Posts Tagged ‘Crochet!’

Gift Ideas: Blankets

Monday, October 28th, 2013
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Great Blankets to Knit and Crochet from Valley YarnsBlankets are a wonderful option for gifting. They do take a while to complete, but once they’re done and gifted, you know that the person you’ve given them to will be so thrilled to wrap up in something you created for them.

We’ve recently released several Valley Yarns blanket patterns that are perfect for gift giving, as well as many older favorites. We have options in both knit and crochet for everyone from babies to adults.

Valley Yarns 566 Mitchella Blanket is knit in Valley Yarns Berkshire Bulky. It is comprised of great lace counterpane squares with a crochet border. It looks great in a bright color, like on of the ones in Berkshire Bulky, but would also look stunning in a neutral. It is written for three sizes, so you can pick the one that best suits the recipient, or your time constraints.

If you like the Mitchella Blanket, but you’re looking to knit something for a baby, check out Valley Yarns 567 Maria Baby Blanket. It is knit in Valley Yarns Valley Superwash DK. This blanket is also written for three sizes, so if you’re looking for one that would be great to keep in the car for car seat cuddles, this would be a great option.

Great Baby Blankets to Knit and Crochet from Valley Yarns

If you’re a crocheter and want to make a baby blanket, take a look at Valley Yarns 561 Varve Baby Blanket. It is worked in three colors of Valley Yarns Valley Superwash. We have two color options shown on our website, but you can use your imagination and get creative with color combinations. One of the best things about making your own projects is that you get to choose the colors.

Another great option for gifting is Valley Yarns 512 Timber Blanket. It is designed in Valley Yarns Berkshire and has a lovely minimalist design. Four large garter stitch mitered squares are surrounded by a log cabin border. This is a perfect blanket for the back of the couch. I’d love to wrap on this on a snowy day!

Want to crochet a blanket that the recipient can cozy up in on a cold day? Valley Yarns 494 Berry Bramble Blanket is a super easy to memorize two pattern row repeat. Worked in three colors of Valley Yarns Northampton Bulky, you can spice up a neutral living room, or work it in your favorite single color. What else is there to love about this blanket? The fringe means you don’t have to weave in ends!

Will you be knitting or crocheting blankets for anyone on your list? 

WEBS Staff Spotlight – Debby

Thursday, October 24th, 2013
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Spring Garden Tee by Alana Dakos knit in Valley Yarns LongmeadowDebby is part of our amazing store staff team, and happens to be an incredibly talented knitter and weaver. She continues to impress us all by her projects despite a very busy life outside of WEBS. Debby’s family owns Cook Family Farm, where she lives and works every day of the week. Their restaurant, Flayvors of Cook Farm is a local favorite, especially for the ice cream!  With 5 children, 2 dogs, many chickens, 13 turkeys and about 200 cows to tend to, it’s amazing she finds the time to knit and weave.

How long have you been knitting and weaving?
I’ve been knitting for almost 9 years and I’ve been weaving for just over 2 years.

How did you learn to knit?
I’m a self taught knitter. After I learned how to knit, I realized how much I didn’t know! So then I took classes here at WEBS. I was inspired to knit by my Mom, but it was my grandmother in law, Mimi, who pushed me to learn. I had told Mimi that “someday I’ll learn to knit and make sweaters”. And she said, “Don’t wait for someday because you don’t know what the future holds.You may loose your sight or maybe have severe arthritis, whatever it may be. If you want to learn or do something, do it now!” She was a very wise woman.

What is your favorite yarn to work with?
I love Malabrigo yarns!  They are such a joy to knit with that it never feels like “work”. I have grown very fond hand dyed yarns, especially monochromatic styles.

Dishtowels woven with Valley 5/2 Cotton.Dishtowels woven with Valley 5/2 Cotton.

Do you have a favorite fiber project you completed or one you’re most proud of?
Some of my favorite projects that I’ve finished are hand woven dishtowels. They get used every day and somehow in their functionality,  any “flaws” seem lost. I just love having them around.

What fiber project are you working on right now?
Right I’m working on the Feather weight Cardigan by Hannah Fettig. I’m also weaving a small rug for our bathroom…and hoping that I am able to get 2 or 3 rugs from this warp so that I may also get a Christmas present or 2 done.

What is your favorite fiber art?
I like weaving, but honestly don’t seem to make the time to  get a project started. So knitting is my favorite fiber art…it’s just so  portable!! Quick to find a project, which then becomes a birthday gift,  baby shower present or Christmas gift.

The Amanda Hat by Gina House in Classy with CashmereDishtowels woven with Valley 5/2 Cotton.

How else do you like to express yourself artistically?
Well, I don’t know how artistic I am, but I really enjoy photography. I got the chance of a lifetime this year to venture down to Argentina, the Falkland Islands and then onto Antarctica. It was so amazing and the pictures I came home with made me fall in love with photography. I’ve started making cards with some of my favorite pictures from our family farm. Now if I just had some more time…

Do you have a favorite non fiber related project you’ve completed?
My best marathon time is just 13  minutes shy of qualifying for Boston!

Knitting Pure and Simple 9724 in Plymouth Encore

How do you like to spend your free time?
I work full time at our family farm store. I work at WEBS 1 day a week. We have 5 children, 2 dogs, many chickens, 13 turkeys and about 200 cows. I have no free time. However, I love spending time with my family, especially outdoors. So we go for bike rides, hikes and day trips.

Debby has been working at WEBS for about 5 years now, and says she hopes to be here forever! “My husband encouraged me to apply  in order to support my yarn addiction and to be able to spend more time with  fiber crazy people.  And I’m so grateful that he did.”

Ready, Set, Knit! 331: Kathy talks with Sara Delaney

Saturday, October 19th, 2013
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This week Kathy talks with WEBS Marketing Coordinator, Sara Delaney, about the October KAL/CAL.

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Kathy and Sara discuss the October KAL/CAL happening in the All Things WEBS group on Ravelry, this month’s theme is Stuffed Toys.

Details
What are we making?: knit and/or crocheted stuffed toys
What’s the timeline?: Begin anytime in October, post your finished pictures in the October KAL/CAL Entry thread by 10/31 at noon Eastern.
What’s the prize?: One randomly selected entry will be chosen and will receive a $50 WEBS gift card.

Rules

  • Must be a member of the All Things WEBS group.
  • Must be a stuffed animal (or monster, doll, etc.) – knit or crocheted (or both).
  • Must cast on October 1st (or after) and finish by October 31st at noon Eastern.
  • Must include a photo of the finished object in the KAL/CAL Entry thread. Only one entry (post) per project, but you can enter with more than one project. Just create a new post with the picture.
  • We encourage you to use a yarn (and/or) pattern that you’ve purchased from us, or one that we carry (your handspun is okay too), but it isn’t required.
  • We will lock the thread at noon Eastern on October 31st and the winner will be chosen randomly and posted the next day.

You can find a great selection of knit toy patterns here, crochet toy patterns here as well as the Valley Yarns Creatures! both knit and crochet. And check out our Pinterest Board for even more ideas.

Coming up in November we’ll be running a KAL with our NEW! Safe Passage Set. All proceeds from the sale of this pattern go to Safe Passage. Get your copy of the pattern and yarn today so you can cast on November 1st!

Steve’s Yarn Picks:

Upcoming Events:

Stitches East is coming up! November 8-10 at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford, CT.  There are still lots of open seats in classes and the Market is not to be missed!

Adventures in Yarn Farming Book signing with Barbara Parry, November 14th from 6:30 – 8:00pm

Reminder:

Ready, Set, Knit! listeners are you up for a challenge?!   The KnottyGirls Knitcast issued a challenge and started the Ravelry Podcaster Throwdown. They claimed that their listeners will turn in more hats for Halos of Hope by the end of Stitches West 2014 than any other podcast out there. You all know that Kathy has a competitive streak a mile wide and can’t resist a challenge! Steve has even stepped in and said that he will ship all the collected hats to Stitches West! Here’s what you need to do:

Make as many knit and/or crochet hats as you can (check here for preferred fibers and free patterns) and get them to us by February 1, 2014. Make sure each hat and package is labeled with “Team RSK!” Please mail all packages to:

WEBS
Attn: TEAM RSK!
6 Industrial Pkwy.
Easthampton, MA 01027

If you’re posting about your progress on Facebook or Twitter please use #PodcastThrowdown. And please join the Podcasters Throwdown Group on Ravelry and show your support in the Team RSK thread! If you’ve sent in hats let us know who you are.

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

Ready, Set, Knit! 329: Kathy talks with Kirsten Hipsky

Saturday, October 5th, 2013
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This week Kathy talks with WEBS Design Manager, Kirsten, about the WEBS Fall 2013 Catalog.

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Kathy and Kirsten talk about some of their favorite patterns from this catalog.

The Foxfire Shawl knit in Charlemont Kettle Dyed and Charlemont Hand Dyed, this shawl would look great in lots of different color combinations.

Valley Yarns Foxfire Shawl and additional color options

They also discussed the Whistler Cardigan, The Basic Crochet Pullover, The Morning Bells Shawl,  The Chandelier Shawl, Papyrus Cardigan and Monarda Pullover

If you do not yet receive our catalog you can request one here.

Steve’s Yarn Picks

Our 10th Annual Knit & Crochet for the Cure event is happening in store TOMORROW October 6 from 1-4pm.

Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, the Yarn Harlot, is joining us to offer two classes the week of October 19th! We’re so excited to have her back at WEBS.

Upcoming Events:

WEBS is open regular hours on Columbus day weekend, closed on Sunday and open on Monday, while you’re here you should check out the Paradise City Arts Festival Oct 12-14 at the 3-County Fairgrounds.

Registration is open for our 7th Annual Bus Trip to the NY Sheep & Wool Festival in Rhinebeck on October 19th – just 2 weeks away! Are you on the bus?

Stitches East is coming up! November 8-10 at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford, CT. There are still lots of open seats in classes and the Market is not to be missed!

Reminder:

Ready, Set, Knit! Listeners get ready for a challenge!   The KnottyGirls Knitcast issued a challenge and started the Ravelry Podcaster Throwdown. They claimed that their listeners will turn in more hats for Halos of Hope by the end of Stitches West 2014 than any other podcast out there. You all know that Kathy has a competitive streak a mile wide and can’t resist a challenge! Steve has even stepped in and said that he will ship all the collected hats to Stitches West! Here’s what you need to do:

Make as many knit and/or crochet hats as you can (check here for preferred fibers and free patterns) and get them to us by February 1, 2014. Make sure each hat and package is labeled with “Team RSK!” Please mail all packages to:

WEBS
Attn: TEAM RSK!
6 Industrial Pkwy.
Easthampton, MA 01027

If you’re posting about your progress on Facebook or Twitter please use #PodcastThrowdown. And please join the Podcasters Throwdown Group on Ravelry and show your support in the Team RSK thread! If you’ve sent in hats let us know who you are.

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

Valley Yarns featured in Interweave Crochet

Thursday, September 26th, 2013
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Have you seen the Fall 2013 issue of Interweave Crochet yet? With almost 20 projects ranging from cowls and shawls to blankets and sweaters there is plenty to choose from to keep you busily hooking through the Fall months. Our favorite project, and we admit our bias! is the Obi Scarf crochet in our very own Valley Yarns Northampton Sport.

Obi Scarf from Fall 2013 Interweave Crochet using Valley Yarns Northampton Sport

Designed by Shelby Allaho this versatile design can be worn as a scarf or a belt and features a subtle blending of surface crochet, texture, and color-work creates a clever ribbon of fabric

Obi Scarf from Interweave Crochet Fall 2013 using Valley Yarns Northampton Sport

What colors of Northampton Sport would you use?

Valley Yarns featured in Knit Simple

Thursday, August 29th, 2013
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Not only were our Valley Yarns used for 2 great projects in the Fall 2013 issue of knit simple but one of them is an adorable crochet hat!

The Crocheted Arrows Beanie designed by Janet Brani uses our Valley Yarns Colrain in three rich, fall colors and you only need one skein each of grape jelly, mauve, and rich purple!

Fran Gross designed a simple blanket with great textural details for the Knit Block Afghan using our Valley Yarns Berkshire in a striking shade of Lime green. With just 13 skeins, and over 40 colors to choose from, you could have a bright or subtle addition to your decor with stunning graphic appeal.

What colors would you choose for these projects?

Yarn Cake

Friday, August 2nd, 2013
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In the retail store, customers sometimes look at our ball-winder-and-swift set-up and ask us if we can wind their skeined yarn for them. “No,” we say gently. “We can show you how to do and you can get right on it.” There’s usually a look of panic, or a plea (“just for me? I can’t possibly.”) but we’re firm–because the beauty of a ball winder and a swift is that you can wind up any skein of yarn with less than three minutes of instruction, and it will usually take about 17 seconds for a long, twisty skein to turn into a firm, compact yarn cake. In my first years of knitting, I used to make my husband hold his arms out like a robot to wind a skein into a ball, and when he wasn’t around, I’d have my kids do it. However, it didn’t take long for them to become bored and annoyed at the constant demands on their time (very important things to do! Pokemon cards to look at! Legos to leave on the floor so that I step on them, barefoot, and cry!), and I’d start bribing them with candy, and then with cold, hard cash.

A tasty skein of Northampton Sport, wound into a cake!

A friend and co-worker convinced me to invest in a ball-winder and swift combo. I was really hesitant about doing this, because for some reason I thought that once I had the tools, I was expected to be a SERIOUS KNITTER. But the first time I hooked a skein onto that plastic swift and twirled the handle of the ball winder around for less than a minute, I was hooked. It was amazingly simple and the results are instantaneous. Ball winders, by the way, have a hilarious instruction manual in the packaging that is translated from Japanese and makes it all worthwhile. I have the plastic and metal swift, but we also sell a beautiful wooden swift that is much larger, and will probably be around when you teach your granddaughter or grandson how to knit. Spinners, weavers, dyers, and knitters can all benefit from a little fiber help, and these two indispensable tools will make your life a billion times easier.You can use either of these products separately–swifts can be used to wind spun fiber, and ball winders are great for coned yarns. Webs offers a fantastic deal on the two if bought together.

Now you can eat the M&Ms by yourself without having to parcel them out to the child who complains about how itchy the baby alpaca feels.

Debbie Bliss Crochet Living

Wednesday, July 31st, 2013
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Debbie Bliss has released a new collection of crochet projects for the home, Crochet Living.

There are some simple but visually stunning blankets and home accessories, like pillows and table linens, as well as cozy, wearable accessories. With lots of colors available in Baby CashmerinoCashmerino Aran and Rialto DK you can take any of these patterns and make them your own.

I’m really loving the simple grey poncho with that pop of color from the orange buttons.

 

Reading Crochet Charts

Thursday, June 27th, 2013
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Reading crochet charts can seem daunting to a crocheter that’s never used one before, but they’re not as scary as you might think. Crochet charts are a map of your stitches, they are a visual guide to the stitches you need to create.

The first thing to do is familiarize yourself with the standard crochet symbols, these are the symbols you’ll see in every charted design, no matter what language the written pattern is published in! The Craft Yarn Council has a great list of the most commonly used symbols on their site. You’ll notice that most of the symbols have a physical resemblance to their stitch counterparts.

Know Your Symbols: Check the Legend

As with anything new start simple and familiarize yourself with the process before tackling more complicated projects. Let’s walk through a small swatch in one of the most basic stitches, single crochet.

Here we have a simple, single crochet swatch.

Single Crochet Swatch

The written pattern:
To begin: Ch16
Row 1: Turn, 1sc in 2nd ch from hook, 1sc in ea ch across
Row 2: Ch1, turn, 1sc in ea sc across.
Repeat Row 2 three times more. Fasten off.

The charted pattern:

You’ll see that the charted pattern builds upwards from the foundation chain just like your swatch.

Each row begins with a number that tells you which row you are on and alternate rows change color to help you see which stitches are part of that row and to avoid confusion between rows.

When you compare the chart with the swatch you can see the tail from where you began the chain in the bottom left corner which corresponds to the “Start” symbol and the tail from where you fastened off in the upper left corner which corresponds to the “End” symbol.

Reading Crochet Charts: Charts are a map of your stitches

Take your time and build your experience. The Complete Book of Crochet Stitch Designs by Linda P. Schapper is a great resource for transitioning to using charts. Each stitch pattern includes an image of the pattern, the written version of the pattern as well as the chart.

What’s your favorite tip for reading crochet charts?

 

Crochet Trends in June

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013
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Summer is in full swing and having a lightweight, portable project is ideal in the heat and humidity of the coming weeks. It’s also nice to have a few finished projects that you can use and wear in the warmer months.  Crocheted mesh is a great fabric choice to fill both these needs!

The Michel Vest would look great paired with a bright tee and capris. Made from half double crochet and chain stitches and worked in a single piece to the armholes this one will fly off your hook. The Longmeadow is a fantastic blend of cotton and microfiber that is soft and cool against the skin.

The Tokyo Vest  in Tahki Cotton Classic Lite, a free pattern, is a wonderful layering piece to toss on over a flirty summer dress in the evening. This top is made from 2 simple rectangles and is creatively seemed to create the illusion of a wrap top.

Finally, you’ll need something to carry all your summer finds, be they sea shells, fresh fruits and veggies from the Farmer’s Market, or treasures from a yard sale. Classic Elite has the perfect Market Bag pattern (also Free!) worked up on their Provence yarn.

What’s your favorite lightweight pattern for summer?