August 10th, 2016

Expanding Horizons

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Like many weavers, I have my favorite structures that I love to work with. At the same time I love to explore and try new ideas. Sometimes this involves an immersion in the new technique, with lots of reading and maybe yards of gamps and design work to understand it in detail. Other times I want to glean the basics about a structure and weave some projects without having to create my own designs. It’s a great way to see if I want to go further/deeper with that technique, or put to rest a fascination that turns out to be less-than-thrilling in reality.

LA shares her love of resource materials for new techniques and new knowledge on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

My favorite resource for such explorations is the periodical Weaver’s Craft, published by Jean Scorgie, former editor of Handwoven magazine and longtime weaving teacher. Each issue features a weave structure and presents a solid explanation of the concepts and interlacement of threads as well as 3 – 4 drafts for projects to put the information into practice. The articles are clear and thorough and all the drafts are for 4-shaft looms. She also includes sidebars and articles about basic weaving topics – threading heddles, reading drafts, finishing details.

The most recent issue of Weaver’s Craft, #31, focuses on Warp Rep and contains many tips for weaving and designing with this structure. The drafts range from rug mugs and rep runners to a great tote bag with clever handles. One of my favorite issues is #21, Double Weave Pick-Up. She shows 2 different ways to work the pick up, with troubleshooting tips and great step-by-step photos. I love doing small projects to try new ideas and this issue has a series of rug mugs to weave with graphed designs to use plus info on how to graph your own designs. I’m looking forward to weaving a few sets of these.

Where do you turn when you want to learn something new?

August 8th, 2016

July pattern wrap up

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We released 3 beautiful shawls and a bold, modern cowl this past month!

july patterns

 

The Poet’s Corner Shawl with it’s rich deep purple and delicately ruffled edge, the Crisanta Shawl with it’s gentle crescent shape and botanical lace border, and the Anthemis Cowl with it’s bright, gradient stripes, all knit in our ethereal Valley Yarns Hatfield. And the Shenandoah Valley Shawl, a stunning rectangular wrap with geometric cable and lace in one of our favorites, Valley Yarns 2/14 Alpaca Silk.

august preview

In August we’re gearing up for all new designs from our Fall 2016 catalog and two new patterns just for our Valley Yarns Northfield. Fall knitting is right around the corners and we’re ready!

August 6th, 2016

Ready, Set, Knit! 454: Amy talks with Jillian Moreno

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This week WEBS Education Manager, Amy Greeman, is in the studio to talk to Jillian Moreno about her new book, Yarnitecture – a Knitter’s Guide to Spinning, available August 23rd.

Ready, Set, Knit! episode #454 - Amy talks with Jillian Moreno. Listen now on the WEBS Blog - blog.yarn.com

Amy and Jillian talk about the process of spinning for a specific project, and how the book came together.

Steve’s Yarn Picks of the week:

Upcoming Events:

WEBS is at Convergence in Milwaukee, WI this weekend! Come by and say hello!

WEBS is also at Stitches Midwest this weekend! We’re at the Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel & Convention Center in Schaumburg, IL through Sunday!

It’s not too early to book your seat on the bus to Rhinebeck!

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

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

August 5th, 2016

Embellish That Stuff!

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I learned a new craft this weekend–well really, I learned about three crafts this weekend: making block prints, printing on fabric, and embellishing the prints with embroidery. What really stuck with me was learning to embroider, and I think that if you can knit or crochet, you can embroider. The stitches are so intriguing, and easy to do. You use yarn, or crewel wool which is basically yarn. And there are NO RULES so you don’t have to worry about breaking any.

Amy's suggestions for adding embroidery to your knits, on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

It’s intoxicating, I tell you. Kristin Nicholas, who led our weekend retreat, is a local treasure and frankly, a national fiber and color cheerleader. She challenged us to experiment with color, and highlight the prints we made by outlining, filling in blank spaces with interesting stitches, and making negative space pop by using color as an accent.

Embroidering on knitted or crocheted projects is for the color-obsessed among us who can’t leave well enough alone. It’s so fun and makes a ho-hum accessory or garment super-special. Check out these adorable mittens designed by Kristin and imagine the possibilities. Or these cuties.  How about jazzing up your phone holder?

The book that got it all started is her Colorful Stitchery. It has all kinds of ideas for using embroidery on fabric, knitted accessories and garments, and tons of how-to instruction.

Experiment with gilding the lily and make your knits colorful and exciting. Tell us in the comments below what you end up with!

August 4th, 2016

Altering a Hand Knit Garment

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Many of you know Marthe – one of our store team members.  Last summer, she decided to knit a sweater as a gift for her daughter, Lilah.  Standing nearly 6 feet tall, Lilah can never find garments, particularly sweaters, that account for her height and long arms, so Marthe took up the challenge to knit a sweater that fit her daughter’s shape.  Marthe chose to knit a cardigan in Sweet Georgia Superwash DK in the Cranberry colorway.  After lots of knitting to accommodate the 29 year old’s frame, Lilah’s beautiful sweater was shipped off to her. She was thrilled but found the upper arms to be a bit too loose which made her feel frumpy (photo).  There was too much ease in the upper arms. She asked her mother if anything could be done without reworking the sweater altogether.

Marthe altered her daughter's Custom Fit sweater, details on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Marthe’s solution was a three-step process. She began by removing the mattress stitched seam from the forearm to the armpit,  folding over the excess fabric, and pinning it to create a new line for seaming.  She then re-seamed the sleeve to the more accurate dimension, along the folded edge, using mattress stitch.  Finally, Marthe used her serger to remove the excess fabric and secure the yarn ends. She did say, however, that a serger is not essential. The same result may be achieved by using a sewing machine to straight stitch, and then trimming the excess knitted material – just like doing a steek.

The alteration was successful!  Lilah was thrilled and immediately asked her mother for another handknit sweater. Her next request?  Could Marthe knit the sleeves a half inch shorter next time!

August 3rd, 2016

The Anthemis Cowl

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We have one more fantastic new pattern in our sumptuous Hatfield yarn for you. The Anthemis Cowl, designed by Tian Connaughton, is soft as a cloud and light as air!

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

Knit in the round from the bottom up, in an easy to memorize arrow lace pattern, the Anthemis Cowl gets extra oomph from a gradient of colors. Use the soft, greyish blues show in the sample or go bold with reds and oranges, frosty with pale purples, or perfectly neutral with greys or beautifully heathered browns.

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

With more than 2 dozen colors to choose from there’s no reason to pass up the chance to get Hatfield on your needles. With a quick and easy project like this you’re sure to have the knitting done before the cooler weather settles in, and this way you’ll be prepared for it with a striking accessory that keeps you warm while staying stylishly on trend.

August 2nd, 2016

Choose Your Own Adventure – Hat KAL: Week 5

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Your hats are almost done! Let’s add those finishing touches that really pull it together. First you’ll want to weave in your ends.

Will you add any additional surface work before you block? Duplicate Stitch or Embroidery? Here’s a quick tutorial for duplicate stitch, which is a great way to add an extra little pop of color!

Now it’s time to block your hat to settle all those stitches. Remember how you blocked your swatch, that’s how you’ll block the hat! If you don’t have a hat form to block your hat with you can use a bowl propped over a vase or tall glass.

Add a pom pom or tassel or braids! We had some fun making pom pom!

For those of you that asked, here’s how we made our CYOA Hats!

Wrapping up the Choose Your Own Adventure Hat KAL on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

I knit my first hat with my favorite Valley Yarn, Northfield, in the Wine colorway. I used the cable pattern and cable decreases,and added a 1 1/2″ pom pom.

Wrapping up the Choose Your Own Adventure Hat KAL on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Beth also used the cable pattern, but changed the smaller side cables by only repeating the first cable crosses, and broke it up with panels of moss stitch, in the Forest color of our Valley Superwash DK. She also used a twisted ribbing at the brim by knitting her knit stitches through the back loop.

Wrapping up the Choose Your Own Adventure Hat KAL on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

I wanted my second hat to be simpler so I opted for seed stitch with a garter stitch border and the 4 corners decreases. And I knit it all in the rich Red Wine Heather color of Colrain.

Wrapping up the Choose Your Own Adventure Hat KAL on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Mary chose the Fair Isle pattern for her hat and opted for 3 colors in Valley Yarns Goshen, Navy, Linen and Persimmon. Using the 2-color ast on really ties it all together!

Wrapping up the Choose Your Own Adventure Hat KAL on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Dena also used the Fair Isle pattern but chose two colors, Silver and Eggplant, of Brimfield. She also chose to knit a short i-cord at the top of the hat arther than cinching the top closed right away, this gives the hat a whimsical little stem!

Wrapping up the Choose Your Own Adventure Hat KAL on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

For my last hat I just wanted to have some fun! I used Stockbridge in Blue Mist, Grey and Gold, in stripes where each color was a different stitch. If you love Stockbridge you should stock up now since it’s discontinued!

Be sure to post your pics to Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and tag it with #chooseyourownadventure #WEBSKAL #Myhatadventure We’d love to see your finished hats!

July 30th, 2016

Ready, Set, Knit! 453: Kathy talks with Benjamin Levisay

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This week Kathy talks with Benjamin Levisay about the upcoming STITCHES Midwest. They chat about the importance of crochet, even for knitters, all of the amazing classes and events taking place that weekend as well as the great vendors on the show floor. Don’t forget to grab your 50% off admission coupon now!

Ready, Set, Knit! episode #453 - Kathy talks with Benjamin Levisay and Alasdair Post Quinn. Listen now on the WEBS Blog - blog.yarn.com

 

Kathy also talks with Alasdair Post Quinn about his upcoming book, Double or Nothing – reversible knitting for the adventurous. You can catch previews of the patterns and pre-order your copy on his blog! You can check out his first book, Extreme Double Knitting, now!

Kathy’s Yarn Picks of the week:

Upcoming Events:

WEBS will be at Convergence in Milwaukee, WI next week! August 2-6.

WEBS is also at STITCHES Midwest August 5-7, in Schaumburg, IL

It’s not too early to book your seat on the bus to Rhinebeck!

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

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

July 29th, 2016

Kits = Best Thing Ever

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Kits seems to be the New Thing. I think that I’ve never seen so many kits in the store as I did on a recent meander through the yarns. I hasten to add that I think kits are a fabulous thing, because you have every single thing you need to knit or crochet (or weave!) a project with no need to make any kind of decision whatsoever, other than what color palette you most enjoy. There are so many different project kits I’m just dying to use that I thought I’d let you in on some of my favorites.

Project and specialty yarn kits available at yarn.com Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

The Fair Isle Box of Itty-Bitties captured my heart. If you’ve ever done Fair Isle knitting you know that you use about a yard of each color and it makes no financial sense to buy 10 different skeins of yarn and use a quarter of each to make a hat. This beautiful box of teensy skeins of sport weight yarn in 8 colors will turn into a beautiful Fair Isle hat in your talented hands. Three different colorways give lots of options.

More options await you in the Wonderland Yarns “Mad Hatter” kits. Included in each kit is a large skein (344 yards) and 5 smaller skeins (86 yards each) for a total of 774 yards of lovely sport weight yarn. That’s plenty to make the “Which Way” shawl that is free with the purchase of one of the 6 color options.

Artyarns has also conspired to seduce fiberlovers with Gradient Kits. These are colors in the same family that range from light to dark, perfect for shawls and scarves in ombre or gradient designs. WEBS carries several different color palettes including 3 that are exclusive to our customers. And Merino Cloud yarns are deeeee-lightful, a merino/cashmere blend that is twisted for beautiful stitch definition.

There are plenty more to drool over–Zen Yarn Gardens Cordoba Shawl kit, using Superfine Fingering yarn in their signature intense colors, Lorna’s Laces String Quintet kits in Shepherd Sock, Baah Yarns “Wings” cowl kit in Baah Yarns’ La Jolla, pattern included in the kit. I think you’ll have a hard time deciding to make just one project. Tell us what kits you love the most in the comments!

July 28th, 2016

Thank You!

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Once again the residents of the Pioneer Valley have voted in the Daily Hampshire Gazette‘s annual Reader’s Poll and have chosen WEBS as their favorite yarn store!

WEBS is in first place for 2016 in the Daily Hampshire Gazette's annual Reader's Poll. Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

A huge thank you to all our customers that voted. We wouldn’t be able to keep doing what we do without you!