Posts Tagged ‘yarn’

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?

 

Valley Yarns Featured in Interweave Knits Holiday Gifts

Monday, September 30th, 2013
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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
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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
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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.

Be Sweet yarns featured in Interweave Knits

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013
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The new Interweave Knits  Fall 2013 issue  features a great pattern using yarn from our friends at Be Sweet.

The No. 6 Shrug, designed by Maria Leigh, is knit using the new Skinny Wool.

Worked from each sleeve cuff toward the center back, this shrug has a great lacy detail at the cuffs and around the collar.

Which color of Skinny Wool would you use?

Knitting Season is Open

Friday, September 13th, 2013
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My last post, which ran a few weeks ago, had a glaring error, and it is this: I took it for granted that I am famous enough for the entire world to know who I am.  I am indeed the new Education Manager, and my name is Amy Greeman. This is what I look like:

Amy Greeman, Education Manager

Amy Greeman, Education Manager

Ok, on to my pick this week. I lovelovelove Fall and Winter, which makes me an outcast in most groups. Knitters, however also love these seasons, because crisp air and cool temperatures mean lots of knitting. As I wander around the store, a few new yarns caught my eye and I thought I’d share them with you for your Fall knitting pleasure.

Koigu Painter’s Palette Premium Merino is the Queen of the fingering-weight set. We haven’t had this particular yarn in the store for a VERY long time and I am thrilled it’s here now. There are loads of beautiful colors and it’s just begging to be knit into socks or hats, or a gorgeous shawl.

Shibui Pebble reached it’s sporty-weight hand out and grabbed me as I walked by our showcase for it. I’m a sucker for a sport-weight, and this blend of silk/wool/cashmere is balanced just right–not too stiff and not too drapey. I would make any sweater that incorporated a lacy or knit/purl pattern stitch with this.

Clockwise: Infusion Handpaint, Koigu, Eco Highland Duo, and Pebble

Clockwise: Infusion Handpaint, Koigu, Eco Highland Duo, and Pebble

Universal Yarn Infusion Handpaint was a surprise to me. I’m not that thrilled with a lot of variegation, because I like to do very textured knitting, but this wool/acrylic blend feels beautifully soft and the colors are really blended nicely. I could see a nice, thick winter scarf or shrug to keep in a chilly office in this superwash yarn.

Finally, my new favorite yarn, I must confess, isn’t new at all. It’s a luscious Cascade standby I recently discovered, Eco Highland Duo. I’ve knit a cabled cowl in it, and am using it for a much more technical knit now, this Kira K design that will be a gift for my mom.

What is your new Fall discovery? What will you be knitting while you watch football (or the new season of Homeland) on TV?

Ready, Set, Knit! 325: Kathy talks with Linda Pratt

Saturday, August 31st, 2013
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This week Kathy talks with Linda Pratt of Westminster Fibers about Schachenmayr Yarns and the exciting My Mountain yarn and hat pattern promotion.

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Kathy and Linda talk about the bright crochet and knit hat trend that began last Spring in Germany and is taking off here for the Fall. Lots of colorful and fun, FREE hat patterns are available from Schachenmayr. They’ve also been running a design contest through their Facebook page which ends this week.

The six core yarns are all available from WEBS in the full color range from each: Boston, and Boston Style, Lova, Bravo Big, Bravo Big Color, Lumio. As well as 4 exclusive WEBS free patterns.

Steve’s Yarn Picks

Upcoming Events:

Our Fall class schedule is live on the website and should be arriving in mailboxes soon, classes begin in mid-September.

It’s Labor day weekend! WEBS will be open normal hours today, 10:00am – 5:30pm but closed, tomorrow, Sunday Sept. 1 and Monday Sept 2. for the holiday.

Registration has opened for our 7th Annual Bus Trip to the NY Sheep & Wool Festival in Rhinebeck on October 19th!

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

 

Valley Yarns featured in Twist Collective 5th Anniversary Issue

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013
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We can’t believe it’s been 5 years since Twist Collective debuted. The Fall 2013 issue is out and we’re thrilled that it features two great patterns using our own Valley Yarns! Valley Yarns have been featured in many issues and we’re always excited to see what other designers are doing with our yarns.

First up is the Doverfell Cardigan, a zippered hoodie pattern available in both adult and child sizes.

We love the simple textured stitches that frame the zipper and continue down onto the inset pockets. The adult version is made in Northfield while the child’s version was knit in Valley Superwash DK.

Second is the Ossel dress knit in Valley Yarns Northampton.

This pattern features some gorgeous cables in combination with moss stitch for a body hugging dress that really shows off your curves, and with the saddle shoulder construction those sleeve cables aren’t interrupted at the shoulder.

What’s your favorite pattern from this collection?

If you haven’t begun following them on Facebook yet you may just want to! Twist Collective is celebrating their 5 year anniversary with all kinds of goodies and give-aways.

Are 4 (or 5) Needles Better Than One?

Friday, August 16th, 2013
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Although my poor grandmother tried to teach me to knit when I was nine years old, I had absolutely no patience for fine motor skills at that point, and was much happier playing with her jewelry. I didn’t learn to knit until I was an adult, and I learned very traditionally: straight needles, follow a pattern, make a bottom-up sweater with set-in sleeves and a crew neck. When I started working at Webs shortly after I had gained some mastery of the craft, I was astounded at the variety of designs, techniques, and yarns I encountered. It was overwhelming, but I wanted to try it all. The one thing I stuck to was knitting any sort of tube with double-pointed needles. I honestly tried to use Magic Loop, two circulars, anything but DPNs. However, I don’t love knitting socks ( I have made exactly three socks) and I loved the way my DPNs made hats, baby booties, and sleeves on sweaters look. I’m always on the lookout for really great needles, and I think I have found my DPN mecca: Knitters Pride Karbonz. I recently knit baby sweaters for twins to be born in September, and the pattern was a beautifully easy top-down raglan with the sleeves picked up and knit on DPNs. I did one sweater with my old faithful Dreamz needles, but picked up a set of the Karbonz to try on sweater #2.

Reader, it was heaven.

All kinds’a’Karbonz at Webs!

The Karbonz shaft gripped the yarn just right–it slid easily but didn’t slide off. The tips are sharp and glide-y but they didn’t split the yarn, and there was no discernable bump or glitch at the place where the tip met the body of the needle. Best of all, they look super-badass. Shiny silver tip attached to a matte black needle made me feel a little naughty, even though the project they were attached to was the most adorable peach and lime green baby kimono. Karbonz are available in circulars as well, and we’ve just added interchangeable sets, too. They are well worth the slightly higher price point, and will last until your granddaughters refuse to learn to knit with them.