Posts Tagged ‘yarn’

Ready, Set, Knit! 332: Kathy talks with Barbara Parry

Saturday, November 2nd, 2013
Share Button

 

This week Kathy talks with Barbara Parry about her new book Adventures in Yarn Farming.

Play Now: 

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.

Kathy and Barbara talk about her humble beginning with 2 sheep in her small suburban backyard to owning and managing a large flock at Springdelle farm as well as goats, cows, and a llama. The book contains patterns written and knits using yarns produced from her flock as well as a chapter on her kitchen garden and recipes.

The book follows the ebb and flow of the seasons in New England and the challenges and rewards that each bring to the farm.

PARRY1.zoom.1

Join us at WEBS the evening of November 14th from 6:30 -8pm to meet Barbara Parry and buy your own signed copy of her new bookBarbara will do a short presentation about her farm and life with sheep including beautiful pictures of her flock and farm. She will also be bringing sample knitted garments from the book. Light refreshments will be served! The even is free but please register so we know how many to expect.

Steve’s Yarn Picks:

Upcoming Events:

Stitches East is next weekend! November 8-10 at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford, CT.  There are still lots of open seats in classes and the Market is not to be missed!

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

Amy Herzog Can Help You Make the Perfect Sweater

Friday, October 25th, 2013
Share Button

Do you remember your first sweater? I remember mine. I actually learned how to knit by making a sweater. I got such satisfaction from showing it to people and saying airily, “yeah, I just made that.” Well, I don’t know who I was fooling. Of course you could tell I made it. The shoulders had a Michael Jackson-esque largeness from clumsy seaming, and one sleeve was a tad (noticeably) longer than the other. And I guess I didn’t notice myself that for one inexplicable row I changed from knit to purl and stopped halfway through and returned to knit. Plus, it was about five sizes too big.

There are 2 main reasons why most sweaters don’t fit:

Measurements (yours, incorrectly done)

Gauge (also yours, maybe incorrect)

Amy Herzog, designer of the best-ever sweaters and author of the groundbreaking book Knit to Flatter, has developed a software program that she just rolled out called CustomFit. By the way, this link takes you to my CustomFit home, so don’t go messing around with my measurements! She’ll be at WEBS on Saturday, November 2 from 11:00am – 2:00pm to show off the site and show customers our unique partnership with her website.

acorn-trail-2

Amy herself, in Acorn Trail

 

Here’s how it works: users establish an individual online account that contains their detailed body measurements.  Based on that information, knitters have the opportunity to design a customized sweater from a seemingly infinite number of styles and design details.  Here are a few examples to whet your appetite. I am a CustomFit account holder myself and am about to get busy on a gorgeous scoop-neck pullover with hemmed neck, bottom edge, and sleeves that will fit me like a glove because I spent quite a bit of time making sure my measurements were correctly done.

Amy’s store event will make that part of it a breeze, since WEBS is partnering with her to have our very own CustomFit account. We will record customers’ measurements and this information will be stored under the WEBS account in CustomFit. This gives WEBS the opportunity to provide personalized service in the form of sweater choices and yarn consults on your customized patterns.

If you love Amy’s iconic designs, you can use an existing pattern of hers, which now have CustomFit adaptations and instructions. She even has an FAQ section (which she’ll answer in-store on Saturday, November 2) so that you don’t get frustrated or lost.

It’s really perfect. So we’ll see you on November 2 from 11:00am – 2:00pm, tape measure in hand and ill-fitting knitwear in the trunk of your car, en route to a landfill or Goodwill.

 

Valley Yarns in Knit Simple

Monday, October 21st, 2013
Share Button

Knit Simple Holiday 2013 issue has a great section on dual-purpose patterns, you can have a vest or sweater a pullover or a cardigan! One of the designs, the Cowl Vest/Cowl Pullover by Cheryl Murray, uses our very own Valley Yarns Northfield.

Cowl Vest and Pullover pattern knit in Valley Yarns Northfield for Holiday 2013 Knit Simple

What combination of colors from our line of Northfield would you choose?

 

 

Valley Yarns in knit.wear magazine

Monday, October 14th, 2013
Share Button

The Fall/Winter 2013 issue of knit.wear is on the shelves now and features over 20 thoughtful patterns as well as tips and tutorials for biasing cables and color blocking. We’re thrilled to see our Valley Yarns Sheffield used in the Swaying Cable Scarf pattern by Talitha Kuomi.

Swaying Cables Scarf knit by Talitha Kuomi in Valley Yarns Sheffield

What color of Sheffield would you use?

 

Ready, Set, Knit! 329: Kathy talks with Kirsten Hipsky

Saturday, October 5th, 2013
Share Button

 

This week Kathy talks with WEBS Design Manager, Kirsten, about the WEBS Fall 2013 Catalog.

Play Now:

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.

Kathy and Kirsten talk about some of their favorite patterns from this catalog.

The Foxfire Shawl knit in Charlemont Kettle Dyed and Charlemont Hand Dyed, this shawl would look great in lots of different color combinations.

Valley Yarns Foxfire Shawl and additional color options

They also discussed the Whistler Cardigan, The Basic Crochet Pullover, The Morning Bells Shawl,  The Chandelier Shawl, Papyrus Cardigan and Monarda Pullover

If you do not yet receive our catalog you can request one here.

Steve’s Yarn Picks

Our 10th Annual Knit & Crochet for the Cure event is happening in store TOMORROW October 6 from 1-4pm.

Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, the Yarn Harlot, is joining us to offer two classes the week of October 19th! We’re so excited to have her back at WEBS.

Upcoming Events:

WEBS is open regular hours on Columbus day weekend, closed on Sunday and open on Monday, while you’re here you should check out the Paradise City Arts Festival Oct 12-14 at the 3-County Fairgrounds.

Registration is open for our 7th Annual Bus Trip to the NY Sheep & Wool Festival in Rhinebeck on October 19th – just 2 weeks away! Are you on the bus?

Stitches East is coming up! November 8-10 at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford, CT. There are still lots of open seats in classes and the Market is not to be missed!

Reminder:

Ready, Set, Knit! Listeners get ready 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

On the bookshelf this week: Scottish Knits

Friday, October 4th, 2013
Share Button

This week we’re excited about the color play in the newest book of patterns from Martin Storey, Scottish Knits.

Scottish Knits by Martin Storey

In Scottish Knits, Martin Storey pays homage to beautiful Celtic cables and colorwork with 17 stunning and innovative handknits accessible to knitters of all skill levels. The projects include garments, accessories and home goods, many of which feature different color patterns or textures within a single piece.

2 colorful cardigans from Scottish Knits

Scotland has a rich tradition in handknitting thanks to the exquisite hand-dyed yarns that have been spun in the Scottish islands for centuries. Traditional techniques have been handed down through generations, resulting in a treasure trove of stitch patterns, textures, and colors. What happens when beautifully crafted handknits meet a Scottish sense of color and whimsy? You get an exquisite book of Scottish-influenced designs that knitters will crave.

Leave a comment below and tell us what colors of Rowan Fine Tweed you’d use for either cardigan above and you could win a copy of Scottish Knits! All comments must be posted by 11:59pm EST on Tuesday, Oct. 8. Please make sure to leave us a way to contact you if you win! The winner will be drawn randomly and posted here the following day.

Edited, Friday October 11, 2013:

And our Winner is –  Ara who said, “Love your website, your blog, your yarn, and would love to win this book. The designs look intriguing. Just starting a sweater today with yarn purchased at Webs.”

Congratulations Ara! Keep an eye on your mailbox, your copy of Scottish Knits will be arriving soon.

Knitscene featuring Valley Yarns

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013
Share Button

The Winter 2013 issue of Knitscene magazine is out and in it’s pages you will find the Purpureus Shawl designed by Maria Leigh and knit in Valley Yarns Charlemont Kettle Dye.

Pupureus Shawl designed by Maria Leigh and knit in Valley Yarns Charlemont Kettle Dye

What color of Charlemont Kettle Dye would you use?

 

Valley Yarns Featured in Interweave Knits Holiday Gifts

Monday, September 30th, 2013
Share Button

The 2013 issue of Interweave Knits Holiday Gifts is out and we couldn’t be happier. Our own Valley Yarns are featured in two projects!

First up are the Sailor’s Mittens designed by Michele Moskaluk, and knit in Valley Yarns Huntington. Worked from the cuffs up with increases to form the thumb gussets, these women’s mittens boast lively three color patterns on the palms and backs of the hands.

Second is the Southern Cross Afghan designed by Ann McDonald Kelly and knit in Valley Yarns Valley Superwash. This afghan is made of mitered triangles made into squares. The squares are then sewn together with borders, making an interesting and cozy blanket.

Which projects are you excited to make as gifts this year?

 

 

Valley Yarns featured in Interweave Crochet

Thursday, September 26th, 2013
Share Button

Have you seen the Fall 2013 issue of Interweave Crochet yet? With almost 20 projects ranging from cowls and shawls to blankets and sweaters there is plenty to choose from to keep you busily hooking through the Fall months. Our favorite project, and we admit our bias! is the Obi Scarf crochet in our very own Valley Yarns Northampton Sport.

Obi Scarf from Fall 2013 Interweave Crochet using Valley Yarns Northampton Sport

Designed by Shelby Allaho this versatile design can be worn as a scarf or a belt and features a subtle blending of surface crochet, texture, and color-work creates a clever ribbon of fabric

Obi Scarf from Interweave Crochet Fall 2013 using Valley Yarns Northampton Sport

What colors of Northampton Sport would you use?

Is Wool Scratchy?

Friday, September 20th, 2013
Share Button

Whether in our retail store, or on the phones in our Customer Service Department, we get asked this question quite frequently!

Unfortunately the answer is yes. And no, and sometimes!

How something feels against your skin is truly subjective and not only changes from person to person but can change depending on where on your skin we’re talking about. We set up a blind “taste-test” recently and pulled 10 employees in to get their descriptions of how the yarn felt. We used 4 different wool and wool blend yarns and one non-wool:

Lopi – a 100% Icelandic Wool, Zealana Willow – a 70%Wool/30%Cashmere blend, Plymouth Encore – a 75%Acrylic/25%Wool blend, Valley Yarns Northampton-a 100% wool, and Berroco Comfort a 50%Acrylic/50%Nylon blend

Each employee was blindfolded and wore mittens during the first part of the test. They were asked to hold each yarn against their face and neck and give 3 words to describe how the yarn felt against their skin. They were then allowed to hold the yarn in their hands without the mittens and asked if they would wear that yarn next to their skin. Most were surprised when they learned which yarns they had handled and how they had felt! Many repeated some of the same words and other words were used for all the wool and wool blends as you can see below.

Lopirustic, scratchy, bristly, coarse, itchy, hairy, fuzzy, lofty, rough, tickly, furry, wooly, steelwool, prickly

100% of participants said they would not wear this next to their skin.  Lopi is intended as an outerwear yarn and none of the participants were surprised that this was the roughest yarn of the bunch (several participants even guessed correctly that this was Lopi with the blindfold on!).

Willow: smooth, wooly, mild, organic, soft, halo-ey, cozy, fuzzy, dense

70% said yes, 20% said no and 10% said maybe they would wear this next to their skin. Even cashmere isn’t a guarantee of comfort against the skin! Our no voter was surprised that they hadn’t felt like they could wear a 30% cashmere blend and only said no after touching the yarn with their hands.

Encore: smooshy, soft, squishy, fuzzy, not super itchy, wooly, picky, furry, squeaky, rough, itchy

30% said yes, 50% said maybe and 20% said no to wearing this next to their skin. With only 25% wool lots of knitters choose this year with the belief that the acrylic makes it softer in addition to its washability. Again the no voters were tipped to no votes after handing the yarn with their hands.

Northampton: soft, squishy, fuzzy, hairy, scratchy, picky, smooth, itchy

50% said yes, 20% said maybe and 30% said no to wearing this next to their skin, but the no votes needed consideration and were not as vehement as the no votes for the Lopi.

Comfort: soft, downy, fluffy, smooth, silky, cozy, slick, squishy

80% said yes, 10% said maybe and 10% said no to wearing this next to their skin. Surprise! Not even a super-soft and smooth acrylic blend feels good against everyone’s skin. One participant said, “I wouldn’t like to knit with this, it feels bad on my hands, but I would wear it next to my skin”

So they next time you think you don’t like wool because it’s scratchy, take a moment to reconsider. There are lots of wool breeds and blends out there and there may be one that’s perfect for you.  Tell us if you’ve found your perfect wool or if you’ve changed your mind about using wool.