Posts Tagged ‘Valley Yarns’

Valley Yarns Amherst – perfect Winter knitting

Monday, January 18th, 2016
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As seasonal cold weather finally settles over New England I’m feeling the urge to knit something warm and cozy but I’m not sure if I want a blanket, poncho, sweater or a pile of accessories! As I was thinking about what yarn I’d like to use I remembered our Valley Yarns Amherst, 100% Merino yarn with 2 dozen colors to choose from.

Valley Yarns Amherst available at yarn.com

Knowing that it’s 100% wool means that I won’t have to worry about a larger project sagging out of shape after time. Being Merino it will be nice and soft, and with lots of color choices I can fill in gaps in my wardrobe, or coordinate with my home decor. I don’t find wool to be too scratchy so I’m comfortable wearing it against my skin, I don’t own any pets, and I don’t mind hand-washing projects so this one seems like a great fit.

Valley Yarns pattern 663 - The Oatmeal Afghan, knit in Valley Yarns Amherst. Available now at yarn.com

After going through all the great patterns that are available for Amherst (and you can too by clicking the “Related Patterns” tab at the top of this page), I decided that what I really wanted was a new blanket for my favorite chair at home, and the Oatmeal Blanket is perfect. While it may look like a big complicated counterpane pattern it’s actually much easier! The whole blanket is simple triangles that are whip-stitched together. Super portable until the very end. Now I just have to decide on color.

What’s your favorite project in Valley Yarns Amherst?

We’re looking for new Valley Yarns designs, from you!

Monday, December 14th, 2015
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Hello Designers! We are looking for original, never before published, designs for Spring 2016 to showcase four of our favorite Valley Yarns.

Submit your ideas in the April/May Valley Yarns design submission call. read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com Submissions due December 27th, 2015.

For April, we’ll be showcasing two great machine-washable Valley Yarns: Longmeadow, and the brand-new Haydenville!

Think you don’t like knitting with cotton? Let Longmeadow show you cotton in a whole new light. Microfiber blended with cotton gives this yarn some wool-like forgiveness while being soft enough for even the pickiest recipient. A true DK weight, recommended at 5.5 sts per inch, and available in a sunny, colorful palette, Longmeadow is fantastic for baby items and multi-season garments and accessories.

Looking for great softness in a worsted weight, machine-washable and dryable wool? Look no further than our brand new Valley Yarns Haydenville. Mostly merino and blended with microfiber, these 100g/220 yard skeins are perfect for blankets of all sizes and for all recipients who need to machine wash and dry. Large projects, baby sets, stuffed animals, hoodies and other often-washed articles are great for this yarn.

Deadline: Submissions will be due Sunday December 27, 2015 by 11:59pm EST
Designers will be notified if their submission has been accepted, with yarn shipping out, by January 8th. Samples are due in-house by Friday March 4th.

Submit your ideas in the April/May Valley Yarns design submission call. read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com Submissions due December 27th, 2015.

For May we’re highlighting two great warm-weather yarns: Valley Yarns Goshen and Southwick!

Featuring Peruvian cotton, modal, and silk, Valley Yarns Goshen is a luxurious treat with loads of shine. Our heaviest cotton blend, we recommend knitting Goshen at 4.5 sts to the inch for structured women’s garments or dazzling accessories that make use of its weight and drape.

Soft and drapey Valley Yarns Southwick, slightly lighter at 5 sts to the inch, is a perfect choice for flowing, airy garments, accessories and blankets. The combination of cotton and bamboo is smooth and cool on the skin, while the warm and sunny colors can’t help but make you smile.

Deadline: Submissions will be due Sunday December 27, 2015 by 11:59pm EST
Designers will be notified if their submission has been accepted, with yarn shipping out, by January 8th. Samples are due in-house by Friday April 1st.

Submit your ideas in the April/May Valley Yarns design submission call. read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com Submissions due December 27th, 2015.

All accepted submissions will receive yarn support, assigned by our in-house team. Valley Yarns will pay for the finished sample of the pattern on a sliding scale ($50–$200 depending on size and complexity). Payment will be made within 2 weeks of on-time receipt of finished sample. Valley Yarns and the designer will benefit from a 50/50 revenue share of all patterns sales during the exclusivity period, with quarterly payments made to the designer during the exclusivity period, preferably via Paypal.

If your proposal is accepted, Valley Yarns requires a six month period of exclusivity after which rights will be shared and the designer may republish. Valley Yarns will retain their version of the pattern until such a time as they decide to discontinue the pattern or the featured yarn. The Valley Yarns version of the design will be sold only through yarn.com, and may be used in social media and print media advertising, and may be featured in one or more of our catalogs. After the six month period of exclusivity has ended the designer will have full control of the Ravelry page and may use our photography as long as Valley Yarns is credited for the images.

All proposals should be submitted in a one-page PDF format and include:
• your contact information, including your full name, email, mailing address, website and/or Ravelry designer page, and phone number. A short bio is encouraged if we haven’t worked with you before (tell us why you’re great!).
• sketches of your proposed design
• photographs of a generous-sized swatch, it’s not necessary to use a Valley Yarns yarn in your swatch but try to use a yarn with a similar fiber content and stitch gauge
• schematic measurements
• the Valley Yarns yarn you wish to work with
• a short description of the design, including construction, shaping, ease and fit, special techniques and stitch designs
Special reminder, please put everything you want us to see/read into the actual submission PDF, not into the body of your email. Also make sure that all parts of your submission are part of a single pdf.

Please email PDF submissions to:
ValleyYarnsDesigns (at) yarn (dot) com with the subject line: April/May Submissions

If you have questions please contact us at the same e-mail but use the subject line: April/May Questions

You can see past Valley Yarns designs here, and on Ravelry.

FAQ
• Decisions are made and designers with accepted submissions will be contacted approximately one week after the submission deadline. Submissions that are not accepted will be contacted 2-3 weeks after the deadline.
• If your proposal is accepted, Valley Yarns requires a 6 month period of exclusivity, after which shared rights begin.
• You will need to grade/size your patterns, and format with our style guide (will be provided once a pattern is accepted) but they will be tech edited by our excellent team.
• We are primarily looking for knit designs but will never turn away a stellar crochet submission
• You may submit more than one design. Each submission must be in an individual PDF, multiple PDFs may be sent with your submission e-mail
• If you have any questions about sizing and schematic please see the Craft Yarn Council’s Guidelines.

Brief Description:
Valley Yarns is the in-house brand of yarn at WEBS – America’s Yarn Store and at yarn.com, with each yarn named after one of the towns in our beautiful Pioneer Valley. These carefully selected, affordable yarns are perfect for knitters and crocheters.

Knitting for Pleasure

Friday, December 4th, 2015
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If you read the title and think that I’m talking about knitting for the pleasure of knitting, you’re wrong. Don’t get me wrong, I do love to knit and I do it  instead of as therapy sometimes. What I love more is knitting something FOR someone and giving it to them. Hand-knitted gifts often trump more elaborate “store-bought” gifts by virtue of the hand-knitting. You actually created something for someone.

I was reminded of this when I gave my son a simple hat and scarf I knit out of Valley Yarns Sunderland. He doesn’t care one bit about the fiber content (as long as it’s not itchy) or how luxurious or locally sourced or hand-dyed that yarn is. He needed a hat and I had enough yarn left for a scarf.

Knitting joy, gifts and more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

The pleasure for me was that as soon as he saw that hat he put it right on his head and it didn’t leave that head anytime he was outside. He even wore it inside (our house is a bit chilly). That’s why you knit gifts and give them away — because it feels good.

Valley Yarns Sunderland is my current obsession. Check out this soft, heathery ball of lovely and knit a gift for a friend. It’ll make you feel SO much better!

Designer in Residence – the Lace Motif Afghan

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015
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The sixth, and final, design from Doris Chan as WEBS Designer in Residence is the Lace Motif Afghan. A lovely square-shaped throw worked in supremely soft Valley Yarns Valley Superwash DK, in three colors. Handily sized for a decorative throw or shawl, this little beauty is constructed with two related lace motifs, a square and an octagon. For a larger afghan, simply add more motifs!

Doris Chan, WEBS Designer in Residence December design, the Lace Motif Afghan. Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Doris says, “I particularly enjoy crocheting afghans when the weather turns cold. And if they’re lightweight, pretty, and not too large or cumbersome, I enjoy wearing them as well. ”

The Lace Motif Afghan is made of two motifs arranged in alternating placements in rows and columns. Motifs are connected to each other while crocheting, joining as you go. For some measure of portability crochet the centers of all motifs first, weave in those agonizing ends in advance, then do the last rounds with assembly when you can spread out.

Doris Chan, WEBS Designer in Residence December design, the Lace Motif Afghan. Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

A simple, small scallop trim adds balance, stability and a pretty finish to the afghan edges. With over 2 dozen colors available in the Valley Superwash DK you can work up a Lace Motif Afghan to match any decor. Stay with Doris’ suggested 3 colors or go monochromatic! Who will you make this afghan for?

Doris Chan, WEBS Designer in Residence December design, the Lace Motif Afghan. Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Design Inspiration with Fiona Ellis – The power of color

Monday, November 30th, 2015
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Color, especially when it’s related to clothing, is fascinating to me. It is a powerful thing, triggering emotional responses in all of us. Each color creates a mood or feeling, can demonstrate the personally behind the wearer and evoke memories. I have been researching color for a while for a series of articles I have written for Twist Collective.  So when I came to choose the shade for my final Designer in Residence pattern I knew I should pick something that said WOW! So it had to be Red.

Fiona Ellis - color inspiration for her 6th and final WEBS Designer in Residence pattern. Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Red evokes emotions ranging from passion and power to rage and romance. Viewing red increases blood pressure, pulse and heart rates, and even stimulates appetite. These physical reactions may be why we associate red with activity. But red is also considered seductive…think of lipstick & blush colors. Being the shortest wavelength on the spectrum, red is the first color the eye sees, making it attention- grabbing— the reason that it is used for warning signs. Our learned emotional responses to red are equally varied. Red can signify a mark of honor (think red carpet), we “see red” when we’re angry, are “in the red” when business is bad, and are “caught red handed” (originally a reference to blood on the hands) when guilty.  “Red herrings” divert our attention and we “paint the town red” when we let loose after a long workweek (the origins of that particular phrase are a source of debate).

Fiona Ellis designs with Valley Yarns. Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

pictured left to right: Red Letter Day, Athasca, Sugarbeach and Paula all in Valley Yarns available in spectacular reds!

In naming this design I thought about how red is also linked to special occasions…my year as WEBS Designer in Residence has had, of course, many special days. Red letter days are so called because important festivals, holidays, and saints’ days were inked in red on medieval church calendars. So while I have your attention may I ask you to join me over on my website. I post a piece on the 9th of each month where I chat about design ideas and inspirations along with photos of what is fascinating me, I call it On-line, On-nine.

Thanks for following my wonderful year at WEBS!

– Fiona

High Speed Projects

Wednesday, November 25th, 2015
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With the holidays staring me in the face, I’m thinking about quick gifts – something small that I can weave in quantity on a single warp,  yet lovely enough to be personal and appreciated. Although I’m in the tribe of weavers that believes one can never have too many handwovens in the kitchen, towels are more than I can bite off at this point. But what about…potholders?!And mug rugs? Narrow warps (fast threading) and small pieces (fast weaving), easy to make in sets by changing weft or treadling. And if I’m really down to the wire, I can full or felt the woven fabric and cut into individual pieces without having to hem because it won’t ravel.

Alternate uses for your weaving drafts: quick holiday gifts on the WEBS Blog. Read more at blog.yarn.com

For design ideas, I looked at some scarf drafts because they, too, are woven on a narrow warp and I can change to a heavier yarn to make them a good size for potholders. The two drafts that jumped out immediately are Draft #3 Pinwheel Scarf and Draft #58 Shepherd’s Check Scarf. Both are examples of Color and Weave, a technique that involves alternating stripes of light and dark colors in the warp and weft. I love the pinwheel, which is an 8-shaft pattern, because the shapes are so much fun. You can find many other treadling and tie up variations online to play with and make non-identical sets. The Shepherd’s Check uses 4 threads per stripe and the good news is that it can be woven either on a 4-shaft loom or a rigid heddle loom! With 4 shafts, you can weave a straight draw twill by threading and treadling 1-2-3-4, which will give the weave a diagonal slant. On a rigid heddle, you weave plain weave and still get the wonderful checked houndstooth look.

Then we have the yarn choices. I would go with a wool for this project because it will make a thick potholder that will protect the cook’s hands from the heat. Jaggerspun Heathers is a wonderful (and too often overlooked) wool with 498 yds in 100 gram skeins. One skein each of 2 colors will give you enough for dozens of small gifties like these. I chose a couple of color  combinations from their beautiful range of heathery tones to show in this drawdown. ( For the Pinwheel use Teal and Midnight and for the Shepherd’s Check use Chokecherry and Walnut) Another great option would be Valley Yarns Northampton which has a huge color spectrum ( For the Pinwheel use Lake Heather and Ocean Heather; for the Shepherd’s Check use Garnet and Fawn). Sett at 8 epi, this yarn will make thicker potholders. And both of  these yarns will felt wonderfully!

Do you have any ideas for last minute gift weaving?

Designer in Residence – Red Letter Day from Fiona Ellis

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2015
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We’ve reached the last big reveal for our 2015 WEBS Knitting Designer in Residence Fiona Ellis, The Red Letter Day cardigan.

Fiona Ellis WEBS 2015 Knitwear Designer in Residence. Her sixth design, the Red Letter Day cardigan, in Valley Yarns Northampton - learn more at blog.yarn.com

Knit in Valley Yarns Northampton, in a classic holiday Red, this sweater features ribbing in the lower section of the body that slowly morphs into a panel of cables that include magical-looking closed loops, reminiscent of Celtic knot patterning. With over 3 dozen colors of Northampton to choose from you’ll have no trouble finding just the right shade for you.

Fiona Ellis WEBS 2015 Knitwear Designer in Residence. Her sixth design, the Red Letter Day cardigan, in Valley Yarns Northampton - learn more at blog.yarn.com

The slightly flared cuffs and lower body ribbing give Red Letter Day a very feminine shape. The featured cable panel from the back and sleeves is divided in half to flank the center front opening so it can join back together when buttoned, and move effortlessly upward around the V-neck shaping.

Fiona Ellis WEBS 2015 Knitwear Designer in Residence. Her sixth design, the Red Letter Day cardigan, in Valley Yarns Northampton - learn more at blog.yarn.com

This cardigan goes to great lengths for style, but you don’t have to! Choose from any one of the 6 sweaters that Fiona has designed for us this year and you’ll be knitting your way to a stylish and comfortable sweater that’s all your own! Which design has been your favorite?

WEBS Holiday 2015 eCatalog is here!

Monday, October 19th, 2015
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The holiday gift preparation doesn’t really begin for me until my copy of the WEBS Holiday catalog arrives, and this year’s edition is spectacular!

WEBS 2015 Holiday Catalog. Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Not only is there an adorable Holiday Bears duo on the cover, with perfect little sweaters and hats to knit and personalize them with (keep an eye on the blog for an upcoming KAL), but the pages are full of so many new knit and crochet patterns that are inspiring me to get yarn on my hooks and needles. New patterns from Doris Chan and Fiona Ellis from the WEBS Designer in Residence series, the new Got You Covered eBook from Emerging Designer Marcy Vandale, and over a dozen New Valley Yarns patterns. Gorgeous gradient yarns sets from Wonderland Yarns, kits from the CREATE YOUR STYLE collection (a collaboration between Rowan Yarns and Swaraovski!), holiday ornament kits from Laura Nelkin, and the Royal Petites from Blue Sky Alpacas. New yarns from Amano, Classic Elite and more!

WEBS 2015 Holiday Catalog. Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

I’ve started a list of what I’d like to make and I’m gathering supplies so I can get started. What will be the first project you cast on for from this year’s Holiday catalog? And don’t worry! If you’re waiting for the paper catalog to arrive in your mailboxes they’re just starting to ship and should be there within the next 2 weeks. If you don’t yet receive our catalogs but would like to you can sign up right here!

Emerging Designer – Marcy Vandale

Friday, October 16th, 2015
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It’s time for the third and final installment of our  WEBS Emerging Designer series for 2015 with the Got You Covered eBook from Marcy Vandale, who you may know from Steppingstone Fiber Creations. Marcy has put together a collection of wonderful, transitional knits that bridge the gap between the seasons for this eBook. We asked her to tell us a bit her inspiration and designing process.

WEBS Emerging Designer Fall 2015 eBook: Got You Covered, from Marcy Vandale. eBook and individual PDFS now available at yarn.com. Read more on the WEBS Blog - blog.yarn.com

WEBS: When did you learn to knit and what prompted you to start designing?

Marcy: I learned to knit as a freshman in college. There was an upperclassman on the hall who basically had a Lopi yarn shop in her room, needles, accessories, patterns and yarns. I picked out yarn colors and started my first project, an iconic Lopi sweater. I didn’t know anything other than the knit stitch but learned as I went along. By the end of the first semester, I had a new sweater and had started on the next one. Funny, the one thing I never learned anything about until YEARS after I was out of college was gauge! Not until about 10 years ago did I become a Knitter with a capital K as I like to say. I was doing a lot of knitting for my kids and knitting constantly. I started sample and tech knitting and then contract knitting. It was at that point that I decided that I was interested designing my own creations.

WEBS: Give us a glimpse into your design process, where/how do you find inspiration?

Marcy: My design process usually starts with a great yarn. From there, I usually gravitate to designing something I want to wear, whether it be a sweater or accessory. I do love color so I am always looking at great color combos for colorwork. I’m in a purple mood lately.

WEBS: Tell us about your design aesthetic.

Marcy: I am by nature a very practical person and that’s incorporated into how I design. I like to design things I need in my wardrobe or would want to knit, whether it be a garment or an accessory. It’s like gift giving, I always give a gift I’d love to have myself. Because I have a very busy life chasing around after my 4 kids, I tend to design things that are easy to take along to games and on car rides as well as projects I can put down without fear of losing my place. My knits usually are simple but may have one element that may make them seem more difficult or polished, like a simple crochet edging for a neckline. I also am a fan of minimizing finishing work so I design with that construction in mind.

WEBS Emerging Designer Fall 2015 eBook: Got You Covered, from Marcy Vandale. eBook and individual PDFS now available at yarn.com. Read more on the WEBS Blog - blog.yarn.com

You’ll keep your core cozy’s and warm with the Got You Covered VestValley Yarns Deerfield is a perfect fit for this long vest with feature cables and a hidden pocket for your phone! Your toes will thank you for knitting the The Got You Covered Socks, not only does the cable pattern coordinate with the vest but with a pattern that looks complex and works up effortlessly in Valley Yarns Huntington these are socks you’ll have for years to come. Finally the Got You Covered Mittens and Hat pattern, in Valley Yarns Northampton, features colorwork motifs in shades to coordinate with your vest.

Download all three patterns together in the Got You Covered eBook for just $9.99 or download any individual pattern for just $3.99 each. You can find more of Marcy’s designs here on our site, and on Ravelry and don’t forget her collaborative designs with her friend Debbi under Adventures Du Jour. And check out WEBS Emerging Designer Spring 2015 eBook by Angelia Robinson with three stunning crochet accessories perfect for every season. And the Summer 2015 WEBS Emerging Designer eBook: Sproutlet, by Debbi Stone, a beautiful layette set perfect for your little ones.

Designer in Residence – the Superwash Hat and Scarf from Doris Chan

Tuesday, October 6th, 2015
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Just in time for for crisp Autumn days, the Superwash Hat and Scarf set from Doris Chan is the perfect extra layer to keep you comfortable at your favorite sporting events, the local corn maze, or apple picking adventure. And if you’re just getting started on holiday crocheting this set would make a great gift for the men, women or children in your life.

Doris Chan, WEBS Designer in Residence October design, the Superwash Hat and Scarf set. Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

With a simple twist on the classic single crochet stitch, and an easy to achieve biased fabric, WEBS Crochet Designer in Residence Doris Chan has created a hat and scarf set with the flexibility you expect from a knit ribbing and the cushy softness of a full-bodied superwash fabric.

Doris Chan, WEBS Designer in Residence October design, the Superwash Hat and Scarf set. Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Valley Yarns Valley Superwash is available in over 2 dozen colors so not only can you choose just the right shade for gift sets for everyone in your family but you can even try this set in bold stripes or a soft ombre transition. Who will you be making this set for?