Posts Tagged ‘yarn’

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.

 

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

Saturday, November 2nd, 2013
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This week Kathy talks with Barbara Parry about her new book Adventures in Yarn Farming.

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

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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
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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
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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?