Posts Tagged ‘yarn’

Just For Fun

Thursday, August 28th, 2014
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Usually, I am a “color inside the lines” kind of person. I don’t use glitzy yarn, or fluffy yarn, or even much bulky yarn. But recently, Tahki Poppy made itself known to me and I was absolutely captivated by just how different it is from anything I’ve ever used before. For one thing, it’s enormous. The skein barely fits in my hand. But the best part about this yarn is:

Moveable Flowers.

moveable flowers and soft squishy yarn

Yes. Not only are there adorable flowers with a little bead stamen in the center of each flower, but you can position them along the yarn in any configuration that works for you. Make a line of flowers along the cuff of a mitt, or arrange them in a circle around the crown when you make the FREE hat pattern that you’ll find inside the label of the skein. It’s a cozy blend of wool, mohair, and acrylic, and at $11.95 a skein for 43 yards, you’ll get at least a hat or a pair of cuffs to keep you warm (and smiling) all through cold-weather season. What’s a chance you recently took with a yarn or pattern?

Try something new once in a while. It’ll spice things up!

Beautiful, Light, and Airy

Friday, August 15th, 2014
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Berroco has managed to amalgamate the perfect blend of luxury fibers for a fabulous price point. Andean Mist, new for Fall, is a luscious composite of 74% Baby Suri Alpaca and 26% Mulberry Silk.luscious and intensely shaded The resulting mix is a softly haloed, slightly shiny, lightweight yarn that would be shown to its best advantage in a soft lace shawl, a drapy cardigan to throw over a tank in the early fall, or a turtleneck in the heart of winter, or a decorative scarf to augment a solid-color top. A generous 164 yards a skein for $8.00 is almost a steal!  Check out this new video on our website for a walk through all of Berroco’s newest creations, this among them.

A textured cardigan, perfect for all seasons

I love this pattern for a textured cardigan with a striking deep ribbed collar. It would be warm, but not hot, light, but not itchy, and could be worn while snuggling on the couch with a good book, or out to dinner at your favorite restaurant.

 

What would you knit with this lovely stuff?

Every Place I Look, Delights Abound

Friday, August 1st, 2014
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It seems like every time I leave my desk to walk through the store, a new,  delicious yarn announces itself to me, and because I’m an enabler with a giant stash, I want to share this love with you, dear reader. I hope that you’ll love these yarns as well, and knit the things I want to knit but never have time for. In this post, I will share not one but two new Fall yarns, designed to make your heart beat a little faster.

Swan’s Island is a real place in Maine, although Swan’s Island Yarns isn’t located there anymore. The rockbound coast of Maine...The fact that it is in Maine it integral to the spirit of these yarns, however, and that’s what counts. I’ve adored both the fingering and worsted weight Swan’s Island yarns, and now there’s a new one to love: Swan’s Island DK. The most beautiful, rich colorways, and also — SUPERWASH. How A colorful fall cornucopiagreat is that? The gauge is a very useful 5 1/4 sts to 1″ on a US size 6 needle (or size you’ll need to get that gauge–I’m a notoriously loose knitter and often have to go down a size or two). But what I like even more is the ethos of the owner’s of Swan’s Island Yarns to hand-make all their products with local and organic materials and to keep as much of their business based in the US as possible. You’ll love making a baby sweater for a cherished child or a comfy fall cardi for yourself in any of the rich hues of this yarn.

Classic Elite natural woolMy other favorite yarn (this week) is Classic Elite’s Mohawk Wool. Made in a beautifully halo’d 60% merino, 30% Romney wool, 10% nylon, this undyed natural fiber is just begging to be knit into a luxuriously cabled Aran sweater, or lovingly crafted into a throw or blanket for snuggling under when November rain turns into December snow. Classic Elite’s pattern support is legendary and you’ll find plenty to make out of this workhorse yarn, also in a DK/Sport weight. I love this textured hat, which would be a fairly quick project with a lot of bang for your knitting buck.Texture...and buttons!

Enjoy!

Sweater Cum Laude

Monday, June 23rd, 2014
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On Wednesday, June 18, 7 students received their WEBS Expert Knitter Certificates, signifying that they completed not only the 18 required classes for the program, but had climbed the highest mountain of all: designing and knitting their Capstone sweater. The evening was a celebration not only of their knitting talent and perseverance, but of their creativity and passion for design and fiber. I’d like to let the pictures do the talking, because the garments are absolutely exquisite and should be seen by as many eyes as possible.

Ocean-y color and delicate laceKristie Nathanson was actually a 2013 graduate, but life got in the way, like it does, and she completed her sweater after last year’s Capstone Ceremony. We wanted to recognize her and showcase her lacy confection, knit in Valley Yarns Charlemont.Linda invented her own cable stitch for this lacy cabled sweater!

Linda Mason did an intricately textured Empire-waist cardigan, and not only had at least three different cable patterns, but invented a stitch never before seen–by putting lace INSIDE a cable. Amazing! She used Valley Yarns Northampton, in a classic Aran natural.

 

Pat's bright-blue cablesPat Wheeler did a vivid blue cabled cardigan with eye-catching silver buttons in Cascade 220. Pat had the biggest binder of swatches ever seen, and she used a technique not often employed outside of the classroom–the double-pick-up around her neckband. It creates an invisible edge and is finishing at it’s finest.

Barbara Meunier also used cables and showcased her moss-green knitted sweater in Louet Gems Sport yarn with wooden buttons to create a natural-looking garment that was both simple and intricate. Barbara was the calmest by far of all our Capstone contenders, and it shows in her knitting.Ping, Barbara's mentor, describes her design.

Laurie Scutt-Drohan started her Capstone process more than a year ahead of her actual knitting! When I first gathered the contenders in October of 2013, she already had a big binder of swatches in various yarns she was contemplating for her final project. She eventually decided to use Valley Yarns Charlemont in a deep teal, which complents her fair skin and dark hair beautifully. Laurie is the perfect example of someone knitting their stress away, as several events conspired to make her Capstone year a Laurie looks great in her teal-blue fingering weight cardi.stressful one. But I think you’ll agree that she used her gift to great advantage in this beautifully-fitting sweater.

Liz Crouch was the only other Capstone graduate to use lace. Her original idea was to make a twin set in a plant fiber, but when push came to shove, she felt a fiber blend was the right choice, and ended up using Classic Elite’s Soft Linen, a linen/wool blend, in a flattering lavander shade. It suits her, as you can see, and her lace panels are perfectly balanced and her garment fits her to a T.Lavander lace and beautiful shaping

Jeanne Crosby had a deceptively simple sweater until you saw it up close…and noticed the crocheted panel and neckpiece of skulls in deep black Valley Yarns Northfield. Northfield is soft and drapy and the combination of the smooth fabric and the bold skull pattern really made her sweater outstanding. It completely suits her personality and she loves it!Look closely for those crocheted skulls.

We had another student who was halfway through with her sweater and in the process of finishing up her final classes when another life event took her attention:  Sarah Johnston had baby Nina Belle in March, and as she told me, she couldn’t put Nina Belle down to pick up her needles once that beautiful little girl made her arrival! So I’m sure that at some point in the next year or so, Sarah will send me a mysterious package that will turn out to be her Capstone sweater and we’ll celebrate her at that time.

Sarah Johnston's personal Capstone: Baby Nina Belle!

I hope this inspires you blog-readers to create some magic of your own! All these knitters started with Knitting II; and you can see how dedicated they are to their fiber art! Maybe we’ll institute a Graduate Program here at WEBS. What would that include? Let me know your thoughts!

Linen Gets a New Look

Friday, June 6th, 2014
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…and by a “new look,” I don’t mean that it looks different. It means that I am looking at linen in a new light. I usually don’t like knitting with plant-fiber yarns; they seem too slippery, too inflexible, and in the case of linen, too hard and crunchy-feeling to make pleasing garments. However, recently I saw a sweater one of our WEBS Expert Knitter Certification Capstone candidates knit in Classic Elite’s Soft Linen (35% wool, 35% linen, 30% baby alpaca), and it really changed my mind. Rather than being a wrinkled, stiff armor-like Bright summery soft linen and wool create perfect lightweight garments.tunic, this sweater was soft and drapey, but with enough body to show off the shaping and stitch definition. The lace pattern around the sleeves and body was open and light, with enough personality to show the eyelets to great advantage.

Doodlebug, a light and practical summer sweater.
Classic Elite’s pattern support
for their yarns is legendary, and I found the perfect sweater to show off this lightweight yarn: Doodlebug, a sleeveless shell with a delicate chevron/eyelet pattern and a wide ribbed hem to put on top of skirts or summery capris.

 

What yarn changed your mind this year?

The Sermilik Shawl from Kristin Omdahl

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014
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At the beginning of April we introduced you to our 3 new designs with Valley Yarns Huntington Hand Dyed by Lorna’s Laces. Our featured crochet design, the Sermilik Shawl, is from the wonderfully talented Kristin Omdahl.

We were thrilled when Kristen said she would design a shawl for us! Inspired by the blue icebergs of the Sermilik Fjord in Greenland, Kristin has designed a  simple triangle shawl made of stacked double crochet shells with a delicate and lacy bottom edge that that gives this shawl a real wow-factor. Though the stitches are densely packed the open nature of the fabric means that the shawl has beautiful drape and movement while really showing off the beauty of the hand dyed yarn colors.

The Sermilik Shawl designed by Kristin Omdahl and crocheted in Valley Yarns Huntington Hand Dyed by Lorna's Laces - available exclusively at yarn.com

Kristen learned how to knit when she was young but didn’t really get going until she was in her twenties. She has been designing and teaching, both knit and crochet for over 10 years and can’t imagine doing anything else, when she’s not kayaking or hiking that is!

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?