Posts Tagged ‘crochet pattern’

Designer in Residence – Doris Chan

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015
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Our new Designer in Residence program is off to an amazing start! This month we reveal the first design from our Crochet Designer in Residence Doris Chan, The Shawl Collar Stole.

Doris Chan WEBS 2015 Crochet Designer in Residence, her first design the Shawl Collar Stole in Valley Yarns Superwash Bulky - learn more at blog.yarn.com

With a bit of clever shaping, The Shawl Collar Stole is a meltingly soft stole that drapes beautifully and securely around the shoulders. The wide top band in gentle ribbing turns over to form a snuggly collar. The back is curved to create some roominess through the arms and allow the fronts to sit properly. The stole is just wide enough for comfortable coverage, but not so wide that you’re constantly sitting on the back, and the fronts have enough wrap-around length without getting in your way. Valley Superwash Bulky makes the crocheting quick and smooth, while the relaxed gauge and open lacy stitch pattern keep this stole surprisingly lightweight yet cozy without being stuffy.

Doris Chan WEBS 2015 Crochet Designer in Residence - learn more at blog.yarn.com

We asked Doris to tell us about about how she designs, what she finds inspiring, and to give us a hint about what we can expect to see throughout the year.

Tell us a bit about your design process. Do you have design ideas in your head that inspire you to search out the right yarn or do you find a yarn and let the design grow from there?

Unless an editor requests a specific silhouette or style, I will always begin with yarn. Yarn in the hands speaks to me in ways I don’t completely understand and begins a process not easily explained. I have referred to this process as organic designing rather than technical designing. A technical designer may create a completed project in the mind, perhaps to the point of being able to write a pattern, before ever picking up a hook. That designer has only to plug in an appropriate yarn and crochet according to the plan, or have a contract crocheter make the sample. An organic designer grows things from yarn. Sounds idiotic and overly simplistic when put that way, but it does describe how it feels to me. It’s not that technical designers don’t care about yarn or that organic designers are space cadets. Designers aren’t totally one or the other, just as no person is totally right brained or left brained. Good design is a cocktail of the two in different proportions, plus a dash of individual skill and aesthetics.

On my technical side, I possess a personal bag of crochet tricks or techniques on which I often fall back; years of experience (trial and error) have granted me a feel for seamless construction, working lace stitch patterns in relaxed gauge, shaping and manipulating fabric. But for me there can’t be design until I grok the yarn in a fairly intense, hands-on way. I sometimes take the yarn for a series of test drives(some call it swatching) before I arrive at the place I need to be. Once there is good fabric, then the project can grow from there.

Where do you find inspiration? Do you hike? jog in the city? take your camera everywhere you go? have a studio full of inspiring color and images? 

Surely you jest. I am a serious slug and hardly leave my home. As an admitted sci-fi fan geek I immerse myself not in colors and fashion or artistic images, but in works of fantasy. Not that I design sci-fi fangeek crochet (not much anyway!), but I do tap into the sense of wonder, the outside-the-box possibilities that are at the core of my favorite guilty pleasures. My friends and readers inspire me. I may ask what sort of crochet they’d like to see, and then make it so. I also look backwards quite often, seeking out images and descriptions of vintage or retro pieces that can be translated into crochet-speak and given contemporary appeal. But what inspires me most is meeting a yarn that doesn’t want to live in my usual comfort zone. This pushes me to work even farther outside the box and leads me to different techniques, fresh approaches and new solutions in order to make that yarn happy in crochet.

Tell us about your design aesthetic. What can our customers expect to see from you this year?

My aesthetic is governed by what I believe looks and feels right on the body. Wearable, doable garments and accessories in flexible, forgiving fabrics that are shaped to fit and flatter are what I love to design. I prefer working in one single solid color, the better to showcase the crochet stitchwork. BUT…occasionally I wander over to the dark side and design afghans. That’s where I play with color. Nothing is as satisfying as making something amazing for your home to look at and enjoy every day

Tell us about your favorite Valley Yarn, is there a Valley Yarn you are excited to work with? 

My favorite Valley Yarn to date, mainly for the reason that I am allergic to and cannot wear wool, is Goshen. I have designed extensively in this lovely cotton blend, and it is my go-to medium worsted yarn for my own personal crocheted garments. I eagerly anticipate working again with fine gauge Charlemont and the growing family of Valley Superwash, now in DK, worsted and bulky weights.

What designers do you like/follow? Are there designs you wish you had time to knit/crochet/sew?

Majorly unfair question. Honestly I’d rather NOT know what everyone else is doing, so as not to be unduly influenced by anyone. If you want to accuse me of being a lazy slug, that’s another way to say it. I do follow with understandable interest the work of my boss at DesigningVashti.com, Vashti Braha. She often takes her crochet in directions I fear to tread and with enviable passion.

And don’t forget, we’ll have a new design from Fiona Ellis next month and each odd numbered month of the year. Check out her designs here. And we’ll reveal the next crochet design from Doris Chan in April, and in each even numbered month this year! You can see all her designs here.

The College Park Shawl by Edie Eckman

Friday, November 14th, 2014
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The College Park Shawl from Edie Eckman is a deceptively simple to make, and truly versatile accessory. With just two skeins of our 40th Anniversary Valley Yarns Charlemont hand dyed by Dream in Color you’ll be able to whip up this perfect layering shawl in less than a week!
The College Park Shawl pattern designed by Edie Eckman and crocheted in Valley Yarns 40th Anniversary Charlemont hand dyed by Dream in Color - available exclusively at yarn.com
Edie, like many of you, used to get a catalog in the mail from WEBS, and was a customer long before creating this lovely design for us. Of the College Park Shawl she says, “I love playing with stitch patterns and experimenting with lovely yarns to find the right pattern for the yarn. It took me a while to settle on just the right stitch pattern for the Charlemont, because every one I tried worked so well!”
The College Park Shawl pattern designed by Edie Eckman and crocheted in Valley Yarns 40th Anniversary Charlemont hand dyed by Dream in Color - available exclusively at yarn.com
The simple L shape of this crochet shawl means that there’s no actual shaping worked in your stitches! The College Park Shawl can be worn with both ends draped over your shoulders to the front so it looks like a traditional scarf, or with one end tossed casually over your shoulder. You can also turn the shawl around and wear it bandana style for even more warmth around your neck and shoulders. however you wear it, this is sure to become one of your favorite accessories.

Valley Yarns Pattern Feature – Deep Woods Poncho

Thursday, November 6th, 2014
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The Deep Woods Poncho is a fantastic layering piece for chilly autumn evenings and cold winter days. Toss it on over your shoulders for that extra bit of warmth or wear it tucked up around your neck under your coat for super insulation.

The Deep Woods Poncho from Valley Yarns, crocheted in Valley Yarns BFL Worsted - available at yarn.com

Crocheted in Valley Yarns BFL Worsted this top-down, high-necked poncho combines three simple stitches to create a beautifully textured and fluid fabric that hugs the shoulders without being restrictive. The secret to avoiding the pooling that can happen when crocheting with hand dyed yarns is to alternate skeins. Since this project calls for 3 skeins of the BFL Worsted you’ll work with all your skeins right from the beginning, changing yarn at the beginning of each row instead of using skein #1 from beginning to end and then using skein #2  and then skein #3.

Valley Yarns Pattern Feature – Banded Yoke Pullover

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014
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The Banded Yoke Pullover  is a set-in sleeve, boat-neck sweater that features a band of simple color-work across the front and at the sleeve cuffs. Worked in easy, and fast half-double crochet, this hip length pullover features slit side seams and split cuffs for a preppy but casual look.

Banded Yoke Pullover crocheted in Valley Yarns Northampton - available exclusively at yarn.com

Crocheted in Valley Yarns Northampton, available in forty colors, on a neutral background of natural, the six colors in the yoke band and sleeve cuffs mean you can experiment with all kinds of combinations and use up those scraps of yarn you love too much to give or throw away.

Chemo Caps for charity – Drop them off!

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014
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TNNA Chemo Cap Patterns featured in the October 2014  issue of Woman's Day Magazine - visit www.tnna.org for more information

WEBS is proud to work with The National NeedleArts Association in promoting their national campaign to raise awareness about breast cancer. Knit or crochet a chemo cap and you can mail it in or drop it off at our retail store at 75 Service Center Rd, Northampton MA. Choose your own pattern or use the patterns that TNNA had designed just for this promotion – and they’re FREE!

You can download your free knit or crochet cap patterns here.

TNNA-chemo-cap-crochet-250We’re happy to be a drop-off point for caps knit and crocheted which will be sent on to those in need, or you can mail your caps directly to TNNA at:

The National NeedleArts Association
Attn: Chemo Caps
1100-H Brandywine Blvd
Zanesville OH 43701-7303

The October issue of Woman’s Day magazine has been on sale since September 9, and the promotion will run through January 1, 2015.

And don’t forget, our 11th annual Knit and Crochet for the Cure is happening on Sunday, October 5th from 1-4pm! The event is always popular and fun as dozens of crafters sit in groups of chairs spread throughout the store, chatting and stitching, creating beautiful, soft and cozy gifts for those living with cancer. Our partner in this event is Cancer Connection and they will distribute the finished projects to the community they serve at their haven at 41 Locust St in Northampton. The event is Free but we do ask that you register in advance.

The Cirro Tee from Linda Permann

Thursday, September 18th, 2014
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The Cirro Tee by Linda Permann is a simple yet gorgeous crocheted tee designed in Valley Yarns Northfield Hand Dyed by Malabrigo. Everyone is looking for that perfect t-shirt pattern and this may just fit the bill! An easy to memorize two row pattern creates a textured and flexible fabric that results in a lightweight and very wearable crochet garment. The simple cap sleeves and understated waist shaping make this a flattering shapes for almost everyone.

The Cirro Tee designed by Linda Permann and crocheted in Valley Yarns Northfield hand dyed by Malabrigo - available exclusively at yarn.com

Linda is a designer and author that has lived all over the US. Her work has been featured in many of today’s top knitting and crochet publications. “Crocheting is my passion, but I love to sew, knit and quilt too. I wear many hats: I’m a crochet and craft designer, writer, editor and a crochet/knitting teacher. I work full time at Craftsy.com, and I also teach. I love creating modern patterns using quality yarns, showing crochet in its best lightl!”

The Cirro Tee designed by Linda Permann and crocheted in Valley Yarns Northfield hand dyed by Malabrigo - available exclusively at yarn.com

We love what Linda creates, too! Crochet your own Cirro Tee in our gorgeous Valley Yarns Northfield Hand Dyed by Malabrigo or try one of our solid colors of Northfield.

Valley Yarns Pattern Feature – Laurentide Pullover

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014
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The Laurentide Pullover has a great v-neck, chevron shape that can be emphasized by random stripes of color. The Valley Yarns Berkshire is soft and cozy making this sweater feel like a warm hug on those chilly autumn days.

Laurentide promo

A clever combination of single and double crochet stripes keeps your interest in this bottom up sweater that is worked in the round. And with over 40 colors of Berkshire to choose from there’s a perfect combination of colors for every crocheter!

Steve’s Deal of the Day – Valley Yarns 2/10 Merino Tencel (Colrain Lace)

Friday, July 11th, 2014
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This weekend we’re featuring one of our favorite coned yarns! Steve’s Deal of the Day July 11-13 is Valley Yarns 2/10 Merino Tencel (Colrain Lace) $17.99/cone (reg $24.99). You’ll end up with fewer ends to weave in on your projects because of the large amount on yardage on these cones.

Mixed Tide promo

The Mixed Tide Stole is from one of our 40th Anniversary designers, Janice Kang and Ravelry user bogiebogie made a beautiful version in the Grey Olive colorway.

Deep Breath Promo

The Deep Breath Sweater is an older Valley Yarns pattern but sill one of our favorites for it’s comfort and simplicity. Ravelry user whitecatstudio chose to make hers in the rich chocolate colorway.

Crocus lace promo

And if you’re a crocheter the Colrain Lace is perfect for the Crocus Lace Stole, shown in the hummingbird color of our 5/2 Bamboo and in the natural 2/10 Merino Tencel by Ravelry user Appliejuice.

Don’t forget! Valley Yarns 2/10 Merino Tencel (Colrain Lace) is Steve’s Deal of the Day through 11:59pm EDT Sunday, July 13, 2014.  Use Promo Code FB210MERT8 at checkout to get the special price, $17.99/cone (reg $24.99)