January 20th, 2017

New Designs in Valley Yarns Colrain!

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Three talented designers have all worked with our Valley Yarns Colrain to bring your all new designs for January!

The Sabine Pullover from Ashwini Jambhekar, who also designed the Ascending Leaves Pullover, has faux princess seams created with a small slip-stitch cable to a truly flattering fit.

New designs in Valley Yarns Colrain, read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.comMelissa Metzbower, who also designed the Honeycomb Child’s Cardigan, designed the clever January Morning Cowl. Squishy, cozy braided strips join together at the back neck with a low-profile button.

New designs in Valley Yarns Colrain, read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.comFatimah Hinds, designer of the Blue Quartz Cowl, has created a subtle graphic statement with the Limestone Inclusion Shawl, which features a simple stripe of natural to transition from the main body to the lacy, mesh edge.

New designs in Valley Yarns Colrain, read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.comHave you worked with Valley Yarns Colrain before? What has been your favorite project?

January 16th, 2017

First Watch Pea Coat – Winner!

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Our thanks to everyone that commented and said such lovely things about Marie’s newest design. And we love all your color choices!

First Watch Giveaway Winner on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Our winner is Commenter # 242, Anne,  who said, “I think I would use the gold…bold and bright for these endless cloudy winter days. I have followed WEBS forever, catalogue and then on FB and online. I even had the pleasure of visiting the store a few years ago. Yay, WEBS!!” Anne will be getting a sweater’s worth of Berkshire in her chosen color and a copy of the First Watch pattern!

There are already so many great projects popping up on Ravelry, we can’t wait to see all of your versions of this sweater in all these amazing color choices! Our thanks go out to Marie for designing such a lovely sweater in Valley Yarns.

January 13th, 2017

Big, Bigger, Biggest

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I realized that my last two substantive projects (sweaters, that is) were both knit in teeny, tiny yarn. Usually I’m a fan of a gauge that is smallish, but it just takes too darn long. And my hands ache by the time I’m seaming.

I went back to an old fave, Rowan Big Wool. About 10 years ago, I knit a sweater in this yarn and I remembered that feeling of being able to finish not one, but two sleeves in an evening. It’s BIG. In a good way. Less than 2 stitches to 1 inch on size 17-19 needles. It’s like knitting with two broomsticks! But for a small project like a hat, a cowl, a scarf, even a vest, you’ll get that superhero feeling of making a garment in no time at all. Big Wool is 100% merino wool, tightly plied, so it’s not fuzzy. A generous 100-gram ball gives the knitter plenty of bang for not a lot of bucks. Even more enticing, when you buy 5 skeins of Big Wool, we’ll give you the Rowan Archive Collection Big Wool book FREE! Lots of great patterns that use this lovely stuff to its best advantage are in this treasure trove.

Rowan Big Wool and Amy's plans for a quick knit on the WEBS Blog, read more at blog.yarn.com

Because I love the feeling of being wrapped up in a blanket, I might make the Pioneer Cape, a really smart shoulder covering that will stay in place, unlike a shawl or a scarf. The color palette is muted but expansive, giving you just the range you’d like for a conspicuous yarn like this. Now go, knit like the wind!

January 11th, 2017

Valley Superwash stuns in Vogue Knitting!

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The Winter 2016/17 issue of Vogue Knitting is on newsstands now and we’re thrilled with the Stacked herringbone Sweater from Sandi Prosser!

Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Knit in two high contrast colors of our very own Valley Yarns Valley Superwash, this oversized, batwing-style sweater creates a bold, herringbone pattern for a pullover that would look equally at home with jeans and boots, or  a black mini and stilettos.

I can’t wait to see it in other color combinations! Which colors would you choose?

January 9th, 2017

First Watch Pea Coat – new design and a giveaway!

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Marie Greene, from Olive Knits has just released a new design knit in our Valley Yarns Berkshire. Her First Watch Pea Coat is a lovely modern take on the classic pea coat, with subtle, crisp details that make this sweater a classic piece that you will wear for years. We asked Marie to share the story of this design.

First Watch Pea Coat from Olive Knits, read about the design journey of this knit, and enter to win the yarn and pattern on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Design Insights:

For me, knitwear design usually always begins with a structure or a place – a bridge, a coastline, an outdoor marketplace. I am always open to inspiration in unexpected places, and more often than not it’s the littlest things that kick off an idea.

My philosophy is simple: I want my designs to be timeless and wearable, but equally important – I want them to be portable. I’m a knitter on the go, and I design with this in mind. I knit during meetings, at the beach, when I travel, when I’m visiting friends – I am never without a project. Some projects travel well and some don’t, but I find that the more portable a project is, the easier it is to finish. (And the sooner I finish, the sooner I can wear it, right?)

First Watch was inspired by my home near the Oregon Coast – a place where the ocean breezes can cut right through several layers (even when you think you’ve bundled up enough).  I’ve always loved the minimal style of a pea coat; it’s a perfect example of form and function, and this one – knit with Valley Yarns Berkshire at a relatively dense gauge makes for a toasty fabric that holds its own on a cold day. The yarn blocks beautifully and provides clear stitch definition for ribbing and details. The result is a sturdy, totally wearable piece that you’ll find yourself reaching for again and again throughout the cold season. Best of all, it’s a quick, seamless knit with the button band worked right along as you go.

Designed for sizes 32-52 with a little ease for layering, First Watch is a versatile piece that you’ll love so much you’ll wear it every time the temperature drops.

First Watch Pea Coat from Olive Knits, read about the design journey of this knit, and enter to win the yarn and pattern on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

 

I have to agree with Marie, I love it, and  I just have to decide what color of Berkshire I’m going to use. For more info on Marie or her Olive Knits designs please follow her on Ravelry or Instagram.

THANKS TO EVERYONE THAT PARTICIPATED! This Giveaway is now closed.

Now for the Giveaway! Tell us what color of Berkshire you’d like to use and where you heard/saw about this giveaway in the comments and you’ll be entered to win a copy of the pattern and a full sweater quantity of Berkshire to knit your own First Watch! The giveaway is open to residents of the US and Canada, and closes at 11:59pm EST Sunday, January 15th.

Please use a valid email address when creating your comment account, anonymous comments prevent us from contacting you if you are the winner. The winner will be chosen using a random number generator,  the comment with that number will be the winner.  If the winner has not responded to requests after 1 week a new winner will be chosen using the same method.

(No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. Only comments on this blog post count as an entry. Entries must include a preferred color of Valley Yarns Berkshire and the platform where the entrant learned about the giveaway. The winner will be announced here on the WEBS Blog on Monday, January 16th.)

January 7th, 2017

Ready, Set, Knit! 472: Kathy talks with Alasdair Post Quinn

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This week Kathy talks with Alasdair Post-Quinn about his newest book, Double or Nothing.

Ready, Set, Knit! episode #472 - Kathy talks with Alasdair Post-Quinn. Listen now on the WEBS Blog - blog.yarn.com

Alasdair explains why knitters shouldn’t be intimidated by double knitting, it’s no more difficult to do than 1×1 ribbing! If you’re still nervous you have the chance to come take a class with him at WEBS in April! Intro to Double Knitting section 1 or section 2, Knitting Off the Grid or Multi-Color Double Knitting.

And don’t forget to enter for your  chance to win a VIP trip to STITCHES United in Hartford in the Fall. Enter here through January 10th.

Steve’s Yarn Picks of the week:

Reminder:

Winter Classes are live! Sign up today.

Upcoming Events

Red Cross Blood Drive at the store this Thursday, January 12th!

STITCHES West is coming February 23-26, 2017!

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

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

January 6th, 2017

Anouk Cowl, a new design in 2/10 Merino Tencel

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The beginning of the new year is a great time to start a new project, maybe something just for yourself! The Anouk Cowl, designed by the incredible Dora Ohrenstein, is a unique combination of stitches and technique that results in a easy accessory with gorgeous texture.

The Anouk Cowl designed by Dora Ohrenstein for Valley Yarns in 2/10 Merino Tencel. Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Crocheted with our 2/10 Merino Tencel, this cowl has incredible drape and a shine that peeks out from behind the soft merino haze.  Get your hooks out and crochet this beauty for yourself now!

January 5th, 2017

STITCHES United – you could win!

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Our friends at STITCHES are running an amazing contest for the STITCHES United show. You and a friend could win a total VIP experience! Click here or below to enter The Ultimate STITCHES United 2017 VIP Giveaway.
STITCHES United VIP Experience Giveaway
What will the winner receive?

And if that weren’t enough… the winner will get to select a friend or family member to receive the same package! You have until January 10, 2017 at 11:59 p.m. (central time)to enter. On January 11, 2017 the winner will be announced.

And the hidden bonus? Everyone who enters will receive a coupon for 50% off admission to the STITCHES United 2017 Market, you Can’t Win If You Don’t Enter!

January 4th, 2017

Time to Learn

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My grandmother was a weaver and though I didn’t spend much time around her, I wanted to learn to weave and carry on the family tradition from a young age. I was quite nomadic after college and my first adult forays into the fiber world were in knitting and crochet because their portable nature satisfied my need to create with yarn.  I spent years playing and learning other creative techniques (felting, beading, embroidery and more) and at some point decided that I didn’t want to be “jack of all trades, master of none” so I focused on knitting as both creative outlet and career choice.

The longing to weave persisted, but I was afraid of spreading myself too thin so I decided I would take up weaving when I had at least 3 – 4 months to immerse myself in learning. It might mean that it would be later in life, but I wanted to give myself (and the craft) a chunk of time to thoroughly work through the beginner phase. Fortunately my mother stepped in to teach me again. My mom was my first mentor and inspiration in the world of making things. She was an excellent seamstress and knitter and taught me both at a young age (the knitting didn’t stick at the time, but was still in my hands when I came back to it after college). She, too, had always wanted to weave like her mother and had put it off to retirement. The time came and she took a class (at WEBS!) and my dad bought her a loom and she was on her way. The problem was, she was in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease and her brain couldn’t remember what she learned. She wove a few small samplers but had to give it up.

I weave on my mom’s loom now because I realized I couldn’t wait for the ‘perfect’ time to learn. I started working at WEBS a few years after my mom passed on and when the opportunity came to take a weaving class I jumped at it even though I didn’t have the luxury of making it the sole focus of my life. Sitting at the loom felt like coming home to me and I have become almost evangelical in urging people to follow their creative dreams.

LA shares her love of weaving and tells her weaving story on the WEBS Blog, blog.yarn.com

I have found many ways to continue my weaving and spinning education, starting with classes here at WEBS. We are lucky to have great teachers close by who instruct a wide range of basic and advanced classes, not to mention the many nationally-known guest teachers who present workshops in our store. Our Winter/Spring schedule is out, be sure to check out the offerings and sign up online or in the store.

Many of us also have access to local guilds that feature speakers and classes. I try to take advantage of these opportunities because they allow me to learn new techniques. Even if I decide not to pursue those ideas, I learn so much from being around other weavers, watching how they work with the tools, being inspired by what they create. Bonus for me is that I also learn more about how to teach!

Another wonderful place to expand your horizons is at a regional conference like NEWS, the New England Weavers’ Seminar which will happen July 13 – 16, 2017 in Northampton. These conferences generally have a slate of classes in addition to gallery shows and exhibits. Look for one in your area, there are dozens spread around the country and well worth attending. Besides, there is nothing so satisfying as hanging out with the folks that speak your language and understand your passion!

I see another year of learning in 2017, I have signed up for a workshop in tablet weaving and another in shadow weave. I may add a rep weave class if I’m feeling really adventurous. What will you learn in the coming year?

January 3rd, 2017

Last Chance at Incredible Savings!

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Our annual Year End Blowout Sale is almost over and tomorrow is your last chance to save on over 100 yarns, needles and more! Incredibly, the sale has been extended for two extra days and of course the yarn has taken this opportunity to tell me more things I should be making with it!

I’m still trying to focus on making some additions to my summer wardrobe so I’m looking at Noro Kibou and the Midori Pullover. That’s some fairly mindless knitting right there with gorgeous results! Just two rectangles, knit on the bias, that take advantage of the magical striping thing that Noro yarns do, and the Kibou is a mostly cotton and silk blend that makes it a wonderful summer yarn. I’ve got a mini vacation coming up in February with a couple long train rides and this may just become my travel project for that trip!

100+ yarns, needles and more in the extended WEBS 2016 Year End Blowout Sale, now through January 4th, 2017! Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

And now that I’m thinking about garments I’m also thinking about how happy a good cardigan makes me and the Super Fine Merino Aran from Rowan would wonderful to work with, especially in that chestnut color. Maybe I could pair it with a stripe in the Teak or Smoke colorway for the Sawtelle Cardigan, lots of squishy, easy garter stitch! I love a versatile cardigan and I can see myself tossing this on with a pair of dress pants and an oxford or jeans and a t-shirt.

100+ yarns, needles and more in the extended WEBS 2016 Year End Blowout Sale, now through January 4th, 2017! Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

But now I’m thinking that I also want a quick and easy, instant gratification project for myself, especially considering all the projects I just finished up for everyone else over the holidays, and how many I’ve planned already for this year. So, I’m going to pick up a couple skeins of Icicle Chunky and knit up a bright, white, wintery and quick cowl to wear on that trip I’m taking next month! This isn’t a yarn that would normally call my name but it is unbelievably soft and will certainly keep out the chill winter wind. Good thing the Colonial dpns are on sale, I don’t have anything in my stash big enough to knit this one!

100+ yarns, needles and more in the extended WEBS 2016 Year End Blowout Sale, now through January 4th, 2017! Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

What projects have you planned for your Sale purchases?