Posts Tagged ‘how to’

On the bookshelf this week: Vintage Design Workshop

Friday, November 1st, 2013
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NaKniSweMo – National Knit a Sweater Month is in full swing and it’s not too late to get started.

Geraldine Warner has put together a wonderful book that allows you to adapt vintage patterns into the perfect fit for modern-day style!

Vintage Design Workshop is divided into two sections, the first half teaches you how to update any vintage pattern to accommodate modern sizes and gives advice on choosing substitutes for yarns that are out of production. The second section demonstrates how to adapt modern patterns to create a vintage silhouette, teaching how to mix and match sleeves, necklines, or collars to the pattern of your choice to achieve a vintage look.

Leave a comment below and tell us if you’ve held onto a vintage pattern that you’d like to update and you could win a copy! All comments must be posted by 11:59pm EST on Tuesday, Nov. 5. Please make sure to leave us a way to contact you if you win! The winner will be drawn randomly and posted here the following day.

Edited, Wednesday November 6, 2013:

And our Winner is –  Michelle who said, “I’ve updated an already “updated” pattern from the 30′s with good results, but I’d love to have even more ideas. This book looks great.”

Congratulations Michelle! Keep an eye on your inbox, we’ll be contacting you soon.

On the bookshelf this week: The Art of Seamless Knitting

Friday, October 18th, 2013
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Did you know that November is NaKniSweMo – National Knit a Sweater Month? That means it’s the perfect time to give away a copy of The Art of Seamless Knitting by Simona Merchant-Dest and Faina Goberstein

This book walks you through the ins and outs of seamless knitting with chapters on lace, cables and textured stitches as well patterns worked with top-down and bottom-up construction. You’ll find pullover and cardigan sweaters as well as accessories and loads of tips and tricks for increasing and decreasing in pattern.

Leave a comment below and tell us why you’d love to make a seamless sweater and you could win a copy! All comments must be posted by 11:59pm EST on Tuesday, Oct. 22. Please make sure to leave us a way to contact you if you win! The winner will be drawn randomly and posted here the following day.

Edited, Wednesday October 23, 2013:

And our Winner is –  Carmen who said, “I would love to make a seamless sweater. I have yet to finish a sweater for myself because I’m too worried about how I’m going to put it all together!”

Congratulations Carmen! Keep an eye on your inbox, we’ll be contacting you soon.

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.

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?

 

Reading Knitting Charts

Thursday, June 20th, 2013
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Many new knitters find reading charts to be intimidating, but it’s actually quite easy once you break it down. It’s just like reading written directions.

Stitch Legend

What about all of the symbols? Do they all mean a different stitch?

Just like familiarizing yourself with the stitch abbreviations in the written portion of the pattern you’ll want to get to know your stitch symbols. Take a moment to look at the stitch Legend. Every symbol you see in the chart is there and the Legend explains what each symbol means.

Working in the right Direction

In most cases, you read your chart from right to left on the first row. You’ll notice that when you’re working a pattern in rows that the Row numbers appear staggered on each side of the chart.

If the Row number is on the right hand side of the pattern then this row is worked right-to-left. If the number appears on the left hand side of the chart then this row is worked from left-to-right.

 

Color Your Chart

When I’m working from charts, I find it really helpful to color the different stitches.  It’s easier for me to glance for a color than the symbol. Plus, it’s just fun to color!

(A sticky note or highlighter tape is a great way to keep track of and easily follow which row you’re working on too.)

Use Your Stitch Markers

Often, a chart won’t have the entire piece charted out, just the stitches on either edge and the small section of stitches you repeat across the row. Adding markers at the beginning/end of every repeat makes it easy to keep track of where you are and makes it obvious when to stop the repeat.

Do you have any tips for reading knitting charts?

CAL Week 4: Sugar Sparkles Shawlette

Thursday, April 18th, 2013
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All our crochet work is done! Now we move on to the blocking and see the magic it can have on a finished piece.

You may want to weave in your ends before blocking but don’t trim them yet, let them settle into the new shape with the blocked shawl and trim them when everything is dry.

Here you can see that I’ve pinned the top edge, using blocking wires to keep it nice and straight. Then I pinned the bottom section of the shawlette with another wire and I have a third wire in the center so I can keep everything even.

Once the center section was pinned I was able to pin out the angled increase and decrease sides with a pin in each bobble, here you can see that in detail.

We have a great video with Dena showing you the blocking process. While she is blocking a knit shawl the principles and process are the same.

Once the shawlette is dry you can unpin, trim any ends that may have popped out during the blocking process, and wear!

Thanks for crocheting along with us! What was your favorite part of this project?

Get your copy of the pattern here and join in the CAL at any time! Week 1, Week 2, Week 3

Tuesday’s Knitting Tip – Latvian Braids

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012
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Today’s Tip is from Emma Welford, WEBS Purchasing Coordinator and contributing designer for Valley Yarns.

If you love the Dreamer’s Braided Pullover, but are intimated by the Latvian Braid detail on the yoke, Emma has created a video tutorial to walk you through the steps. In the video below, she outlines how to construct both a left and right leaning Latvian Braid for the Dreamer’s Braided Pullover, or any future colorwork project! Click here to see more of the Dreamer’s Braided Pullover!


Ready, Set, Knit! #286: Kathy talks with Jeanne Lewis, founder of creativebug

Saturday, October 27th, 2012
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Play Now:

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Guest:
Kathy and Jeanne discuss how creativebug.com came to be. With almost 100 video tutorials and 2 new video classes added each week user have a unique opportunity to learn at their own pace, at times that are convenient to the individual.  There is an exciting variety of disciplines from Print-making and Knitting to Jewelry, Crochet, Sewing and much more.

Valley Yarns in the new issue of Knitscene!

Knitscene Winter 2012 Issue is out and features 2 lovely designs using our own Valley Yarns:

The Chandra Shawl designed by Laura Coccarelli, knit in Valley Yarns Berkshire.

The Gate Pullover designed by Margeaux Hufnagel, knit in Valley Yarns Northfield.

Steve’s Yarn Picks

WEBS Holiday Gift Guide 2012 Catalogs will begin arriving in mailboxes next week.
Upcoming Events:
Franklin Habit will be here for classes and an event in early November. The event is now full!
Event and book signing with Carol Sulcoski on November 10th.

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

Tuesday’s Knitting Tip – Keeping Even Tension in Ribbing

Tuesday, September 25th, 2012
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This week’s tip coms from Ysolda Teague’s latest book, Little Red in the City. It’s filled with fantastic tips and tricks to making your knitting neater and easier resulting in a stunning finished product.

 

Uneven tension in your knitting results in sloppy looking stitches that can really distract from your stitch pattern and your overall project. This tension problem can be really obvious in ribbing. A lot of people purl looser than they knit. This makes the preceding knit stitch appear sloppy and uneven since any slackness in your purl stitch is actually traveling backwards to your knit stitch.

 

To fix this, work all purl stitches in Eastern style. The difference between Eastern and Western style is simply the direction in which the yarn is wrapped around the needle when working the stitch. Most people knit Western style, which wraps the purl stitches counter clockwise. Eastern purls stitches clockwise. The yarn can be held in either the left or right hand. Wrapping the yarn clockwise follows a shorter path around the needle, putting less yarn into the stitch. On the following row, knit into the back loop of your knit stitches.

 


Tuesday’s Knitting Tip – Converting your Flat Pattern to In the Round

Tuesday, September 18th, 2012
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Thanks to our Purchasing Coordinator and part-time knitwear designer, Emma Welford for this week’s tip!

If you hate purling and dread seaming or just want to challenge yourself with a different construction, try converting your flat pattern to knitting in the round! I’m currently doing this with my Holla Back Tank pattern since I’ve already knit the pattern once and want to keep myself on my toes this time around.

- Read through your pattern carefully before beginning. If it has unusual construction techniques or a lace pattern with special stitches on every row, it will be more complicated or even unsuitable to translating to working in the round. This depends on your skill level and comfort with the contents of the pattern so only you can make that decision.

- Knit your gauge swatch in the round. Like a lot of people, I find I knit slightly tighter in the round than I do flat.

- Remove any selvage stitches when calculating how many stitches to cast on and where any shaping takes place.For example, if the front of your sweater says to CO 102 stitches (100 body stitches and 2 selvage stitches) and the back of your sweater says to CO 112 stitches (110 body stitches and 2 selvage stitches), you would CO 210 stitches when knitting in the round.

- Remember that any WS rows will be worked opposite to what they originally state. Purls will be knit, knits will be purled, and lace or cable patterns will be worked backwards. If you have a chart, read the WS rows from right to left.


- Remove any ‘balancing’ stitches outside of the repeats for a lace or cable pattern.

- Don’t be afraid to place multiple markers!I place one color to indicate the beginning of the round, and another to separate the front and the back of the sweater to help me remember to follow the different instructions for each piece. I also like to use stitch markers to separate out lace or cable panels.


- If your pattern calls for sleeves, you could knit them flat and seam them as originally called for.  Another option is to pick up stitches from the armhole and work a short row sleeve cap, then knit the sleeve downwards from there and reverse shaping by decreasing at the intervals where the pattern says to increase. Choose the method you’re most comfortable with!