Posts Tagged ‘crochet tips’

Crochet Aspirations

Friday, September 11th, 2015
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I got a sneak peak at the Fall catalog before it got mailed out to our eager customers, and it struck me how beautiful the featured crochet garments and projects are. I used to skip right over the crochet projects in catalogs and magazines, because I had a nightmarish recollection of a certain red, white, and blue granny-square vest I was forced to wear my entire 5th-grade school year because some distant cousin had found the ugliest yarn available and dusted off her rusty crochet skills to torture it into a garment for me.

Stylish and contemporary crochet garments for Fall. What are you crocheting? Read more on the WEBS Blog at

Crochet is far different now; the projects I see are sophisticated and fashion-forward. I know how to crochet but I think I need to brush up on my skills before I follow a pattern (hey, there’s a class for that!). Once I feel more confident, the first thing I want to make is Sara Delaney’s Alexandrium Cardigan. I’ve worn it all over the store whenever I needed something to cover my shoulders from our sometimes-aggressive air conditioning. It’s lovely and appropriate for any season.

Our catalog features some aspirational projects for me: the Crossroads Pullover is ingenious, two squares that start from a center point and increase outward. It’s lacy and could be worn over a tank top or under a jacket. Crochet superstar Doris Chan has created an openwork jacket in Goshen, a smooth, delicious cotton blend Valley Yarn. I love the dolman shape and the sturdy collar that wraps down to the hem. My favorite project of all just might be the Valley Yarns Mystery Crochet-A-Long Blanket that we ran as a class last winter. In several different colorways, each square has its own personality and the blanket can be customized to fit any bed or sofa you make it for.

What are you crocheting this fall? Show us your FOs!

Knitting Through the Years

Friday, July 31st, 2015
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Recently, a friend told me about her mother, a knitter and crafter, who has been having some memory problems. She wants to keep knitting but she has problems counting her stitches, and following patterns if they aren’t right in front of her, clearly marked. It made me think about what we carry here that would be helpful, and I thought I’d let you in on what I found.

Knitting tools to help with memory and keeping track of projects, on the WEBS Blog at

First of all, the Knitter’s Pride Large Pattern Holder seems like a lifesaver. It’s big enough to hold a pattern straight up, or any series of charts so that you don’t have to keep shuffling papers around (my friend’s mother has NO use for technology, so unfortunately paper patterns are her go-to). The magnetic straight-edge holds everything firmly against the backing, and also can be used as a row marker so she doesn’t lose her place.

The Bryspun Rainbow Rings are great stitch markers; colorful enough to stand out from your stitches, and rubber, so they stay put. They come in a variety of sizes, so they’ll fit on pretty much any size needles. The Clover Split Ring Markers are good for hanging on your stitches; if you have a pattern repeat you can mark it off so that you don’t have to remember where to start or how many stitches are in the repeat. They’re easy as pie to move around, too, so that if you increase or decrease, you don’t need to worry that you’ve lost any stitches.

Everyone’s favorite row counter, the Clover Kacha Kacha Knitting Counter, makes a very definitive CLICK and goes up to 99, which is a lot of satisfying clicking. I’ve used one of these since I started knitting and I’ve never had to replace mine. They last forever. Clover also makes a locking row counts, called a Mini. The beauty of this one is that if it gets pushed around in your knitting bag, it won’t change numbers accidentally. It also has a little loop that you can thread some yarn or string through to  make it a pendant so you don’t forget about it if you get up from your knitting chair to get a cocktail glass of iced tea.

The CocoKnits Knitter’s Keep is the most brilliant thing ever. It’s a slap bracelet (that makes SUCH a satisfying sound) that comes with metal cable needle, stitch markers, all kinds of things you need to keep track of while knitting or crocheting. And you just attach them to your bracelet and it holds it for you. Genius. No more turning around in circles while you try to locate a stray needle.

If you are a crocheter, Addi makes ergonomic hooks that don’t tax arthritic fingers. I’m told that the Knitter’s Pride Cubics needles serve the same function, but I bet there are needles specifically for sore hands and wrists out there.

The last thing I thought might be a great addition to a knitting bag are the Nancy’s Knit Knacks Project Cards. You can note what the project you knit was, for whom it was knit, the start and finish date, and any notes – for instance, if you cut out a set of increases, or made the sleeves shorter. Frankly, I could use these myself, since once I finish a project, I often throw it right out of my mind as I hurtle onto the next knitted object.

What have you seen in your LYS that might help you keep crafting as you age? Because I certainly want to keep crafting!

Tuesday’s Crochet Tip – Finger Crochet

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014
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It’s National Crochet Month! To celebrate, we have some wonderful crochet tips to share with you. This week’s tip is from Sara, WEBS Marketing Coordinator and crochet designer.

Arm Knitting has taken off like wildfire this year and there’s no reason why crocheters can’t get in on the action! Grab a few skeins of yarn and NO Hook and make yourself a scarf in less time than it takes to watch your favorite sitcom.

Tuesday’s Crochet Tip – Turn a Doily Pattern into a Rug

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014
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It’s National Crochet Month! To celebrate, we have some wonderful crochet tips to share with you. This week’s tip is from Sara, WEBS Marketing Coordinator and crochet designer.

This is a great instant-gratification project! Take your favorite doily pattern and work it up using a chunky yarn and a big hook.

We did something similar with our Hellebore Rug which was crocheted using 2 strands of Northampton Bulky, but if you’re looking for something washable try Katia Big Ribbon or Schachenmayr’s Bravo Big or Filaria.

Tuesday’s Tip – Keep your Place on a Chart with a Dry Erase Marker and Page Protector

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014
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Use a Page Protector and Dry Erase Marker to Keep your Place on a ChartThis week’s tip comes from Jackie, one of our fabulous customer service representatives.

When I do any project with a chart, I like to put the pattern in a plastic page protector and then mark my place in the chart with a dry erase marker. If I make a mistake and need to frog a couple rows, it’s a lot easier to update my place than if I had written on the pattern itself; and pencil marks can get confusing if my eraser doesn’t work well enough. As long as I’m careful about not putting anything on top of the page protector, the dry erase marks are still there weeks later when I pick up the project again after indiscriminately abandoning it!

The Cousteau Shawl from Doris Chan

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014
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As WEBS enters it’s 40th year we’ve been lucky enough to enlist some amazing designers to help us celebrate. We’ll be highlighting each designer throughout the year, first up we have Doris Chan who has crafted the gorgeous Cousteau Shawl for us.

About her relationship with WEBS:

I have been a WEBS customer for over a decade. Before I was a crochet designer, before I knew much about yarn at all, it was at a WEBS vendor booth at a knitting event where I was first introduced to the joys of buying great yarn by the bag. I must have browsed that display for an hour before taking the plunge and grabbing up 10 hanks of a lusciously luxe DK weight chrome yellow silk I and haven’t looked back since.

Much later I began receiving WEBS print catalogs. The first one I saw was in 2010. I was impressed at how Kathy Elkins openly and enthusiastically welcomed crocheters to her store by including crochet in her editorial comments, in WEBS design offerings, and on the pages of the catalog and website. I wrote and told her so, and was completely charmed by her reply. It didn’t take much coaxing on her part to start me thinking about designing with the WEBS house brand Valley Yarns. I felt confident that my work would be in good hands. In 2011, much to my delight, my Valley Cowl debuted in the WEBS line-up, along with full pattern support and tutorials.

In June 2011 I finally met Kathy at a TNNA industry event. I remember laughing. A lot. Our professional connection and personal friendship continues to grow out of mutual admiration. It didn’t take much coaxing on my part to get Kathy to support the Crochet Guild of America; WEBS is now a major sponsor of the CGOA Design Competition. It is an honor to be invited to participate in the WEBS 40th Anniversary and a pleasure to present this design, the Coutsteau Shawl, in a special hand-dyed edition of Valley Superwash DK. Congratulations to Kathy and to WEBS!

About her design for our 40th Anniversary Doris offers these tips:

Stitch Pattern Notes

Although the stitch pattern and trim have designated RS and WS rows, the faces of the fabric are so similar that the shawl is viewable and wearable from either side.

Advanced Tips for Working With Custom Dyed Colors

These special hand-dyes can vary from hank to hank. To avoid the stripes or blocks that may appear if you completely work each new hank in turn, you may wish to work a couple of rows, then switch hanks. For fewer cut ends, I prefer to work with three feeds at the same time; one feed is wrapped and carried up as you go at each end, every row. Because of the increasing stitch pattern at the end of every row, the best place to change yarn feeds is not in the very last stitch, but a couple of stitches before the end. This interior wrap and carry, if done neatly and fairly relaxed, is nearly invisible and should not hamper the stretchiness of the edge shells.

Tuesday’s Tip – How to Join with the Magic Knot

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014
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If you’ve ever run into a big knot in your yarn while working on a project, this is a great way to join in your new strand of yarn. The Magic Knot joins two strands of yarn together with virtually no visible ends. It could even be used to join a new skein and avoid weaving in ends!

This technique is best used with a dense stitch pattern like garter stitch or seed stitch. A more open stitch or lace won’t hide the knot. It is also best used with a sturdy plied yarn. Single plies and delicate fibers aren’t strong enough to hold up to the strength test and will fall apart.

Tuesday’s Crochet Tip – Keep your Crochet Hook Secure

Tuesday, January 7th, 2014
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How to Keep your Crochet Hook SecureIt seems like every time I put my crochet project down, I lose my hook! I started inserting the hook through the project to try to keep the two together, but found it just slipped out eventually.

Now, I wrap a rubber band or a hair tie around the hook. It adds a little extra stickiness that keeps it in place. No more crawling around on the floor or digging in your couch cushions searching for your hook!

Tuesday’s Knitting and Crochet Tip – Be Careful not to Twist!

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013
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Be Careful not to Twist! Use Clothespins to Make Joining in the Round EasierI love to knit and crochet projects in the round; it makes it so much easier to mindlessly work along during a movie or in the car. And you can’t beat colorwork in the round. The only hurdle is the long cast-ons with some projects, and having to join those in the round without twisting.We’ve all seen the pattern instructions that say, ” CO 247. Join in the round, being careful not to twist.” Almost nothing is worse than casting-on all those stitches, then starting to knit, only to realize your project is twisted.

It’s tricky not to twist these many stitches in the round, but here’s a handy trick. Lay your cast-on out flat, and join clothes pins to the back sides. Smooth your cast-on flat and add another clothes pin. This gives you much smaller section to work with so you can be sure you’re not twisting your project!


Tuesday’s Knitting and Crochet Tip – Project Bag Essential

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013
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photos by Amy StephensOne project bag essential that is often overlooked are simple nail clippers!

They won’t snag your projects and are perfect for snipping your yarn on the go. They’re inexpensive, and it’s easy to have one for each project bag. I never leave home without them!