This week the WEBS staff is buzzing about quick holiday knitted gifts, limited edition yarn and more.
1. With just a couple of weeks left for holiday knitting I was looking for a quick project. I had some Cascade Yarns Eco Cloud in my stash and I thought it would work up into a nice cowl. After a Ravelry search I found the Infinitude Scarf to be just the right project. Wow! I was amazed how quickly I finished this project, just two nights. I made the large size (skipping the last repeat) and used 2 skeins. I fell in love with Eco Cloud, so soft and squishy. I can’t wait to use this yarn again. I have a new favorite yarn. > Dena C.
2. Blocking Boards – Most knitters are givers, and don’t usually spend a lot of money on themselves. We use mattresses, carpets, and anything else soft and flat to block our projects on to stand in for a blocking board. But a blocking board is so much easier to use. It folds up neatly to be tucked away when not in use, and it has a grid on it so you can easily block to the right measurements. This would definitely be a treat for the knitter or crocheter in your life! > Grace H.
3. The Hartford Artisans Weaving Center 2012 Calendar – I love the new weaving calendar produced by the Harftford Artisans Weaving Center. Each month features a beautiful close-up photo of weaving which I find wonderfully inspiring. But wait, there’s more! The calendar also lists the dates of the various fiber festivals on the East coast making it easy to plan for fiber adventures! > Leslie Ann B.
4. I am making these Monstah Pants for my 8 month old Grandson, Jack. What a wonderful, fun pattern to knit. This pattern is by the Wandering Lady and is a free download on Ravelry. One of the best things for me was picking wild and crazy colors for these pants. The pants are knit in Cascade Yarns 220 Superwash and Valley Yarns Valley Superwash for ease of care. > Theresa B.
5. My niece turned 10 yesterday and no matter what I did, I could not come up with the perfect present! An eleveth-hour search on Ravelry brought me to the Shroom Hat from the Winter 2009 issue of Knitty. It’s a great slouchy hat knit in Spud & Chloë Outer. The yarn is super soft and warm and (the best part!) the hat took only two hours to knit! I even tried it on myself and it was super comfortable. I think I might need to whip one up for myself. It calls for two hanks of Outer, and I think I may be able to squeak out another hat with my leftovers if I buy one more hank. If you’re looking for a great, really last minute gift, this is a great choice. > Mary K.-H.
6. CISA Yarn – We have partnered with a local shepherd and our own Kangaroo Dyer to create a very special, but limited edition yarn. It is 85% wool and 15% nylon. All sales of this yarn will benefit CISA, which is a non-profit group dedicated to sustaining agriculture right here in Western MA. > Kathy E.
7. O-Wool Legacy DK - I recently used O-Wool Classic for some non-WEBS-related knitting, and fell in love with it. Then, I came in to the store to work a couple of days ago and saw that we had a closeout of O-Wool Legacy DK in some gorgeous muted colors! The hand is similar to the Classic, but it is just a bit lighter weight – for those of you out there planning your early spring knitting, this would make a great light sweater knit at a slightly loose gauge. I know that’s what I’m going to do with it, and I can’t wait until I’m able to pick some up! > Elisabeth P.
Here’s a few items the WEBS staff is buzzing about this week.
1. Valley Yarns Spotted Christmas Stocking - It’s a really fast, cute knit that’s a great way to welcome a new family member into your Christmas traditions. The main body is in a simple slip-stitch pattern which is easy to customize for different people. This pattern is available for free on our website. And we have stocking kits set up available in two color combinations. > Kirsten H.
2. Autumn Vines Beret in Madelinetosh Tosh Sport (color well water): This yarn was a joy to work with, which is no surprise. This colorway is so often backordered that I jumped at the chance to work it up. The Never Not Knitting pattern (available as a downloadable PDF) was easy to follow and a gratifying knit. Definitely a great gift knit. > Cara S.
3. Knitted Wild Animals by Sarah Keen – After I knitted the monkey from this book, I knew I would do more. I’ve made the zebra, panda, elephant and penguin. I am knitting my way through this great book. The giraffe is the latest. He is Eli and named for my favorite quarterback. All the animals live in Chicago with my family. What shall I make next? > Marion H.
4. Rollie StitchKeepers – Your project never comes off the DPNs with these stitch keepers. Reaching into my knitting bag and pulling out a project is not frightening anymore. > Gail C.
5. Standard Design Timberrr! Animal Prints – I love this new sheep print. Made by a local artist, this cutie would be perfect in a craft room or in the bedroom of a little future fiber-enthusiast! I like the look of the wood grain, and the little sticks as legs is an adorable detail. > Tina M.
1. These Weaving Journals are blank graph paper pages with a marbled cover in a hardbound format. The marbling and the book binding are done by a local company with one of our reeds! On the inside back cover is a description of how the marbling is done with credit to WEBS for the reed! These would be a great gift. We now also have a Knitting Journal and Blank Journal too. > Barbara E.
2. Great Adirondack Mulberry Silk Roving – This wonderful fiber comes in eight deeply saturated colorways that are a pleasure to spin. The roving drafts beautifully and works into soft, lustrous yarns. Add some to your fiber stash today! > Ashley F.
4. The Knitter’s Book of Socks – With my ever-expanding sock knitting addiction, this book caught my eye as soon as it came into the store. Clara Parkes has done it again with this book, following the nearly indispensable The Knitter’s Book of Yarn. With thoroughness and engaging writing, this book is a compendium of sock knowledge, orienting one to all the techniques, fibers and tricks to making socks that will not only fit perfectly, but last through a lifetime of wear. > Ashley F.
At WEBS, we’ve ramped up our knitting and crochet and are now in prime gift making mode. Here’s a peek at a few of the projects we’ve been busy with or buzzing about making this holiday season.
Great for Any Guy
There’s something extra special about giving someone a hand knit sweater. Sweaters take more time to make than a scarf, mittens or a hat, and they get worn pretty often. Making a sweater for a man can be a tricky task. It can be tough to figure out just what they would actually wear. I got around trying to figure out what he would like by just asking him! I gave my recipient three patterns to chose from, and then let him pick the color for the yarn.
Cashmere for Someone Special
I needed a special gift but one that was quick and easy. I found it in Dream in Color Smooshy with Cashmere yarn Rain Drops Beaded Socks (free pattern on Ravelry!). I chose color 505 Dark Current and matching beads. With the softness of cashmere, the strength of merino wool and nylon, and colors that blend beautifully these socks are beautiful, luxurious and durable. I planned on making only 1 pair, but I love the easy pattern and yarn so much I can’t wait to begin another pair! > Linda B.
A Whimsical Knitted Hat
The Gnomey Earflap Hat makes a great holiday project. Since it only takes 2 balls of Valley Yarns Cold Spring, it’s an affordable way to pamper yourself or a loved one this season. If you’ve never done stranded colorwork before, don’t fear! This hat features a large and easy motif that flies off your needles, and the earflaps are perfect for cold weather. Warm ears, warm heart–isn’t that how the saying goes? > Emma W.
Feminine Lace Shawlette
Shibui Draper is a sweet little shawlette that knits up quickly with just two skeins of the lovely Shibui Staccato. I really enjoyed knitting our store sample. > Greta S.
Simple and Fun to Knit
I love the twist and the silk slubs of The Fibre Copany Acadia and the slighter than dk-gauge this yarn has to offer. The color choices and combinations are intriguing. Knitting the Katahdin Hat was a treat: not only is it a free download pattern, but it offers an interesting technique for striping in the round, one that I had never used. The stripe sequences were seamless, and no “jog” in the stripe when you change colors. The slight slouch to the design is so current and looks adorable. This hat was simple, but fun to make – you will want to make more than one, guaranteed! > N. P.
Wrapped in Love
Anzula Cloud is lofty and squishy in a lovely semi-solid variegation. The Aecor shawl is worked from the center top down with a knitted on border. The drop-in ladies were ooh-ing and aah-ing over this, so I know it’s not just me! > Cara S.
A Touch of Silk and Angora
Simple stranded knitting and fuzzy, luxurious Valley Yarns Sheffield make this Snow Day Hat and Mittens set a really special winter time treat. Since color work is so visually impressive, I think these would make a great gift for knitters and non-knitters alike. > Kirsten H.
1. Artyarns Shawl for All Seasons Kits – Luxury yarn, sparkle and killer packaging? That’s what you’ll get with the Artyarns Shawl for All Seasons Kit. Featuring five mini skeins of Rhapsody Light and Beaded Silk Light, this shawl kit is available in three stunning color combinations. The best part after the yarn, sparkle and packaging? The price – $68.00 for a gorgeous, luxurious shawl kit. Love it! > Kathy E.
2. Weekend Hats – The latest book by Melissa LaBarre and Cecily Glowick MacDonald Weekend Hats was on the top of my list for purchasing! Not only is it a wonderful collection of hats by a start studded cast of designers, there are many hats I would wear personally. I nabbed a book the minute it came in and purchased some Manos Silk Blend Semi Solid to start my first hat which will be the Greenery Beret. The book has some very helpful Tips and Techniques throughout, which is a very nice touch. > Karen M.
3. Knitter’s Pride Cubics Interchangeable Circular Needle Tips – I recently got a Dreamz Deluxe Set and noticed all the extra space and roomy pockets in the case. So I’ve been supplementing the set with Cubix interchangeable tips as I need them. It’s really handy to have 2 pairs of frequently used sizes. I love using the Cubix, and I love the easy color-coded sizes of the Dreamz, so it’s the best of both worlds! > Kirsten H.
4. WEBS Gift Cards – Every year it seems like the holidays sneak up on us and leave us scrambling to get all of our shopping done in time. WEBS Gift Cards make a great holiday gift for any knitter, crocheter, weaver, or spinner. As we get closer to the holiday rush, we know that we’ll be making out a ton of these gift cards for our customers to help make the holiday season even better for someone special. Why not get a jump on the holidays and order yours today or start nudging your friends and family towards a great gift idea? > Mike W.
5. Plymouth Yarn Tweed Closeout – Rustic and simple, with fun little bits of tweedy color, I’ve always liked the look of this yarn, but haven’t gotten around to using it. I just spotted it in the warehouse on closeout, so I think I’ll grab a few to play with. I’m thinking a warm, simple Fair Isle hat to wear in the snow! > Tina M.
I dread to bring up the inevitable. “It’s barely Halloween,” I hear people say. But then again, the seasoned knitter starts when the weather is warm. Customers vow each year to start in January, and I wonder, does anyone ever really do this? I’ve been trying to sidestep the hand crafted gift giving because it quickly spirals into fantasy regarding what can be done in a certain period of time.
I wonder sometimes if all this work is worth it. It’s doubtful that my brother will ever wear the cabled scarf I spent countless hours making him. My father will likely lose the hat I made, so I can make the same blaze orange hunting hat year after year. My mother will just add to the pile of special knits that are too nice to wear. Thankfully my sister wears the stitches out of everything I knit for her, but she’s always easy to give to. Family knitting is truly selfless knitting.
Despite my misgivings, as time approaches my thoughts return to gift knitting. It’s almost impossible to resist the handmade gift. What better way to show love? Or strike envy into the hearts of non-knitters at our skill? (Or so I imagine). So my next challenge is to come up with a good “assembly line” gift. One I can plug out in a relatively short period of time and just keep running full speed until I’m done.
One year I made miniature stocking ornaments, which were well received. The new book 55 Christmas Balls to Knit, by Arne and Carlos, has me considering this again. There’s more to this book than you might imagine with ample opportunity to mix and match themes. I could make a strangely large amount with the new Cascade 220 Fingering or Rowan Fine Tweed!
I can also see making a variety of hats, each to fit the style of the recipient. With the brand spanking new Weekend Hats this is bound to be a hit. This book is the newest volume edited by Melissa Labarre and Cecily Macdonald.
So many lovely publications this fall my head is spinning with ideas! What are your plans for holiday crafting?