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 Tunisian Crochet which is experiencing a resurgence as more and more crocheters begin to explore the potential of their craft.
Interweave Crochet’s Fall 2011 issue had a focus on specialty crochet techniques and features some really modern and wearable designs in Tunisian including Betty’s Tunisian Tee by Tram Nguyen.
Dora Orenstein’s latest book, The New Tunisian Crochet, is an fantastic combination of history, stitch dictionary and pattern book. You can pick up the book with no knowledge of Tunisian and work your way through smaller, skill building projects, including a gorgeous sampler afghan, and end up making a cozy and stylish cardigan.
If you’re local, we also run a series of Tunisian Classes each winter here at our Store in Northampton. Our Tunisian Basics class has already wrapped up for the season but if you have a bit of knowledge under your belt and would like to see what else Tunisian can offer try our Exploring Tunisian Class which begins this Friday, there are still a few open seats!
Whether you’re new to Tunisan Crochet or a seasoned pro our Knitters Pride Dreamz Tunisian crochet hooks are the perfect tool. You can jump right in with the full set of hooks or start slower, one hook at a time and choose the cable length you want to start with.
Have you tried Tunisian? What’s been your favorite project?
This week, the staff at WEBS is buzzing about gifts! We’re busy getting our gifts ready for the holidays; only a few weeks left!
After working with Amy on the video for Valley Yarns Berkshire Bulky, I was inspired to try out the yarn myself! So far, it’s made some pretty nice gifts for the holidays. This felted bowl looks perfect with an airplant inside, and the felt works really well to catch any excess water that may drip off of it after a good soak. I didn’t use a pattern for the bowl, I just knit a small hat and threw it in the washing machine to felt! I’m about halfway through the Valley Yarns 283 Spotted Christmas Stocking using 3 skeins of Berkshire Bulky (Forest, Dark Teal and Plum). Two of these will make great gifts for my cousin and her husband who were just married and are in the market for some special handmade stockings. This yarn is incredibly easy to work with, works up fast and felts beautifully – perfect for those last minute gifts! > Lindsey T.
( Left) I made the hedgehog wool pet as a gift for my girlfriend. The instructions were easy to follow and the pictures demonstrated every step. After I made the body, I used the finished picture as a guide for the nose, ears and coat pattern. I’d recommend wool pets for anyone looking for a fun and creative gift! > Kyle C.
(Right) I’m making several pairs of socks as gifts this year, and I’m in love with the Karbonz needles. They have the nice, sharp points I love from the Novas, but the carbon fiber has a little grip to it. The joins between the different materials are smooth, and I know I don’t have to worry about my yarn snagging. Definitely a plus when working with thinner yarns! > Jackie V.
I don’t do a ton of holiday knitting, but every year my Grandma Gen is at the top of my list to receive a handmade gift. This year I wanted to go with something beautiful but fast. The Kid Cozy Throw was exactly what I needed; a combination Berroco Boboli and Berroco Cirrus yarns knit on a large needle to make quick work. Plus, I think I like it so much that I’ll have to make one for myself! > Greta S.
Guest: Stephannie Tallent, author of the upcoming California Revival Knits. Her first book is set to be released soon with Cooperative Press. It in inspired by the colors and architecture of southern California. Think beautiful, bright, Spanish-influenced tiles and wrought iron. There are projects in the book for everyone! Several of the projects would be great for your first colorwork project.
Stephannie also shares a bit of her background and how she got into knitting.
Ruffle yarns were everywhere! Lots of different variations on the ruffle yarn theme, including new ideas. If you prefer classic yarns, don’t worry, those aren’t going anywhere. Lots of cotton/linen designs for spring.
Facebook Party – Friday, February 10th 3:30pm-4:30pm EST. We’ll be answering questions and chatting about what you’re working on.
This week the staff at WEBS is buzzing about two great yarns and a new knitting needle set.
It’s been a couple of years since I’ve last knit with Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino. But when the six new colors passed by my desk this week, I was reminded all over again how much I love knitting with this yarn.
I’ve used Baby Cashmerino twice: once to make the Knitting at Knoon Sweet Pea sacque and once for my final project sweater for the WEBS Expert Knitting Certification Program. Each time I was delighted by how enjoyable it was to knit with. The springyness of the yarn made my stitches look so even. I have another baby gift that I need to make soon. It may be time to have fun with this yarn again. > Dena C.
I have been working with Knit One Crochet Too Ty-Dy Socks and it is scrumptious! The stitch definition is absolutely beautiful. I was considering making these as a gift, but have come to realize that I cannot wait to get these on my feet! The fiber blend of 80% merino and 20% nylon creates a lovely springy sock that I know will hug my feet and keep my toes cozy and snug. > Karen M.
Knitter’s Pride Cubics Interchangeable Circular Deluxe Set – I’ve been anxiously awaiting this set ever since we got our first shipment of Knitter’s Pride needles. I was a huge Cubics skeptic at first, and thought the shape wouldn’t feel right and would throw off my knitting. The square needles are so much more comfortable in my hands than round needles. I think I get a better grip on them. I’ve heard some knitters see a change in their gauge with these but I haven’t had a problem. Knitting up a quick gauge swatch when you first knit with them is a good idea. The joins of this interchangeable set are just right. They hold the tips in firm without snagging the yarn. This set is high on my wish list! > Grace H.
Once you have your favorite needle set, you can show off the beauty of the Knitter’s Pride needles with their gorgeous fabric needle cases. There’s enough room in each case for needles, notions and more! Check out the video below to see all their great features.
My absolute favorite accessories are the Knitter’s Pride Chart Keepers. They come in two styles; fold up and photo frame. Each comes in two sizes. I travel a lot to visit family, especially this time of year, so I love how portable my fold up chart keeper is. The heavy duty magnets keep my chart in place so when I fold it up and throw it in my knitting bag, I can pick up right where I left off in my knitting just with a quick glance at my chart. It can hang over the edge of your sofa when you’re home, sit on the seat during a car ride, and fits neatly into the back seat pockets on planes and trains.
Knitter’s Pride Needle Size ID tags are small, but definitely shouldn’t be overlooked. We’ve all been there; we put a project down to work on something else, and realize we need to use the tips from the first project on our new project. Then we knit one or two more projects before we pick up that forgotten one out of our work in progress basket only to realize we don’t remember what size tips we were using! (I always tell myself I’m going to remember what needle size I was using when I take those tips off, but I never do.)
You can use these needle size ID tags to slip onto the cable of this work in progress to remind you what size tips size you were using. This way, when you go to pick up your project again, you can start again right away, frustration free. One of our assistant store managers, Cara, even suggested using them to mark your gauge swatches so you can keep track of the needle sizes you’re testing out. They’re really handy little tools.
The Knitter’s Pride Shawl Pins and Shawl Sticks are beautiful and make great gifts, especially as stocking stuffers. They’re made of the same durable Symphonie Wood as the knitting needles and absolutely stunning in person.
Knitter’s Pride doesn’t stop there with accessories; sock blockers, stitch holders, cable needles and a needle gauge round out the group! You won’t have any trouble making your holiday list this year with these great accessories. It can be tough to buy a needle set for someone if you’re not sure of what they’re looking for, but any knitter could use these great accessories to add to their crafting tool kit.
The circular knitting needle set comes with enough sizes and cord lengths to accommodate many of your knitting projects. Needle tip sizes include US 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 10.5 and 11. And you’ll find one 24″ cable, two 32”, and one 40″, perfect for magic loop knitting. Though these tips and cables are interchangeable with the all the other Knitter’s Pride interchangeable tips and cables, you’ll notice these cables have a special deep brown color, and both the tips and cables have copper tinted brass connectors which look lovely against the dark rose colored wood.
Also included in this set are 8 end caps, 4 cable keys, and a zippered storage pouch to hold all of these pieces. But the extra special item in this set is the Symfonie Rose Shawl Pin adorned with a Swarovski Crystal.
The Symfonie Rose Crochet Hook Set includes US sizes E, G, 7, H, I, J, K, and L hooks. Similar to the shawl pin, you’ll find a Swarovski Crystal on the end of each of the crochet hooks in this set. The smooth, polished surface of the densified laminated Symfonie Rose wood allows the hook to effortlessly glide with any yarn.
Check out our video with Cara to see a little more about each of these sets.
Either of these sets would make a great gift for a knitter or crocheter you may shopping for in the upcoming holiday season. Or one of these could be a special treat for yourself as you’re working your way through making all of those holiday gifts this year.
Basix are the knitters answer to the big yarn question. Few needles on the market are as user friendly for bulky yarns as these extremely lightweight birch needles. Basix begin at US size 11 going all the way up to a whopping 50, a fine match to the bulkiest of adversaries!
Basix are constructed from birch wood with a smooth finish. The natural color of these needles lends a nice contrast to any yarn and feature the Knitter’s Pride nickel plated join and flexible cord.
The Basix fixed circulars come in a range of lengths (24″, 32″, 40″ and 47″) in US sizes 11-50. I was genuinely surprised with how easy these needles were to maneuver, even in the largest size. Despite the large needle tip these needles maintain an even finish and smooth join, I consider this the mark of a well manufactured needle.
Basix double pointed needles are offered in 8” length, in US sizes 11-36. The adequate point and smooth finish are aided by its cloudlike weight to make heavy knitting an easy adventure.
Watch me knit with the Basix in this video!
Basix are ideal for the regular chunky yarns all the way to novelty bulkys as big as you can find. Be easy on your hands and give these needles a try for your next blanket, garment or accessory. You won’t be sorry!
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.