July 1st, 2016

Summer School!

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Long hot summer days are sometimes the best time to take a break from the everyday and learn something new. Besides time with like minded fiber folk, it means a few hours in a cool, air conditioned space! We have an extensive offering of classes this summer from truly basic, beginner courses all the way up to expert level skill building. Whether you knit or spin, crochet or weave, all of the above or none at all yet, we have the right class for you!

All new summer classes at WEBS! Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Try your hand at short rows, beginning rigid heddle weaving. Delve into Yarn 101, or better crochet pattern reading. Learn to fix your knitting mistakes, and spin on a wheel. Indulge in squishy brioche knitting or start filling that drawer with handknit socks!

Which classes will you take this summer? Hurry and register now, seats are filling fast!

June 29th, 2016

Home Schooling

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Many years ago, when I discovered my passion for fiber, I yearned to study it in a focused way. I found there actually are colleges with such programs, but the circumstances of my life did not allow for being a full-time student. Thankfully, my mother (a resourceful reference librarian) sent me a stack of knitting books which became my textbooks for intensive home study.

Now that my fiber focus has expanded to include weaving I look for similar books to recommend to eager weavers wanting to learn more. I am happy to say that there are more than a few and here are two of my new favorites.

Expand your weaving skills this summer with fantastic new books! Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

I love Next Steps in Weaving because it is beautifully laid out for a progressive study of weave structures. The text is clear and straight forward and easy to understand for all levels of weavers. In addition to thorough descriptions of how the threads interact, she offers basic weaving tips to build overall skills and knowledge. There are plenty of samples to weave, which is a great way to reinforce the conceptual learning, and a few projects for each section of weaves.

Just released this spring, Inventive Weaving on a Little Loom offers similar learning opportunities for rigid heddle weavers. The subtitle is “For Beginners and Beyond” and it is certainly true as the book starts with the basics of warping and learning to weave, then progresses to more complex and beautiful techniques. A home study of this book would be a great way to learn how to get the most out of your rigid heddle and deepen your knowledge of both technique and design.

What books are your favorite study guides?

June 28th, 2016

June Pattern Wrap Up

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You’ve told us you love quick, portable and lightweight projects for summer. In June we released a stunning trio of accessories in our Valley Yarns Huntington and Charlemont.

New Designs for June 2016 from Valley Yarns - details on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

The Olivenhain Fingerless Mitts and Oblique Hat are fantastic projects to stitch on summer road trips and beach days, and the Sequoyah Shawl is perfect for cool summer evenings at music festivals or family picnics. Not only will you enjoy making each of these patterns but you’ll be filling your holiday gift basket as you do!

Fresh New Designs from Valley Yarns in July - details on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

The fun summer knitting continues in July with a trifecta of stunning projects! We’ll be releasing all the details for these new patterns on July 1st, but if you haven’t had the pleasure of knitting with our Hatfield or 2/14 Alpaca Silk you’re in for a treat!

And don’t forget to check out our Summer Valley Yarns Catalog for even more stunning new patterns!

June 23rd, 2016

Customizing CustomFit

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As our second CustomFit workshop gets underway, it occurs to me to stop and take note of how much fun we are having with the whole CustomFit program at WEBS! We launched our new offerings in January, and since then we’ve had so many customers make appointments to get started on CustomFit sweaters. I think the appeal, apart from knitting a sweater that’s designed to fit perfectly, is the notion that knitters may choose any yarn and knit it to a gauge that works for them. And, once the measurements are in our system, knitters can make a new swatch and purchase a new pattern any time.

Knit your perfect sweater with Custom Fit at WEBS. Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

In addition, Amy Herzog has been making changes and modifications to her makewearlove.com website. She has added options for no shaping and a-line shaping to the traditional hourglass shaping offerings. She has also added the ability to use more generic measurements, and added some great patterns for men and kids so that we have the ability to knit beautifully fitting sweaters for our loved ones. Her library of CustomFit patterns continues to grow as well. Many of Amy’s own sweater designs may be generated to a knitter’s particular measurements – and even the ever popular Featherweight Cardigan by Hannah Fettig (aka Knitbot) may be knit CustomFit! How cool is that?

If you have ever lamented a sweater project because it just didn’t fit properly, or you just want to have a better understanding of sweater construction and how all the pieces and pattern instructions work together to make a beautifully fitting garment, then CustomFit is the way to go! Check out all of the levels of CustomFit available here in the store to see which one best suits your needs. If you have questions, just email us at customfit@yarn.com – we look forward to having you knit your perfect sweater with us!

June 22nd, 2016

Get Ready to Choose Your Own Adventure!

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Will you choose adventure this summer? It’s time to gather your supplies for our Choose Your Own Adventure Hat KAL!

Choose Your Own Adventure - Hat KAL Cast on July 5th,  2016 on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

You’ll need:

120-250 yds of DK or light worsted weight yarn – this will depend on what type of hat you choose to make. We’ll be aiming for a gauge of 5 sts per inch, in stockinette in the round. On July 5th we’ll have tips and tutorials on how to swatch in the round!

(There’s colorwork, cables, and stripes to choose from. A simple hat with an all over texture might only use 120 yds of one color, but if you’d like to do colorwork  you’re going to need more yardage and in all the colors you might want to use! Think about what kinds of colors and textures you might like and plan accordingly. And don’t worry about having too much yarn. You can always take off on another adventure with what’s left!)

 Needles (Size US 7/4.5mm recommended) –  double points ,  a 16″ circular2 circulars, or magic loop, however you normally would knit a hat.

additionally you may need:

stitch markerstapestry needlescissorscable needlepom pom makertassel maker

Choose Your Own Adventure - Hat KAL Cast on July 5th,  2016 on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

I’ll be making a striped hat in Valley Yarns Sunderland, I prefer double pointed needles for the whole sh’bang. I’m going to need a stitch marker to denote the beginning of the round, and I plan to top it off with a tassel. So, there I am all set and ready for July 5th when we’ll swatch for gauge!

Join us for the Choose Your Own Adventure – Hat KAL here on the WEBS Blog in July!

One pattern. Hundreds of possibilities. Cast on July 5th.

June 21st, 2016

Tour de Fleece

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Most people know about the Tour de France, but – hang onto your yellow jersey – have you heard of the Tour de Fleece? Spinners have taken it upon themselves to take their wheels (and spindles) for a spin and follow the great race. Unlike what happens in France, this Tour has no rules, just guidelines: spin each day the cyclists ride and rest on their rest days; on the mountain climb days challenge yourself with a new fiber, technique or yardage. Mostly just have fun and use the race as a way to pace yourself and spin almost daily for a month.

Tour de Fleece events at WEBS. Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

WEBS is hosting a team again this year, so check our thread on our Ravelry page to join and be part of the fun. We will encourage and inspire each other to spin and have fun, share pictures and chat about spinning and why we love it so much.

And because I love a party with a purpose, we’ll be hosting a day of workshops and activities on July 17th at our store in Northampton. Join us for the day and spend time learning, shopping, gathering and spinning together with the folks that understand our love of twisting fiber into yarn. The daylong event (10 am – 4 pm) will feature workshops in the morning and afternoon with a slate of 4 different classes for both time slots. Options include hand carding, Navajo plying, spinning lace yarns, long draw, fractal spinning and more. All workshops are hands on and you will be able to sign up for your choices ahead of time.

The mid-day break will provide more activities as well as a chance for lunch (bring your own and we will provide cookies and fruit). Sit and spin, relax and shop (special spinning deals for the day), chat with spinning friends old and new. And because we’re trying to pack in as much as possible (it is a challenge day for the Tour, after all), we’ve got a couple more activities. Gather ’round the wheel display to hear about why spinning wheels have different drive styles and tensioning options and learn which features work best for the types of yarns you want to spin. Or stretch out with some gentle yoga focused on the muscles we use in spinning.

We hope you can join us for our special spinning day. I know I’m looking forward to it and to spinning along with the cyclists throughout the month of July.

June 20th, 2016

Valley Yarns Charlemont

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We’ve been in love with Valley Yarns Charlemont since the first sample skeins came in! With a blend of superwash merino, mulberry silk, and polyamide, this yarn has an incredible depth of color, a silky sheen and drape that you won’t believe! A wonderful choice for both knit and crochet projects,  as well as weaving, with 439yds per skein, you’ll keep coming back to Charlemont.

Get to know Valley Yarns Charlemont! On the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

I’m fairly partial to our Amethyst Brook Afghan, having designed it!, but Dena’s version in Charlemont is one of my most favorite finished projects from this pattern. Combining some of our solids with hand dyed colors of Charlemont, and using all cool tones, makes these interlocked hexagons look like the ripples from raindrops on a pond. What a fantastic combination of pattern and yarn!

Get to know Valley Yarns Charlemont! On the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Whether you prefer knit or crochet, accessories or sweaters, we have a full ines of patterns just for Charlemont!

left – right: the Colorfall Cardigan, the Katya Pullover, the Veranda Tam, the Sequoyah Shawl, and the Chapel Falls Shawl

Dena tells us why she loves Charlemont! Have you knit or crocheted with it? Tell us all about your favorite project.

June 18th, 2016

Ready, Set, Knit! 448: Kathy talks with Andra Asars

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This week Kathy talks with our Berroco rep, Andra Asars, about all the new Fall yarns and patterns!

Ready, Set, Knit! episode #448 - Kathy talks with Andra Asars. Listen now on the WEBS Blog - blog.yarn.com

Check out Cotolana, Ginko, Millefiori, Macro, Noble and Tuscan Tweed, and watch for all the great new pattern books like Portfolio 2, Cozy and Country Side that will be arriving soon. There are also new colors in almost every line of Berroco Yarns, check out the refreshed color palettes!

Steve’s Yarn Picks of the week:

Reminder:

Be sure to check our Facebook page on Monday to see Steve’s Yarn picks from this week!

The I-91 Shop Hop will take place next weekend, June 23–26th! Get your passport now and plan your weekend!

Our retail Store is closed on Independence Day, Monday, July 4th.

Join us for the 2016 Tour De Fleece! Join our  Group on Ravelry or join us in the store during our Spinshops on July 17th 10-4, sign up now!

Upcoming Events:

Be sure to check out all of our upcoming Events here.

 

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

June 17th, 2016

Babies = Blankets

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I know of two babies on the horizon, one arriving in September and one arriving in December. Both of the new mothers are good friends, good enough that a tiny baby sweater isn’t enough. I decided to go full-on baby blanket with these special wee ones. I have just enough time (I think) to make crib-sized blankets for each, and I’ve settled on two patterns that are calling to me.

Valley Yarns Haydenville and great baby projects on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Miss September Baby is a much-anticipated girl who has two older brothers. I want her to have her very own special gift so I’m making a Valley Yarns pattern, the Snowdrop Blanket. However, you know how I feel about plant fibers, so no go on the Longmeadow. Instead, I’m going to use some lovely Valley Yarns Haydenville, probably in Silver, because White, or even Natural, seems like a set-up for disaster, since you all know what babies do on blankets. It’s neutral enough to match her nursery and distinctive enough to be an eye-catcher in a Mommy and Me group.

Baby #2 is a mystery, so I’m going to go with a bold pattern I love, the Valley Yarns Pattern Grayson Set. The stitch is simple enough to be knit while watching “Game of Thrones,” and the color changes are just challenging enough so the project won’t be tedious to finish. I’m going to use Haydenville for this one, as well. I’m going to completely switch up the colors, however, and go with Slate Blue as the main color, banded with Natural and to make it pop, a stripe of Yellow. Could read as masculine or feminine, and I am so hoping it becomes the blanket that baby can’t sleep without.

What is your favorite baby pattern? Let me know in the comments, below!

June 16th, 2016

Sequoyah Shawl

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Valley Yarns Charlemont is a fantastic yarn for transitional garments, like the Sequoyah Shawl by Mary Joy Gumayagay.

sequoia Full

 

This generous half circle shawl is worked from the neck down and features bands of stockinette and modified Roman Stripe textured stitches divided by raised garter ridges. Easy increases help to keep the circular shape resulting in a shawl that rests beautifully on the shoulders.

We asked Mary Joy to tell us a bit about herself and her work.

When did you learn to knit?
I learned to knit in 2003, when an injury forced me to stop climbing for a few months. To pass the time I decided to try something crafty.

What prompted you to start designing?
I fell into designing accidentally, when I had a ball of worsted yarn and an urge to make something unique. Pre-Ravelry, it was a challenge to find patterns for a specific weight, or yardage, or project. So I looked through one of Barbara Walker’s Treasury of Knitting Patterns books, found something I liked, and made a leaf lace worsted weight scarf. A fellow knitblogger named Liesel asked me for the directions, and I ended up self-publishing my very first pattern, Liesel.

Give us a glimpse into your design process, where/how do you find inspiration?
I am inspired by experiences, which translate into color and texture, then by necessity, which translate into structure. If a stitch pattern and color are lovely together, I think of what sort of object the combination would be most appropriate as. Lately my inspiration has been the specific physical features––color, texture, shape—of the rock climbing areas I’ve visited, and I am translating that into a series of hat patterns. The Destination Series currently has three: Antalya, St. Leger, and Siurana.

Tell us one of your favorite knit/fiber stories.
I don’t have specific stories… But I’ve met a few climbers who are also knitters; that’s a specific sub-group.

Tell us about the Valley Yarn you worked with?
I worked with Valley Yarns Charlemont, a lovely yarn with enough silk to create a subtle sheen and drape. I particularly adore the jewel tones, but there are enough neutrals to satisfy every knitter.

sequoia FB copyCharlemont has fantastic drape and shine from the silk, strength and durability from the Polyamide, and the merino keeps it soft and warm. Wrap up this Fall in a beautiful shawl, after spending a bit of your Summer knitting with a yarn that you’ll truly enjoy! Have you worked with Charlemont in the past?