Posts Tagged ‘Jade Sapphire’

Gifts for Weavers

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014
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Stumped by what to get for the weaver in your life? It can be tricky when you do not speak the language or know the tribal customs of this particular breed of fiber enthusiast. But fear not, for I am a professional weaving enabler and I can provide insight into this dilemma. As with most of my gifting, I try to look for something special, something that the giftee might not necessarily buy for her/himself. The choices range from tools to enhance the weaving process to luxury fibers to make a unique woven piece.

Schacht variable dent heddle for rigid heddle looms - available at yarn.com

 

Schacht’s Variable Dent Heddle (for the Flip Rigid Heddle Loom) allows weavers to create one-of-a-kind pieces by combining different yarns together in a single warp. The heddle consists of a frame with sections of varying dents that can be combined in any order, providing limitless possibilities for beautiful woven projects!

 

Yarn to Yards Balance - available at yarn.com

 

Those of us who have been grabbed by fiber lust often find ourselves with mystery cones and skeins with no labels, leaving us to wonder if we have enough yarn to weave that special *thing*. The Yarn to Yards Balance is here to answer those questions with a simplicity that is ingenious. A length of yarn is balanced on the device and then measured to find yards per pound. No fuss, no muss, and no batteries needed.

Another tool new weavers often delay getting is the indispensable Bobbin Winder. Sturdy and simple, these tools last forever and take the drudgery out of winding bobbins of thread to weave. They offer a distinct advantage over homemade options by allowing a degree of control that produces a better wound bobbin (one of the keys to good selvedges).

Jade Sapphire Silk Cashmere - available at yarn.com

 

Silk. Cashmere. Need I say more? Okay, maybe some specifics – how about a skein of Jade Sapphire Silk Cashmere, the epitome of luxury in a skein. These skeins have great yardage, with enough in one skein for weft for a softer-than-soft scarf. It pairs beautifully with our 2/10 Merino Tencel as warp (ask me how I know).

Schacht Inkle Loom - available at yarn.com

 

Then we have a fun loom for kids and adults alike – the Inkle Loom. This loom is for weaving narrow bands that are great for belts, guitar and camera straps, and as strips to piece or weave together into larger projects. We sell the Schacht Inkle Loom individually, or as a gift set that adds in a shuttle to weave with and Anne Dixon’s great book, The Weaver’s Inkle Pattern Directory, which is filled with colorful, inspiring designs in addition to basic weaving instructions. A smaller version of the loom is also available, the Ashford Inklette.

And, finally, no wish list would be complete without mentioning gift cards, the present that fits everyone regardless of size, color and fiber preferences!

Surprise your favorite weaver with something special and watch the fun as the creativity is unleashed!

Ready, Set, Knit! 381: Kathy talks with Leslie Ann Bestor

Saturday, December 6th, 2014
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This week Kathy talks with WEBS Weaving Manager, Leslie Ann Bestor, about the perfect gifts for the fiber enthusiast in your life.

Ready, Set, Knit! ep. 381 - Kathy Talks with Leslie Ann Bestor about the best gifts for the knitters, crocheters, spinners and weavers in your life this holiday season. Find these gifts and more at yarn.com

Kathy and Leslie Ann discuss the following products this week:

Yarns: Sweet Georgia Cashsilk Lace, Artyarns Beaded Silk and Sequins Light, Artyarns Ensemble 4

Bags: Hadaki Travel Essentials kit, Della Q Rosemary bag, Namaste Poppins bag

Needles/Hooks: Knitters Pride Symfonie Rose Crochet Hook setKnitter’s Pride Marblz Interchangeable Needles set

For Spinners: The Spinners Book of FleeceThree Feet of Sheep, Spinning Fibers, Spinning Wheels, Schacht Niddy-Noddy

For Weavers: Bluster Bay Shuttles will be available in 2015, Schacht Variable Dent Reed

Steve’s Yarn Picks :

Reminder:

Tomorrow is the 11th Annual Hot Chocolate Run for Safe Passage! Our team will be walking and running and we’re still taking donations through December 31st. You can donate to the team here. Or you can purchase a copy of the Hot Chocolate Run Polar Bear patten, the cost of each pattern is donated to Safe Passage.

Upcoming Events:

Winter/Spring 2015 Classes will be on the website next week!

Next week Steve and Kathy wrap up our 40th Year!

WEBS retail store will be open only two more Sundays – through December 14th!

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

Celebrate Crochet! Luxury

Wednesday, March 20th, 2013
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It’s National Crochet Month and we’re excited to share some of our favorite crochet techniques and trends happening in 2013. This week we’re focusing on crocheting with luxury fibers.

Being able to work with luxury fibers is something every crocheter looks forward to. Thankfully you don’t have to win the lottery to indulge in a little high-end crochet. One skein and a simple project can keep the cost down but allow you to add a little something to your wardrobe to makes you feel extra special. And when everyone ask you about it you get to say it’s silk or cashmere or even mink!

Start with a nice small project like this simple Crochet Necklace by Creativeyarn but go luxury by using Artyarns Beaded Pearl and Sequins yarn.

  

Try something a little larger like the Julie Cuff from Robyn Chachula‘s wonderful book Blueprint Crochet but work it in a skein of Mimi by Lotus Yarns which is 100% Mink!

 

If you’re ready for a slightly bigger project why not go for Julia Vaconsin‘s gorgeous Phoenix Mitts and work them up in the luminous Ensemble Light from Artyarns, an amazing blend of silk and cashmere!

  

When you’re ready for a bigger project with lots of impact visually, but not on your wallet, try a scarf or wrap like our Crocus Lace Stole. A single skein of the Silk Cashmere from Jade Sapphire would feel amazing around your shoulders and neck, and since this is an easy 1 row pattern you can just keep working till you run out of yarn.

Have you worked with any luxury fibers? What’s been your favorite?

The Buzz at WEBS – September 16, 2011

Friday, September 16th, 2011
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This week the staff at WEBS is buzzing about…

 

1. Wendy Knits Lace – I’m a fan of knitting lace and Wendy D. Johnson’s blog, so when this book arrived, I was super excited. There’s a great range of projects – lots of shawls and scarves, but also hats, mittens, socks, and more that use a variety of weights of yarn. I happen to have a rather large sock yarn stash, so I’m looking forward to knocking some of that down with projects from this book (Esplanade Mittens and Mairi Tam, I’m looking at you!) The Vortex Spiral Shawl or Afghan is stunning! Knit in fingering weight, it’s a lovely shawl, but knit in worsted, it’s a spectacular blanket! The first part of the book also features great information for knitting lace – decreases, increases, joining, picking up stitches, and so much more. > Mary K.-H.

2. Jade Sapphire Mongolian Cashmere 4ply – My dreams have finally come true, we have a heavier weight cashmere in a whopping 34 colors. I love everything this company makes, especially their high quality, lustrous cashmere. Customers have long clamored for heavier cashmere in a range of colors, so have at it! > Cara S.

3. I’m excited about Kirsten’s Valley Yarns Silverscape Cardigan. It is such a simple silhouette but with clean, dramatic lace details. I don’t often knit sweaters but I’m working this one up for my Mom for the holidays. > Sara D.

4. Classic Elite Panache pattern book – This is a great pattern book for scarves, shawls and wraps. Different yarns can be used. I made the Grace shawl in Pirouette. It made a lovely lace shawl. > Marion H.

5. When Leslie Ann brought her latest weaving project, I immediately fell in love with her woven set of towels. I love how soft they feel and the beautiful twill pattern repeated in each towel. She put a long warp of Valley Yarns 8/2 Cotton on her loom. And then switched colors of Valley Yarns 8/2 Cotton Linen for each towel. I just happen to have both of these yarns at home and a very lonely loom that would be happy to have a little attention again. > Dena C.

Public Service Announcement

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011
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I’d like to take a moment to address a very real problem in our knitting community. One I’m pretty sure we’ve all been victim to at one time or another and as we near the holiday season we should take special care. Tell me you haven’t guessed!

Selfless Knitting Syndrome, or SKS (not to be confused with SSK). I’m not saying it’s a bad thing. It is after all what defines us in so many cases. I’m not even suggesting you change your ways. Being a giver of handmade things– in moderation– is a great thing! But the cycle has to end!

I had not even realized the severity of this epidemic until I recently discovered that a coworker (and long time knitter) had never once knit a thing for herself! I was flabbergasted! I was forced in this moment to turn the mirror on myself. I know that I have difficulties making time to knit for myself. All of my so-called selfish projects are lying half done in various baskets. Because, frankly, I am the only one I’m willing to put on hold.

The question remains: Why do we do this to ourselves time and again?

Is it that it’s easier to plan gifts for others than for oneself? Is it that occasions are made more special by a handmade item, and there is no shortage of special occasions? Or, simply, that we feel that constant pang to use our gifts for the common good?

I’m often blown away by the feats of fellow knitters: like the customer working on fifty sweaters in a year to give away, those organizing baby gifts and get well gifts and yearly family blessings… I am floored by our collective generosity! But isn’t it time we knit something special for ourselves? Why do I see knitters with ratty hats, holes in their gloves, and store bought sweaters, while their loved ones are covered with hand made love?

Ladies and gentlemen, we must learn to love ourselves in a hand knit way! Just say no to the endless SKS!

I think this is an occasion to buy that special skein you’ve been eyeing. It could be a knitter’s holiday of sorts, an independence day for independent knitters everywhere. You know you’re worth it! (Pictured below is an assortment of Jade Sapphire and Artyarns cashmere yarns).

And while you’re at it take a look at 101 Luxury Yarn One Skein Wonders, a classic and clever source to get the most from that one special skein indulgence!

The SKS Challenge: Liz I challenge that you are the ultimate selfless knitter. Please set down the baby sweater on your needles, (yes we know you love your niece). Add yourself to your deadlines. Knit that Lima sweater you’ve wanted to! Just do it!

Happy selfish knitting!

Cara

Interweave Knits Holiday Gifts

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009
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We have just received in the latest “special” issue from Interweave Knits.

This year’s Holiday Gifts issue is HUGE!  It has nearly 60 patterns – twice as many as most issues.  There are lots of great gift ideas, as you would expect.  Many are quick knits others are more involved.   There are several that spoke to me that I’d like to highlight below:

First is the Ripple Cardigan designed by Coralie Meslin and knit in Rowan Kidsilk Haze.

This is a gorgeous cardigan that has a simple style but very interesting construction.  It is knit in multi-directional pieces.  The pattern has 6 sizes and depending on your size, you’ll need 4-7 skeins of Kidsilk Haze.

Next is the Little Majolica by Kristin Nicholas.  Without even showing a picture of this pullover, you know it’s going to be a colorwork masterpiece.

Told you so!  This stranded piece utilizes two colors.  As if that weren’t enough, Kristin introduces a two additional colors by utilizing the duplicate stitch.  Duplicate stitch is one of those underrated embellishing techniques.  I think this garment gives the duplicate stitch instant credibility.  Little Majolica is knit using Kristin’s signature yarn Julia – named after her beautiful daughter.

I’m also lovin’ Slip-Stitch Layers by Simona Merchant-Dest.  Knit in Mission Falls 136 Merino  Superwash, this simple but stylish pullover is absolutely a sweater I would wear.

Unlike stranded work, slip stitch only uses one color per row and the knitter “carries” or “slips” stitches from row to row.  In addition to creating a beautiful result, the fabric is also warm.  Perfect for folks like me who freeze all winter!  Slip-Stitch Layers is generously offered in 7 sizes and requires 7-11 skeins of MC and 4-6 skeins of CC.  Just remember our yarn discounts apply!

The “story” in this issue that really spoke to me was “One, Two, Three” – beautiful projects that utilize 3 or fewer skeins.  Here are the ones that I particularly like.

The Quicksilver Bag by Norah Gaughan.

Really, do I need to say more than that?  Probably not, but I will!  Adorable and functional with a simple construction.  The picture shows the bag as a casual accessory.  With the sheen and texture of Bonsai, I can imagine it sophisticated and dressy as well – change the handles and such and Poof!  A completely different bag.  It would also be beautiful knit in Bonsai Colors.  A great and easy gift too that is affordable!

As I’ve said previously, I freeze all winter.  When temps dip below 70 degrees I’m not happy.  Also well documented is my affection for cashmere.  Let me show you one of the ways I get through our long, cold New England Winters:

Cashmere.Fingerless.Mitts.  The delicate and feminine Wine and Roses Mitts were designed by Jolene Treace and were knit in Jade Sapphire Mongolian Cashmere 2-ply.   That would be One Skein of Cashmere.  I know, times are tight and even one skein of this lovely yarn is a bit pricey at $41.00.   Maybe this is your splurge, maybe it’s the project you find a nice substitution from your stash for.  I love the design and I think we all deserve a bit of luxury if possible.

Next up is a lovely project that features one of our Valley Yarns!  Building Block Scarves by Sarah Hoadley are knit in our Sugarloaf.

Sugarloaf is 52% Merino and 48% Acrylic Microfiber.  It’s super soft, knits at 4 sts/inch and has a nice drape.  I’m tickled with the results!  The construction is pretty neat too.  If utilizes a long cast-on to form the perimeter and then knit in the round to the center and features mitred corners.  Also, if you scroll back up to the cover image, guess what you’ll see!  One of the scarves!  I knew the scarves would be in this issue but I was simply tickled to see one of them on the cover!  Woohoo!  Congratulations Sarah and thank you Interweave!

Last but not least are the Kumara Red Socks.  How could I not favorite a sock pattern?  I think it has unofficially been the year of the sock.

The Kumara Red Socks are a quick knit and will wrap your feet in warmth and luxury.   Kumara is a merino/camel blend from Classic Elite which is super soft and lofty.   These socks only require 2 skeins and what a great gift they will make!  I’m just not sure I’d be giving them away.

I have just highlighted 7 of the 57 projects in this issue.  There are just over 60 days until Christmas (fewer if you are knitting for Hanukkah) and these are all possibilities in that time frame for most of you (some are beyond my reach at this point, but I’m slow and steady so don’t go by me).

I hope these ideas have inspired you!  What do you like in this issue?  Are one of my faves one of yours too?

Kathy