Posts Tagged ‘knitting patterns’

Adult Snow Day

Friday, February 14th, 2014
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This snow sculpture entitled "Knitting Family Poems" was created for the 2007 Ottawa Winterlude National Snow Sculpture Competition by the Alberta team of Brian McArthur, Dawn Detarando and Will Truchon (it received the People’s Choice Award).

This snow sculpture entitled “Knitting Family Poems” was created for the 2007 Ottawa Winterlude National Snow Sculpture Competition by the Alberta team of Brian McArthur, Dawn Detarando and Will Truchon (it received the People’s Choice Award).

We had a Snow Day last week, when WEBS closed for the biggest snowstorm we’ve had since last year’s blizzard. It felt like an unexpected school vacation day, and since I’d gotten all my work obligations taken care of the day before, I gave myself permission to enjoy the day like a teenager. One of my most hedonistic pleasures is reading knitting reference books, so I had a wonderful few hours spent thumbing through my old classics as well as some recent contenders for BKF (Best Knitting Friend). I thought I’d share a few and see what some of your go-to answer books are.

A book that has saved my life again and again is the timeless The Principles of Knitting by June Hemmons Hiatt. June came here about a year ago on a very snowy day, and the delight on the faces of those who were here and happened to meet her was infectious. She has a trick for every knitting conundrum you might find yourself in and her information is delivered with a dry wit that makes her sound like your favorite fifth-grade teacher.

A volume small enough to keep in my knitting bag is Margaret Radcliffe’s The Knitting Answer Book, which I turn to again and again. Even though the answers are short, they give you the most information in the fewest words, and the clever illustrations speak volumes. It’s a small book that is completely portable.

No collection should be complete without Barbara Walker and Elizabeth Zimmermann. Barbara Walker’s 4-book series of knitting pattern and charted stitch designs is used by literally every knitwear designer at some point in their career, and they are priceless for brevity and a sense of history. Elizabeth Zimmermann’s The Knitter’s Almanac and The Opinionated Knitter are the cornerstone of any knitter’s bookshelf.

Some recent favorites worth a look are Clara Parkes’ books The Knitter’s Book of Yarn and The Knitter’s Book of Wool, for the care and beautiful language she uses to describe fiber. Stitch ‘N Bitch by Debbie Stoller, the founder of Bust Magazine, almost single-handedly brought knitting to a new high over 10 years ago. And no knitter can really call themselves a knitter unless they have some Harlot on their nightstand.

What are your favorite fiber reads? Let us know in the comments what you like to page through on a snow day.

PS. This snow sculpture entitled “Knitting Family Poems” was created for the 2007 Ottawa Winterlude National Snow Sculpture Competition by the Alberta team of Brian McArthur, Dawn Detarando and Will Truchon (it received the People’s Choice Award).

Let the Games Begin!

Friday, January 31st, 2014
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I’m almost finished with the sweater I’m knitting, and not a moment too soon: I’ve entered into the madness that is the Ravellenic Games. Ravelry, the social-media site for all things fiber, holds it’s own version of the Olympics, complete with teams, medals, training, reportage, and a ceremony for awards. It’s the Ravellenic Games, and I’m a proud member of Team Knitting Dead — we who are devoted to the television show “The Walking Dead.” The idea is that you cast on your project at the exact beginning of the Opening Ceremony, and you have until the last minute of the Closing Ceremony to complete your work.

STEPPINPDFHUDSON.zoom.1 Because I’m a big bet-hedger, I’m making a cowl. The Hudson Cowl by Steppingstone Fiber Creations really appeals to me. It’s simple but not boring, and I think I’ll be able to make at least one before the torch is extinguished in Sochi and makes it’s way to wherever the heck the next Winter Games are being held.

What to make it in, you ask? Why, some absolutely jewel-like 40th Anniversary MadelineTosh, our own Valley Superwash DK hand dyed by the geniuses at MadelineTosh. I think Baltic will make the texture of this 40THSUPERD.BALTIC.zoom.1neckwarmer stand out and coincidentally matches a lot of my winter sweaters. I think I’ll bring home the gold before the zombie apocalypse strikes!

How To Get Through The Awful Part of Winter

Friday, January 17th, 2014
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I am a professed winter-lover. I love the clean, white snow and the sharply etched night skies that come with cold weather, and I especially love layering on sweaters and blankets. However what I don’t love is what my area of the Northeast is enduring now: dirty, old snow with a treacherous icy topcoat, cloudy, raw days that spit an unappetizing mix of sleet and freezing rain, and a few days of absolute bone-chilling don’t-go-outside-or-your-face-will-freeze temperatures below zero.

These are the times that I rely on a pop of color, an unexpected fiber combination, or a fun, easy pattern that will help me endure until I can look at the 7-day weather forecast and not see one day that has a temperature in the single digits, or an unbroken line of clouds and ice. While walking through the store a day or so ago I stumbled upon one of Berroco’s new spring yarns, Folio.     FOLIOBERRO.4515.zoom.1First of all, bless Berroco for shipping their spring yarns in January. But also, thank you, Berroco, for showcasing my favorite fiber of all, alpaca, in such bright, rich colors! And thanks even more for combining it with just the right amount of rayon, so it won’t grow, pill, or lose its drape. I fell in love at first sight, and immediately hit on a pattern that shows my two color choices (Spruce–a bright olive green, and Criehaven–a honeyed dark yellow) to best advantage.

KitaKita, in the booklet Berroco 344 Folio which accompanies this yarn, is a long, drapy cardigan with a forgiving silhouette and a cozy ease.

What will help you through the worst part of winter? What gives you hope for spring?

Valley Yarns featured in Knit Simple

Thursday, January 9th, 2014
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The new, Winter 2013, issue of Knit Simple has hit the newsstands and it features 2 great projects knit with our very own Valley Yarns!

First is the Striped and Solid Cowl by Loren Cherensky knit in Northampton Bulky. Deceptively simple stitches combined with a bulky yarn make for a quick and easy project and with over 30 colors to choose from there’s a perfect color combination for almost everyone.

Second is the Dog Pillow designed by Amy Bahrt and knit in Valley Superwash. This whimsical little pillow, with adorable dachsunds, is worked in colorblocks with some easy garter stripes.

What will you be knitting from this issue?

Bang! Zoom! Pow!

Monday, January 6th, 2014
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CULLIGAN.zoom.1I consider myself a fairly straightforward knitter–I make hats, mittens, cowls, and the occasional sweater. I’m not knitting up dog sweaters (well, just once), toys, or iPad covers. Not, that is, until now. We featured the book Knits of Tomorrow on the blog a few weeks ago, and it caught my eye–mainly because my husband is an avid collector of space toys, especially rayguns, from the 1930’s onward. I thought he’d like a knitted object that isn’t a sweater or a hat (because, sadly, none of my family will wear the things I knit. They itch, apparently.) I found this great placemat/coaster set that features a raygun and burst of cosmic kablooey that I thought would be a quick, funraygun knit. The yarn the book calls for is Rowan Denim, but I’m going to switch it up with Rowan Handknit Cotton, which has lots of fun, unexpected colors and feels great on the needles.  Normally, I don’t love knitting with cotton, but the four plies twist in such a way that it doesn’t feel as stiff and unyielding as cotton sometimes can. Although the colors shown in the photo from the book are sort of dark and menacing, I am taking the design in a more light, fun way and I’ll probably use this bright, space-age green to pop out of a dark background.

rowan handknit cotton

I think that working on a totally different kind of project will clear my head as I hunker down to knit the 2 sweaters that are up next in my queue.

 

On the bookshelf this week: Cozy Knits

Friday, December 27th, 2013
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Cozy Knits from Tanis Grey has 50 projects to keep you knitting all winter long. Whether you need a quick birthday gift, a new hat to match the coat you got over the holidays or you are determined to get a head start on your gift knitting for NEXT year, you’ll likely find what you’re looking for here.

With projects that range from hats and mittens to simple sweaters and adorable pieces for baby, you’ll find yourself knitting up colorful and interesting projects in no time.

Leave a comment below and tell us about your favorite quick and cozy knit project and you could win a copy! All comments must be posted by 11:59pm EST on Tuesday, Dec. 31. Please make sure to leave us a way to contact you if you win! The winner will be drawn randomly and posted here.

Edited, Monday January 6, 2014:

And our Winner is –  Debra who said, “Of the four projects on the cover, I can see making all four (and there’s 46 more to explore!). Hats and mitts are always needed and fun to work up quickly.”

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

Valley Yarns featured in Interweave Knits

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013
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The new Winter 2014 issue of Interweave Knits features a gorgeous sweater designed by our friend Amy Herzog.

telluride sweater

The Telluride Aran sweater features a central cable panel with deeply ribbed cuffs and hem and is knit with Valley Yarns Northampton in the Pacific Teal colorway.

Which color of Northampton would you choose?

Ready, Set, Knit! 337: Kathy talks with Kristin Nicholas

Saturday, December 14th, 2013
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This week Kathy talks with knitwear designer and colorwork guru Kristin Nicholas.

Kathy and Kirsten discuss lots of great last minute knit projects for gifts and decorating from Valley Yarns:

Last Minute Hat, Last Minute Mittens, Valley Knit Stars and Mini Mittens – all FREE knitting patterns.

And patterns from Kristin:

Quarters CapFarmgirls’ Stocking CapHeart to Heart MittensElves, Gnomes, Santa + Leo Tolstoy (FREE), Felted Pen + Pencil CoziesKnit it Felt it Zip it , the Colorful and Creative Christmas Stocking patterns as well as the Lamb Holiday Cards.

Steve’s Yarn Picks:

Upcoming Events:

Shipping Deadlines are quickly approaching – WEST COAST, non expedited orders deadline was yesterday, 12/13/2013.

WEBS will be open on Sundays, from 12-5,  through December 22nd.

Reminder:

We’re collecting Hats for Halos of Hope. Our thanks to everyone that has already sent in hats, keep ‘em coming!

Make as many knit and/or crochet hats as you can (check here for preferred fibers and free patterns) and get them to us by February 1, 2014. Make sure each hat and package is labeled with “Team RSK!” Please mail all packages to:

We are no longer accepting donations of hats – please send all hat donations to 

Halos for Hope

20987 N. John Wayne Pkwy

#B104-432 

Maricopa, AZ  85139

If you’re posting about your progress on Facebook or Twitter please use #PodcastThrowdown. And please join the Podcasters Throwdown Group on Ravelry and show your support in the Team RSK thread! If you’ve sent in hats let us know who you are.

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

On the bookshelf this week: Knits of Tomorrow

Friday, December 13th, 2013
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Sue Culligan has put together a delightful collection of retro inspired, futuristic designs in Knits of Tomorrow.

From home decor to wearable accessories you’ll find great last minute gifts for early NASA fans, that robot-obsessed little boy in your life and the canine companion of your favorite Time Lord.

Leave a comment below and tell us which retro themed knit is your favorite and you could win a copy! All comments must be posted by 11:59pm EST on Tuesday, Dec. 17. 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 December 18, 2013:

And our Winner is –  Rachel who said, “That K-9 dog sweater is awesome.

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

Ready, Set, Knit! 336: Kathy talks with Amy Herzog

Saturday, December 7th, 2013
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This week Kathy talks with Amy Herzog, the author of Knit to Flatter, and the creator of the Custom Fit program.

custom fot banner

 

Amy became a sweater knitter because she wanted to knit clothes she could wear and with the Custom Fit program she tries to empower other knitters to do the same for themselves. When you knit a sweater that really fits and makes you feel good you end up with Happy Sweater Face!

From the site:

CustomFit makes custom patterns for hand-knit sweaters. It takes your choices, your body, and your hand-knit fabric and produces a pattern perfectly suited to you.

CustomFit makes a sweater that is the correct size. From hem to neck, and everything in between.

Steve’s Yarn Picks:

Upcoming Events:

Team WEBS is running and walking in the Annual Hot Chocolate run to benefit Safe Passage on TOMORROW!  Please make a donation to any member of our team through December 31st and remember: Steve and Kathy will match all funds raised!

WEBS will be open on Sundays, from 12-5,  through December 22nd.

Reminder:

Ready, Set, Knit! listeners are you up for a challenge?!   The KnottyGirls Knitcast issued a challenge and started the Ravelry Podcaster Throwdown. They claimed that their listeners will turn in more hats for Halos of Hope by the end of Stitches West 2014 than any other podcast out there. You all know that Kathy has a competitive streak a mile wide and can’t resist a challenge! Steve has even stepped in and said that he will ship all the collected hats to Stitches West! Here’s what you need to do:

Make as many knit and/or crochet hats as you can (check here for preferred fibers and free patterns) and get them to us by February 1, 2014. Make sure each hat and package is labeled with “Team RSK!” Please mail all packages to:

We are no longer accepting donations of hats – please send all hat donations to 

Halos for Hope

20987 N. John Wayne Pkwy

#B104-432 

Maricopa, AZ  85139

If you’re posting about your progress on Facebook or Twitter please use #PodcastThrowdown. And please join the Podcasters Throwdown Group on Ravelry and show your support in the Team RSK thread! If you’ve sent in hats let us know who you are.

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