Posts Tagged ‘yarn’

The Nikiya Cowl from Tanis Gray

Thursday, April 17th, 2014
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Earlier this month we introduced our latest 40th Anniversary yarn, Valley Yarns Huntington hand dyed by Lorna’s Laces. Just as we did for the first quarter of 2014, we have partnered with some truly talented designers to bring you some fantastic patterns for this yarn. First up is Tanis Gray‘s Nikiya Cowl.

About her relationship with WEBS, “Growing up in southeastern Massachusetts, I had heard of Webs, but we rarely drove out that way across the state. Webs seemed like some far off Mecca where yarn was as plentiful as snowflakes were in winter. When I started working at Vogue Knitting in New York City after graduating from RISD, I had the opportunity to finally go to Webs in person. It was everything I had dreamed about and I still remember that feeling of amazement, surprise and sheer joy when I walked through the doors in the back to the warehouse. Talk about a kid in a candy store! After my 4-year tenure as the Yarn Editor ended when we moved to Washington DC, my relationship with Kathy Elkins and her husband grew stronger as I became a guest on their podcast, making multiple “appearances” with each of my book releases. When knitters learn I am from Boston, the next question out of their mouth is usually “Have you been to Webs?” I am honored to be part of the anniversary collection for this wonderful store, which has turned so many knitters into the best knitters they can be.”

With just one skein you’ll knit a seamless, swirling, delicate lace cowl. What color will you choose?

New Store Samples to Inspire You

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014
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When you first walk through WEBS’s doors, you might be overwhelmed by the wide array of colorful yarns and sample garments on view. Sample garments are the first impression you’ll get of a yarn and we try to offer as many samples as we can for you to enjoy. You’ll find the garments and accessories located throughout the store; often you’ll have to look up to see samples on the tops of bookcases!

From now on, we’re making our sample sweaters in the medium size, rather than the typical small size, to accommodate a more realistic range of body types and sizes. If you’re interested in a particular design, please feel free to try on the sample and ask questions about it. Our associates are always happy to help you.

We try to keep our store samples updated and fresh for each new season. This month we’ve added several garments and accessories that show off some of our new spring yarns and familiar yarns as well.

When Katia Big Ribbon arrived for spring, I was bowled over by the variety of colors and knew this yarn was made for a fun, summer-y accessory. This free crocheted slipper pattern, modeled by Mary Anne, is available free of charge on the Knitting Fever website. One ball of this super bulky yarn is sufficient for a pair of solid color slippers. But if you buy two colors, you can mix and match them as we’ve done and have enough yarn for two pair!

katia slippers     katiacloseup

We’ve carried Freia Fine Handpaints Ombre Lace for several months and, as gorgeous as it was in the ball, it needed to be knit to truly illustrate its’ beauty. I chose KnitWhits “Sonoma Scarf” which is available as a PDF on our website. Our laceweight sample was knit in the Grapevine colorway but please check out the other beautiful colorways we carry.

freiashawl   freiaclose

Our next store sample was knit in one of the most sumptuous yarns we carry—Jade Sapphire Silk Cashmere which comes in over 20 solid and variegated colorways. I chose Ravelry pattern, “Boxy” by Joji Locatelli, for a few reasons: it’s a contemporary design that can be casually worn with jeans or dressed up when paired with your favorite skirt; it can be knit with a variety of fine gauge yarns; and most important, many women of all shapes and sizes have knit this pattern and they look fantastic! Mary Anne is sporting our sassy version of the pattern in Silk Cashmere color #201, aptly named “Seeing Red.”

boxy      boxyside

“Surf,” designed by Martin Storey and featured in the newest Rowan magazine 55, is an explosion of spring and summer color! Knit in Rowan’s mercerized Cotton Glace in 11 glorious shades, this slightly cropped pullover is classic but stylish and looks perfect on our model, Bonnie.

surf              surfside

We’re excited about these new store samples and we hope you do too—please visit the store soon and check them out!

 

In Which I Finally Find a Sweater to Knit

Friday, February 28th, 2014
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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!

How To Get Through The Awful Part of Winter

Friday, January 17th, 2014
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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?

Ready, Set, Knit! 338: Kathy and Steve talk Year End Blowout Sale!

Saturday, December 21st, 2013
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This week Kathy talks with Steve about the 2013 End of Year Blowout Sale and our upcoming 40th Anniversary Celebrations in 2014.

End of Year Sale – has begun on-line and officially begins in-store on 12/26 and runs through 1/4.
On-line Sale Yarns – While Supplies Last

Upcoming Events:
WEBS will be open one last Sunday, tomorrow – December 22nd, from 12-5.

40th Anniversary celebrations kick off January 15th! Keep an eye out for Valley Yarns collaborations with Madeline Tosh, Lorna’s Laces, Malabrigo and Dream in Color throughout the year.

We’re also working with some big name designers each quarter. Look for patterns from Tanis Grey, Sally Melville, Doris Chan, Franklin Habit, and Kristin Omdahl – to name a few!

Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Ravelry for the most timely and up-to-date information.

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

More Employee Wishlists

Monday, December 9th, 2013
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We’ve asked a few more of our employees what’s on their personal wishlists. After all, if it’s on the wishlist of a WEBS employee you know it’s a good choice for the fiber enthusiast in your life!

amys wishlistHi, I’m Amy S. and I’m a knitter and weaver.  Amy is our Mutimedia Assistant and a Sales Associate in our Retail Store.

My holiday wish list includes:

1  Harrisville Designs Cone Holder - My cones are rolling everywhere when I’m winding a warp.  This would make it much easier for me to start my weaving projects!

2  Knitter’s Pride Karbonz 6” Double Pointed Needle Set -  I really feel like I should never need to buy any more needles, but I can never seem to find my smaller DPN’s.  I love the way the Karbonz feel.  It would make it so much easier just to have the whole set.  Don’t you think?

3 The Original Thera Glove -After hours of knitting my hand can get sore.  This just might be a way to get a couple more hours in.  I’ve heard great reviews from customers who use it.

4 Knitter’s Pride Needle Gauge –  They aren’t expensive but I’m going to need about 10, one for every project bag.  As far as I’m concerned you can’t have enough of these.  It’s a great stocking stuffer too.

5 Large Blocking Board – I can’t believe I don’t own one of these yet!
Hi, I’m Ping and I’m a knitter. Ping is a Sales Associate in our store and a Valley Yarns designer.

My holiday wish list includes:

1  Reisenthal Allrounder Medium Bag - You know that boy scout saying “be prepared”, the same applies for knitters. Since I am constantly driving my kids to various appointments and activities, there is always a project bag ready and waiting for me. I love the Reisenthal Allrounder Medium bag. Size of the bag can accommodate a variety of projects, from shawl to color work sweater project – it fits. The hinged satchel is reminiscent of a doctor’s bag; no fumbling around something. With plenty of roomy interior pockets, tools, keys and even your phone have a place.

2  Run, Run, Run Lunch Tote - Okay, I believe you can NEVER have too many bags.  This one is stylish and oh so practical. What is not to love? It folds down to nothing so it’s a great emergency bag. It’s reflective, insulated interior lets you see inside your bag with ease. The finish is smooth, so it’s easy to clean. Plus, the interior is made from recycled water bottles. It comes in four cute colors; each has a little message. My heart is set orange bag. I love how it reminds me to keep taking chances.

3  Lantern Moon Stitch markers -  These stitch marketers are the embodiment of cute! WEBS carries a wonderful assortment of these charming and whimsical stitch markers. Whether it’s the tiny crocheted blue birds, bees, sheep or flowers, there are six in a package. They are lightweight and won’t weigh down your knitting. Each crocheted image is mounted on a metallic marker ring that ensures snag free knitting. My daughters have threatened to use my Lantern Moon stitch markers as earring charms, so I really need to stock up!

4  Knitter’s Pride Karbonz Interchangeable Deluxe Set - When someone asks me why I have a need for so many different types knitting needles, I tell them that knitting needles are tools, and like any tool, a crafter does not have just one. Have you ever asked a woodworker how many drills, hammers, screw drivers, or chisels  he or she has? Or how many knives and pans does the serious home chef own? Does a painter only paint with one brush? Enough said. The yarn and the project often dictate the best knitting needle to help you accomplish your creative endeavor.  As I age, I find my hands are more sensitive surfaces and weight of my tools. I want warmth and flexibility without comprising speed and sight. This is why I find the Knitter’s Pride Karbonz needles so appealing. The carbon fiber is warm, flexible and lightweight. The metallic tip allows me to see the stitches even in indoor evening light. More importantly, unlike most  interchangeable sets, the Karbonz interchangeable deluxe set includes sizes 2.5 and 3 – perfect of lace and sock knitting. Most interchangeable sets stop at size 4. These needles would be a perfect complement to my needle toolbox.

5  Warping Board - In 2013, I learned dress and use a 4-harness loom. This was an amazing learning experience. My education as a weaver has only just begun. The tool that fascinates me the most is the warping board. Made from hardwoods, the simple rectangular frame and strategically position pegs appears rather unassuming, but this ingenious tool enables you to consistently measure your warp ends. For example, the Schacht 14 yard warping board is only 36 inches across. The methodical manner of winding the yarn under, over and around the different pegs is quite calming and rather meditative.

6 WEBS classes -  I believe the opportunity to create with one’s hands something beautiful and entirely personal is truly part of the human condition. There are so many wonderful classes offered at WEBS; knitting, crocheting, weaving, spinning, dyeing, felting - all my favorite tactile sports! The classes satisfy my curiosity and my need to create, to learn and to broaden my appreciation of the fiber arts.  There are just not enough hours in the day to pursue all the things I wish to make. However, when I take a class, it gives me the chance to learn and to create in a very focused manner.

 

Hi, I’m Amy G and I’m a Knitter. Amy is our Education Manager.

My holiday wishlist includes:

1 I would love a huge supply of  T-Pins because I always seem to have “just enough” and I’d love to not have to worry that I’ll run out.

2 I would love a sweater’s worth of Madeline Tosh Merino Light in Badlands, a dark, interesting color I fell in love with at Stitches West this year.

3 It would be great to have the Barbara Walker Treasury of Knitting Patterns, the 4th volume, which is the only one I don’t own.

4 Hey, how about a set of Karbonz double points in sizes 4, 5, and 6? Those are my most-used sizes and I love using dpns, especially these pointy-tipped beauties.

5 Mostly what I’d love is a comfy sofa, good light, hot coffee, “Breaking Bad” streaming on my iPad, and three days’ worth of knitting. And then a nap.

 

 

Hi, I’m Jamie and I’m a knitter! Jamie is our E-Mail Marketing Manager.

My holiday wishlist includes:

1 Knitter’s Pride Nova Special Interchangeable Circular Set — It seems like every time I find a new hat pattern to knit I end up needing one or two new 16″ circular needles. I love using the Novas that I already have – they’re nice and smooth and the tips are pointy, but not too pointy. With the Special Interchangeable Circular Set I’d never have to worry about not having the right needles for a hat pattern, and I could have two (or three, or four) on my needles at once!

2 Fibre Company Tundra — I cannot get enough of this yarn. Seriously, can I have all of it? It’s great for quick hats for gifts (I love Greta’s Tundra Hat pattern), and now that the Tundra Elements collection is out there are even more warm and soft projects to whip up!

3 Weekend Hats by Cecily Glowik MacDonald and Melissa LaBarre — I’ve been on a hat knitting kick lately, and I’d be really excited to get this book. The book’s presentation is lovely, and it features hat patterns from a who’s-who of knitwear designers!

4 Knitter’s Pride Lace Blocking Mats — I’ve grown tired of pinning my damp finished objects to the carpet. It seems kind of gross both for the projects and the carpet. The Lace Blocking Mats are a great solution —  they don’t take up too much space but can expand for larger pieces.

5 Lee Highlighter Tape — As I’ve done more lace patterns, I’ve found myself frequently wishing I had Highlighter Tape. My current system consists of resting my pencil next to the row I’m on. It’s not very good system, as the pencil frequently rolls down the page or gets knocked off-course by a curious dog.

Employee Wishlists

Monday, November 25th, 2013
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Every year we put together a few posts and  videos to help our customers find those extra and special little gifts for the fiber enthusiast in their life.  This year we thought we’d ask our employees what’s on their personal wishlists. After all, if it’s on the wishlist of a WEBS employee you know it’s a good choice!

Hi, I’m Katie and I’m a Knitter and Dyer. Katie is a Sales Associate in our retail store but has also worked in our Warehouse.
My holiday wishlist includes:
1. Namaste Oh Snap! Pouches -These bags are great because they won’t snag your yarn and you can see the project inside! This is a great product for and knitter or crocheter who has multiple projects going at the same time.

2. Jade Sapphire Brigadoon and Getting Purly with it Cowl pattern - I love this cowl pattern and the yarn; who doesn’t want washable cashmere?

3. Wild Color by Jenny Dean - A friend loaned me this book when I told her that I was interested in natural dyeing. It is filled with useful information for both the new and experienced dyer.

4. BFL Fingering, natural hanks - In the dye experiments I have done, this has been my favorite yarn with which to dye. It takes the color beautifully and is such a lovely wool to wear as well.

5. Lantern Moon embroidery scissors - I need some small, sharp scissors for my tool kit and these would make a great stocking stuffer! Plus, Lantern Moon uses sustainable practices in all areas of their business, so
you can feel good about supporting them!

Hi, I’m Greta and I’m a knitter and crocheter. Greta is one of our Website Coordinators but she has also worked in our retail store.
My holiday wishlist includes:
1. Sweet Georgia CashSilk Lace - because…Silk! Cashmere!

2. The Principles of Knitting by June Hemmons Hiatt - I don’t have it yet and not owning it makes me feel like an irresponsible knitter.

3. The Knitter’s Book of Finishing Techniques by Nancie M. Wiseman - My goal for 2014 is to FINISH some of my many, many works in progress.

4. A skein of Freia Lace in the Dusk colorway - I’m totally obsesses with Amy Stephen’s Rooshed pattern and I’m excited to see what it would look like in this beautiful ombre lace yarn.

5. Knitter’s Pride Bamboo Crochet Hook Set - I only just took up crochet this year, but I’m very excited about it! I would like a crochet hook set so I don’t have to worry whether I have a particular hook size or not!

 

 

Hi, I’m Ashley and I’m a dangerous fiber nerd. Ashley is a Sales Associate in our retail store and our resident spinning expert.
My holiday wishlist includes:
1.Abstract Fibers 40/40/20 - Raw Merino/Superwash Merino/Silk, hand dyed blended fibers

2. Ashland Bay Organic Polwarth wool fiber - Super soft, springy wool that takes dye beautifully and spins up smoothly. Processed ecologically

3. Dream in Color Classy with Cashmere - Having a love affair with this super soft yarn, which wants to become new garments for me to snuggle with, in hand dyed colors that pop!

4. Be Sweet Bamboo - Gorgeous hand dyed colors in cable-plied 100% bamboo, which I recently made my first pullover with, and the drape and softness of this yarn makes me want to knit another one right away.

5.  Zealana Willow DK - Following the thread of cashmere addiction running through my wishlist, this blend of 70% New Zealand Merino and a whopping 30% Cashmere content makes visions of cozy soft hats and snug wintertime socks dance in my head…

Hi, I’m J, aka Young Man, and I’m a knitter and weaver. J is a Sales Associate in our retail store.
My holiday wishlist includes:
1. Eucalan, lavender scent - To give with gifts, samples and full size bottles, please.

2. Fix-a-Stitch lace - My current method is Okay but this is perfect.

3. Knitter’s Pride Karbonz 6” DPN set - Love these DPNs; one word: smooth.

4. Schacht baby Wolf 26” – four now, four later - It’s a wishlist and this is definitely what I wish for.

5. Buffalo Wool Co. Sexy in the Royalty colorway - Bison down and silk, thank you very much.

Ready, Set, Knit! 334: Kathy talks with Taiu Landra

Saturday, November 16th, 2013
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This week Kathy talks with first time guest, Taiu Landra from Koigu.

Taiu tells the history of the company from it’s beginnings in the kitchen of the family farm, to the 5,000 sq. foot facility that they built in the early 00′s.

koigu mini skeins

Her grandmother was a weaver and she learned to knit from her mother,  an artist, who had begun hand painting wool in their kitchen to match the yarn she imagined she wanted to knit sweaters from. They also discuss the creation of their colorways and how weather conditions can affect the dyeing process and why dye lots in hand-dyed yarns can vary so widely.

 

Steve’s Yarn Picks:

Upcoming Events:

Northampton Bag Day is happening next weekend, Nov 23rd, 20% off any one item,  in store only

Our November KAL on Ravelry is at the midpoint but there’s still time to participate! Join us in making the Safe Passage Set and be entered to win a $50 WEBS Gift Certificate.

Team WEBS is running and walking in the Annual Hot Chocolate run to benefit Safe Passage on December 8th. Please make a donation to any member of our team and Steve and Kathy will match all funds raised!

Reminder:

Ready, Set, Knit! listeners are you up for a challenge?!   The KnottyGirls Knitcast issued a challenge and started the Ravelry Podcaster Throwdown. They claimed that their listeners will turn in more hats for Halos of Hope by the end of Stitches West 2014 than any other podcast out there. You all know that Kathy has a competitive streak a mile wide and can’t resist a challenge! Steve has even stepped in and said that he will ship all the collected hats to Stitches West! Here’s what you need to do:

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

Tuesday’s Tip – Knit and Crochet Easily with Coned Yarn

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013
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Coned yarns aren’t just for weaving! Yarns wound onto a cone are wonderful to knit and crochet with. They generally come in fairly large quantities, which means fewer joins and weaving in ends. The only tricky part can be getting the yarn off the cone easily while you’re working with it. You could put the cone on the floor, but your seat may not be high enough to be effective. A great solution is to run the yarn over a tall object so it glides off the cone easily.

Knit and Crochet Easily with Coned YarnRun the yarn from a cone over a tall object so it glides off the cone easily.

Here, I used a tall computer monitor, but a desk lamp would work really well too. If you haven’t worked with coned yarns before, you can try the Valley Yarns 496 Greenway Shawl knit in Valley Yarns 2/10 Merino Tencel (Colrain Lace) and Valley Yarns 456 Sumac Berry Shawl crocheted in Valley Yarns 2/14 Alpaca Silk.

Some Holiday Thoughts

Friday, November 8th, 2013
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Tis the season, as they say. My family celebrates Hanukkah, which comes way too early this year (November 28, to be exact). I’m postponing it until Decemberish, when I can get my wits about me. While I have time, I’m casting a curious eye through the store to store up some holiday gift ideas for some knitters or lovers of knitwear on my list. I like to make small projects like fingerless mitts, hats, or cowls, since they’re fast. I also like to use some unusual yarns that I wouldn’t ordinarily use for my personal knitting, to keep it festive.

Any gift I give this year will be accompanied by these stunningly beautiful gift cards featuring photographs by the very talented Debbie Cook, who runs the Flayvors of Cook Farms store, and works at our retail store (lucky us!). The photos are spare and charming at the same time, and perfect with some elegant silvery or dark wrapping paper.

Buffalo Wool Company has a yarn called Sexy, and how can you not give someone a lacy shawl made with Sexy yarn that’s half Bison down and half silk? Very festive.

The colors are deep and lush, and even though it’s a laceweight yarn, I could probably whip out an open-work pattern for a shoulder-covering shawl in no time, from this often-used book.

I’d also use a Blue Sky Alpacas yarn I’ve been mulling over for a long time, Metalico. It’s another 50/50 yarn, this time alpaca and silk. It’s got a sheen that is tempered by the fuzziness of the alpaca, and I think it would make a great cowl or hat to go with a Little Black Dress.

And since the holidays are glittery and fun, I’d think about using a one-off sparkler like Artyarns Silk Mohair Glitter. Lots of fun colors and a shot of silver or gold thread will give you tons of ideas for lacy scarves or ornamental cuffs to wear with a holiday dress to a caroling party.