Posts Tagged ‘Valley Yarns’

New Patterns for Valley Yarns Brimfield!

Tuesday, October 11th, 2016
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We’ve got two fantastic new patterns the month for our Valley Yarns Brimfield!

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The Blurry Lines Scarf by Kim Bridgeo is a truly unisex piece with a bold geometric texture, but an easy to memorize stitch repeat. We asked Kim to tell us more about herself, how she designs, and her experience with Brimfield.

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When did you learn to knit? I learned to knit back in 2008. I had been crocheting since I was young but wanted to give knitting a try, so I taught myself using the Teach Yourself Visually book series. Over the last few years, though, my passion for knitting has grown exponentially. As I continue to be exposed to new fiber content, yarn brands and independent dyers, I get so inspired to find the perfect pattern/yarn combination. My stash is a bit out of control!

What prompted you to start designing? I guess I’ve always been designing without really knowing it. It’s common for me to modify patterns as I’m making them, or combine different elements of one stitch pattern with another. The first design I ever created for sale came about after I knit a baby blanket for my cousin a few years ago and lots of friends and family members asked if I could share the pattern. I’ve had the designing bug ever since.

Give us a glimpse into your design process, where/how do you find inspiration? I’m constantly jotting down notes that aren’t fully formed designs initially, but more about different ideas for shapes, stitches, and combinations of increases & decreases. I also chart the majority of my designs whether or not I include them in the final published design. In my “non-knitting life” I analyze and visualize data for a living, so, when I’m designing I constantly think about visual balance and spacing, and how to make the math work to achieve the look I want. After that it’s really all about the yarn. I have skeins that I know I want to design something with, so I review my design notes and figure out what would work best with the yarn given its weight, fiber and color.

Tell us one of your favorite knit/fiber stories. For me, knitting has become all about community and camaraderie. When I first started knitting, I was in my 20s, and it was rare that I came across others who knit. But now I feel like it’s much more mainstream across age and gender. I started teaching a knitting class at a local chain craft store a couple years ago, and though I no longer teach, I still get together weekly with three women who were some of my very first students. The four of us were born in 3 different decades and have had very different life experiences, yet we have developed an awesome friendship built initially on our love for knitting. Also, with the popularity of Ravelry & Instagram, it is so great to make lots of new “fiber friends” every day who continue to inspire and challenge me. I design to create something that others want to make and enjoy.

Tell us about the Valley Yarn you worked with? During my very first trip out to WEBS, I fell in love with Brimfield and couldn’t resist buying a full 10-skein bag! I’ve always been a huge fan of merino and silk blends. The texture of Brimfield makes for amazing stitch definition but also feels so soft! I also really love the rich and deep color choices. Perfect for fall!

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We also have the lovely Hendrie Park Cardigan from Karen Marlatt. The sweater  features an sweet lace pattern in the yoke, 3/4 sleeves and a relaxed tunic-length fit. Valley Yarns Brimfield is the perfect yarn to balance the polished simplicity of stockinette stitch and the structural beauty of the lace. Karen tells us about her love of this yarn and her journey from new knitter to designer.

hendrie park and Brimfield fbWhen did you learn to knit? I first learned to knit in Brownies, I wish I still had that first uneven, hole-filled square.  I have always been crafting, rug hooking, cross stitch, jewelry, etc., but did not pick up needles again until 2006.

What prompted you to start designing? It was the Think Outside the Socks competition and their $5,000 prize, I thought to myself, ‘How hard could it be to knit a pair of socks?’. I obviously had a lot to learn! Off I went to my local LYS, Spun Fibre Arts, and the owner Danielle worked with me to find the perfect yarn for the project and offered a bit of guidance along the way!  My Apple of my Eyelet socks did not win the competition, but I was honoured to be included in the publication of the same name.

Give us a glimpse into your design process, where/how do you find inspiration? Oh that is a tough question to answer.  I would say it is an even split between seeing a beautiful yarn and being completely inspired vs. doodling in my fashionary and then enjoying the challenge of bringing that flat image to life (sometimes unsuccessfully).  I think the fact that I am a bit of a math geek helps in the design process as well.

Tell us one of your favorite knit/fiber stories.  I was very lucky to have Pat McClymont in my life, as a neighbour, friend and knitting guru.  Pat was one of the original Eaton’s yarn department demonstration staff in the late 1950’s, had a long career creating samples for Spinrite/Paton’s as well as many designers. It is very easy to experiment and challenge yourself with new knitting techniques knowing your safety net lives next door. Many a time I would show up with my mess and she would walk me through how to correct it and send me away even more confident. Unfortunately Pat passed away this September, but each time I pick up my knitting I know she is close by!

Tell us about the Valley Yarn you worked with? For the Hendrie Park Cardigan I worked with the scrumptious Brimfield.  The Merino/Silk blend was such a pleasure to work with, the stitch definition was fantastic and the silk gives the garment a wonderful drape. I fell so much in love with this yarn that I am currently working on my second Hendrie Park Cardigan (this one’s for me)!

 

It’s always interesting to see the ways that knitting comes into our lives and what paths different knitters take to becoming designers and how our yarns inspire them. What have you been inspired to knit or design with Valley Yarns?

Ready, Set, Knit! 460: Kathy talks with Vickie Howell

Saturday, October 1st, 2016
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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 Vickie Howell. Learn about Vickie and Kathy’s process to developing the new Valley Yarns Valley Superwash Super Bulky and Vickie’s exclusive colors!

Ready, Set, Knit! episode #460 - Kathy talks with Vickie Howell. Listen now on the WEBS Blog - blog.yarn.com

Check out Vickie’s designs for this yarn. And be sure to check out the FREE Super Scarf design! Look for the WEBS booth at Vogue Knitting Live in Minneapolis, and Vickie’s Make and Take!

Steve’s Yarn Picks of the week:

Reminder:

Our 11th Annual Knit for the Cure is happening tomorrow, Sunday 10/2, from 12-4!

WEBS retail store has extended it’s hours until 6:00PM on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays only. Thursdays the store will remain open until 8pm, and Saturdays until 5:30.

If you haven’t yet seen our new Website – check it out!

Upcoming Events:

Book your seat on the bus to Rhinebeck! Spaces are running out and the trip is in just 2 weeks!

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.

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

New Designs for Valley Yarns Northfield!

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016
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With the last days of summer fast approaching and school starting again it’s time to begin thinking about knits for the cooler weather. Our two newest designs feature Valley Yarns Northfield, my favorite yarn! Not only does the blend of Merino, Baby Alpaca and Silk create an incredibly soft and bouncy yarn with a gorgeous sheen, but it’s also incredibly affordable!

The Irena Pullover from Valley Yarns. Learn more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Fiona’s latest design for Valley Yarns is the Irena Pullover with stunningly simple cable and eyelet  details at the neck, hem and on the sleeves.

The First Frost Hat from Valley Yarns. Learn more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

And Carol’s whimsical First Frost Hat may just be the perfect first lace project!

With a full range of rich colors of Northfield to choose from your biggest decision may not be which project to cast on for first, but which color to use!

July pattern wrap up

Monday, August 8th, 2016
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We released 3 beautiful shawls and a bold, modern cowl this past month!

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The Poet’s Corner Shawl with it’s rich deep purple and delicately ruffled edge, the Crisanta Shawl with it’s gentle crescent shape and botanical lace border, and the Anthemis Cowl with it’s bright, gradient stripes, all knit in our ethereal Valley Yarns Hatfield. And the Shenandoah Valley Shawl, a stunning rectangular wrap with geometric cable and lace in one of our favorites, Valley Yarns 2/14 Alpaca Silk.

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In August we’re gearing up for all new designs from our Fall 2016 catalog and two new patterns just for our Valley Yarns Northfield. Fall knitting is right around the corners and we’re ready!

The Anthemis Cowl

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016
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We have one more fantastic new pattern in our sumptuous Hatfield yarn for you. The Anthemis Cowl, designed by Tian Connaughton, is soft as a cloud and light as air!

The Anthemis Cowl from Valley Yarns. Learn more about the yarn and where you can get your copy of the pattern on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Knit in the round from the bottom up, in an easy to memorize arrow lace pattern, the Anthemis Cowl gets extra oomph from a gradient of colors. Use the soft, greyish blues show in the sample or go bold with reds and oranges, frosty with pale purples, or perfectly neutral with greys or beautifully heathered browns.

The Anthemis Cowl from Valley Yarns. Learn more about the yarn and where you can get your copy of the pattern on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

With more than 2 dozen colors to choose from there’s no reason to pass up the chance to get Hatfield on your needles. With a quick and easy project like this you’re sure to have the knitting done before the cooler weather settles in, and this way you’ll be prepared for it with a striking accessory that keeps you warm while staying stylishly on trend.

Choose Your Own Adventure – Hat KAL: Week 5

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016
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Your hats are almost done! Let’s add those finishing touches that really pull it together. First you’ll want to weave in your ends.

Will you add any additional surface work before you block? Duplicate Stitch or Embroidery? Here’s a quick tutorial for duplicate stitch, which is a great way to add an extra little pop of color!

Now it’s time to block your hat to settle all those stitches. Remember how you blocked your swatch, that’s how you’ll block the hat! If you don’t have a hat form to block your hat with you can use a bowl propped over a vase or tall glass.

Add a pom pom or tassel or braids! We had some fun making pom pom!

For those of you that asked, here’s how we made our CYOA Hats!

Wrapping up the Choose Your Own Adventure Hat KAL on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

I knit my first hat with my favorite Valley Yarn, Northfield, in the Wine colorway. I used the cable pattern and cable decreases,and added a 1 1/2″ pom pom.

Wrapping up the Choose Your Own Adventure Hat KAL on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Beth also used the cable pattern, but changed the smaller side cables by only repeating the first cable crosses, and broke it up with panels of moss stitch, in the Forest color of our Valley Superwash DK. She also used a twisted ribbing at the brim by knitting her knit stitches through the back loop.

Wrapping up the Choose Your Own Adventure Hat KAL on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

I wanted my second hat to be simpler so I opted for seed stitch with a garter stitch border and the 4 corners decreases. And I knit it all in the rich Red Wine Heather color of Colrain.

Wrapping up the Choose Your Own Adventure Hat KAL on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Mary chose the Fair Isle pattern for her hat and opted for 3 colors in Valley Yarns Goshen, Navy, Linen and Persimmon. Using the 2-color ast on really ties it all together!

Wrapping up the Choose Your Own Adventure Hat KAL on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Dena also used the Fair Isle pattern but chose two colors, Silver and Eggplant, of Brimfield. She also chose to knit a short i-cord at the top of the hat arther than cinching the top closed right away, this gives the hat a whimsical little stem!

Wrapping up the Choose Your Own Adventure Hat KAL on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

For my last hat I just wanted to have some fun! I used Stockbridge in Blue Mist, Grey and Gold, in stripes where each color was a different stitch. If you love Stockbridge you should stock up now since it’s discontinued!

Be sure to post your pics to Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and tag it with #chooseyourownadventure #WEBSKAL #Myhatadventure We’d love to see your finished hats!

Choose Your Own Adventure – Hat KAL: Week 4

Tuesday, July 26th, 2016
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Let’s turn this tube into a hat! It’s time for some crown decreases

If you’re working magic loop or on two circular needles you can continue along but if you’ve been working with one 16″ needle you’ll want to transition to double pointed needles at this point.

Crown shaping options for the Choose Your Own Adventure Hat KAL on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

1 – Option 1: Spiral Decreases 

Place a stitch marker after every 10th sts, use a contrasting color marker to identify the beginning of the round. Work in rounds as follows:

Rnd 1: *K to 2 sts before marker, k2tog: rep from * around. (9 (10, 11, 12) sts decreased.)

Rnd 2: Knit.

Repeat Rnds 1 and 2 until 18(20, 22, 24) sts remain.

Rnd 3: *K2tog; rep from * around. (9 (10, 11, 12) sts)

Cut yarn, leaving an 8” tail. Thread yarn through all remaining stitches and pull snugly. Sew in all ends and block to settle stitches. 

Here’s a quick refresher on k2tog.

2 – Option 2: 4 corners 

For 18” and 22” sizes only: on the last round, increase by 2 sts at evenly spaced intervals around the hat. (92, 112 sts)

Divide your stitches evenly among 4 double pointed needles.

Work in rounds as follows:

Rnd 1: *Ssk, knit to last 2 sts on the needle, k2tog; repeat from *. 8 sts decreased.

Rnd 2: Knit.

Repeat Rnds 1 and 2 until 20(20, 16, 16) sts remain.

Rnd 3: *K2tog; rep from * around. (10(10, 8, 8)sts remain)

Cut yarn, leaving an 8” tail. Thread yarn through all remaining stitches and pull snugly. Sew in all ends and block to settle stitches.

A quick reminder of how to make an ssk

3 – Cable pattern decreases

18 and 22” sizes only, an 18st repeat

Rnd 1: *P1, c1L, c1R, p1, k1, ssk, k2tog, k1, p1, c1R, c1L, p1; rep from * around

Rnd 2: *P1, k4, p1, k4, p1, k4, p1; rep from * around

Rnd 3: *P1, c1L, c1R, p1, ssk, k2tog, p1, c1R, c1L, p1; rep from * around

Rnd 4: *P1, k4, p1, k2, p1, k4, p1; rep from * around

Rnd 5: *P1, c1L, c1R, (p2tog)twice, c1R, c1L, p1; rep from * around

Rnd 6: *P1, k4, p2, k4, p1; rep from * around

Rnd 7: *P1, ssk, k2, p2, k2, k2tog, p1; rep from * around

Rnd 8: *P1, k3, p2, k3, p1; rep from * around

Rnd 9: *P1, ssk, k1, p2, k1, k2tog, p1; rep from * around

Rnd 10: *P1, k2, p2, k2, p1; rep from * around

Rnd 11: *P1, ssk, p2, k2tog, p1; rep from * around

Rnd 12:  *P1, k1, p2, k1, p1; rep from * around

Rnd 13: *P1, (p2tog)twice, p1; rep from * around

Rnd 14: P all sts

Rnd 15: *P2tog; rep from * around

Repeat Rnds 15 and 16 once more.

Cut yarn, leaving an 8” tail. Thread yarn through all remaining stitches and pull snugly. Sew in all ends and block to settle stitches.

20 and 24” sizes only, a 20 st repeat

Rnd 1: *P1, k1tbl, p1, c1L, c1R, p1, k1, ssk, k2tog, k1, p1, c1R, c1L, p1; rep from * around

Rnd 2: *P1, k1tbl, p1, k4, p1, k4, p1, k4, p1; rep from * around

Rnd 3: *P1, k1tbl, p1, c1L, c1R, p1, ssk, k2tog, p1, c1R, c1L, p1; rep from * around

Rnd 4: *P1, k1tbl, p1, k4, p1, k2, p1, k4, p1; rep from * around

Rnd 5: *P1, k1tbl, p1, c1L, c1R, (p2tog)twice, c1R, c1L, p1; rep from * around

Rnd 6: *P1, k1tbl, p1, k4, p2, k4, p1; rep from * around

Rnd 7: *P1, k1tbl, p1, ssk, k2, p2, k2, k2tog, p1; rep from * around

Rnd 8: *P1, k1tbl, p1, k3, p2, k3, p1; rep from * around

Rnd 9: *P1, k1tbl, p1, ssk, k1, p2, k1, k2tog, p1; rep from * around

Rnd 10: *P1, k1tbl, p1, k2, p2, k2, p1; rep from * around

Rnd 11: *P1, k1tbl, p1, ssk, p2, k2tog, p1; rep from * around

Rnd 12:  *P1, k1tbl, p1, k1, p2, k1, p1; rep from * around

Rnd 13: *P1, k1tbl, p1, (p2tog)twice, p1; rep from * around

Rnd 14: *P1, k1tbl, p4; rep from * around

Rnd 15: *P1, k1tbl, (p2tog)twice; rep from * around

Rnd 16: *P1, k1tbl, p2; rep from * around

Rnd 17: *P2tog; rep from * around

Rnd 18: P all sts

Repeat Rnd 17 once more.

Cut yarn, leaving an 8” tail. Thread yarn through all remaining stitches and pull snugly. Sew in all ends and block to settle stitches.

If you’ve never done a p2tog before, here’s how!

5 – Alternate Crown: No shaping!

Continue working your hat in pattern with NO decreases until the hat is 1 inch longer than your desired depth from the cast-on edge. Fold the hat flat and use the 3 needle bind off or kitchener stitch to close the top of the hat with a flat seam.

Here’s your chance to try a 3-needle bind off

And, it never hurts to have a visual reminder of kitchener stitch!

Next week we’ll do a little finishing work, and show you our fully finished hats as well as which options were used for each. How’s your hat looking?

Be sure to post your pics to Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and tag it with #chooseyourownadventure #WEBSKAL #Myhatadventure #websyarn

Valley Yarns 2/14 Alpaca Silk

Monday, July 25th, 2016
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Our 2/14 Alpaca Silk is one of the hidden gems in our Valley Yarns collection. The fact that it’s on a cone gives some knitters and crocheters pause, but let me tell you what a boon that is. For larger projects, and even multiple small projects, it means only 2 ends to weave in at the end of your work. You read that right, only TWO ends to weave in! There’s so much yardage on one of these cones, over 1,700yds in fact, that each cone really can result in multiple projects. Like our Allamanda Shawl. The pattern requires 550yds but with the incredible yardage on these cones you could get three of these shawls out of just one cone! This makes it a wonderful choice for wedding party shawls, or other occasions where multiple versions of the same knits or crochet are needed.

Get to know Valley Yarns 2/14 Alpaca Silk! On the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

The fiber combination of this yarn, 80% Alpaca/20% Silk, results in a lace weight yarn with incredible strength and beauty. The silk gives the yarn durability and a delicate sheen while the alpaca imparts warmth and softness as well as a subtle halo. Together you get a yarn that is soft and easy to work with, even in the summer heat, that becomes garments and accessories that are surprisingly warm.

Get to know Valley Yarns 2/14 Alpaca Silk! On the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Clockwise from bottom left: The Stella Pullover, the Magda Shawl NEW, the Geothermal Tubular Scarf, the Shenandoah Valley Shawl NEW, the Vintage Vest FREE,  the October Mountain Cardigan, the Gallica Shell, the Coppice Cardigan, and the Intemporelle Pullover.

We have some truly lovely patterns for this yarn, from cozy mid-season accessories to full garments in both knit and crochet. Have you worked with 2/14 Alpaca Silk?

The Shenandoah Valley Shawl

Friday, July 22nd, 2016
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I love a good wrap. A nice wide shawl that I can snuggle into like a great knitted hug is a real comfort, but I don’t necessarily want to look like I’m wearing a blanket. The new Shenandoah Valley Shawl designed by Katharine Malcolm is that perfect shawl! Knit in our Valley Yarns 2/14 Alpaca Silk it is gauzy and ephemeral but amazingly warm and cozy.

The Shenandoah Valley Shawl from Valley Yarns. Learn more about the yarn, the designer, and where you can get your copy of the pattern on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

The silk give the yarn strength and shine, while the alpaca give it that surprising warmth and a soft fuzzy halo. With a decreasing pattern of cables forming a mountain shaped border at each end and a gentle striping effect of stockinette and yarn overs, reminiscent of the rivers and streams, you get to see the best of the Shenandoah Valley in this shawl, the gorgeous Blue Ridge and Appalachian mountains as well as the James and Potomac rivers. And with the bonus of the incredible yardage of the 2/14 Alpaca Silk being offered on cones you will only have 2 tails to weave in at the ends of this project!

Katharine talked to us about herself and how this design came to be.

When did you learn to knit? 

I taught myself how to knit before I was ten years old, a long time ago. The first article I can remember knitting was a woolen turtleneck, shaped, full fashioned sweater with mock cables on the front and the back. I was 12 at the time. In my college years, everyone knit in class. I knit my model train loving fiance a pair of socks with an original train on the side, but never thought of it as designing. The same was true as I knit for my sons and nephews, including whole animal families of hand puppets. It wasn’t until I became a TKGA Master Hand Knitter that I realized that what I had been doing for years was designing. I have been knitting my own designs ever since.

What prompted you to start designing?

I tend to find a design that I want to create in knitting and as I proceed, my ideas grow. That was the case with the Shenandoah Valley Shawl. It started as a project to work on a train trip and as I knit, I did not want it to be the same throughout, so I created the triangles. As I worked the shawl that you see I realized, looking out the window that the color matched the Blue Ridge Mountains. From another window I can see the Appalachian range and the Shawl fit in perfectly. Many of my designs evolve as I knit.

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

When I was working towards the Masters Program for The Knitting Guild Association, I decided that since I lived on an alpaca farm, that I would create the yarn for the project. As a result, it was not only an original design for the vest and the long coat, but they were both knit from a one of a kind yarn.

What did you love about the Valley Yarn you worked with?

I loved the feel of the Alpaca/Silk. The silk adds a sheen to the alpaca and I loved working in color. I have been knitting with my hand spun, but none of the alpacas come in Whipple Blue!

The Shenandoah Valley Shawl from Valley Yarns. Learn more about the yarn, the designer, and where you can get your copy of the pattern on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

With a gorgeous combination of lace and cables, this light and airy yet scrumptiously warm shawl could be the perfect accessory, and with almost 30 colors of 2/14 Alpaca Silk to choose from you’re sure to find one that’s perfect for you. Download your copy of the pattern now and cast on!

 

A Few New Yarns to Tempt You…

Thursday, July 21st, 2016
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Even though the summer is just beginning to heat up, our fall yarns have begun to arrive. If you’ve been to the store, you’ve probably noticed swatches of most of the yarns on offer, Store staff knit these to provide you with an example of how the yarn looks, not only in stockinette stitch, but also in a stitch pattern.  The swatches are labeled with all pertinent yarn information in addition to suggestions for use.  Knitting swatches also gives staff an opportunity to get to know new yarns so we can help you even knowledgeably.

Discover Valley Yarns Pocumtuck on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

The newest from Valley Yarns, Pocomtuck, is a dk weight cashmere. Karen knit a decorative swatch to show this yarn to its best advantage.  She found it to be a luxurious knit, and states that “it lends itself to a wide variety of garments and accessories.”

Discover Plymouth Yarn Tuscan Aire on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Marthe’s swatch of Plymouth’s Tuscan Aire  shows this bulky yarn’s adaptability to stockinette and textured stitches.  Comprised of 90% merino wool and 10% nylon,  “this light and lofty fiber is just perfect for lightweight yet warm ponchos, cowls and scarves.”

Discover Plymouth Yarn Cannoli on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Mary M. chose another new Plymouth yarn, Cannoli, to try out.  She thought it was an exciting, fast knit and would use it for accessories and gifts. The construction (it’s a single) makes it bouncy and the colorways are very tempting.

Discover Berroco Cotolana on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Berroco Cotolano has become a new staff favorite and Maryanne knit the swatch.  This wool, cotton and nylon blend is remarkably soft and would make a fine three season garment. Cables and other textures are really enhanced in this yarn.

This is just the beginning.  Stay tuned for more as fall yarns continue to roll in.  Happy knitting!