cabello Cowl, Lori was daydreaming of hiking trips with friends…the twists and turn of the trails, the hills and all the rocks along the way. Lori says, “I loved working with this yarn! The Northampton was squishy and had fabulous stitch definition…exactly what I envisioned for my design. I then started to look at the other Valley Yarn available and could not believe how many lines were available!”
Just one skein of Northampton is all you need for the Cabello Cowl, making it a project that cost under $12.00! Get your needles ready and get some holiday gift knitting started!
This long-sleeved open front cardigan is knit in one piece with the sleeves set in. A reversible textured stitch is worked throughout the body and the sleeves are worked in stockinette stitch. A simple garter ribbing adorns the Hems, cuffs, and collar. Even the largest size, which needs only 7 skeins of Northampton, is a project that tops out at $50! I’m thinking I need a Valentina Cardigan in Charcoal and maybe another in Apple Green.
Last year Suan raised money for Heifer International by selling adorable sheep and alpaca wooden cutouts. Those shapes are back as part of her Holiday Housewares Fundraiser! This year there are more animal shapes and even some in black or white acrylic. Additionally there are cookie stamps and rolling pins for adorable, fiber themed holiday treats, shop now!
A week from today we’ll be celebrating 10 years on the air! We’ll be broadcasting Live on Facebook as we record the show on Wednesday 11/2/16, be sure to tune in! We’ll be answering some of your questions in that episode, so let us know what you’d like to know! Just comment here and Steve and Kathy may answer YOUR question.
One of the first sweaters I made, for my then-7-year-old son, was in Noro Kureyon. He loved the colors but it was a tad scratchy, and after he grew out of it, I couldn’t find any child that would love that sweater like he did. Noro has always been the gold standard for eye-catching, long color repeats and brightly-hued blues, pinks, reds, and greens. At least, I thought that’s what I loved about Noro yarns.
What did I spot in one of my hoarding window-shopping expeditions into the store? Why, Noro Tennen, a gorgeous blend of wool, silk, and alpaca in colors evocative of nature in late November. The color names bring to mind images of stone, smoke, wood, and salmon, and the yarn brings those images onto your needles. Each worsted-weight skein is a very generous 275 yards, making the possibility of a hat, cowl, ear-warmer, or fingerless mitts out of one of those skeins very real. But I think this slightly fuzzy, rustic yarn demands a sweater, and our Shay Cap Sleeve Pullover would be perfect to show off the muted colors and unique texture of this special yarn. Perfect to throw on over a slim long-sleeve shirt or under a heavier jacket, Tennen will be a savvy investment for moments of quiet, contemplative stitching.
My passion for fiber and color runs deep and I love to knit, weave and crochet, but I resisted the siren song of spinning because I was afraid. And then, two years ago I accidentally volunteered to be captain of the WEBS Spinzilla team and my worst fears were realized – I loved spinning! Down the rabbit hole I went and another fiber obsession has been added to my bag of tricks. I was afraid that spinning would distract me from weaving – and it has – but it has also given me another way to create and deepened my understanding of fiber and yarn and how they work and interact – useful information for my other creative outlets.
Of course, learning to spin opened me to a whole new world of color, texture and fiber and the overwhelming desire to have it all at my fingertips! I kept finding more things I wanted WEBS to carry and started organizing spinning events to learn more about the craft. More fiber, more spinners, life is good, right? The success of Spinzilla and the feedback from spinners at our events has brought a resurgence in spinning at WEBS. Steve and Kathy want to further strengthen our spinning area and decided to create a position to oversee that. I am honored that they asked me and excited to add spinning to my role at WEBS as Weaving and Spinning Manager.
We still have a few fiber specials from Spinzilla to take advantage of. The fiber packs we put together with Louet are a great way to learn about how to spin different breeds. Each pack has just enough of each breed to develop your skill in spinning and enough variety to keep boredom at bay. There’s also some great colorful braids from Spunky Eclectic in the Autumn Welcome colorway she designed for us with 2 fiber options – easy to love and spin BFL or a luscious Polwarth/Mohair/Silk blend. To round out the sweet deals, we have what my friend Liz calls a box of crayons – the Lamb’s Tail Medleys from Frabjous Fibers. Also in 2 bases – superwash BFL or Merino/Bamboo/Nylon – these are a random assortment of colors with unlimited possibilities.
I am looking forward to expanding the fibers, tools and classes for spinners. Please feel free to contact me with suggestions; I want to hear what you’d like to see here!
2 weeks from today we’ll be celebrating 10 years on the air! We’ll be broadcasting Live on Facebook as we record the show on Wednesday 11/2/16, be sure to tune in! We’ll be answering some of your questions in that episode. Let us know what you’d like to know! Just comment here and Steve and Kathy may answer YOUR question.