Posts Tagged ‘knitting’

The Thornes Pullover from Amy Herzog

Thursday, March 20th, 2014
Share Button

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.

 

In Which I Finally Find a Sweater to Knit

Friday, February 28th, 2014
Share Button

My personal knitting lately has been cowls, mittens, fingerless gloves, and hats. Occasionally, for a good cause, I’ll work my way into a scarf. I just keep making excuses for not knitting a sweater, and I tell myself (and everyone else) that I just don’t have the time. That’s what knitters say when they are unmotivated, I think…”Oh…(sigh)…I wish I had the time to knit that sweater with the shawl collar, the mirrored cables and the steeked cardigan front. But…sigh…I’ve just been so BUSY.”

Well, forget it. When wandering in the store a few days ago, the most gorgeous sweater caught my eye, and once I turned it inside-out to check the construction, I realized that there was nary a seam to be found. And, it was completely flattering on anyone who put it on, no matter their shape or size.  Here you see it modeled by Andrea, our Website Coordinator.Andrea in Caramel    The pattern is called “Caramel” by Isabell Kraemer, and it’s available as a free download on Ravelry. If you click on the project gallery for the sweater, you’ll see it in the most adorable striped in a wide variety of fibers. Our test knitter, Susan Drew (hanoverknitter on Ravelry) used Shalimar Homage DK in Byzantium (the purple stripes) and Black Truffle (the gray background color). I wish you could feel how soft and delicious this sweater is, and see how beautiful the combination of superwash merino, cashmere, and silk can be. HOMAGEDKSH.BYZANTIUM.zoom.1

I hope that you local folks will check this garment out if you are in the store; and if you’re more than a car-ride away from us, take a peek at who on Ravelry is working on this superstar sweater. It’s going in my queue! What’s your next project? Sweater, socks, or more winter woolies? Let us know in the comments below!

Adult Snow Day

Friday, February 14th, 2014
Share Button
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).

Spring 2014 Catalog

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014
Share Button

WEBS Spring 2014 CatalogOur new Spring 2014 catalog went up online last week and the paper version is heading to your mailbox and should arrive sometime next week. We’re pretty excited about all of the great new yarns and projects. We’re also thrilled with the editorial content that we’ve included in this catalog.

Spring 2014 is the first catalog we’re celebrating our 40th anniversary with and inside you’ll find a great article by Kathy and Barbara about the beginnings of WEBS. There are also some great photos from the archive that are fun to check out.

You’ll also find our first Valley Yarns ebook. Soft Landing features five projects that will be right at home in your house. All of these patterns are available individually for $3.99, but the ebook is just $11.99. I’m loving the Hen Plaid Wrap and Viola Plaid Pillow, because I’m a big fan of plaid.

For crocheters, you’ll find patterns as well as a fantastic piece by Sara Delaney about spicing up a simple design with different yarn choices.

If you want to flip though the catalog before it hits your mailbox, you can check it out online here.

What’s your favorite new product in the catalog?

The Windchill Cardigan from Melissa LaBarre

Friday, February 7th, 2014
Share Button

We’ve been so thrilled with your response to our first specialty yarn and dedicated patterns. We thought it was time to share another pattern highlight with you. Melissa LaBarre designed the Windchill Cardigan for us and it’s just stunning!

About her relationship with WEBS:

I’m so happy to be one of the designers for Webs’ 40th anniversary. Webs has been a big part of my life for more than a decade.
I discovered Webs when I started knitting again, just over 10 years ago. What a place to discover when you’re a new knitter. I think I started by buying 2 of everything and making a bunch of fancy scarves.
Years later, knitting had become a big part of my life. I started designing and picked up a part-time job at Webs. During my 2 years there, I co-wrote 2 knitting books, New England Knits and Weekend Hats.
Now I’m a work-at-home designer and mother of a toddler girl, with another baby girl on the way. My designs had shifted from adult garments to accessories and baby designs in the last year, so it was fun to design my first adult sweater in a year for Webs’ anniversary.
You can check out more of Melissa’s patterns on our site, on her Ravelry page or follow her on Facebook!

Selfish Project Month

Monday, February 3rd, 2014
Share Button

The holidays are now a distant memory, and while some of the more organized and enterprising members of our crafting community have already started planning, and possibly even working on projects for the end of this year, many of us just want to take a little time to focus on ourselves. I am included in that second group. I didn’t make nearly as many projects as I was planning for gifts, but as I was working on them, all I could think of was projects I wanted for myself – legwarmers, mittens, hats. (It has been really cold!)

Since February also happens to feature Valentine’s Day, we thought it might be nice to show ourselves a little love and focus on selfish knitting and crocheting. In the next month, we’ll feature patterns and ideas that you can make for yourself (or someone else if you really wanted to).

You’ll also want to keep an eye out here and our other social media sites next week because we’re going to be doing something special.

Are you planning on knitting or crocheting for yourself?

Let the Games Begin!

Friday, January 31st, 2014
Share Button

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!

Staff Favorites: Patterns

Thursday, January 30th, 2014
Share Button

In the store, we often get to see customers come through with great finished projects made with stellar patterns. We realized recently that several of us have finished some really great patterns and wanted to share them with you. Some of them are new, some are old, and some are even designed by our staff. Take a look at what we’ve worked on.

Elektrocute designed by Emma Welford

Elektrocute by Emma Welford
Like most of my design ideas, Elektrocute started out as a hastily-scribbled sketch on a post-it note while I was working. From sketch to chart to FO, it turned out exactly as I was picturing it and that makes it my latest favorite! I think the evolving colorwork pattern is fun and youthful while Madelinetosh Pashmina makes it luxe. Go wild with color combinations…I dare you! - Emma W.
I test knit this for Emma, and I must say, it’s a super fun pattern! – Mary

Cabled Baby Sweater designed by Rebecca L. Daniels

Cabled Raglan Baby Sweater by Rebecca L. Daniels
Made in Louet Gems Sport, a wonderful springy yarn that had a lot of personality and showed cabling nicely. This was my first top-down raglan sweater (believe it or not) and they each knit up in less than a week. Not only did I love the pattern, I loved learning this technique and I can’t believe I didn’t come around to it sooner. I’m contemplating making another pair as a first-birthday present. - Amy G.

Cladonia Shawl designed by Kirsten Kapur

Cladonia by Kirsten Kapur
I love knitting the Cladonia by Kirsten Kapur.  It was a simple shawl with a very nice lacy details to finish it off.  I knit it up in the Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light as the main color and Madelinetosh Tosh Lace for the lace detail in a different color. - Bonnie L.

Rooshed designed by Amy Stephens

Rooshed by Amy Stephens
I have always loved lace weight yarn but my attempts at knitting lace have always ended in tears. Rooshed is my answer! It’s an asymmetrical shawl/scarf that is practically weightless. It’s long enough to style a number of different ways. I’ve knit three already, in a silk/merino blend and have plans to knit another one in black. They’ve been popping up on a number of people who work in the store too. I love seeing everyone’s fiber and color choice. - Amy S.
I’m pretty excited about this pattern. It’s definitely on my to-knit list! – Mary

Crossroads Hat designed be Elena Nodel

Crossroads Hat by Elena Nodel
I knit this hat while start to finish while watching a football game. It was a super quick knit and it was also a really fun knit. I’m not a huge fan of purling, so it seems silly to have chosen this particular pattern, but the slipped stitches and cabling helped to break it up and move it along. Once you get going, the location of the slipped stitches and cables just flows. I knit it in two colors of Madelinetosh Tosh DK. - Mary K.

Elementary Cowl designed by Amy Stephens

Elementary Cowl by Amy Stephens
One of my favorite patterns, right now, is the Elementary Cowl. I think I’m knitting the 12th one. I just can’t stop! The pattern is incredibly easy. What I’m drawn to is picking out different colors and working with yarns that have a chainette construction like Classic Elite Chalet/Chateau, Cascade Eco Cloud, and Rowan Lima/Lima Colour.  The fabric is so warm, soft and squishy. It’s a perfect knit for watching TV, a knitting group project, or watching swim meets. - Amy S.

What’s your favorite pattern that you’ve recently completed? Do you like seeing our finished projects and patterns recommendations?

 

Ready, Set, Knit! 341: Kathy talks with Marly Bird

Saturday, January 18th, 2014
Share Button

Play Now: 

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

This week Kathy talks with Marly about her journey from learning how to crochet and knit to making a living as a knit/crochet wear designer. She launched the Yarn Thing podcast to help connect her to other knitters and crocheters.

Marly Classes

thrummed mittens inside out  

Marly will be teaching here at WEBS on Feb 15th and 16th. You can take her Thrummed Mittens class, Knit or Crochet, or explore Colorwork Cables.

Steve’s Yarn Picks:

Upcoming Events:

40th Anniversary celebrations kick off on January 20th! In just 2 DAYS!Keep an eye out for Valley Yarns collaborations with specialty hand dyers and some big name designers each quarter. 

Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Ravelry for the most timely and up-to-date information, or sign-up for our e-mail list.

Our 8th Annual Big Game Day Escape, Feb. 2nd from 12-4

Reminder:

We’re collecting Hats for Halos of Hope. Our thanks to everyone that has already sent in hats, keep ‘em coming! You can now make a donation in lieu of hats and help out as well! Each $5.00 contribution counts as 1 hat in our total. Donations can be made here.

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:

WEBS
Attn: TEAM RSK!
6 Industrial Pkwy.
Easthampton, MA 01027

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

How To Get Through The Awful Part of Winter

Friday, January 17th, 2014
Share Button

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?