Posts Tagged ‘knitting’

Valley Yarns Pattern Feature – Swirl Hat

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014
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There has been a certain chill in the air in the evenings this past week in New England that is starting to make us think of the Autumn days to come. It’s the perfect time to start picking up little projects that will keep you warm in the coming seasons.

The Swirl Hat knit in Valley Yarns BFL Fingering - available exclusively at yarn.com

The Swirl Hat combines a surprisingly simple, naturally spiraling stitch pattern with the rich colors of BFL Fingering Hand Dyed by the Kangaroo Dyer to create a warm, earth-toned hat that’s great for a man or woman. Hold two strands of yarn together throughout. Note – to hold 2 strands together from one skein, we recommend winding the skein into a center-pull ball and pulling from both the inside and the outside of the ball.

Every Place I Look, Delights Abound

Friday, August 1st, 2014
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It seems like every time I leave my desk to walk through the store, a new,  delicious yarn announces itself to me, and because I’m an enabler with a giant stash, I want to share this love with you, dear reader. I hope that you’ll love these yarns as well, and knit the things I want to knit but never have time for. In this post, I will share not one but two new Fall yarns, designed to make your heart beat a little faster.

Swan’s Island is a real place in Maine, although Swan’s Island Yarns isn’t located there anymore. The rockbound coast of Maine...The fact that it is in Maine it integral to the spirit of these yarns, however, and that’s what counts. I’ve adored both the fingering and worsted weight Swan’s Island yarns, and now there’s a new one to love: Swan’s Island DK. The most beautiful, rich colorways, and also — SUPERWASH. How A colorful fall cornucopiagreat is that? The gauge is a very useful 5 1/4 sts to 1″ on a US size 6 needle (or size you’ll need to get that gauge–I’m a notoriously loose knitter and often have to go down a size or two). But what I like even more is the ethos of the owner’s of Swan’s Island Yarns to hand-make all their products with local and organic materials and to keep as much of their business based in the US as possible. You’ll love making a baby sweater for a cherished child or a comfy fall cardi for yourself in any of the rich hues of this yarn.

Classic Elite natural woolMy other favorite yarn (this week) is Classic Elite’s Mohawk Wool. Made in a beautifully halo’d 60% merino, 30% Romney wool, 10% nylon, this undyed natural fiber is just begging to be knit into a luxuriously cabled Aran sweater, or lovingly crafted into a throw or blanket for snuggling under when November rain turns into December snow. Classic Elite’s pattern support is legendary and you’ll find plenty to make out of this workhorse yarn, also in a DK/Sport weight. I love this textured hat, which would be a fairly quick project with a lot of bang for your knitting buck.Texture...and buttons!

Enjoy!

Sweater Cum Laude

Monday, June 23rd, 2014
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On Wednesday, June 18, 7 students received their WEBS Expert Knitter Certificates, signifying that they completed not only the 18 required classes for the program, but had climbed the highest mountain of all: designing and knitting their Capstone sweater. The evening was a celebration not only of their knitting talent and perseverance, but of their creativity and passion for design and fiber. I’d like to let the pictures do the talking, because the garments are absolutely exquisite and should be seen by as many eyes as possible.

Ocean-y color and delicate laceKristie Nathanson was actually a 2013 graduate, but life got in the way, like it does, and she completed her sweater after last year’s Capstone Ceremony. We wanted to recognize her and showcase her lacy confection, knit in Valley Yarns Charlemont.Linda invented her own cable stitch for this lacy cabled sweater!

Linda Mason did an intricately textured Empire-waist cardigan, and not only had at least three different cable patterns, but invented a stitch never before seen–by putting lace INSIDE a cable. Amazing! She used Valley Yarns Northampton, in a classic Aran natural.

 

Pat's bright-blue cablesPat Wheeler did a vivid blue cabled cardigan with eye-catching silver buttons in Cascade 220. Pat had the biggest binder of swatches ever seen, and she used a technique not often employed outside of the classroom–the double-pick-up around her neckband. It creates an invisible edge and is finishing at it’s finest.

Barbara Meunier also used cables and showcased her moss-green knitted sweater in Louet Gems Sport yarn with wooden buttons to create a natural-looking garment that was both simple and intricate. Barbara was the calmest by far of all our Capstone contenders, and it shows in her knitting.Ping, Barbara's mentor, describes her design.

Laurie Scutt-Drohan started her Capstone process more than a year ahead of her actual knitting! When I first gathered the contenders in October of 2013, she already had a big binder of swatches in various yarns she was contemplating for her final project. She eventually decided to use Valley Yarns Charlemont in a deep teal, which complents her fair skin and dark hair beautifully. Laurie is the perfect example of someone knitting their stress away, as several events conspired to make her Capstone year a Laurie looks great in her teal-blue fingering weight cardi.stressful one. But I think you’ll agree that she used her gift to great advantage in this beautifully-fitting sweater.

Liz Crouch was the only other Capstone graduate to use lace. Her original idea was to make a twin set in a plant fiber, but when push came to shove, she felt a fiber blend was the right choice, and ended up using Classic Elite’s Soft Linen, a linen/wool blend, in a flattering lavander shade. It suits her, as you can see, and her lace panels are perfectly balanced and her garment fits her to a T.Lavander lace and beautiful shaping

Jeanne Crosby had a deceptively simple sweater until you saw it up close…and noticed the crocheted panel and neckpiece of skulls in deep black Valley Yarns Northfield. Northfield is soft and drapy and the combination of the smooth fabric and the bold skull pattern really made her sweater outstanding. It completely suits her personality and she loves it!Look closely for those crocheted skulls.

We had another student who was halfway through with her sweater and in the process of finishing up her final classes when another life event took her attention:  Sarah Johnston had baby Nina Belle in March, and as she told me, she couldn’t put Nina Belle down to pick up her needles once that beautiful little girl made her arrival! So I’m sure that at some point in the next year or so, Sarah will send me a mysterious package that will turn out to be her Capstone sweater and we’ll celebrate her at that time.

Sarah Johnston's personal Capstone: Baby Nina Belle!

I hope this inspires you blog-readers to create some magic of your own! All these knitters started with Knitting II; and you can see how dedicated they are to their fiber art! Maybe we’ll institute a Graduate Program here at WEBS. What would that include? Let me know your thoughts!

Ready, Set, Knit! 361: Kathy talks with Wendy Bernard

Saturday, June 21st, 2014
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This week Kathy talks with Wendy Bernard, author of the new book Up, Down, All-Around Stitch Dictionary. Wendy talks about her journey from Marketing to knit design.

Up, Down, All-Around Stitch Dictionary, the new book from Wendy Bernard - available at yarn.com

This book is packed full of over 100 stitch patterns that Wendy presents in four different ways: top down, bottom up, back and forth, and in the round, as well as 11 patterns into which you can easily insert your own choice of stitch patterns.

Steve’s Yarn Picks :

Reminder: Our yearly Capstone ceremony happened earlier this week with 6 new graduates from our WEBS Expert Knitter Program. You can learn more about the program here.

Upcoming Events:

The 4th Annual I-91 Shop Hop is happening NEXT WEEKEND! – June 26th-29th, get your Passport Today!

Stop by and check out current the Classic Elite Yarns Trunk Show.

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

Linen Gets a New Look

Friday, June 6th, 2014
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…and by a “new look,” I don’t mean that it looks different. It means that I am looking at linen in a new light. I usually don’t like knitting with plant-fiber yarns; they seem too slippery, too inflexible, and in the case of linen, too hard and crunchy-feeling to make pleasing garments. However, recently I saw a sweater one of our WEBS Expert Knitter Certification Capstone candidates knit in Classic Elite’s Soft Linen (35% wool, 35% linen, 30% baby alpaca), and it really changed my mind. Rather than being a wrinkled, stiff armor-like Bright summery soft linen and wool create perfect lightweight garments.tunic, this sweater was soft and drapey, but with enough body to show off the shaping and stitch definition. The lace pattern around the sleeves and body was open and light, with enough personality to show the eyelets to great advantage.

Doodlebug, a light and practical summer sweater.
Classic Elite’s pattern support
for their yarns is legendary, and I found the perfect sweater to show off this lightweight yarn: Doodlebug, a sleeveless shell with a delicate chevron/eyelet pattern and a wide ribbed hem to put on top of skirts or summery capris.

 

What yarn changed your mind this year?

Color Me Amazed

Friday, May 23rd, 2014
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A lot of knitters like to use hand-dyed yarns like Madelinetosh, Lorna’s Laces, or Prism. A fair number of those knitters are disappointed when they experience color pooling, or when they don’t like the way one color in the skein works with another one. artful color, mindful knitsMaybe they’ve done a broken rib stitch and noticed that what they had hoped would be specks of dark blue against a rose background turned into big blotches of purple. There are lots of ways to learn how to work with hand-dyed yarns and I’ve found the absolute best resource of all to not only learn to work with those variegated yarns but to actually plan for how those colors show up in your garment. Laura Militzer Bryant, the founder of Prism Yarns, has written a new book entitled Artful Color, Mindful Knits: A Definitive Guide to Working with Hand-Dyed Yarns, and it goes beyond any other book I know to show fiber artists how to craft with color.

As an art-school graduate, Laura became fascinated with hand-dyed yarns when she first saw them at a trade show in the early 1980′s, and learned how to dye yarns as a result. She founded her own hand-dyed yarn company, photo by Amy StephensPrism, and out of the necessity of having to showcase those yarns, she became a knitwear designer. Both of those talents are shown to amazing advantage in Artful Color, Mindful Knits. She can show you how to stack your colors, how to splash your colors, even how to create an argyle pattern with your skein, all by using her Magic Number system that uses the length of a color repeat, the amount of yarn used for a single stitch, and the total number of stitches. Period. When I learned how to anticipate and even plan when a color shows up in your knitting to form a pattern, I wanted to award Laura a Nobel Prize. The designs that accompany the various color schemes are gorgeous. Jackets, hats, scarves, vests, and sweaters, all in vivid colors and patterns that show a master’s touch are readily accessible to any knitter or crocheter.

Artful Color, Mindful Knits includes a thorough color tutorial in the front of the book, which is eye-opening. Laura shows readers in simple language how colors interact with each other and how we perceive them. This helps us plan how to use color and what colors work best in hundreds of different patterns and yarns.  The book also has a wonderful technique section in the back of the book, showing how to do various cast-ons, increases and decreases, and bind-offs, as well as crochet techniques. It’s really a treasure trove of information, one that will be used again and again.ArtfulColor-7

Hey, local blog-readers: Laura will be coming to WEBS on June 7 to sign copies of her new book from 3:30–4:30pm. Come by to see the Prism Yarns trunk show or sign up for her Introduction to Color class. You will be amazed at what you can do!

The Nikiya Cowl from Tanis Gray

Thursday, April 17th, 2014
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Earlier this month we introduced our latest 40th Anniversary yarn, Valley Yarns Huntington hand dyed by Lorna’s Laces. Just as we did for the first quarter of 2014, we have partnered with some truly talented designers to bring you some fantastic patterns for this yarn. First up is Tanis Gray‘s Nikiya Cowl.

About her relationship with WEBS, “Growing up in southeastern Massachusetts, I had heard of Webs, but we rarely drove out that way across the state. Webs seemed like some far off Mecca where yarn was as plentiful as snowflakes were in winter. When I started working at Vogue Knitting in New York City after graduating from RISD, I had the opportunity to finally go to Webs in person. It was everything I had dreamed about and I still remember that feeling of amazement, surprise and sheer joy when I walked through the doors in the back to the warehouse. Talk about a kid in a candy store! After my 4-year tenure as the Yarn Editor ended when we moved to Washington DC, my relationship with Kathy Elkins and her husband grew stronger as I became a guest on their podcast, making multiple “appearances” with each of my book releases. When knitters learn I am from Boston, the next question out of their mouth is usually “Have you been to Webs?” I am honored to be part of the anniversary collection for this wonderful store, which has turned so many knitters into the best knitters they can be.”

With just one skein you’ll knit a seamless, swirling, delicate lace cowl. What color will you choose?

Valley Yarns featured in Knit Simple

Monday, March 31st, 2014
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The Spring/ Summer 2014 issue of Knit Simple is out and features 2 great designs with Valley Yarns Amherst and Longmeadow.

The feather-and-fan lace gently scallops the bottom edge of this charming capelet, while dotted ribbing adds flattering vertical lines. Knit with just 4 balls of Amherst this is a quick and inexpensive project to brighten your spring wardrobe. Which color will you choose?

To work this charming striped blanket, start at the center and knit your way out. Increases form symmetrical diagonal lines, while punchy colors and super-soft yarn make it a perfect companion for your favorite tot.  With almost 20 colors of Longmeadow to choose from you can pick 6 of your favorites for endless color combinations.

Ready, Set, Knit! 350: Kathy talks with Norah Gaughan

Saturday, March 29th, 2014
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This week Kathy talks with Norah about her newest pattern collection, Norah Gaughan Vol.14, the Best of Berroco for WEBS special collection (you can read more about the E-book here) Some of her favorite designs and stepping down from the Design Director position at Berroco.

Anniversary Sale! Starts next Tuesday April 1! No April Fools jokes here! with over 40 yarns on sale, needles, hooks, spinning fiber, and weaving fibers we’ve got something for almost everyone. Watch Steve preview the sale!

Steve’s Yarn Picks From the Anniversary Sale!:

  • Plymouth Encore at $4.19
  • Cascade 220 at $5.59
  • 220 Superwash at $7.39
  • Hand dyers for the first time!
  • Prism Delicato at $20.99
  • Lorna’s Laces Solemate at $18.19
  • Zen Yarn Garden Serenity DK at $22.39
  • Put these into your wishlist now!

Reminder:

Be sure to stop into the store and see all the new Spring garment models! And don’t miss the Classic Elite Yarns Trunk shows.

Upcoming Events:

The Boston Marathon runs on April 21st and you can help the Boston Marathon Scarf Project. They are working towards  providing a scarf for each participant in the marathon this year. Check out the Ravelry group for more details on how to help!

Boston Strong Hat pattern from designer Lisa McFetridge is a colorwork hat design featuring the words “Boston Strong” and the Boston Skyline. Lisa has included additional charts so you have options to really make this hat your own. All proceeds from the sale of this cap pattern will go to OneFundBoston to help the victims.

Join the KNIT-IN with Lisa McFetridge, designer of the Boston Strong Hat, Rebecca Lane of “Blankies for Boston” & the Old South Knitters/Crocheters Saturday April 5, 2014 2-4 pm at the Old South Church in Boston – the church at the Finish Line 645 Boylston Street, Boston – at the Copley T

Have you knit a Boston Strong Hat or a Blanket to donate to a survivor? Do you have a scarf to drop off for the Boston Marathon Scarf Project? You are cordially invited to bring your handcrafted treasures to Old South Church …stay and knit, meet and exchange stories with fellow crafters. If you haven’t begun a hat, scarf or blanket (or two or three), there is still time. A special Boston Strong Hat in progress will be there. Anyone dropping off a hat, scarf or blanket is invited to add a stitch or two to the hat and place their signature on the roll. Truly a group project, this hat will find a special home in the future.

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The Thornes Pullover from Amy Herzog

Thursday, March 20th, 2014
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Your response to our first two guest designer patterns has been wonderful. It’s time to highlight the third pattern from our first round of specialty yarns and designers. Amy Herzog designed the Thornes Pullover to be a classic silhouette with special details.

 

About the design Amy says, “The Thornes Pullover from Valley Yarns is a classic, comfortable turtleneck pullover that adds understated elegance to any outfit. The reverse stockinette stitch fabric lends a soft, approachable look to the sweater and makes the color changes in this slightly variegated colorway more subtle. The ribbed trim and twisted stitch detailing give a bit of flair to an otherwise basic staple. I was thrilled to be given such lovely materials for my design for WEBS’ 40th Anniversary celebration. Thornes is worked in their Valley Yarns Superwash DK, in a special color dyed by Madelinetosh called “Magnolia Leaf”. To me, this is the perfect blend of autumn colors. It’s slightly darker than shown in these pictures, like looking at the pattern of fall foliage across a hillside. Incredible.”

And while the gorgeous Magnolia Leaf colorway of the 40th Anniversary Valley Superwash DK hand-dyed by Madelinetosh has sold out this sweater works up beautifully in the solid colors of our Valley Superwash DK, like the Forest colorway.