April 8th, 2015

Designer in Residence – Motif Bolero from Doris Chan

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April has arrived already and the next design from Doris Chan is here! The Motif Bolero is crocheted in two colors of our Valley Yarns Charlemont,  a lovely sock/fingering weight blend of superwash Merino wool and silk, the color sequence tends to emphasize the geometry of the motifs. For a less patchwork look go with a single shade, or choose your own color combination!

Doris Chan WEBS 2015 Crochet Designer in Residence, her second design the Motif Bolero in Valley Yarns Charlemont - learn more at blog.yarn.com

The Motif Bolero is a unique, open-front jacket constructed from granny-style motifs that have been updated with open stitch rounds for a lacy look and pretty drape. Pentagons form the V-neck and shaped shoulders. Squares fill in the underarms and complete the boxy body, which falls just below the waist.

Doris Chan WEBS 2015 Crochet Designer in Residence, her second design the Motif Bolero in Valley Yarns Charlemont - learn more at blog.yarn.com

This is a great piece to layer for Spring. Pair this little jacket with a flirty spring dress or your favorite t-shirt and jeans. What colors of Charlemont will you choose?

 

 

 


April 4th, 2015

Ready, Set, Knit! 396: Kathy talks with LeslieAnn Bestor

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This week Kathy talks with WEBS Weaving Manager, LeslieAnn Bestor, about our 2015 Weaving Sourcebook.

Ready, Set, Knit! episode 396 - Kathy talks with LeslieAnn Bestor- listen now at blog.yarn.com
LA, and WEBS Founder Barbara Elkins, worked to update some of our older drafts and put together a great collection of new drafts, as well as finding a balance between 4-shaft, 8-shaft and rigid heddle drafts. Request your copy of our weaving catalog on our website or by contacting Customer Service.

Steve’s Yarn Picks of the week:

400th Episode Contest!

Be sure to comment on this post with your favorite Anniversary sale memory and don’t forget to include the hashtag that Kathy mentions in the show! Comments will close at 11:59pm EDT on Tuesday April 7th, and a random commenter will be chosen to win a $100 WEBS Gift Card. Be sure to listen to the show next week when we’ll reveal the winner!

(Please note: Each winner will have one week to claim their prize before a new winner is chosen. Remember to leave us a way to contact you when commenting!)

Reminder:

You can join in the WEBS Mystery Blanket Knit-A-Long or Crochet-A-Long at anytime, grab the patterns that have already been released and join in the conversation on Ravelry.

Upcoming Events:

Classic Elite Yarns Trunk shows are ongoing and there’s always something new to see! Stop by the store to see what’s on display.

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

Mark your calendars, WEBS Tent Sale is happening May 16th and 17th, and don’t miss the 11th Annual Fleece Market on May 16th!

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
April 2nd, 2015

Weaving Sourcebook

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Greetings from the Weaving Room! I hope you have seen our new weaving catalog – the Weaving Sourcebook 2015! I’m especially excited because we have so many new drafts to inspire you. Barbara and I went through all of our drafts last fall and talked about which needed to retire or hibernate for a while and – most importantly and most fun – we had a creative brainstorm and came up with lists of new projects to try. We looked at new yarns, different weave structures that we haven’t featured before, changing up the colorways from the blue spectrum that both us love to work with, and new tools for weavers.  The result is a collection that we are really proud of.

WEBS 2015 Weavers Sourcebook, shop online now at yarn.com

We also have some talented local weavers who created designs especially for WEBS and after keeping these pieces under wraps for a few months, I’m happy to share them with you. Elisabeth (Lisa) Hill has spent years delving into and developing designs in deflected double weave. She came up with the Labyrinth Lap Robe – a beautiful blanket woven with Jaggerspun Heather with strong geometric lines and a wonderful intermingling of colors in this intriguing weave structure. The yarn weaves up into a thick and cozy wrap that is snuggly soft and the heathered colors infuse it with richness and depth.

Dishtowels are a staple item for many weavers – it’s easy to churn out a stack on a long warp and have plenty for gifts and for home. Chris Hammel worked with our new 8/2 Cottolin from Brassard and designed the Cabana Towel – a towel that is refreshingly different, with great texture and pops of color. Easy to weave on 8 shafts, the towel features Canvas and Basket weaves. The Cottolin comes in 37 colors, which means lots of fun colorways to play with. And the cotton portion of the yarn is organically grown, always a plus for me.

One of more recent tools to hit the scene is the Variable Dent Reed from Schacht for use with their rigid heddle looms. It allows you to easily combine yarns of different sizes in the warp and Paula Veleta came up with a stunning scarf that showcases this. The Ginger Chocolate Scarf combines hand painted sock yarn with several novelty yarns to produce a scarf that is stylish and hip. Rigid Heddle weavers have so many possibilities to work with in the explosion of colors and textures these days; let this draft be a jumping off point for your creative appetites.

These drafts are just the tip of the iceberg. The Weaving Sourcebook features 5 more new drafts, 3 updates with new colorways of old drafts and Barbara and I are still weaving many more things from our creative confab last fall. What’s next on your list?

April 1st, 2015

Shop our 41st Anniversary Sale Now!

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It’s time for the best sale of the year, and that’s no joke! Our 41st Anniversary Sale has begun and we’ve got so many amazing deals for you this year.

WEBS 41st Annual Anniversary Sale runs April 1 - May 1, 2015 - read more at blog.yarn.com

If you’re new to the WEBS Anniversary Sale then you’re in for a treat. Not only do you have the opportunity to save on our regular-priced yarns for the entire month of April, but once May 1st rolls around you’ll have a whole new collection of wonderful yarns to choose from. And we have 3 of our most popular yarns on sale for BOTH months, Cascade 220, Cascade 220 Superwash and Plymouth Encore!

In April you’ll save on yarns from Rowan, Berroco, Noro, Valley Yarns and more! We have great yarns on sale for weavers like our Valley Cottons 3/2 and 5/2, 20/2 Silk, and Collingwood Rug Wool. And Knitter’s Pride Dreamz, Karbonz and Marblz needle and hook sets, as well as needles from the Colonial Needle Company, are on sale this month as well. You can shop the whole sale here.

Replenish your yarn stash or start building one. Plan your holiday gift projects. Whatever your needs you don’t want to miss out on these incredible savings!

What’s on your must-buy list this month?

March 30th, 2015

How to Wear It – The Park Pullover

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As Winter finally begins to loosen it’s grip on New England we’re thinking about great, wearable Spring and Summer knitting, and the Park Pullover may just be the perfect project.

The Park Pullover is based on one of our most popular children’s patterns the Picnic Child’s pullover. Alternating stripes of 1×1 ribbing and stockinette create a soft and casual sweater with flattering elbow-length sleeves. It’s as fun to knit as it is to wear, and since it’s top-down, the lengths of the sleeves and body are easy to modify!

Valley Yarns: How to Wear It - The Park Pullover

Knit in Valley Yarns Goshen you get the strength of cotton, durability from the Modal and a gorgeous sheen from the silk content. Available in over 2 dozen colors, you’re sure to find the one that’s perfect for your wardrobe!

Valley Yarns: How to Wear It - The Park Pullover read more at blog.yarn.com

We’d love to see your finished garments! Anytime you’ve made a Valley Yarns pattern be sure to tag it with #VYwearit We may feature you here on the blog, highlight you on Facebook, or repost you on Instagram!

March 28th, 2015

Ready, Set, Knit! 395: Kathy talks with Amy Herzog

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This week Kathy talks with author and designer Amy Herzog about her newest book, Knit Wear Love.

Ready, Set, Knit! episode 395 - Kathy talks with Amy Herzog- listen now at blog.yarn.com

This book is a companion piece to her first book, Knit to Flatter, and focuses more on helping the knitter understand what kinds of garments they like to make and how to integrate those into their existing wardrobe.

Steve’s Yarn Picks of the week:

Reminder:

Today is the Meltdown! Family book and music festival! Bring the family for a great day at Smith Voc. High School.

You can join in the WEBS Mystery Blanket Knit-A-Long or Crochet-A-Long at anytime, grab the patterns that have already been released and join in the conversation on Ravelry.

Upcoming Events:

Classic Elite Yarns Trunk shows are ongoing and there’s always something new to see! Stop by the store to see what’s on display.

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

Mark your calendars, WEBS Tent Sale is happening May 16th and 17th, and don’t miss the 11th Annual Fleece Market on may 16th!

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
March 27th, 2015

The Blog Post About Yarn Weights

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I get so many questions about yarn weights. “What is worsted?” “Is fingering the same as sock yarn?” “What do you use super-bulky yarn for?” All great questions, and usually there is a well-defined answer to each one. Let’s explore the wonderful world of gauge together, shall we?

The Craft Yarn Council has a “Yarn Standards” chart on their website and it’s extremely helpful. They note that they’ve added a new “Jumbo” category on this chart, and while it’s interesting to note that many yarn companies are producing that kind of yarn, it’s not likely that you’ll knit all your projects in a Jumbo yarn.

Understanding yarn weights on the WEBS Blog - read more at blog.yarn.com

Going from large to small, Bulky or Super Bulky yarns get a gauge of 3.5-2.5 stitches to the inch. Our Valley Yarns Berkshire Bulky is an example of a bulky yarn, and it’s also a single-ply yarn, meaning it’s not twisted or chained in its construction. This gives it loft and lightness. It’s great for bigger projects like a warm jacket, a winter throw, or felted slippers.

Worsted-weight yarn will knit at a gauge of 4-5 stitches to the inch. This, to me, is a workhorse yarn, in the best possible way. You’ll see many patterns written for a worsted gauge, because almost anything can be made in it! Valley Yarns Colrain is a beautiful example of a worsted weight yarn, getting about 4.5 stitches to the inch on a size 7 needle for most folks.

A side note here: needle size is usually listed on yarn ball bands, as in “4.5 stitches to the inch on a size 7 needle” but what should be included on EVERY ball band after that sentence is “or size to obtain gauge.” I knit very loosely (go figure, I’m the most tightly-wound person out there), so I need to go down in needle size to get the intended gauge. Some folks are tight knitters and need to go up a size or two to get fewer stitches to the inch. That’s how gauge works, my friends.

DK stands for “Double Knitting” and it’s a bit of a puzzle to some knitters. They aren’t sure whether it’s bigger or smaller than worsted weight. The “double knitting” comes from an old yarn standard of plied yarn, where most worsted weight was about 4 plies and smaller weights were 8-plied, or doubled. This is a finer gauge, of about 5.25 to 6 stitches to the inch on a size 5-6 needle. Our Valley Yarns Longmeadow is a great example of a DK yarn.

Sport weight is slightly lighter in weight than DK yarn. Typically, a sport-weight yarn will knit at a gauge of 6-6.75 stitches to the inch on a size 4-5 needle. Sometimes, sport weight will also be called “baby yarn” because it’s so often used to knit small garments for small people. Fresco, a yarn distributed by Classic Elite, is one of my favorite sport-weight yarns, because its 3-ply construction makes for soft and light garments, and the stitch definition is wonderful.

Understanding yarn weights on the WEBS Blog - read more at blog.yarn.com

Fingering weight yarn is often called “sock yarn” but not all fingering yarn is suitable for socks. Got that? For instance, Valley Yarns Huntington is great for socks because it’s washable and has some nylon in it for durability, and it knits at a gauge of 7-8 stitches to the inch on a size 2 or 3 needle. That is technically the definition of a sock yarn. However, another example of fingering weight yarn is our KangarooDyer Hand-Dyed Charlemont, which gets the same number of stitches to the inch on the same needle sizes. The difference is that Charlemont is made from merino and silk, with a little polyamide in it. Nobody wants silk socks, believe me. Silk doesn’t stretch. Your socks will fall into your shoes just like when you were in kindergarten and then you’ll be miserable. But fingering-weight yarn is delightful to knit with and the projects you can use it for are numerous!

The lightest yarn category for knitters is lace-weight. This is cobweb-like yarn, with ridiculous gauge numbers. You could get up to 40 stitches to the inch on size 0000-1 needles. However, most knitters will use larger needles with lace-weight yarn to make open, airy patterned shawls or scarves. I’m a little too impatient to knit with lace-weight yarn, and frankly, it demands a lot of attention and chart-reading (you know me and charts) that I’m not prepared to call “fun.” We sell a beautiful coned lace-weight yarn blend of alpaca and silk, Valley Yarns 2/14 Alpaca Silk, and of course, our very talented Gail Callahan (Kangaroodyer) has dyed some skeins of it to make it even more gorgeous.

 

March 26th, 2015

From Afghan to Tunic

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In the store’s final salute to National Crochet Month, I’d like to share a terrific garment made by Connie Chisholm. Connie states that she stopped by WEBS to pick up 10 skeins of Universal Yarn’s Classic Worsted Tapestry. This yarn is no longer available, but using Universal’s Classic Worsted will yield the same beautiful results. Originally, her idea was to crochet an afghan. That plan evolved a few times and the final result is a tunic-length pullover which Connie designed herself using a double crochet stitch. You can read all the details about Connie’s first sweater on her Ravelry page.

Customer crochet projects on the WEBS Blog - Read more at blog.yarn.com

Connie says that she loves to crochet because it allows her to design creatively and that “all you need is an idea, patience and time to enjoy the process.” Connie’s garment clearly demonstrates her enthusiasm for crochet and her design skills too.

 

 

March 24th, 2015

Ask WEBS – changing color in crochet

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Ask WEBS March 24, 2015 - Changing color in crochet. Read more at blog.yarn.com

Changing color in a crochet project can seem like a really tricky bit of maneuvering if you’ve never done it before but it truly is simple! The key is to stop using your old color before you do the LAST YARN OVER of the last stitch in your old color. The last yarn over should be completed in your new color!

Ask WEBS march 24, 2015 - Changing color in crochet. Read more at blog.yarn.com

1. You will start one stitch before your color change actually starts (here we’re demonstrating in single crochet)

2. Insert your hook into the next stitch

3. Yarn over

4. Bring up a loop

Ask WEBS March 24, 2015 - Changing color in crochet. Read more at blog.yarn.com

1. With the new color, fold the yarn over to form a loop, leaving about a 6 inch tail

2. Grab the new color loop with your hook

3. Pull that loop through the 2 loops already on your hook

4. Continue working with just the new color (you can see the new stitch in the new color)

 

And now you’re set up to work over your tails. What do I mean by that? One of the great things about solid stitch patterns in crochet is that you can crochet your stitches right over your tails and not have to worry about weaving them in!

Ask WEBS March 24, 2015 - Changing color and working over tails in crochet. Read more at blog.yarn.com

1. bring the tail of your new and old color across the top of the row of stitches that you’re working into

2. Now hold those tail in place but FORGET that they’re there! Just pretend that they are part of the tops of the stitches in the row below

3. Insert your hook into the next stitch the same way you always do – see how the hook goes under the tails as well?

4. Yarn over your hook, just as you always do. You can see, highlighted in red, that your yarn over has gone over the tails, essentially locking them down to the top of the row below

Ask WEBS March 24, 2015 - Changing color and working over tails in crochet. Read more at blog.yarn.com1. Bring up a loop

2. Yarn over one last time – here you can see that the tails are actually inside the stitch!

3. Once that stitch is finished you can’t even see those tails

4. Keep trapping those tails inside your work for a few inches and you can cut those tails and move along!

Do you change colors this way? Do you crochet over your tails?

 

March 21st, 2015

Ready, Set, Knit! 394: Kathy talks with Liz Sorenson

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This week Kathy talks with first time guest Liz Sorenson, owner of Sheep & Shawl in South Deerfield, about the 5th annual I-91 Shop Hop coming up in June.

Ready, Set, Knit! episode 394 - Kathy talks with Liz Sorenson- listen now at blog.yarn.com

At her store Liz focuses on locally sourced yarns and rovings, as well as classes and consignment pieces. The Shop Hop runs June 25th -28th, get all the details here and get your Passport now, 12 shops on the I-91 corridor are waiting to see you! Like our Facebook page or join the All Things WEBS Ravelry group to see all the latest news.

Steve’s Yarn Picks of the week:

Reminder:

Next Saturday is the Meltdown! Family book and music festival! Bring the family for a great day at Smith Voc. High School.

You can join in the WEBS Mystery Blanket Knit-A-Long or Crochet-A-Long at anytime, grab the patterns that have already been released and join in the conversation on Ravelry.

Upcoming Events:

Classic Elite Yarns Trunk shows are ongoing and there’s always something new to see! Stop by the store to see what’s on display.

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