Posts Tagged ‘finished projects’

What’s the “Coolest” Fiber Choice?

Friday, July 4th, 2014
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Here in Massachusetts, summer has really hit us. Today is forecast to be at least 90 degrees with high humidity and that’s just the kind of weather I really hate. It’s the kind of weather that makes me not even want to knit, especially the project I have on my needles right now, which is an alpaca cardigan for my mother. God bless you, mom, but I can’t look at it.

This weather makes me wonder if weaving is the way to go. A lot of the woven fabric I like the best is in cotton or linen, which are two fibers I really don’t like to knit. However, woven, they look complex, rich, and most of all, light and cool.linen towels by Scott Norris Take for example, Scott Norris’ linen towels, which are works of art that will provide years of service in your kitchen or bathroom — if you can bear to use them for something so pedestrian as drying your hands or your dishes.

Carol Birtwistle has also done some beautiful work with cotton and cotton blends, and she is a true master of twills. These towels are perfect for summer, since they never feel heavy or sticky.cool cotton twill

In a few weeks, Convergence comes to Providence, RI. This national conference is only held every other year, and usually not as close to “home” as Rhode Island is to us. There are going to be some amazing handwovens there, and it really inspires me to finally get serious about learning to weave.

What is your hot-weather solution to the fiber doldrums? Do you like to knit with plant fibers, or do you take a break? Let’s chat in the comments!

Sweater Cum Laude

Monday, June 23rd, 2014
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On Wednesday, June 18, 7 students received their WEBS Expert Knitter Certificates, signifying that they completed not only the 18 required classes for the program, but had climbed the highest mountain of all: designing and knitting their Capstone sweater. The evening was a celebration not only of their knitting talent and perseverance, but of their creativity and passion for design and fiber. I’d like to let the pictures do the talking, because the garments are absolutely exquisite and should be seen by as many eyes as possible.

Ocean-y color and delicate laceKristie Nathanson was actually a 2013 graduate, but life got in the way, like it does, and she completed her sweater after last year’s Capstone Ceremony. We wanted to recognize her and showcase her lacy confection, knit in Valley Yarns Charlemont.Linda invented her own cable stitch for this lacy cabled sweater!

Linda Mason did an intricately textured Empire-waist cardigan, and not only had at least three different cable patterns, but invented a stitch never before seen–by putting lace INSIDE a cable. Amazing! She used Valley Yarns Northampton, in a classic Aran natural.

 

Pat's bright-blue cablesPat Wheeler did a vivid blue cabled cardigan with eye-catching silver buttons in Cascade 220. Pat had the biggest binder of swatches ever seen, and she used a technique not often employed outside of the classroom–the double-pick-up around her neckband. It creates an invisible edge and is finishing at it’s finest.

Barbara Meunier also used cables and showcased her moss-green knitted sweater in Louet Gems Sport yarn with wooden buttons to create a natural-looking garment that was both simple and intricate. Barbara was the calmest by far of all our Capstone contenders, and it shows in her knitting.Ping, Barbara's mentor, describes her design.

Laurie Scutt-Drohan started her Capstone process more than a year ahead of her actual knitting! When I first gathered the contenders in October of 2013, she already had a big binder of swatches in various yarns she was contemplating for her final project. She eventually decided to use Valley Yarns Charlemont in a deep teal, which complents her fair skin and dark hair beautifully. Laurie is the perfect example of someone knitting their stress away, as several events conspired to make her Capstone year a Laurie looks great in her teal-blue fingering weight cardi.stressful one. But I think you’ll agree that she used her gift to great advantage in this beautifully-fitting sweater.

Liz Crouch was the only other Capstone graduate to use lace. Her original idea was to make a twin set in a plant fiber, but when push came to shove, she felt a fiber blend was the right choice, and ended up using Classic Elite’s Soft Linen, a linen/wool blend, in a flattering lavander shade. It suits her, as you can see, and her lace panels are perfectly balanced and her garment fits her to a T.Lavander lace and beautiful shaping

Jeanne Crosby had a deceptively simple sweater until you saw it up close…and noticed the crocheted panel and neckpiece of skulls in deep black Valley Yarns Northfield. Northfield is soft and drapy and the combination of the smooth fabric and the bold skull pattern really made her sweater outstanding. It completely suits her personality and she loves it!Look closely for those crocheted skulls.

We had another student who was halfway through with her sweater and in the process of finishing up her final classes when another life event took her attention:  Sarah Johnston had baby Nina Belle in March, and as she told me, she couldn’t put Nina Belle down to pick up her needles once that beautiful little girl made her arrival! So I’m sure that at some point in the next year or so, Sarah will send me a mysterious package that will turn out to be her Capstone sweater and we’ll celebrate her at that time.

Sarah Johnston's personal Capstone: Baby Nina Belle!

I hope this inspires you blog-readers to create some magic of your own! All these knitters started with Knitting II; and you can see how dedicated they are to their fiber art! Maybe we’ll institute a Graduate Program here at WEBS. What would that include? Let me know your thoughts!

Customer Spotlight – Malabrigo Blanket

Monday, April 21st, 2014
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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?

Blocked!

Friday, July 19th, 2013
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I know there are many of you out there who block their FO’s on the living room carpet, an unused couch, your guest bed’s mattress, or (I don’t want to know) not at all. I also know that many of you come through the fire with garments that are curly, ravelly, mis-sized or misshapen, or crooked. Your lace is delicate and airy when blocked, scrunchy and meh-looking when unblocked. Your sweaters are rolling at the edges, with one sleeve longer than the other and too tight in the hips until you loosen up the fibers with a cool bath and some Eucalan.

I used to do all of that, too. My garments looked so much better once I invested in a blocking board, which has changed my knitting. Really. It has clearly marked measuring squares for perfect symmetry for sleeves or waist shaping. It is big, so you could potentially block a scarf or medium-ish-sized shawl on it. It is padded, so pins really dig in and don’t move or pop out. It has a felt backing, so it won’t slide around on whatever surface you use. The most genius part: It folds in half and has a convenient handle so you can tote it to the craft room, the den, the deck, or to your drop-in class at Webs to show off your fibery skills.

This could be your sweater!

We carry these boards in two sizes, the small, which measures 18″ x 24″ and is more portable, and the larger size, measuring 33″ x 51″. I really recommend the larger one, since you’ll be able to use it for so many different projects, and you won’t regret the investment. For most garments, a dunk in some cool water to which a capful of wool wash has been added is the way to start. Don’t swirl it around, and for heaven’s sake, don’t squish it dry–if it’s anything but cotton or superwash wool, it will felt. I drain my wet garments in a colander for an hour and then roll them in a towel to just damp. Then, pin away–these T-pins are the best I’ve found. Let it dry, and voila! Art has been made.

31 Days to Get Organized: Storing Your Finished Projects

Wednesday, January 30th, 2013
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If you’ve been knitting and crocheting for more than a few years, you might have a quite a collection of finished projects by now. Some of you have asked for help on how to store your finished projects, especially if you have big collections of sweaters, accessories, and such. In today’s 31 Days to Get Organized post, we’ll be talking about caring for your handmade garments, tips on how to organize and store them, and how to reduce your collection.

Prepare Your Finished Project Before You Store It

  • The first thing you want to do is make sure your handmade creation is clean before you put it away for an extended time. Dirt will attract critters, so you’ll want to make sure your handknit sweater or crocheted blanket is clean. Follow the care instructions for the yarn you used. Eucalan Wool Wash is great for natural fibers, and some scents have natural moth and flea inhibiting properties.
  • Remove pills that may have developed. Using a tool like a sweater comb or the Gleener Ultimate Fuzz Remover will make quick work of this task.
  • Also repair any holes, seams, or loose ends showing on the right side of your fabric. This may take a little more time, but you’ll be thankful when you pull it out to use the next time.

Storage Tips for Your Sweaters

  • Don’t hang your sweaters. This will cause them to stretch out and get hanger marks over time. It’s better to fold or roll your sweaters and store in drawers or on shelves.
  • If you store your sweaters in drawers, rather than folding and stacking them, roll them after folding in the sleeves. All of your sweaters will be more visible and not hide in the bottom of the drawer.
  • If you have wide shelves, use shelf dividers to separate your piles of sweaters so they stay neater and don’t fall over.
  • Keep similar gauge sweaters together. Don’t stack heavier or bulky sweaters on top of fine-gauge sweaters.

Storage Tips for Your Accessories

  • If you have a lot of hats, mittens, scarves, and other accessories, sort them into individual containers to make it easier to find what you’re looking for. A basket of scarves, bucket of hats, and box of mittens can save you time when you’re rushing to get out the door in the morning. Clear plastic drawers that sit below coats in a closet is a good use of space.
  • Use a storage solution where you can easily see your collection. Shallow boxes on a shelf, a shoe organizer with clear pockets on the back of a coat closet door, or open wire baskets attached to the wall can make finding things easier.
  • Some of your storage can also be a way to display your knitting and crochet work. Show off your felted bag collection on wall hooks, or hang your favorite shawls and scarves on a towel rack for all to see.
  • Check out our Craft Spaces Pinterest board for more storage ideas.

Keep Your Favorites and Find New Homes for the Rest

  • What if your collection has gotten too big for your space? Rotate through your garments, keeping some in deeper storage and the rest more accesible.
  • Weed out the items you no longer wear or use. Find another home for them or put them in your giveaway pile. But take pictures first of your work if you haven’t done so already.
  • Sometimes when you finish a project, it doesn’t turn out like you wanted it to. Don’t get frustrated. Save it for your next yarn swap and include a finished project swap too!

Do you have any other tips for storing and organizing your finished work?

- Dena

Customer Finished Project: Wedding Chuppah in Juniper Moon Farm Findley

Thursday, April 19th, 2012
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Every once in a while one of our wonderful customers will show up with a completed project, and today Carol L. came into the store with a fabulous finished Wedding Chuppah that was six months in the making. When we held it up she received a well deserved round of applause from our admiring staff and customers.

Carol took this project on to give to her son and soon to be daughter-in-law for their upcoming wedding which will take place in October. How did she do it and what did she use for yarn? She chose Juniper Moon Farm Findley, which is made up of merino and silk and has a generous yardage of 798!  Carol ended up using almost 8 of these to create her masterpiece. For her pattern inspiration, she adapted patterns from the Victorian Lace Today book along with using charts from one of Barbara Walker’s incredible Treasury of Knitting Patterns.

In discussing Carol’s journey with her she said that when she was working on it she kept thinking of her grandmother and the knitted lace wedding gown that her grandmother made, and chuckling about the fact that when Carol asked her what pattern she used, her grandmother’s response was “Pattern, what pattern? You start at the neck; increase at the bust; decrease at the waist; knit as far down as you want; and you are done!” Very true, nicely put!

You all know how much I love lace projects after our last Dream in Color giveaway, so what a treat it was to see this project.

Thanks for sharing Carol.

- Karen

Crocheted Hexagon Scarf in Valley Yarns Charlemont

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011
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I knew as soon as I saw Sara Delaney’s Amethyst Brook Crocheted Afghan for the first time that it was the pattern I’d been waiting for. I’d been hoarding collecting colors of Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool for an afghan. A year later I’m still making my way through the afghan, wanting to make it bigger and bigger, yet not tired of making hexagons. When Valley Yarns Charlemont arrived with all of the amazing colors, I knew it had to become a hexagon scarf for my best friend.

Starting the scarf I had no idea how much yarn I would need. So I bought one skein each of five colors, one of which is the Valley Yarns Charlemont Kettle Dye. One skein was the right amount for the main purple color. But I had so much yarn left of the other colors. This would be a great project to do with a friend, sharing the contrast colors to cut down the cost of the project. Plus it’s always more fun to work on a project with someone.

The finished dimensions of the scarf is 6.5″ x 64″ and I used 80 hexagons. Crocheting all of the hexagons goes pretty fast. But joining the hexagons is a lot slower than you think it would be. Yet Sara’s joining technique is so elegant and tidy, it’s well worth the effort. You can see more details of the scarf on my Ravelry project page.

Now the question remains,”What do I do with all of my extra Charlemont?” I’ve though about knitting a striped shawl, maybe a Citron. Or I could play around with some log cabin knitting or some modular knitting. Or I can wait for the new Charlemont Hand Dyed from the Kangaroo Dyer that’s coming soon. I saw the test colors and there are a few I must have. Whatever I end up doing with the rest of the Charlemont, it’s such a treat to work with I’m sure to have some fun.

Happy Crocheting!

Dena

Austin Hoodie

Thursday, September 16th, 2010
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Hi Everyone

This time of year the store is changing almost on a daily basis.  The arrival of new yarns means things get moved around and reposition, sample garments are coming in from our suppliers and the staff is delirious from the new patterns to knit and crochet both for themselves as well as for the store.  It can be a little frustrating at times because I can go to look for a yarn or sample garment that was one place yesterday and not there today.  That is truly how fast things can change.

I was in the store gathering some yarn yesterday when I stopped dead in my tracks.  This sample may have been in the store for a bit but it was new to me.  I *heart* it:

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It’s the Austin Hoodie from Connie Chang Chinchio.  Our model was knit using 3 skeins of  Tosh Merino Light.  The sample is a size 32 and is shown in the color Jade.

Look at the lovely stitch detail on the front:

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The woven slip stitched band is created using the yarn doubled – very nice detail.

Here’s the back:

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The main body is worked in a larger than called for gauge which results in a lighter weight fabric.  It’s knit in one piece up to the armholes and features set in sleeves.  What’s even better is that the pattern offers six sizes from 32″-51 1/2″ bust circumference.

Hmm.  Maybe this should be on our short list for a KAL on Ready, Set, Knit?  What do you all think?

Kathy

Adorable Bears

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010
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A few weeks ago, Marion (one of our store associates and knitter extraordinaire) came into my office to show me her latest creation for her grandkids:

Too cute!

Even cuter!  These aren’t just knitted bears – these bears are dressed up!  The bee and ladybug pattern are just two of 20 equally adorable bears in Val Pierce’s book Knitted Bears All Dressed Up

I’ve always had a soft spot for stuffed animals, even as a child.  I was not a doll person at all.  Stuffed animals – I had a herd!

This is a fantastic little book to have on hand when you need a quick project to take with you or need to knit up a quick gift.  Chances are you have yarn in your stash that would work – even if you have to be a bit imaginative on the color scheme :)

Enjoy!

Kathy

Friday Cuteness

Friday, April 16th, 2010
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Hi Everyone:

Karen our Store Manager brought in the first critter I highlight below this morning.  As we were pulling up the pattern I came across our second furry friend and then our third feature is very special and someone I’ve been remiss in sharing with you!  So let’s have some fun on this Friday, shall we?

First up is Harry Rabbit:

Harry is created from a new line of patterns/kits from Frog Tree Alpacas.  For $8.00 you get the pattern you get all the parts and pieces you need to create your critter.  Harry comes with his eyes, pink felt and wire which allow his arms and legs to be poseable.  The yarn needs to be purchased separately.  Harry is knit with Frog Tree Sport Weight Alpaca – he takes 3 colors.  Frog Tree Sport Weight has 130 yards for $6.80 per skein.  For Harry’s main color approximately 80 yards are used so if you purchased 2 skeins of color A and 1 each of color B and C for a total of 4 skeins ($27.20) you would be able to create THREE Harrys!  There are seven patterns in all and each one is adorable!

Next up is a super cuddly puppy:

He’s made from Plymouth Pattern 1782 and is knit using one of Plymouth’s newer yarns, Nazca Wind.   He only takes one hank, his eyes and nose are needle felted and his collar is created from scrap yarn.

Nazca Wind is $14.95 per skein and at 3 1/2 sts = 1″ this pup will knit up in no time!

Last, but far from least is our very own Green Monster:

I’m sure by now most of you have met Iris the Gourmet Monster from Lorna’s Laces & Danger Crafts:

When we met Iris at TNNA back in January we were smitten.  Steve came up idea to create one in a custom “green” colorway.  Beth was game and our Green Monster was born!

Of course red socks were a requirement!  Iris the Green Monster is a WEBS Exclusive.  The kit comes with the pattern and the yarn for Iris.  The pattern for the red socks is available free on our website.  The kit itself is $30.00.

Regular Iris the Gourmet Monster Kits are available in three different Lorna’s Laces yarns – Shepherd Bulky ($50.00) , Greenline DK ($30.00) and Revelation ($50.00).

Enjoy!

Kathy