Posts Tagged ‘Doris Chan’

Ready, Set, Knit! 412: Kathy talks with Doris Chan

Saturday, August 29th, 2015
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This week Kathy talks with WEBS 2015 Crochet Designer in Residence, Doris Chan!

Ready, Set, Knit! episode #412 - Kathy talks with Doris Chan. Listen now on the WEBS Blog - blog.yarn.com

The talk about the surprising simplicity of her newest design, the Crocheted Goshen Jacket, and how sophisticated and elegant it can look.

WEBS was a sponsor of the 2015 Crochet Guild Crochet Design Contest – check out the winners on their recap blog post.

Steve’s Yarn Picks of the week :

Reminder:

Fall classes are open. Register now, they’re filling fast!

Bathroom renovations are happening in our retail store. We are now restricted to a single stall for all our customers and employees. Please plan ahead for restroom stops before and after your visit to help alleviate lines for other  customers and staff. We will be down to just one bathroom stall through the Labor day weekend – PLEASE plan ahead.

Upcoming Events:

Registration for Spinzilla opens Sept. 1st at 10am. Are you ready?

Sign ups are open for our annual bus trip to Rhinebeck – get your seat now!

Be sure to check out all of our upcoming Events here.

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Designer in Residence – the Crocheted Goshen Jacket from Doris Chan

Tuesday, August 4th, 2015
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August is a great time to start work on larger projects that you can create with smaller pieces. Doris‘ latest design as our WEBS Designer in Residence, the Crocheted Goshen Jacket, is just such a project.

Doris Chan, WEBS Designer in Residence August design, the Crocheted Goshen Jacket. Read more on the WEBS blog at blog.yarn.com

Inspired by the shape of the fortune cookie, this comfortable cardigan is constructed with lace motifs, and solid ribbed cuffs and bands to bring it all together. A few ingenious folds, join as you go seams, and a simple v-shaped wrap becomes the perfect seasonal layer.

Doris Chan, WEBS Designer in Residence, August design - the Crocheted Goshen Jacket. Read more on the WEBS blog at blog.yarn.com

Over 2 dozen shades of Goshen means that you’ll have no trouble choosing the perfect color to coordinate with your wardrobe. The cotton/modal/silk fiber blend means a slinky and soft feel against your skin, and a yarn that will stay cool in the warmer months but add a little extra warmth when it gets chilly. Will you make your jacket all in one color or experiment with a combination?

Designer in Residence – the Lace Stole from Doris Chan

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015
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June is here and summer is just around the corner! While we might all be ready for poolside barbeques and heat waves, Mother Nature seems to have different plans. It’s been rather chilly in the Northeast lately and the newest design from Doris Chan might be the perfect thing to keep you warm at that Graduation or late Spring wedding! The Lace Stole, crocheted in Valley Yarns 2/10 Merino Tencel is the third design from Doris Chan as WEBS Designer in Residence.

Doris Chan WEBS 2015 Crochet Designer in Residence, her third design the Lace Stole in Valley Yarns 2/10 Merino Tencel - learn more at blog.yarn.comLace accessories are not about warmth or coverage; they’re all about drama. Yes, in the cold you could gather up the Lace Stole and softly twist it around your head and neck for a scarf and enjoy the cozy feeling of silky wool yarn. But the glorious nature of a lace weight stole is truly revealed when you think of it as a statement piece. This whisper-light, crush proof, packable stole is born for travel. Simply stash it in a compact bundle in your bag (hopefully protected from snagging on anything), and when the moment is right to transition from dress-down casual to dress-up drama, pull it out, shake it loose with a flourish, and fling it around your shoulders. Graciously accept all the compliments!

Doris Chan WEBS 2015 Crochet Designer in Residence, her third design the Lace Stole in Valley Yarns 2/10 Merino Tencel - learn more at blog.yarn.comWhether you prefer classic neutrals, or rich jewel tones, there’s a shade of 2/10 Merino Tencel that’s perfect for your own version of the Lace Stole. Which color will you choose?

Designer in Residence – Motif Bolero from Doris Chan

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015
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April has arrived already and the next design from Doris Chan is here! The Motif Bolero is crocheted in two colors of our Valley Yarns Charlemont,  a lovely sock/fingering weight blend of superwash Merino wool and silk, the color sequence tends to emphasize the geometry of the motifs. For a less patchwork look go with a single shade, or choose your own color combination!

Doris Chan WEBS 2015 Crochet Designer in Residence, her second design the Motif Bolero in Valley Yarns Charlemont - learn more at blog.yarn.com

The Motif Bolero is a unique, open-front jacket constructed from granny-style motifs that have been updated with open stitch rounds for a lacy look and pretty drape. Pentagons form the V-neck and shaped shoulders. Squares fill in the underarms and complete the boxy body, which falls just below the waist.

Doris Chan WEBS 2015 Crochet Designer in Residence, her second design the Motif Bolero in Valley Yarns Charlemont - learn more at blog.yarn.com

This is a great piece to layer for Spring. Pair this little jacket with a flirty spring dress or your favorite t-shirt and jeans. What colors of Charlemont will you choose?

 

 

 


Doris Chan – a Designer in Residence in her own words

Tuesday, February 17th, 2015
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Our 2015 Crochet Designer in Residence, Doris Chan, took some time to write about the program, her history with WEBS, and how you can help her decide what Valley Yarns to use next and what to design, over on her website.

The Shawl Collar Stole from Doris Chan, one of six new designs available at yarn.com

About her first design, the Shawl Collar Stole, she says, “Anyone who has wrapped this baby around the shoulders does not want to take it off. Truth be told, I enjoyed the lush softness of the piece while I was creating the sample; this from a crocheter who has allergies, among them wool. Thick yarn, big hook, zero finishing, quick work, nearly instant gratification.”

Have you tried our Valley Superwash Bulky yet?

Ready, Set, Knit! 390: Kathy talks with Doris Chan

Saturday, February 14th, 2015
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This week Kathy talks with our 2015 Crochet Designer in Residence, Doris Chan. Her first design, the Shawl Collar Stole is out now.

Ready, Set, Knit! ep. 390 - Kathy talks with Doris Chan our 2015 Crochet Designer in Residence - listen now at blog.yarn.com

Kathy and Doris talk about how Doris designs, her first trip to the store and warehouse, and the crochet friendly vibe at WEBS. You can find more of Doris’ designs on Ravelry and at Designing Vashti.

And for those of you wondering what all the snow up here look like, here’s Steve next to our monstrous snowbank!

Steve Elkins and the snowbank outside WEBS yarn store on Feb 13, 2015!

Steve’s Yarn Picks of the week:

Reminder:

Sign up now for the WEBS Mystery KAL or Mystery CAL classes before they fill up! Classes Start February 21st!

Upcoming Events:

The Magpies Homebodies and Nomads Trunk Show from Cirilia Rose is on display in the store through Feb 23rd. Stop by and check it out!

Stitches WEST is happening at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA Feb 20-22, stop by the WEBS booth and say hi!

Try your hand at Japanese knitting with Donna Druchunas, classes run Feb 28th and March 1st!

Don’t miss your chance to meet and talk with Norah Gaughan on March 7th!

There are still open seats in classes with Margaret Radcliffe on April 12, Slipped Stitch Patterns and the Lazy Knitter’s Guide to Pattern Stitches!

Classic Elite Yarns Truck shows are ongoing and there’s always something new to see! Stop by the store to see what’s on display.

Be sure to check out all of our upcoming Events here.

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

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.

Gifts to Make – Perfect Crochet

Monday, December 1st, 2014
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Whether you’re in need of a few last minute gifts for friends and family, or searching for the perfect gift for yourself, we have what you’re looking for. Cowls and shawlshave been very popular this year and there are so many patterns to choose from, we’ve narrowed it down to three of our favorites.

crochet post_edited-1

The Vanda Stole from Valley Yarns features a center out construction and an open lacey design that’s sure to work up quickly and would be a perfect project to pick up a few skeins of our 40th Anniversary Northfield hand dyed by Malabrigo.

The Valley Cowl designed by Doris Chan is a luscious, lacy  infinity style cowl, worked from the center out in a figure 8 with no seams! . Worn as a shoulder wrap or double-twisted around the head as a hood, it makes a lovely, practical and quick-to-crochet gift.

Linda Permann’s Zigzag Cowl not only takes advantage of the long color repeats of Cascade Yarns Tangier but it’s all worked with a single skein!

Thank You

Friday, April 4th, 2014
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With the first quarter of 2014 is coming to a close we wanted to take a moment to thank some of the people that have made it such a success.

To Amy Herzog, Melissa LaBarre and Doris Chan,
Thank you for your creative vision, and for turning our yarns into works of wearable art.

To Madelinetosh,
Thank you for sharing your gorgeous colors with us.

(If you haven’t yet gotten any, there are just a few skeins left of our 40th Anniversary Valley Superwash DK hand dyed by Madelinetosh. When they’re gone, they’re gone!)

To Della Q,
Thank you for the perfect project bag.

(There are just a few of these limited edition bags left. Get one while you can!)

To Barbara Elkins, Judie Yamamoto, and Carol Birtwistle,
Thank you for creating amazing textiles with our yarns.

To Norah Gaughan and the Berroco team,
Thank you for breathing new life into some classic Berroco designs, just for us.

To Stamell Stringed Instruments,
Thank you for letting us come home one more time, and for being a beautiful location for photography.

(The house that Stamell’s occupies is the former home of WEBS)

And thanks to You, our customers,
You have made the start of our 40th Anniversary year just amazing. Thanks for being here with us.

We’ve got so much more to share with you! Our second round of celebrations launch next Monday, April 7th. More yarn, more designs, and more specialty products!

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.