Posts Tagged ‘Crochet!’

Valley Yarns Pattern Feature – The Cordoba Shawl

Thursday, August 14th, 2014
Share Button

This simple but stunning, granny-inspired Cordoba Shawl is a perfect lacy crochet project. Worked in Valley Yarns Franklin from the center back with simple changes in stitch height for interest and a delicate border, this will become your go-to shawl for special occasions and quiet evenings on the back porch.

cordoba promo

 

Tonal yarns are great for shawl projects like this as the play of color changes over the open work sections and the more densely packed sections of granny stitches to create a dappled color effect. This shawl can easily be worked in any yarn weight, just be sure to switch to a hook size appropriate for your yarn choice.

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

Friday, July 11th, 2014
Share Button

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)

Valley Yarns Pattern Feature – Cranwell Hat

Thursday, June 26th, 2014
Share Button

Our new Cranwell Hat uses our Charlemont Kettle Dye and is crocheted using 2 strands which gives the yarn a dappled appearance.  A round of post stitches at the edge of the crown and reverse single crochet at the brim give it that perfect finishing touch, and with the yarn held doubled throughout it works up very quickly.

Cranwell

This is a great hat for the beach, a round of golf, or a summer picnic, and it’s the perfect summer project for under $20. The PDF is just $3.99 and one skein of Charlemont Kettle Dye, at $15.99, is enough for the whole hat.

Which shade of Charlemont Kettle Dye will you use?

Valley Yarns Pattern Feature – Valley Flowers

Sunday, June 8th, 2014
Share Button

Our Valley Yarns 2014 Summer catalog is online now and we’re super excited about all the new designs and special patterns. One of our favorites is the Valley Flowers e-Book full of over a dozen different flower shapes to knit and crochet.

Valley Flowers e-Book - available exclusively at yarn.com

We featured the individual blooms on the divider pages separating the different weights of yarns throughout the catalog and thought these would make a great pattern collection!

Valley Flowers e-Book - available exclusively at yarn.com

They look wonderful grouped together as a centerpiece or as a wallhanging by simply pinning then to the wall or corkboard.

Valley Flowers e-Book - available exclusively at yarn.com

They’re also beautiful individually as accessories for your hair or pinned to your favorite sweater. Which blooms will you make and how will you use them?

If you’re waiting for your catalog in the mail they should start to arrive by mid-June. If you don’t yet get our catalog and would like to you can join the mailing list here! (48 contiguous US states only, if you are in AK, HI or are an international customer you can request a copy of our catalog with your next order, just leave a note in the Special Instructions text box.)

Color Me Amazed

Friday, May 23rd, 2014
Share Button

A lot of knitters like to use hand-dyed yarns like Madelinetosh, Lorna’s Laces, or Prism. A fair number of those knitters are disappointed when they experience color pooling, or when they don’t like the way one color in the skein works with another one. artful color, mindful knitsMaybe they’ve done a broken rib stitch and noticed that what they had hoped would be specks of dark blue against a rose background turned into big blotches of purple. There are lots of ways to learn how to work with hand-dyed yarns and I’ve found the absolute best resource of all to not only learn to work with those variegated yarns but to actually plan for how those colors show up in your garment. Laura Militzer Bryant, the founder of Prism Yarns, has written a new book entitled Artful Color, Mindful Knits: A Definitive Guide to Working with Hand-Dyed Yarns, and it goes beyond any other book I know to show fiber artists how to craft with color.

As an art-school graduate, Laura became fascinated with hand-dyed yarns when she first saw them at a trade show in the early 1980′s, and learned how to dye yarns as a result. She founded her own hand-dyed yarn company, photo by Amy StephensPrism, and out of the necessity of having to showcase those yarns, she became a knitwear designer. Both of those talents are shown to amazing advantage in Artful Color, Mindful Knits. She can show you how to stack your colors, how to splash your colors, even how to create an argyle pattern with your skein, all by using her Magic Number system that uses the length of a color repeat, the amount of yarn used for a single stitch, and the total number of stitches. Period. When I learned how to anticipate and even plan when a color shows up in your knitting to form a pattern, I wanted to award Laura a Nobel Prize. The designs that accompany the various color schemes are gorgeous. Jackets, hats, scarves, vests, and sweaters, all in vivid colors and patterns that show a master’s touch are readily accessible to any knitter or crocheter.

Artful Color, Mindful Knits includes a thorough color tutorial in the front of the book, which is eye-opening. Laura shows readers in simple language how colors interact with each other and how we perceive them. This helps us plan how to use color and what colors work best in hundreds of different patterns and yarns.  The book also has a wonderful technique section in the back of the book, showing how to do various cast-ons, increases and decreases, and bind-offs, as well as crochet techniques. It’s really a treasure trove of information, one that will be used again and again.ArtfulColor-7

Hey, local blog-readers: Laura will be coming to WEBS on June 7 to sign copies of her new book from 3:30–4:30pm. Come by to see the Prism Yarns trunk show or sign up for her Introduction to Color class. You will be amazed at what you can do!

The Sermilik Shawl from Kristin Omdahl

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014
Share Button

At the beginning of April we introduced you to our 3 new designs with Valley Yarns Huntington Hand Dyed by Lorna’s Laces. Our featured crochet design, the Sermilik Shawl, is from the wonderfully talented Kristin Omdahl.

We were thrilled when Kristen said she would design a shawl for us! Inspired by the blue icebergs of the Sermilik Fjord in Greenland, Kristin has designed a  simple triangle shawl made of stacked double crochet shells with a delicate and lacy bottom edge that that gives this shawl a real wow-factor. Though the stitches are densely packed the open nature of the fabric means that the shawl has beautiful drape and movement while really showing off the beauty of the hand dyed yarn colors.

The Sermilik Shawl designed by Kristin Omdahl and crocheted in Valley Yarns Huntington Hand Dyed by Lorna's Laces - available exclusively at yarn.com

Kristen learned how to knit when she was young but didn’t really get going until she was in her twenties. She has been designing and teaching, both knit and crochet for over 10 years and can’t imagine doing anything else, when she’s not kayaking or hiking that is!

Customer Spotlight – Malabrigo Blanket

Monday, April 21st, 2014
Share Button

Last week one of our local customers, Peggy, brought in a blanket she’s been working on for a friend. She says, “It is a very old pattern that my friend’s mother made for her many years ago. She has been searching for several years to find it.” The pattern was found, an old magazine clipping, and Peggy got to work.

Customer Blanket

Peggy chose to work with Malabrigo Rastita, a soft and cozy merino wool, and 41 skeins later she ended with a gorgeous, Full-sized bedspread. “It is indeed a labor of love and I can’t wait to take to Maryland to its new owner and see her face when she sees it.”

Thanks for bringing in this lovely blanket Peggy! And for those of you curious about the pattern, it was originally published in 1946 in the Complete Book of Crochet, but the pattern is available online as well.

Have you taken on any large scale projects this year?

National Crochet Month Special Techniques – Invisible Single Crochet

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014
Share Button

This week our focus is invisible single crochet decreases. This is a great way to decrease when you’re working in the round making stuffed animals or amigurumi.

Most single crochet decreases leave you with a gap in the fabric on either side of the decreased stitch which can be really unsightly when that fabric is stuffed. This decrease keeps the same density of stitches to your fabric and is nearly invisible.

This is a great stitch to use on our Valley Yarns Spring animals, the bunnylamb and Robin! Try it out and let us know what you think.

National Crochet Month Special Techniques – Extended Stitches

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014
Share Button

This week our focus is extended stitches. You can extend almost any crochet stitch with one simple step, when you have finished the set up for your stitch yarn over and pull through just one loop on your hook first, then finish the stitch as you normally would.

To make an extended single crochet stitch: insert your hook into the next stitch, yarn over and bring up a loop, yarn over and pull through one loop, yarn over and pull through two loops. The right side of a few stitches have been highlighted above so you can see the difference in length.

Extended single crochet still gives you the nice dense fabric that you usually get with single crochet but with a bit more movement and drape. And since the stitches are a bit taller the work goes quicker! This is a great stitch for crochet socks, like our Cosmos pattern!

To make an extended half-double crochet stitch: yarn over, insert your hook into the next stitch, yarn over and bring up a loop, yarn over and pull through one loop, yarn over and pull through all three loops.

Extended half-double crochet gives you the height of double crochet stitches without being as open as double crochet. Again you can see the difference in length in the highlighted stitches.

To make an extended double crochet stitch: yarn over, insert your hook into the next stitch, yarn over and bring up a loop, yarn over and pull through one loop, yarn over and pull through two loops, yarn over again and pull through two loops.

Extended double crochet stitches give you the height of triples/trebles without being terribly leggy. You can see the difference in the highlighted stitches above.

Have you ever used extended stitches?

 

National Crochet Month Special Techniques – Tunisian Simple Stitch

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014
Share Button

This week our focus is Tunisian Crochet. This is an older technique that’s getting plenty of love lately. While there are lots of great pattern books out there now it can be hard to decide if it’s a new technique you’d enjoy. For a short piece like we’re practicing with today you can use a regular crochet hook but for anything larger than 10 stitches you’ll need a Tunisian or afghan hook. These typically look like straight knitting needles with a hook on the end instead of a point, or a version that looks like a regular crochet hook with a long cord on the back. This second type of Tunisian hook is also available in an interchangeable version with different length cords that you can attach to different hook sizes.

 

Tunisian crochet begins like almost every other crochet project, with a foundation chain. In the samples here I’m working with a very short chain, just 9 chains long! Each completed row of stitches is made up of two rows of actions; the Forward Row puts loops on your hook and the Return Row works them off again.

For the first Forward Row, insert your hook into the second chain from your hook and pull up a loop, leave this loop on your hook! Insert your hook into the next stitch and pull up a loop leaving it on your hook. Repeat this process for each chain stitch.

Now that Your first Forward Row is done you should have 9 loops on your hook and you’re ready to begin the Return Row. To start, yarn over and pull through just one loop on your hook. Yarn over again and pull through two loops. Repeat this step, yarning over and pulling through two loops, until you have worked all the way back to the beginning and only one loop remains on your hook.

Your first full row of stitches in now complete! The Forward Row changes a bit now but your Return Rows will stay the same as what you’ve just done.  If you look at the row you’ve finished you’ll notice stitches that are straight up and down, these are called “vertical bars” and this is the part of the stitch that you’ll be using. Insert your hook under the first vertical bar, yarn over and pull a loop back through that bar. Repeat that step, inserting your hook under the next bar, yarning over and pulling up a loop, until you have used all the vertical bars (the last one lives right on the edge of your work at the left hand side).

Now you’ll repeat your Return Row, yarn over and pull through one loop first, then yarn over and pull through 2 loops at a time until you’re back to just one loop. Repeat those last two rows and you get a substantial fabric with great texture. Tunisian wants to curl in on itself so don’t be surprised by that! The larger your finished object the less curl there will be. And since Tunisian fabric is a bit more dense than regular crochet you’ll want to use a hook that is a size or two larger that what you might normally use.

Swatching is a great way to try out new techniques and stitches but no one wants a basket or drawer full of little squares of crochet or knit fabric so what do you do with them? I like to make fingerless gloves, I use them all the time. For this pair I started with a chain of 25, and worked 25 rows of Tunisian Simple Stitch to for a square, and then seamed the edges, leaving a gap for the thumb. For the work pictured here I used Katia Azteca in color 7840 and a size J/10/6.00mm hook.

If this technique appeals to you and you’re looking for more check out Tunisian Crochet by  Sharon Hernes-Silverman, Get Hooked on Tunisian Crochet by Sheryl Thies or The New Tunisian Crochet – Dora Ohrenstein.