Posts Tagged ‘knitting’

Winter Is Coming

Friday, October 24th, 2014
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I’ve had that line from “Game of Thrones” in my mind for a while. For me, it’s excited anticipation, but I understand that there are some folks for whom winter is a dirty word. I’m sympathetic, but when I think about winter, I think about luxurious small knits and quick projects that keep me warm. I usually knit about one Big Thing (sweater, throw) each winter, but I really like projects that are fun, fascinating, and don’t take up too much of my time. I have a lot of yarn, people. It has to get used up before I die.

In that vein, I thought I’d showcase a few projects I’m going to try to get done before the winter holidays this year. I’d love to make Melissa LaBarre’s September Circle cowl, knit in a self-striping sock yarn or a variegated or hand-dyed Melissa LaBarre's textured cowl patternfingering weight yarn. I am not a sock knitter, so I don’t have sock yarn on hand, but I’d use Madeline Tosh Merino Light in a deep colorway, like Wicked. At first, it looks brown, but a closer peek reveals rusty pink, gold, and dark purple accents. It would be amazing paired with a camel-colored sweater or jacket.

I love Kristen Nicholas‘s color sense and simple but eye-catching designs. The Coleus Scarf is just my cup of tea, a warm, not-too-long scarf in her signature deep colors. Even though it qualifies as “colorwork,” it’s just not as headachey as Fair Isle or Estonian stranded knitting. Of course, I’d use Kristen’s Color by Kristen yarn, distributed by Classic Elite, in some yummy blues and greens, with some fuschia pops here and there to liven things up.

Rich colors in a simple pattern

Photo credit: Kevin Kennefick

I’d also love to go back to that thing I never did: socks. I have knit exactly 3 socks in my whole life, and even though 2 of those socks were supposed to be a pair, they were entirely different sizes. I’m going to give the lame excuse of lack of focus and young children, and since my children are older now and I have the wherewithal to concentrate on it, I think I might make one last attempt at knitting a pair that look like a pair. My choice? Susan B. Anderson’s Popsicle Socks, in a bunch of different colors of Spud and Chloe Fine. I made some long fingerless mitts in this beautiful yarn a few years ago, and I have some colors left over, so I could scout around for a few that complement my existing shades of deep orange and pine-y green; I’d love to throw some purple or dark brown in there for a wintry feel.fun stripes in a quick pattern

What’s your winter knitting? And what is your dream project or yarn?

Valley Yarns Pattern Feature – Russian Sage Shawl

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014
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In the Russian Sage Shawl budding branch shapes swirl around in a breath-taking lace crescent. Little branch and leaf shapes create an overall elaborate effect without conflicting with the bright colors of variegated Valley Yarns Leyden, our newest yarn.

Russian Sage promo

The designer, Kirsten Hipsky, says, “The process for designing this shawl was a lot of fun: I took one of my favorite crescent shawl shapes (as seen in the Foxfire Shawl and the Iced Branch Shawl), started it, and improvised a little lace within the shapes as it grew. Once I was satisfied with the basic lace motifs, I repeated them for the rest of the shawl. Like a kaleidoscope or making a snowflake – there’s so much beauty to be found in symmetry and repetition. And I think the results are just stunning!”

Valley Yarns Pattern Feature – the Hot Chocolate Run Polar Bear

Friday, September 19th, 2014
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Every year WEBS participates in the annual Hot Chocolate Run to benefit Safe Passage. This year we’re even more committed to doing good in our community and having fun doing it! Not only is The Hot Chocolate Run Polar Bear adorable and cuddly soft, being knit in Valley Yarns Superwash Bulky, but all proceeds from the sale of the pattern will go to Safe Passage. We’ll be keeping track of the Polar Bear’s progress as if the sales of his pattern were donations made to a team member participating in the Hot Chocolate Run.

The Hot Chocolate Run Polar Bear knit in Valley Yarns Superwash Bulky - available exclusively at yarn.com

You can help support the our team by purchasing a copy of the pattern or by making a direct donation to the team or any individual team member. We’re also accepting finished bears knit from this pattern to be given as comfort gifts to the children helped by Safe Passage. We’ll be hosting a Knit-a-long of the Polar Bear in October, feel free to get your pattern, Valley Yarns Superwash Bulky and the rest of your supplies now! Once your bear is complete you can send it to us at:

WEBS – America’s Yarn Store

Attn: HCR Polar Bear

6 Industrial Parkway

Easthampton, MA 01027

Stay Classy

Friday, September 12th, 2014
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It’s back-to-school time — the time of year that Staples and Office Max love the most. It’s also “back-to-knitting/crocheting/weaving/spinning” time around WEBS, and we have some great classes for anyone wanting to learn a new craft or brush up on a current one. When I plan the classes for each semester, I try to come up with something entirely new at least once or twice each time, something that I’d tell my friends about or that I’d want to hear about from a fiber friend. This time around I have a few that I’d love to take myself, so I’m going to tell you about them so that you’ll feel cnabled compelled to take them yourselves!

jazerant, cabled and beaded

Emma Welford’s Jazerant Set was designed especially for our Fortieth Anniverary and the pattern is knit in the most beautiful Valley Yarns Northfield, hand dyed by Malabrigo just for us. We are so lucky that Emma works here at WEBS and is generous enough to teach a class to show knitters how to make this gorgeously cabled and beaded hat and cowl. You don’t have to use Northfield, of course, because no matter what you use, the end result is going to be stunning. That class starts soon, so hurry before all the seats are filled! (NOTE:  Unfortunately, this class has been cancelled.)

Another class I’d take in a heartbeat is Heather McQueen’s Tunisian Crochet Infinity Scarf class. Tunisian Crochet is so fascinating–it’s fast, like crochet, and produces a really unique-looking fabric that resembles knitting. This 4-week class will have students using up those novelty yarns hiding in your stash as well as learning some more advanced Tunisian techniques. The scarves are fast and fun, and look amazing.silky lace and tunisian stitch

I am completely impressed with myself for hunting down some great guest teachers this semester–none more so than Susan B. Anderson, who is a designer, author, knitter, spinner, and all-around-lovely-person. She’ll be here for a weekend in October to teach not only some great garment classes, but we are lucky enough to have her show her students how to make her knitted toys, which are a great holiday gift as well as ideal decor for a nursery or little one’s room.Sock Yarn dragon fun!

Check out all our classes here, and just remember: Shopping at WEBS for supplies is way more fun than shopping at Staples for binders and notebook paper!

Classic Elite Celebrates WEBS 40th Anniversary!

Thursday, September 11th, 2014
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Our 40th Anniversary year has already been full of so many great pattern and yarn collaborations and the newest one is no exception. Betsy Perry and the staff at Classic Elite Yarns have pulled 3 beautiful patterns from their vaults and given them new life in new yarns and colors, and on top of that they’ve designed a gorgeous cardigan just for our anniversary!

Joni from Classic Elite Yarns, knit in MountainTop Vista - pattern available exclusively at yarn.com

 

Joni is worked in Vista, a squishy soft blend of super fine alpaca and wool with a subtle halo. This sweater is sure to become one of your 3-season favorites. You can see the original sample pictured on a teenage Uma Thurman, a one-time resident of Amherst MA. where our first store was located!

Roberta from Classic Elite Yarns, knit in MountainTop Chalet and Majestci Tweed - pattern available exclusively at yarn.com

Roberta is a classic drop shoulder cardigan with beautiful color work on the front panels worked in a combination of Chalet and Majestic Tweed.  The updated color scheme and combination of solid and tweed yarns really make this a stand out wardrobe piece.

Olivia from Classic Elite Yarns, knit in Color by Kristin - pattern available exclusively at yarn.com

 

The fun argyle accents on the Olivia pullover can add the perfect pop of color to your fall wardrobe, especially when knit  in the vibrant colors available in Color by Kristin.

Dianna from Classic Elite Yarns, knit in CSoft Linen - pattern available exclusively at yarn.com

 

Finally Classic Elite has unveiled a brand new design for us in their lovely Soft Linen yarn. Dianna is a long, cabled, open front cardigan, the perfect layering piece.

Each of these patterns is available individually or together in one eBook. And you can see all of the garments in person at our retail store on Sept. 18th when Betsy Perry and her staff stop by to introduce us to all of the new Fall yarns and full line of designs. The event is free but please register.

Valley Yarns Pattern Feature -the Arbor Pullover

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014
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The Arbor Pullover, worked in valley Yarns Amherst, is a simple set-in sleeve pullover with a pop of texture at the yoke. With a classic crew neck, ribbed cuffs and hem this stockinette pullover could be boring and bland but the addition of a textured slip stitch pattern at the yoke livens it up and gives it a bit of polish.

arbor promo

You could use two high contrast colors of Amherst as we’ve done for the sample or be more subtle and choose two tones of the same color like Balsam and Navy or Light Grey and Charcoal. Which colors would you use?

Valley Yarns Pattern Feature – Essential Accessories eBook

Friday, September 5th, 2014
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Our Fall 2014 Catalog is online and will begin arriving in mailboxes in about a week (if you don’t get our catalog but would like to you can sign up here). One of our favorite things in this issue is the Valley Yarns Essential Accessories eBook. With 5 patterns in some of our favorite Valley Yarns like Stockbridge, Northampton, Huntington, Franklin and Amherst, this is a pattern collection you’ll keep coming back to for all your seasonal accessory needs.

Valley Yarns Essential Accessories eBook available exclusively at yarn.com

And if you’re really in need of just one great hat or the perfect fingerless mitts, all five pattern are also available individually! The Essential Accessories eBook, containing all 5 patterns is just $11.99 but the Basic Hat from Measurements, Basic Heel Flap Sock, the Simple Shawl, Essential Fingerless Gloves, and the Knit and Purl Cowl are all available  for just $3.99 individually. Which one will you make first?

Just For Fun

Thursday, August 28th, 2014
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Usually, I am a “color inside the lines” kind of person. I don’t use glitzy yarn, or fluffy yarn, or even much bulky yarn. But recently, Tahki Poppy made itself known to me and I was absolutely captivated by just how different it is from anything I’ve ever used before. For one thing, it’s enormous. The skein barely fits in my hand. But the best part about this yarn is:

Moveable Flowers.

moveable flowers and soft squishy yarn

Yes. Not only are there adorable flowers with a little bead stamen in the center of each flower, but you can position them along the yarn in any configuration that works for you. Make a line of flowers along the cuff of a mitt, or arrange them in a circle around the crown when you make the FREE hat pattern that you’ll find inside the label of the skein. It’s a cozy blend of wool, mohair, and acrylic, and at $11.95 a skein for 43 yards, you’ll get at least a hat or a pair of cuffs to keep you warm (and smiling) all through cold-weather season. What’s a chance you recently took with a yarn or pattern?

Try something new once in a while. It’ll spice things up!

Our End of Summer Sale Ends in Just One Week!

Sunday, August 24th, 2014
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Have you checked out some of the amazing yarns and deals in our Annual End of Summer Sale? There’s a pretty incredible selection of needles and accessories as well!

This is the perfect time to build up your stash for all the winter and holiday knitting to come.

Over 60 yarns to choose from in the End of Summer Sale at yarn.com Now through 8.31.2014

Try the FREE Mega Cape pattern from Ella Rae in their Mega yarn which is just $8.99 during the sale. The Twig Shawl from Sweet Georgia Yarns would look beautiful in one of the bright colors of our 2/26 coned wool with the benefit of only having 2 ends to weave in. And the FREE Techno Hat takes advantage of the bulky and lofty nature of Blue Sky Alpacas Techno, you just can’t beat a hand knit hat like that for less than $10!

Browse the sale yarns and don’t forget to check out the “Related Patterns” tab at the top of the page for even more great pattern suggestion for each yarn.

The Gathering In Cowl by Debbi Stone

Thursday, August 21st, 2014
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We’re excited for another beautiful design celebrating our 40th Anniversary. This time it’s the Gathering In Cowl by Debbi Stone in our Valley Yarns Stockbridge. Debbi has taken one of our longest running Valley Yarns and given us a fresh, but classic wardrobe piece that works with almost any style.

Gathering In Cowl designed by Debbi Stone in Valley Yarns Stockbridge - available exclusively at yarn.comThe Gathering In Cowl is a buttoned wrap in a stitch pattern reminiscent of a gathering basket, edged in sturdy ribbing.  Perfect for around your neck or pulled down around your shoulders when the days turn crisp. The alpaca and wool blend in Stockbridge is available in a kaleidoscope of 24 gorgeous colors and is so soft to the touch. 

Gathering In Cowl designed by Debbi Stone in Valley Yarns Stockbridge - available exclusively at yarn.com