Posts Tagged ‘Valley Yarns Show & Tell’

What’s the “Coolest” Fiber Choice?

Friday, July 4th, 2014
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Here in Massachusetts, summer has really hit us. Today is forecast to be at least 90 degrees with high humidity and that’s just the kind of weather I really hate. It’s the kind of weather that makes me not even want to knit, especially the project I have on my needles right now, which is an alpaca cardigan for my mother. God bless you, mom, but I can’t look at it.

This weather makes me wonder if weaving is the way to go. A lot of the woven fabric I like the best is in cotton or linen, which are two fibers I really don’t like to knit. However, woven, they look complex, rich, and most of all, light and cool.linen towels by Scott Norris Take for example, Scott Norris’ linen towels, which are works of art that will provide years of service in your kitchen or bathroom — if you can bear to use them for something so pedestrian as drying your hands or your dishes.

Carol Birtwistle has also done some beautiful work with cotton and cotton blends, and she is a true master of twills. These towels are perfect for summer, since they never feel heavy or sticky.cool cotton twill

In a few weeks, Convergence comes to Providence, RI. This national conference is only held every other year, and usually not as close to “home” as Rhode Island is to us. There are going to be some amazing handwovens there, and it really inspires me to finally get serious about learning to weave.

What is your hot-weather solution to the fiber doldrums? Do you like to knit with plant fibers, or do you take a break? Let’s chat in the comments!

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!

Valley Yarns Show and Tell: 467 French Vine Pullover

Monday, September 3rd, 2012
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In our final Valley Yarns Show and Tell from the collection in the Valley Yarns catalog, we have 467 French Vine Pullover. The simple shape of the bottom-up Valley Yarns French Vine Pullover lets you focus on the old French lace pattern on the bodice. The ribbed sleeves and saddle shoulders are both comfortable and charming.

It is knit in Valley Yarns Valley Superwash, so it’s easy to care for and it is incredibly soft.

We tried on the 36″ size.

A lot of us found the fit of the lace on the body very flattering and it made the body of the sweater fit well. Some of us would have preferred not having the ribbing on the sleeves, feeling it added a bit of bulk. We all agreed that Valley Superwash is an incredibly soft yarn.

You can check out the pattern here.

We’ll have another round of Valley Yarns Show and Tells with our next catalog. We hope they’ve been helpful for you. I also want to thank our awesome staff for sharing their measurements!

Valley Yarns Show and Tell: 472 MoCA Cardigan

Monday, August 27th, 2012
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We have two more weeks of Valley Yarns Show and Tell posts for the Valley Yarns catalog, and this week we’re looking at 473 MoCA Cardigan. Easy garter stitch knit from cuff to cuff works brilliantly with a modern dolman sleeve shape and an unshaped, naturally draping neckline. Soft and cozy Valley Yarns Amherst will make this design one of your favorites.

We tried on the 36″ size.

We were a bit split on the design of this cardigan, but all agreed that Valley Yarns Amherst is a super soft, super cozy yarn. Many of us found the dolman sleeves to be too big and bulky for us, but the word “cozy” did come up quite a few times.

You can check out the pattern here.

Valley Yarns Show and Tell: 473 Shadow Bolero

Monday, August 20th, 2012
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Today we’re looking at 473 Shadow Bolero. It is knit in Valley Yarns Greenwich. In the Valley Yarns Shadow Bolero, it just takes two small seams to turn a rectangle into a curvy, mysterious shape that fits and flatters all sizes and keeps your shoulders warm. The loose gauge plays off the unstructured cable stitch pattern to create spots of opacity on a semi-sheer background.

This project has one size.

A couple of us had trouble with the fit of this bolero and found that we couldn’t keep it on our shoulders. Others thought it fit well, and some suggested adding a clasp to help keep it on. We all agreed that the Greenwich was a super cozy, comfortable yarn!

You can check out the pattern here.

Valley Yarns Show and Tell: 462 Hearts of Oak Cardigan

Monday, August 13th, 2012
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We’re showing off the latest addition to our Stitch Red collection with 462 Hearts of Oak Cardigan. This set-in sleeve cardigan has a wide shawl collar that can be overlapped and pinned closed, or folded over to show off the lovely wrong side of the Hearts of Oak pattern stitch.

We tried on the 36″ size.

We really liked this comfortable cardigan. The collar was a big hit, though a couple of us would shorten the sleeves. This sweater looks great open, or closed with a shawl pin. We also love that a percentage of the profits from this pattern, Valley Yarns Northampton in red, and 452 Hearts of Oak Hat are donated to Stitch Red.

You can check out the pattern here.

Valley Yarns Show and Tell: 458 Stella Pullover

Monday, August 6th, 2012
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This week, we’re showing off 458 Stella Pullover. This pullover is knit in Valley Yarns 2/14 Alpaca Silk and it creates a super light, super drapey, airy garment. This top-down, seamless raglan sweater is adorned with simple lace eyelets. The loose gauge makes this a light and sheer layering favorite.

We tried on the 36″ size.

Nearly all of us would knit the sleeves a bit shorter on this pullover, but since it’s top-down that is an easy adjustment. This top was really quite comfortable and warm, but super light. It’s a great layering piece that isn’t too warm, and it’s quite versatile. There are also great color options in the 2/14 Alpaca Silk.

You can check out 458 Stella Pullover here.

Valley Yarns Show and Tell: 477 Lake Hitchcock Tee

Monday, July 30th, 2012
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For this week’s Valley Yarns Show and Tell, we’re trying on 477 Lake Hitchcock Tee. Lake Hitchcock once filled the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts, and echoes of that ancient lake can still be found in the depths of the Connecticut River. This simple Valley Yarns Lake Hitchcock Tee, in the rich blue of deep water, is accented by swirls of color at shoulders and hem.

This tee is crocheted with Valley Yarns Charlemont Kettle Dyed with an accent of Valley Yarns Charlemont Hand Dyed.

We tried on the 36″ size.

Many of us really liked this garment, in fact, Emma is making it for herself. A lot of us were also surprised by how lightweight the garment was. Crocheting the tee a bit longer came up a few times.

You can find 477 Lake Hitchcock Tee here.

Valley Yarns Show and Tell: 466 Hyacinth Cardigan

Monday, July 23rd, 2012
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This week in our Valley Yarns Show and Tell, we’re taking a look at 466 Hyacinth Cardigan. The Valley Yarns Hyacinth Cardigan is a reinvention of our ever-popular Oriel Lace Cardigan. This time it is knit in Stockbridge and has sleeves! This sweet cardigan is perfect for transitional seasons and overly air-conditioned spaces.

We tried on the 36″ size.

We all loved the stitch pattern, but some of us thought this would be better if it were a little longer. Katie suggested it would be adorable with a dress because of the length. Since this is a top-down project, you can adjust the length of the body and sleeves, and the placement of the lace. Some of us found the alpaca in the Stockbridge to be a little scratchy.

You can find the pattern here.

Valley Yarns Show and Tell: 480 Proclus Vest

Monday, July 16th, 2012
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We continue our look at the latest Valley Yarns patterns with this crochet project. 480 Proclus Vest combines two skewed polygons as fronts to create a stunning asymmetrical modern shape.

It is crocheted in Valley Yarns Goshen, which is a wonderful blend of cotton, modal, and silk.

We tried on the 36″ size.

The design of this vest had many of us calling it quirky. It’s nice that there are different ways to wear it, but the sample was a little tight on many of us. We all agreed that it looked fantastic on Katie. In fact, she Buzzed about the project recently her on the blog.

Next week, we’ll check out another project from the Valley Yarns catalog. You can check out the pattern here.