Posts Tagged ‘Valley Yarns’

Ready, Set, Knit Show 506! Kathy talks with Isabel from Lander Grinspoon Academy about their scarf project

Saturday, October 28th, 2017
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Isabel, a 5th grader, joins us from Lander Grinspoon Academy. She’s spearheading a local initiative to knit scarves and hats for the homeless. Isabel had the idea when on a trip to NYC where she ended up knitting with a group in Bryant Park who were knitting scarves and leaving them tied to benches for the homeless. On her way home, she knew she needed to do something similar in our area. There are three students in the knitting group working on it, and several others working on the project at home. On November 15th, they’ll be bringing them to a local park and leave them for those who need them.

If you’d like to help, simple scarves are preferred, in a superwash wool yarn. You can send your scarves to:
WEBS
Lander Grinspoon Academy Scarf/Hat Project
6 Industrial Parkway
Easthampton, MA 01027

She’s been knitting since she was in 1st grade. Her grandmother taught her how to knit after sewing wasn’t quite working. Her first project was a scarf and she LOVES knitting them!

If you’re local, join the students on November 15th at 4:30pm in Pulaski Park, Northampton, MA to share.

Steve’s Yarn Picks:
NEW!
Valley Yarns Mount Holyoke
Mrs. Crosby Reciprocate Shawl Kit

NEW CLOSEOUTS!
Ella Rae Lace Merino DK
Louisa Harding Pittura
Debbie Bliss Roma
Debbie Bliss Donegal Luxury Tweed Aran
Mirasol Pima Splash

NOTES:

Thanks for joining us at Rhinebeck!

FREE SHIPPING on orders $75 or more ends 10/30/17.

Vickie Howell will be here November, 11th! Sign up for her class and check out The Knit Show.

We’ll be closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day.

Don’t miss our Black Friday deals in November!

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WEBS Expert Knitter Certification Capstone Graduation 2017

Monday, July 10th, 2017
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My favorite evening of the year is the Capstone Graduation ceremony, held at the Delaney House a few miles down the road from WEBS. It’s a chance to congratulate and praise the students who have made their way through the 19 required classes and electives, and then used the knowledge they’ve acquired to design and knit a sweater that fits them to a T. This year’s graduation was held on June 21, a beautiful summer evening, and our group gathered to socialize, see old and new friends and fellow students and teachers, and celebrate our newest group of 9 graduates.

We began with a tribute to a dear friend and colleague, Liz Wrobleski. Liz passed away very unexpectedly in late December–we’d already met and I had approved her proposal for her Capstone sweater, but she never got to start it. Her family gave one of her exquisite sweaters to us, and we awarded her certificate to her husband and son in her honor. It was a beautiful and sad moment, but her family was supportive and we are so grateful that we were able to recognize her talent. Here is her Sweater Construction sweater–and it’s flawless.

Liz Wrobleski sweater

Susan Drew is a seamstress as well as a phenomenal knitter, and her sweater design was an interpretation of a classic Chanel jacket, with i-cord trim standing in for Coco’s famous braided edging. She used a 3-color slip stitch pattern, and painstakingly reviewed each step of her process with her mentor, Stephanie Gibbs, for technical accuracy. I think you’ll agree that the effort she expended shows to great advantage in her iconic design.

Susan Drew sweater

Kim Lier chose to do a cabled aran sweater, but proportionally correct for her small size and shape. She researched cables, twists, crossings, ribbing, twisted stitches, and finally steeled herself to do a saddle shoulder (without EVER having done one before!) so that her cables would truly shine, uninterrupted by a shoulder seam. At one of our “support group” meetings, she worried that perhaps her sweater was going to be smaller than she wanted–and she ended up ripping out a month’s worth of stitches to re-do her design to more closely mirror her ideal fit. Her cabled cardigan is really a work of art, and her mentor, Leslie Ann, agrees.

 Kim Lier sweater

When I first met Salin Low, she was caring for a very ill spouse. Although I knew she had a long drive to WEBS and had a lot on her plate with work,in-home care for her husband, and a lot of complicated knitting, she was always warm and took time to talk with me and her fellow students. Sadly, her husband passed away a few months ago. Salin created a Capstone love letter to her husband by adapting the design on her wedding ring, whichwas a glass seal used for sealing letters with wax. The design was a sun and a flower with the words “I turn for you” in French. With mentor Erin’s help, Salin’s sweater incorporated an intarsia sunflower and sun, and embroidered sun rays on the shoulder. The sunflower was supported by an i-cord stem and the border of her hem was stranded in different colors to resemble grass. The entire effect is clean and simple, with texture on the flower adding a visual pop to the background of the stockinette stitch.

Salin Low sweater

Angie Tierney had an ambitious plan for her sweater–using two different yarn weights, she wanted to make a sweater that looked like a sleeveless vest over a lighter long-sleeved shirt. I had no idea how she was going to make that work, but of course she did, beautifully. Using Valley Yarns Colrain for the body of the sweater, she designed numerous cable patterns to accentuate the shaping and fit of her “vest,” and then chose Valley Yarns Huntington to knit the sleeves, collar, and hem. By choosing tonal variations rather than stark contrasting colors, she softened the visual effect of the two different parts of the design and truly made a unique sweater that will certainly be an attention-getter once the weather moves into winter temps.

Angie Tierney sweater

Michal Lumsden and I share a former workplace–she’s there now, and I was there for several years before her. I knew her colleagues would be supportive of her knitting in meetings, for which I was pretty envious! Michal’s sweater is a simple, elegant, form-flattering light cardigan with an intriguing eyelet at the hem, giving it an airy feel and a sophisticated look. I told her that if I didn’t know she had knit it, I would have picked it out of a lineup for her to wear. It just says “Michal” to me! The genius of having 3 top buttons leaves the options for accessorizing open–in the summer, it can layer over a tank, and in the winter, a turtleneck wouldn’t look out of place underneath it. Cyndi Shepard, her mentor, is incredibly proud.

Michal Lumsden sweater

Elaine Bloniasz knew she wanted to use Fair Isle colorwork in her sweater. True Fair Isle is knit in the round with no seaming, but the Capstone requirements demand that there be shoulder, sleeve, and side seams on the sweater for their final project. Elaine and her mentor, Erin, came up with a truly genius solution for that, by making a yoke that she seamed into her shoulders. Desperate times call for desperate measures…Her sweater fits her so perfectly that it reminds us all that truly well-fitting garments are within our reach.

Elaine Bloniasz photo

Jan Wilson has spent a lot of time in Africa, courtesy of her daughter and son-in-law who moved there to teach. She was entranced by a woven basket she saw during her time there, and had the idea to recreate the look and feel of that basket in her sweater. It is amazing! Knitting a worsted weight yarn at a tighter gauge gave her the tightly coiled texture of woven plant fiber, and her tri-color braids perfectly reflect the braided seam holding the coiled strands together. Working tirelessly with her mentor, Ping Wood, Jan really made this sweater the stand-out for most closely resembling the inspiration for the garment.

Jan Wilson sweater

Ruth Manna worked with mentor Beth Decker on a drapey open cardigan with intarsia striping that is deceptively simple in appearance. In order to make those stripes she had to do intarsia (color blocking) sections with invisible joins. I know she ripped them out over and over in her quest for perfection, and her garment is the richer for her hard work. Not only that, but the stripes in her hemline align exactly with the striping on her sleeve cuffs–and that is perfectionism I can get behind! Ruth’s sweater is absolutely lovely, fits her perfectly, and would be appropriate year-round.

Ruth Manna sweater

I’m so proud of this year’s graduates. Their sweaters are on display in our store for a few more days, so come in and see them in person!

Valley Yarns Style Guide: 3 Ways To Style the Harkin Pullover

Friday, July 7th, 2017
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Do you ever see something that you really want to knit, but aren’t sure how you would fit that style into your current wardrobe?

Me too. All the time.

We all want to get as much use out of our handknits as possible. Making your own clothing is time consuming and can get very expensive.

When I’m looking at a potential new project, I ask myself these four questions:

1. What fiber will I knit this in and realistically wear?

This is really a two-part question. What is the original garment made out of? Was it designed for a cotton and silk blend, so it will have lots of drape and movement? If so, would  I be willing to invest the time and money into that particular yarn or something similar? Will it look as good in a superwash Merino? Will I have to take special care when laundering the garment? If you’re looking to make an aran sweater with a turtleneck, choosing a cotton is probably not the best idea – even if it has the same stitch gauge. The same goes for a summery linen top. The fabric won’t act the same if knit in a bouncy superwash Merino as it would in a linen fiber.

2. What color do I want to knit it in vs. what color will actually work with what I have?

This can be a really tough one, especially if you’re like me, and tend to be interested in knitting only with a few different shades. So, if the sample garment is knit in a bright yellow, can I envision it in a different color? Would the stitch pattern disappear if I used my favorite hue? Would I wear that trendy neon green speckled color next season? How many tops do I have that will go under that sweater and will I have to buy more to coordinate? Sometimes you just can’t tell until you’ve actually knit it. My advice would be to buy a skein of that color and swatch it. Hold it up against your skin in natural and unnatural light. Drape it over clothes you already own. If you can still envision yourself wearing that color, then by all means, use it!

3. I like the shape of this garment – but will I like it on me? 

Another tough question. If you’re petite, maybe you’re not comfortable wearing something long and oversized without  changing the length a bit (or quite a bit). If you’re busty with wide shoulders, you may need to choose a pattern that can accommodate your frame. A taller body may need to edit where the waist shaping is on a sweater as well as the length. The list goes on and on. All of our bodies are sized differently and a lot of patterns are only written for a handful of sizes (although most designers are getting much better about expanding their sizing options). For me, if I have to change more than three things about a pattern to feel comfortable in it, I’m out. Pull out some of your favorites and decide what you think looks best on you, and try choosing a pattern that has similar qualities.

4. How many outfits can I make out of things I already own? Will I have to buy something to go with this?  

If your wardrobe is more jeans-and-a-tee, maybe you won’t get as much wear out of that gorgeous cable-knit skirt as you would a top-down raglan. If you live in Hawaii, you might not have the same need for a closet full of Lopi sweaters as someone in Alaska might.

Ok, so maybe that was more than four questions, but I think you get the gist of it. Of course, we support making what you want, when you want, but we also want you to get as much wear as you can out of your handknits, and to make something you’ll cherish!

Today, we’re taking the Harkin Pullover, by Kirsten Hipsky, knit in Valley Yarns Hatfield, and styling it three different ways. Harkin is an oversized pullover, knit in a lace weight alpaca on size 8 needles. It’s roomy and comes in several sizes. It’s very lightweight, but adds a touch of warmth to almost any outfit, which is perfect for all seasons, and definitely easy to mix and match with what you probably already own!

For our Valley Yarns 2017 catalog, we styled the Harkin Pullover with medium-wash skinny jeans, brown riding boots, and a chunky necklace. It’s a simple outfit that definitely has an autumnal feel. Since we’re still a couple of months away from Fall here in the Pioneer Valley, I styled Harkin three ways that could work in the summer, using items pulled from my own wardrobe.

valley yarns knit sweater harkin 1

The first outfit is a summery recreation of the original look. When late summer mornings start to get cool, I often throw a lightweight sweater over a tank. I used medium-wash jeggings with a black cami to pair underneath. Instead of tall boots, I chose these colorful, faux-leather flat sandals that were a steal at Target. To top it off, I grabbed a small cross-body bag.

valley yarns knit sweater harkin 2Do you wear your knits to work? We do at WEBS!

For a casual office, the unstructured and oversized Harkin Pullover would look great over the same black camisole, and with a flouncy patterned skirt. Cute, shiny, and comfy, these flat sandals add texture and shine.

valley yarns knit sweater harkin 3

For the final outfit, I wanted to dress Harkin up a bit. I chose an ultra-short, strappy sundress, with chunky wedge platforms. The colors of the floral print compliment the sweater’s deep red color, and because the knitted fabric is sheer, a bit of that print will peek through! It’s the perfect cover-up for a summer date night!

valley yarns knit sweater harkin 4

 

How do you style your handknits? We want you to show us! Tag us @websyarn on Instagram, or share them in our Ravelry group!

Ready, Set, Knit! Show 491: Kathy Talks With Janice Kang

Saturday, June 17th, 2017
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This week, Kathy is talking with Janice Kang, knitwear designer and longtime friend of WEBS. For our 40th Anniversary, Janice designed the Mixed Tide Shawl, which knits up beautifully in 2/10 Merino Tencel (Colrain Lace). She entered a version in the California State Fair in 2014, and it placed! Summer is here, and it’s fair season! Janice is an award-winning knitter, so listen to hear more about entering your knitwear in fair exhibits! You won’t want to miss this.

Janice’s award-winning Lady’s Circular Cape in Shell Pattern, knit in Valley 2/10 Merino Tencel.

Janice’s Must Have Cardigan, knit in Valley Northampton.

Janice is also a weaver. Her Pseudo Crackle bag in Valley 5/2 Cotton placed 2nd!

Check out Janice’s blog to read more about the California State Fair results here.

rsk491

 

Steve’s Yarn Picks of the week:

 

Reminder:

Don’t forget to pick up your passport for the I-91 Shop Hop, which is taking place from Thursday, June 22nd through Sunday, June 25th- NEXT WEEK!!! 11 shops are participating this year, with raffles and prizes galore! If you make it to all 11 stores and fill your passport, you could win a huuuuuge gift basket!

The New England Weavers Seminar is being held this year at Smith College, just minutes from WEBS, here in Northampton. Check out their website for more information!

WEBS will be closed on Tuesday, July 4th!

Upcoming Events

WEBS is holding our first-ever Spinning Summit this fall! From September 29th through October 1st, we’ll be holding classes, special Sunday shopping hours for participants, and other exclusive events. Our teachers include the amazing Jillian Moreno, Abby Franquemont, Amy King, and Beth Smith! Check out our brochure over here!

Registration for the WEBS Retreat has filled! If you missed out, please consider signing up for the waitlist. We had many people come off the waitlist last year!

WEBS is having a Rhinebeck Sweater KAL! There’s still time to sign up and start your sweater, so sign up now to join for a reduced rate!  Click here for more information and to register!

Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram for lots of great new products, contests and fun!

Check out all of our upcoming Events here.

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Introducing Valley Yarns Conway!

Monday, March 13th, 2017
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Have you met Conway? It’s the perfect yarn for spring and summer! Made with 60% Pima Cotton and 40% Acrylic, Conway works up at a DK weight, with 5.5 stitches per inch on a US size 5 needle. Conway is also machine washable, making it an excellent choice for baby and kids garments. With a soft hand, excellent stitch definition, and gorgeous color palette ranging from neutrals to brights, Conway has all of your warmer weather needs covered!

20170307-009

For a light summer layer over a tank, knit the Safira Cardigan. The eyelet detail on the sleeves combined with Conway’s soft cotton makes for the perfect cover-up in a drafty office.

safirafinal

The Maple Baby Cardigan is a great choice for in-between months. Cables and textured stitches really pop in Conway! The Maple Baby Cardigan is also available as a kit,  which includes the pattern and enough yarn to make any of the sizes!

HyperFocal: 0

Those of us who will miss Valley Longmeadow can be rest assured that all patterns originally designed for Longmeadow can be made using Conway! Add the Rose Sorbet Tank to your spring wardrobe rotation, or crochet the Playing Blocks Afghan just in time for a summer baby’s arrival.

Cashmere, Of Course

Friday, January 27th, 2017
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Continuing my love affair with yarn that is not sport or fingering weight, I have been anxiously waiting to get our new Valley Yarn Wachusett on my needles. If you haven’t caressed this yarn yet, you are missing a very comforting experience. A very luxurious blend of merino wool and cashmere (the magic word!) makes knitting with Wachusett a treat. Getting a gauge of 19 stitches to 4 inches in stockinette makes a sweater fly off the needles, and a very generous 163 yards in a ball will let you settle in for hours of fun. A very slight halo and a range of clear brights and smoky neutrals give you lots of choices if you like colorwork or color blocks; of course, any of those colors could stand on their own as well.

Amy's loving Valley Yarns Wachusett, read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

The Backstage Boss hat from Advenure Du Jour Designs would be a great test knit for Wachusett–with two colors that can either complement or contrast, you’d get a real feel for what this yarn can do. I’m a fan!

New Designs in Valley Yarns Colrain!

Friday, January 20th, 2017
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Three talented designers have all worked with our Valley Yarns Colrain to bring your all new designs for January!

The Sabine Pullover from Ashwini Jambhekar, who also designed the Ascending Leaves Pullover, has faux princess seams created with a small slip-stitch cable to a truly flattering fit.

New designs in Valley Yarns Colrain, read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.comMelissa Metzbower, who also designed the Honeycomb Child’s Cardigan, designed the clever January Morning Cowl. Squishy, cozy braided strips join together at the back neck with a low-profile button.

New designs in Valley Yarns Colrain, read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.comFatimah Hinds, designer of the Blue Quartz Cowl, has created a subtle graphic statement with the Limestone Inclusion Shawl, which features a simple stripe of natural to transition from the main body to the lacy, mesh edge.

New designs in Valley Yarns Colrain, read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.comHave you worked with Valley Yarns Colrain before? What has been your favorite project?

First Watch Pea Coat – Winner!

Monday, January 16th, 2017
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Our thanks to everyone that commented and said such lovely things about Marie’s newest design. And we love all your color choices!

First Watch Giveaway Winner on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Our winner is Commenter # 242, Anne,  who said, “I think I would use the gold…bold and bright for these endless cloudy winter days. I have followed WEBS forever, catalogue and then on FB and online. I even had the pleasure of visiting the store a few years ago. Yay, WEBS!!” Anne will be getting a sweater’s worth of Berkshire in her chosen color and a copy of the First Watch pattern!

There are already so many great projects popping up on Ravelry, we can’t wait to see all of your versions of this sweater in all these amazing color choices! Our thanks go out to Marie for designing such a lovely sweater in Valley Yarns.

Valley Superwash stuns in Vogue Knitting!

Wednesday, January 11th, 2017
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The Winter 2016/17 issue of Vogue Knitting is on newsstands now and we’re thrilled with the Stacked herringbone Sweater from Sandi Prosser!

Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Knit in two high contrast colors of our very own Valley Yarns Valley Superwash, this oversized, batwing-style sweater creates a bold, herringbone pattern for a pullover that would look equally at home with jeans and boots, or  a black mini and stilettos.

I can’t wait to see it in other color combinations! Which colors would you choose?

First Watch Pea Coat – new design and a giveaway!

Monday, January 9th, 2017
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Marie Greene, from Olive Knits has just released a new design knit in our Valley Yarns Berkshire. Her First Watch Pea Coat is a lovely modern take on the classic pea coat, with subtle, crisp details that make this sweater a classic piece that you will wear for years. We asked Marie to share the story of this design.

First Watch Pea Coat from Olive Knits, read about the design journey of this knit, and enter to win the yarn and pattern on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Design Insights:

For me, knitwear design usually always begins with a structure or a place – a bridge, a coastline, an outdoor marketplace. I am always open to inspiration in unexpected places, and more often than not it’s the littlest things that kick off an idea.

My philosophy is simple: I want my designs to be timeless and wearable, but equally important – I want them to be portable. I’m a knitter on the go, and I design with this in mind. I knit during meetings, at the beach, when I travel, when I’m visiting friends – I am never without a project. Some projects travel well and some don’t, but I find that the more portable a project is, the easier it is to finish. (And the sooner I finish, the sooner I can wear it, right?)

First Watch was inspired by my home near the Oregon Coast – a place where the ocean breezes can cut right through several layers (even when you think you’ve bundled up enough).  I’ve always loved the minimal style of a pea coat; it’s a perfect example of form and function, and this one – knit with Valley Yarns Berkshire at a relatively dense gauge makes for a toasty fabric that holds its own on a cold day. The yarn blocks beautifully and provides clear stitch definition for ribbing and details. The result is a sturdy, totally wearable piece that you’ll find yourself reaching for again and again throughout the cold season. Best of all, it’s a quick, seamless knit with the button band worked right along as you go.

Designed for sizes 32-52 with a little ease for layering, First Watch is a versatile piece that you’ll love so much you’ll wear it every time the temperature drops.

First Watch Pea Coat from Olive Knits, read about the design journey of this knit, and enter to win the yarn and pattern on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

 

I have to agree with Marie, I love it, and  I just have to decide what color of Berkshire I’m going to use. For more info on Marie or her Olive Knits designs please follow her on Ravelry or Instagram.

THANKS TO EVERYONE THAT PARTICIPATED! This Giveaway is now closed.

Now for the Giveaway! Tell us what color of Berkshire you’d like to use and where you heard/saw about this giveaway in the comments and you’ll be entered to win a copy of the pattern and a full sweater quantity of Berkshire to knit your own First Watch! The giveaway is open to residents of the US and Canada, and closes at 11:59pm EST Sunday, January 15th.

Please use a valid email address when creating your comment account, anonymous comments prevent us from contacting you if you are the winner. The winner will be chosen using a random number generator,  the comment with that number will be the winner.  If the winner has not responded to requests after 1 week a new winner will be chosen using the same method.

(No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. Only comments on this blog post count as an entry. Entries must include a preferred color of Valley Yarns Berkshire and the platform where the entrant learned about the giveaway. The winner will be announced here on the WEBS Blog on Monday, January 16th.)