Posts Tagged ‘Berroco’

Ready, Set, Knit #227: Kathy Talks to Andra, our Berroco Rep

Saturday, July 16th, 2011
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Guest: Andra, our Berroco rep chats with Kathy about the new fall yarns and patterns.

Andra also chats about what’s she’s seen in area yarn shops she has traveled to. Lots of small projects for vacationers and a building into afghans and sweaters.

Steve’s Yarn Picks

Check out our YouTube channel for great new videos.

We also have a new review system on our website, so if you’ve purchased a yarn you enjoy, leave a review and let others know what it was like to knit with. You can also upload a picture of your finished project.

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Free Pattern Thursday – Vexillo Blanket from Berroco

Thursday, June 30th, 2011
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Hi Everyone,

As you’ve read on the blog, we’ve got a lot of babies happening around here, so we’re all on the lookout for projects. The Vexillo pattern from our friends at Berroco is a great blanket that is worked in Berroco Sox.

The strips are knit separately and then assembled, so this could be a great take along summer project! And, since it is just garter stitch, it’s great for nearly any skill level, and perfect for those days you just want to be doing something with your hands and not thinking too much. Berroco Sox has some great colors available (the one in the picture isn’t available, but there are 21 others to choose from!).

I love that this is knit with sock yarn! It gives you lots of options and creates a great weight of blanket – not too heavy! Check out the link to the pattern here.

Happy Knitting!

Free Pattern Thursday: Delicata Crocheted Cardigan from Berroco

Thursday, March 24th, 2011
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Hi Everyone,

Today’s free pattern is crocheted from Berroco – Delicata. I love the way they describe it on their site: “Delicata, a soft, lacy cover-up, and pull your summer sundresses out of storage a little ahead of schedule.”

We’ve had more snow recently and we’re all ready to drag out the spring and summer clothes. I keep looking at my favorite skirts and all the cute dresses that are starting to pop up places and dreaming of warmer days.

The great thing about this cardigan is that it’s versatile. It could easily be worn with a long sleeve shirt underneath, or a cute dress as suggested.

Delicata is crocheted with Berroco Vintage DK, which is a great, machine washable blend of acrylic, wool, and nylon. It comes in many great solid and heathered colors. I have used the worsted weight version, and look forward to using this DK weight version soon.

Happy Crocheting,



Free Pattern Thursday – Flickering Ruffle Scarf

Thursday, February 10th, 2011
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Hi Everyone,

As you’ve ready, Berroco’s new Flicker yarn is  a big hit here at WEBS and our free pattern this week features the yarn. The Flickering Ruffle Scarf was designed by our Berroco rep Andra Asars.

The generous ruffle is a great way to show off Flicker and the hints of sparkle in it. This yarn is also super soft and lofty, so the ruffle is great for cuddling into when the wind picks up.

It can be worn several ways too, so you have lots of options to keep yourself toasty.

Happy Knitting,


WIP – Flicker Scarf

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011
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Hi Everyone

Back at the beginning of January, I was having a mad love affair with Berroco’s new yarn Flicker.  Flicker is a blend of 87% Baby Alpaca/8% Acrylic/5% Other Fiber (the sparkle).  I was nervous about going to  TNNA and how my yarn ADD might take over and make me forget all about Flicker.  I was tempted, as you’ll see in the coming days – REALLY TEMPTED.  Yet I have stayed true to my Flicker, which pleases me to no end.

Flicker is super soft and because of the acrylic content and its construction, its lofty, light and has a wee bit of stretch or “memory” to it.  I knew I wanted to knit a simple scarf that would be squishy and cozy and warm.  I initially thought of a rib pattern but then took to my stitch pattern books for further inspiration.  I couldn’t shake the ribbing out of my head and finally decided to go with my gut.  I cast on for a 4×4 rib – big and chunky-ish – I knew it would fit my criteria for this project, even if it’s not the most inventive or challenging pattern.  I was so right!  Yay me!  Here’s my progress to date:

blog020111 140

I’ve got about 25″ knit and I’m nearly through my second ball.   The first ball got me 15″ so I’m figuring 4 for this project.  The yarn calls for a #9 needles but because (a) I’m a tight knitter and (b) I wanted as much squish and loft as I could get without having a sleazy fabric, I am up on a #10.5.  I have not question I could have gone to a #11.  Look at my loft and squish:

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I’m using my WEBS Interchangeable Needles and they are a dream with this yarn.  No snagging or anything and the stitches are sliding seamless over the joins.  This yarn is a dream to work with.  For the record, my width is about 6.5″ unblocked and relaxed.

I’m not as far along as I would like to be – story of my knitting & crocheting life isn’t it?  But I am staying true to the scarf until I get to the 45″ mark or 3 hanks knit.  Then as a reward I will allow myself to add another project into the mix.

Had I been smart, I would have opted to make something a bit less time consuming.  The lovely Andra designed the Grey  Quartz Cowl using only 2 skeins of Flicker.


(Photo courtesy of

She’s a faster knitter than I to boot.  Oh well, I am going to love my scarf and it’s all mine.  Of course, given the freezing cold, snowy weather we’re having, I am guaranteed an early spring if I get this project finished by March 1st :)

Next update at the 45″ mark!



Free Pattern Thursday

Thursday, October 7th, 2010
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Hi Everyone!

Today’s free pattern is from Berroco. Aidez is a fantastic, cozy cardigan.

Knit in Berroco Peruvia Quick, this project will fly, even with the addition of the cables. Peruvia quick is a bulky 100% Peruvian Highland wool that is soft and lofty.

I love the cable on the back and on the sleeves. I’m thinking about making Aidez for myself because it looks so cozy and I know that winter is just around the corner! I just have to decide which of the beautiful heathered colors is calling to me.

Happy Knitting!


Odds & Ends

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010
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Hi Everyone

Just a few things to share today.  This is been a crazy week at WEBS – both yarn and beads!

1.  I came across this great “yarn bombing” on

The photo was taken in Rome by Flickr user Start The Day.  It is just so cool and I love that it’s crochet!  No more tea cozies – it’s a car cozy!  This smart car looks adorable.  I don’t think my SUV would look nearly as darling and think about how much yarn I’d need!

2.  We recorded this week’s episode of Ready, Set, Knit and our guest is our lovely Berroco rep Andra.  She did a training session this morning for the staff.  The best part is getting to see many of the garments in person and to try them on.  While at the shop she picked buttons for a darling sweater she knit using Remix:

It’s on the cover of the dedicated Remix pattern book #303:

Andra owns her individuality with a fierceness I just love.  Here’s her “stamp” on this sweater:

I only wish my boys were small enough to wear it!  The buttons are from JHB for anyone who is interested.

3.  We’ve added a great selection of large-hole beads to the bead site.  These will fit perfectly on those cool bracelets that everyone is sporting these days and they are MUCH more affordable – only $6.99 each!  Be sure to check them out!



Berroco Event This Thursday

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010
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Hi Everyone

On Thursday evening from 6pm-8pm we will be hosting a fabulous event with our friends from Berroco!  Designer Cirilia Rose (and former WEBS associate) will be on hand, as will our fave rep Andra, to present the new Fall 2010 yarns and designs.  Come and learn about the gorgeous new yarns and see many of the new designs in person!

This is an informal event with the opportunity to ask lots of questions, try on garments and get the behind-the-scenes-scoop on how a yarn and garment collection come to life!

If you haven’t already registered for this FREE event, please do so on-line, by calling Customer Service or by stopping in the store.  You know how we feel about having enough food and chairs!


Q & A with Norah Gaughan

Monday, April 12th, 2010
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Hi Everyone

In my last blog post I was able to share with you my thoughts on the new book Comfort Knitting & Crochet Aghans.   Today I am thrilled to share with you a fun Q & A I had the pleasure of doing with the lovely Norah Gaughan, Design Director for Berroco and co-author of the book.

1.  What inspired you & the Design Team to create this book?

Honestly, the initial impetus was yarn stores telling us that an afghan book would sell for them and that Berroco Comfort was the perfect yarn for it.  Then, Margery and I started thinking about different houses and about how much fun it would be to dream up afghans to go in them.

2.  Berroco offers a vast assortment of beautiful yarns. Comfort is one of the more practical yarns in the line and it’s one of the most affordable, did that have any part in the decision to focus this book on one yarn rather than across other yarns in the line?

I think you’ve answered your own question! I can elaborate though. Some of our yarns are classics and will be sold for years and some have a fashion aspect to them that last only a year or two. We needed to use a yarn that would still be going strong after the two years it took to produce the book.  Ultra Alpaca or Peruvia would have fit that criterion too, but the versatility, machine washability and affordability of Comfort seemed very important.

3.  There are 51 afghan patterns in the book – that is a lot of design inspiration!  Was it hard to come up with all of the designs?  Were there designs that didn’t make the final cut?

To get our thoughts flowing Margery and I got to work looking at home decor magazines, printed fabrics, carpet and rug designs and traditional fabrics. We wanted designs that could be used in many settings, from modernist glass houses to bungalows. We made color 6-8 color palettes to focus our thoughts.  Once we got going it was fairly easy to come up with concepts for way more than 50 afghans. Then we, and the rest of the Berroco Design Team, got busy making the concepts into something real.  In the end I think we had 56 afghans. A few got cut because something went wrong in the knitting or crocheting and a few dropped out because they just didn’t fit in with the others. One ended up looking rather suggestive and while it would have been at home in an art museum, we felt it was best to leave it out of our collection.

4.  Did you know right from the start that you wanted to include crochet designs as well?

Early on in the planning we knew we wanted to have a book that would appeal equally to knitters and crocheters and be a bargain, even if you only knew one of those crafts.  Those who do both are getting a great bonanza with this book and years of entertainment!

5.  Although you and Margery worked together for a long time and you and the existing Berroco Design Team obviously have a great rapport was it at all diffcult working on a book in collaboration or was it similar to the process you go through putting Berroco’s pattern books together?

Margery and I have worked together on and off , in one capacity or another, since the mid eighties.  I consider her my mentor and to say we know each other very well is probably an understatement. Sure, it’s hard to work together. It’s hard to compromise to get a unified vision. With this book though we found it easy to share an over arching vision and then go off and do our own thing.  The book is much richer for it and much richer for the swatching and design decisions made by the rest of the team. Donna Yacino,and Brenda York were integral to making many the original concepts into real and beautiful objects. Every one who spent time in the office contributed.  Cirilia Rose got in on the end of the process but still contributed a beautiful baby blanket.

6.  What can you tell our readers about Comfort?  Some folks will look at the fiber content and never give it a second glance.  What about that yarn made it worthy of an entire book?

Comfort is the artificial yarn for those of us who prefer natural fibers. I admit to being a fiber snob.  My mom, and her mom before her, believed in using good fibers and they passed that on to me… and yet, I like to knit with Comfort. It’s spun like a fine merino yarn would be spun and the final appearance is quite similar. Let’s face it, there are times when practicality trumps philosophy. Even the most stubborn wool lover has a neice who won’t hand wash anything or a friend with a true wool allergy.  Not to mention, afghans are an armful to wash by hand!  Comfort is the perfect solution.

7.  Knit and crocheted afghans have been a staple forever.  I can remember working on Granny Square afghans while my mother knit classic ripple afghans.  What makes the afghan still relevant and interesting today?

We still like to keep warm. Aren’t we all trying to cut down on oil consumption and turning our thermostats down?  Plus, an afghan can change a dull room into a warm and inviting room.  That hasn’t changed over the years either.

8.  If I was to gift you one of the afghans out of this book, which one would you want?  Please do not consider my knitting or crocheting ability in your answer.

Calico Hill or Westchester Winter (trees are a big theme in my house right now – and outside too)

9.  What are you working on these days?

I’ve started several ultra Alpaca sweaters for myself.  One is a very cropped version of Avocet B made in several shades of dark plum used randomly. It will be perfect for winterizing a few of my sleeveless tops. I am also crocheting a bath mat in Weekend. I don’t crochet much (even though I learned it first), but some of the dull stoney colors of weekend are perfect for my bathroom and its fantastic to crochet.  Single crochet, round and round – so soothing.

Thanks Norah!


Book Review – Comfort Knitting & Crochet Afghans

Friday, April 9th, 2010
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It’s been awhile since I’ve reviewed a book here on the blog, but when our lovely friends at Berroco unleash a new publication it’s time to stop and take notice.

Comfort Knitting & Crochet Afghans – More Than 50 Beautiful, Affordable Desings Featuring Berroco’s Comfort Yarn by Norah Gaughan, Margery Winter & The Berroco Design Team has just been released.   As the title says, it is packed with more than 50 afghan patterns knit and crocheted using Berroco’s very price-conscious Comfort yarn.

For 150 or so pages, I was treated to project after project that simply tickled me.  I love that the book is a blend of knit and crochet AND that they are pretty equally represented (27 knit afghans and 24 crocheted afghans to be exact).  Crochet projects are often thrown in as a token gesture or after thought but the team creating this book, lead by Norah and Margery, did the crocheters proud.

With so many patterns to choose from, it was hard to select favorites.  In fact, it seemed my favorites kept changing each time I took another look.  I finally narrowed my picks down to 5:

Although Garter Stripes is “the ultimate in easy knitting” I make no apologies for loving it.  

It’s simplicity speaks to my own personal aesthetic of minimalism.  Since Berroco  Comfort features over 95 colors, the possibilities for customizing this blanket are endless.  There are three panels that are joined at the end to create an afghan 66″w x 60″ long.

Although the color selection doesn’t speak to me despite its ties to the history of this particular design, Crazy offers a very interesting construction using only single crochet and decreases at the beginning and end of rows.  

Inspired by crazy quilts of the 1880’s, the afghan is a series of 6 squares constructed by creating 4 individual triangles and joining upon completion.   Having said that, upon further inspection I now realize that the shapes that constitute the squares aren’t all exactly triangles but since my high school geometry is failing me at the moment, just cut me some slack.  (NOTE:  My very mathematically inclined Berroco rep, the lovely Andra, just returned my call and she was able to solve the mystery – of course, they are simply quadrangles.  I remembered trapezoids and parallelograms but not the simple quadrangle – thank you Andra).

Staying with crochet for the moment, we must take a look at Pinwheel:

Comprised of 140 squares, each is “composed of open-grid filet crochet, which is then embellished with a pinwheel of crocheted chain stitch”  There was no way I could have explained that any better so why try?  Once all of the squares are completed they are simply chain stitched together using a contrasting color.

Not overly difficult, but certainly time consuming, Pinwheel is a good travelling project.  Small and compact you don’t need to lug a lot around with you and you can alternate between creating a bunch of squares and then doing the embellishment and then back to squares to keep things interesting.

Nordic Holidayis bold and modern and it just intrigues me.  It was pointed out to me by my math consultant that it has vague resemblance to a lovely handwoven rug by Jason Collingwood that we have on display at the store.

Again – no intricate knitting is involved here but some smart design techniques result in a graphical wonder.  Love the red stair steps!  Directions are included for both a large blanket and smaller throw.

Herringbone is an afghan I would by in a store if I saw it.  It’s modern and classic all at the same time  – I can easily imagine it in the Calvin Klein bedding section of Bloomies.

I love this blanket.  It speaks to me and I want it.  What more is there to say?  It’s a great project for those of you who have been intimidated to try cables – the herringbone pattern is created using cables and twisted stitches.  The afghan is finished with a lovely 2-row crochet edging.

Now a few words about Comfort yarn.  Comfort comes in four weights – sock, dk, worsted and chunky.  It’s 50% super fine acrylic/50% super fine nylon.  Don’t go making faces or saying impolite things about Comfort.  It is a fine yarn – a might fine yarn at that.   This is not your typical acrylic yarn.  It’s soft and sophisticated and not at all icky.  The worsted and chunky retail for $5.75 per ball with 210 and 150 yards respectively.  DK is only $3.25 per ball with 178 yards while sockis $7.50 for 440 yards.  Comfort is machine washable and I would even hazard to say machine dryable – just be gentle!

I think overall the book is fabulous.   It is soft cover, lovely paper that are a joy to turn, gorgeous photography.  The page numbers are microscopic – I’m all for the “design elements” of a piece but it bugs me when it’s they are not functional.  The instructions from what I’ve gathered assume a certain level of basic knitting and crochet skill meaning not every last thing is spelled out.  I don’t find this problematic but it’s important to point out.  At $19.95 it’s a book you should seriously take a look or two at.

If you will be attending Stitches South in two weeks, you are in for a great treat in the WEBS booth!  The lovely Andra has been working overtime (as have her knitters/crocheters) to create large squares representing 16 of the designs in the book.  They will be on display at the show and I can probably arrange to have them in the store after that.

Finally, on Monday, we will have a VERY special Q&A post with Norah Gaughan herself.  I asked her a series of questions about the book and it’s creation.  I’m thrilled to have Norah share her thoughts with all of us!  Stay tuned for Monday!