Posts Tagged ‘crochet’

Tuesday’s Crochet Tip – Creating a Neater and More Elastic Edge

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013
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It’s National Crochet Month! We’re celebrating by sharing some handy crochet tips to help refine your crochet skills or get you started. This week, we’re putting a new spin on your foundation chain.

Starting your crochet project is probably almost everyone’s least favorite part. Chaining all those stitches, then fiddling your hook into that starting chain can be tedious and time consuming. For me, it never ends up looking quite right either.

Most of us were taught to start your first row by crocheting into the front of your starting chain. Instead, try inserting your hook into the bump on the back of your chain. Surprisingly, this actually creates a much neater and smoother edge.

This technique also creates a much more elastic edge and will even mirror your final row perfectly. Since crocheting into that back bump creates a mirror stitch to your last row, it makes seaming and adding a crocheting edging much easier!


The Buzz at WEBS – February 8, 2013

Friday, February 8th, 2013
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The Buzz at WEBS

This week, the staff at WEBS is buzzing about gifts! Amy designed the Love Monsters, a perfect Valentine’s Day knit; while Lise and Mary have been busy knitting for babies!

Every February I am inspired to knit in pinks and reds to counteract the gray gloom of New England winters. Luckily, Valentine’s Day gives me the perfect opportunity! This year I couldn’t find anything that was inspiring me so I decided to make something myself. These Love Monsters were the result. By the time I got the pattern worked out I had my whole family represented. I used some yarns from my stash, Cascade 220 and Valley Yarns Berkshire and Berkshire Bulky, but they have been so popular around my house that I had to stock up on the Berkshire yarns again. They don’t take long to knit, so I’m going to whip a couple more up for Valentine’s gifts. You can find the pattern for the Love Monsters here on Ravelry. > Amy S.

My cousin is expecting a baby in March and I wanted a blanket that would be cozy for our new family member and fun for me to knit. The Cuddly Monster Blanket from Rebecca Danger’s Knit a Monster Nursery fit the bill. It is an adorable project and it was a fun knit. I used Spud & Chloë Sweater, which isn’t the least expensive yarn, but I have used it for baby blankets before and I love the way it feels and washes (it’s already gone through the washer and dryer and looks great). It’s so soft and squishy if I could keep it for myself I would! > Mary K.

I’m finally getting back to a WIP that was started over a year ago, my Plymouth Encore granny square blanket. It’s really fun to mix and match the colors as I go, I’m trying to come up with a unique combination each time. I have started to join some of the squares using the brown heather, it’s creating an interesting stained-glass effect. Also, when I’m switching and binding off so many colors, it’s great to have scissors handy. My favorites are the Slip and Snip folding scissors, which are really convenient to use when going back and forth  between skeins. > Deb S.
(Left) Having missed the births of my friend’s first two children, I thought it would not be fair to make the last two blankets. When I saw this free Fiber Company Alfalfa Hat pattern I could not resist making it. The first one I made for my grandson Luke, looked great on him so I decided to make them all matching hats. Three of the hats were made with Cascade Yarns Ecological Wool and the smallest one with a wool from my stash. I followed the pattern exactly for each size and only changed the yarn and needle size to make the size adjustments. This is stash busting year for me and I am on prayer shawl and 5 hats down! > Lise G.
(Right) My Dad requested a a special cashmere scarf for Christmas, and I couldn’t wait to knit it. I had never had the chance to knit with fine cashmere before, and now I’m spoiled. I don’t ever want to go back to knitting with rough wool again. I used Jade Sapphire Mongolian Cashmere 4-ply . I tried out a lot of different patterns to use for the scarf, but everything I tried took away from the softness of the cashmere. The best way to show off just how soft this fiber is, was to use plain stockinette stitch. It’s my dad’s favorite scarf, and it looks wonderful with his black winter coat. If you’ve never treated yourself to knitting with cashmere, you should try it at least once! > Grace H.

A Heartfelt Valentine

Monday, February 4th, 2013
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Knitting and Crochet are a huge part of our lives here at WEBS and this year we wanted to bring them together for a quick Valentine’s Day project that is accessible to everyone from the most advanced to newest beginners. Valley Yarns Pattern #526 Heartfelt Coasters.

With just 3 skeins of our Valley Yarns Northampton Sport you can make 6 coasters with enough yardage left over for quite a bit of embellishment.  Here you can see Kirsten’s mug on her basic coaster and mine on my fancy one. Kirsten knit hers and I crocheted mine, then we swapped hearts, so each of our coasters contains knit and crochet! All it takes is two simple squares, knit or crocheted, that have been felted. Cut out a heart shape from the center and swap the hearts, then sew them back into place in their new home.

For the sewing you’ll need an embroidery needle with an eye big enough to accommodate the yarn and a tip sharp enough to pierce your felted square, as well as the third color of Northampton Sport. Here I have a square in natural and a heart in burgundy, so I’m using the merlot heather to sew everything together.  And don’t worry if your heart doesn’t fit exactly into the cut out space, your stitches should pull everything together nicely. If you’re feeling fancy you can do a blanket stitch around the edge and then add a decorative crochet border.

Swap hearts with a friend or get your knitting group/circle to swap hearts.

Ready, Set, Knit! 298: Kathy talks with Kristin Omdahl

Saturday, February 2nd, 2013
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Guest: Kathy and Kristin talk about The Finer Edge: Crocheted Trims, Motifs & Borders, Kristin’s newest book.

The book began as a seasons worth of project ideas for Knitting Daily TV and there was so much to work with that it made sense to turn it into a great reference book for edgings and borders.

The book is divided into sections for edgings worked from the top down, the bottom up and side-to-side. There is also a pattern section featuring garments and accessories where the fabric is actually constructed from edgings!

Kathy loves the Luxor Blanket and the Palmira Shawl crochet in our own 2/14 Alpaca Silk.

Finer Edge Giveaway!

Leave a comment on our post as well as on Kristin’s Blog to win a signed copy of The Finer Edge as well as a Prize pack containing the yarn and hook to make the Palmira shawl, a bottle of Eucalan in Kristin’s Wrapture scent and a $25.00 WEBS Gift Card. Comments are open through Thursday, Feb. 7th and the winner will be announced here on Saturday Feb 9th.

Steve’s Yarn Picks

Reminder: Pre-Game Sunday Escape, tomorrow, Feb 3rd from noon-4:00PM

Upcoming Events: 

February 15-18 Debbie Stoller will be at the Rowe Conference Center for a weekend long workshop: Raging Wool

Monday February 18th Debbie Stoller will be at WEBS from 3-5pm! She’ll be teaching a one hour lace workshop and then signing books. The class is free but Registration is required.

Two weeks from today, on Feb 16th, we will air Show #300! To celebrate we will be giving away three $300 gift cards. You must be on the e-mail list to participate, join here. We will be e-mailing a short survey, this Tuesday –  February 5th,  and filling it out will enter you in the contest. The winners will be announced on the 300th episode.

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

The Finer Edge Giveaway

Saturday, February 2nd, 2013
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 We’re pairing up with one of our favorite designers, Kristin Omdahl, to give away a signed copy of her newest book, The Finer Edge!

We’ll also be giving away a bottle of her Wrapture scent from Eucalan, a cone of our 2/14 Alpaca Silk (to make the Palmira Shawl featured in the book), a Knitter’s Pride Dreamz Crochet hook: US size E/4/3.50mm, and a $25 Gift Certificate to WEBS.

Just leave a comment here and on Kristin’s Blog letting us know why you’d like a copy of the book. All comments must be posted by 11:59PM  EST on Thursday, February 7th to be entered to win. We’ll announce the winner on the blog on Saturday Feb 9th.

Ready, Set, Knit! 294: Kathy talks with Carol Sulcoski

Saturday, December 29th, 2012
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Guest:
It’s time for Kathy and Carol’s Annual Year in Review! Kathy is excited about the resurgence of crochet with the special Vogue Knitting Crochet issue earlier this year and the new Crochet Noro book; just two great examples of crochet coming into it’s own.

They also discuss a few yarn companies that closed their doors this year, the fashion yarn trend still going strong, trade shows and fairs, great books, the shift to digital patterns, social media marketing and more.

Steve’s Yarn Picks

Reminder:

WEBS Annual Year End Blowout Sale is happening In-Store through December 31st and online through January 1st.

WEBS will be closing early, at 4:00PM, on 12/31 and will be closed 1/1 for the New Years holiday.

Upcoming Events:

Drop in starts up again on Tuesday, January 8th at 10:00am.

Classic Elite Yarns Shawls, Wraps and Scarves book launch on January 24th, register now.

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

Holiday Project: Quick Projects

Monday, December 10th, 2012
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I realized this weekend that there aren’t many crafting days left to get all the gifts finished that I want to make. Are you in the same boat? We’ve got a few Valley Yarns patterns that are great for last-minute knitting and crocheting.

If you’re thinking about crocheting something that will give the wearer a great pop of color, 508 Kassar Cowl is a perfect option. This soft and stunning cowl is crocheted in lace hexagons and triangles that glow in contrasting hand-dyed colors of Valley Yarns BFL Fingering Hand Dyed by the Kangaroo Dyer. The yarn is just stunning on its own, and it looks fantastic crocheted.

Want to keep your gift recipient’s hands toasty? 483 Wavy Gravy Mittens knit in Valley Yarns Northampton Bulky are super quick and will fly off your needles. Adorned with an easy geometric pattern, these colorwork mittens feature a thumb gusset for comfort.

Think you’re too late to knit that special stocking for someone? Knit in Valley Yarns Berkshire Bulky, 283 Spotted Christmas Stocking is a speedy project that you’ll have cast-on and bound-off in no time. This holiday stocking is perfect for hanging by the fireplace or used to hold a gift.  Use the festive colors shown, choose your favorites, or coordinate with your holiday décor. It is a free download on our site! Check out our Buzz post that includes this project.

Know someone who could use a new hat? The free pattern 483 Chrysanthemum Hat is a quick one that is great for men or women. It’s a super simple, bright and stretchy beanie knit in the round from the brim up with a ribbed welt stitch pattern. Knit in Valley Yarns Buckland, this hat is warm, cozy, and a bit luxurious.

How is your list shaping up? Do you have a pile of completed projects wrapped and ready to go?

 

Valley Yarns in Interweave Crochet Accessories!

Sunday, December 2nd, 2012
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We’re very happy to share the 2012 Accessories issue of Interweave Crochet. One of our Valley Yarns was used in the cover design!

You can see all of the projects from this issue at Crochetme.com

Karen Ratto-Whooley designed a two-color, self-fringeing scarf worked in back loop single crochet using our Valley Yarns Deerfield. The Elvis 1973 Scarf has the appearance of traditional Fair Isle knitting.

If you’re still looking for some great last minute gifts to make this issue is packed with wonderful cowls, scarves, hats and more.

Are you working on any of the projects from this issue?

Holiday Project Ideas: Pretty quick projects

Thursday, November 29th, 2012
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There’s still plenty of time knit or crochet a few fantastic items for those special people in your life.

Valley Yarns Pattern #503 Hearts of Oak Stocking knit in Valley Yarns Northampton would not only make a great gift for a new baby or a newly married couple but 5% of the proceeds from the pattern sales benefit the Stitch Red campaign.

 

The traditional Fair Isle motifs and colors of the  Valley Yarns Pattern #504 Holly and Ivy Tam knit in Valley Yarns Northampton Sport really evoke the winter holidays.

 

The skillfully curved armholes and neckline of Valley Yarns Pattern #507 Linda’s Vest crocheted in Valley Yarns Northampton Sport, as well as the ribbed trim give this simple granny stitch vest an edge of style and sophistication.

 

With a classic knitted on edge and textured eyelet stitch pattern throughout Valley Yarns Pattern #487 Dappled Shawlette knit in Valley Yarns Charlemont Hand Dyed is the perfect showpiece for gorgeous hand-dyed yarns.

 

We love that Valley Yarns Pattern #363 Pincushion Moss Shawl crocheted in Valley Yarns Southwick is an easy, lacy shawl that grows from the neck down letting you crochet to the size you desire.

 

Valley Yarns Pattern #286 Shale Pleated Scarf  has a great architectural stitch pattern that makes it perfect for men or women and when knit in Valley Yarns Berkshire it’s like being wrapped in a hug each time they wear it.

What projects are you excited to be working on this week?

Cozy Gifts – Two Free Patterns

Friday, November 16th, 2012
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Just in time for some last-minute holiday knitting or crocheting: two free cozy patterns! Fast, inexpensive, useful, thoughtful, and one-size-fits-all, cozies make fantastic gifts for even the fussiest recipients. Who wouldn’t like to keep their hot drinks hot and their cool drinks cool?

 

#510 Fancy Mug Cozy

This elegant, ever-so-slightly-lacy knit mug cozy is great for grabbing a mug of hot cocoa. Since it’s worked sideways, it can be knit to fit any size mug. A simple cast-on button loop keeps it snug and secure around a mug handle. One skein of Valley Yarns Superwash is all it takes, making it a soft, washable, and quite economical gift.

Download the pattern here.

 
#511 Jar, Bottle, or Can Cozy

For years, students and other resourceful thrifters have been reusing jars as travel mugs, thermoses and lunch containers. Celebrate their good recycling habits by crocheting them this very quick and handy cozy.

The base acts as a built-in coaster while the sides insulate. A roomy side strap is perfect for clipping onto a bag or belt loop while the top stability strap holds it in place. Eyelets underneath the side strap help you see inside. But it’s not just for drinking out of jars. It can easily accommodate bottles, cans, or adorn your home-canned gifts. Using only about 50 yards of Valley Yarns Northampton, you can easily get three or four cozies from just one skein!

Download the pattern here.