SQUAM Art Workshops June 2017: Taste of Squam

Posted by Kristine Vejar on February 01, 2017 1 Comment

Last year I had the opportunity of teaching (indigo dyeing and eco-printing) at Squam Art Workshops housed within a resort on Squam Lake in New Hampshire. This was my first time visiting New Hampshire and attending Squam Art Workshops. It was incredible.

We flew into Manchester (so sweet and little when coming from Oakland). As we drove towards Squam Lake, the roads began to narrow, from a highway, two two-lanes. I stared out the car window as we passed hundreds (maybe thousands) of lush green trees. Every now and then, there would be a break in the trees and I would see a peek of the dark blue water of a lake. As we pulled into the driveway at Squam, there was instantly a feeling of celebration and joy. Excited campers were exiting their cars, unpacking luggage, finding their cabin, and in anticipation of a weekend of making!

As a child we had family friends whose cabin we would visit in Northern Minnesota. The cabin was located on an island, make of logs, and didn't have electricity or running water. We spent our days hiking and swimming. It was divine and still is the place where my mind wanders when thinking about the happiest times in my childhood. While Squam is definitely a bit more cushy (electricity, indoor plumbing, a beautiful dining hall where delicious meals are prepared and includes a waffle bar and ice cream counter), Squam is the closest thing I have been to resembling my childhood memory of "the cabin up north".

At Squam, my cabin was located on the lake. There was a fireplace in the center of the cabin. And a wrap-around, screened-in porch looking out on the lake - with rocking chairs. Though early in the season, I jumped in the lake and went swimming. Others rented kayaks to explore the lake. One of my favorite activities while there was knitting on the dock.

I have some exciting news for you! Usually, you have to sign-up for the weekend of making in order to attend Squam Art Workshops - but this year, in celebration of Squam Art Workshop's 10 year anniversary, Elizabeth, the founder has created Taste of Squam, a mini-retreat where you can come and spend Saturday and Sunday - eating, drinking, knitting by the lake, and joining us for the Squam Art Fair on Saturday night.

Registration is now open. Click here to sign-up.

This year, I am teaching again at Squam and can hardly wait to get back to the lake. I hope you will join us!

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Up and Coming: Special Verb Colors for S&S!

Posted by AVFKW Staff on June 17, 2014 0 Comments

In our last blog post about the upcoming Stephen & Steven Tour 2014, you got to see all the exclusive color ways that are arriving at the shop in time for Stephen and Steven's visit THIS WEEKEND!

In addition to this wonderful selection, we have also been busy bees creating new, exclusive Verb colorways for these two designers to work with!

The first color created was inspired by Stephen West. He sent photos of beautiful ice floes during sunrise, all shimmery with morning pinks and purples. Together with Kristine he choose Even Tinier Annapurna, our light fingering base composed of 80% superwash merino, 10% cashmere, and 10% nylon. With 565 yards per 115 g skein, this yarn is perfect for light, drapey shawls -- which Stephen is a pro at creating.

Photography & makeup by Alexandra Feo

This brings us to Welty, Stephen's tour exclusive pattern using Even Tinier Annapurna in Magic Horse! Full of textural welts and yarn overs, Welty will be available to purchase as an exclusive tour pattern.

StevenBe chose to work with Floating, our luxurious fingering weight blend of 70% alpaca, 20% cashmere, and 10% silk. This is the yarn that customers ooh and ahh over the most -- its softness, shine, and elegance make it an instant favorite. 

Steven requested a pair of colors, starting with the mysterious tonal neutral pictured above -- named Downtempo! This was a fun but challenging color to create, and if you're familiar with Kristine's love of neutrals you know how we feel about it! 

He and Kristine worked together to pair it with a rich purple, named Oxygen Bar. While the pattern is still forthcoming, the image of these two colors together in a shawl is striking!

These special colors will be available at Verb and participating shops along the tour. Just like the special colors from other dyers, these colors will be available exclusively for students and party attendees until 2pm on Sunday, July 29th. At that time, it will be available to the general public, as well as phone orders and online sales. Stay tuned for the link!

Additionally, if you are already signed up for a class or the party, you may pre-order the yarn starting now! Give us a call or send us an email and we'll set up your order. 

Not a student or party attendee? Don't worry, there's still room! Join us for a fun morning of design with the Dynamic Duo, a fun and crazy afternoon making Swants, and of course you're all welcome at our fabulous Party & Trunk Show!

Additionally, we've added two new spots in Stephen's Wesknits Workshop on Sunday!! Click here to grab them!

-- Sarah

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Up and Coming: Stephen & Steven Tour 2014 Extravaganza!

Posted by AVFKW Staff on June 12, 2014 0 Comments

Get ready for the event of the summer -- the Stephen and Steven Tour 2014!

Stephen West of Westknits and Steven Berg of StevenBe are coming to Verb on June 28th and 29th, to teach a variety of fun and unique classes! Join us for the Dynamic Duo, Westknits Workshops, Swants, and an evening party / trunk show! Click here to read more about each of these exciting classes.

Stephen and Steven have worked with a few special dyers, combining their artistic vision and style, to create exclusive color ways for the tour. These yarns will only be available at the shops along the tour! We have picked out the following yarns to be featured during this weekend.

Amy and her team at Madeline Tosh have developed the color Knitting is Dead Sexy! StevenBe describes the color as "intense, colorful, and vibrant -- not for the faint of heart."

Knitting is Dead Sexy will be arriving on the following bases: ASAP, Tosh DK, Tosh Sock, Dandelion, and Prairie. The different fiber content in each yarn picks up the color differently -- it will be fun to see it in real life!

The shop will be well stocked with Tosh DK, Tosh Sock, Dandelion, and Prairie, with plenty of colors to choose from for all Stephen & Steven classes and patterns.

The lovely ladies at Plucky Knitter have worked with each designer to create a colorway just for them: a luminous green for Stephen West and a vivacious cherry for Steven Berg. These colors are aptly named With a "PH" and With a "V", respectively.

With a "PH" and With a "V" will be available on Primo Fingering, Plucky's fingering weight merino/cashmere/nylon blend. This popular yarn is soft, drapey, and ideal for shawls -- Stephen and Steven are each designing new patterns to go with their color! 

Alchemy Yarns of Transformation has also developed two colors for the tour. Alchemy's specialty is hand painted colors with shades that flow and shift across the spectrum. The first colorway, named Ambrosial, is an exquisite blend of greens, blues, and purples.

The second color, Evocative, is composed of vivid pinks, reds, and oranges.

Both colors will be available on two of our favorite Alchemy bases: Silken Straw, a 100% silk yarn that only gets softer as you work with it, and Haiku, their silk mohair blend. Knit together, these two yarns create an amazingly soft, drapey, and elegant fabric. Pair a strand of Haiku with any other yarn to add a fine halo, as well as a touch of color and playfulness.

The shop will be full to the brim with yarn for this event! We are adding a few new yarns to our collection, starting with Manos del Uruguay's Lace yarn! Composed of 70% baby alpaca, 25% silk, and 5% cashmere, this is a luxury lace yarn. We will have a variety of semi-solid and space-dyed colors to choose from. 

Next, from Habu Textiles, we will be adding several cotton gima yarns, as well as copper and stainless steel varieties! Habu's yarns are a favorite of Stephen and Steven due to their versatile combinations.

Stay tuned for more fabulous additions to the store -- we will have a variety of colors and textures for you to choose from to make the most beautiful and unique projects in Stephen and Steven's classes!

The yarn listed above is available exclusively for students and party attendees until 2pm on Sunday, June 29th. At that time, it will be available for the general public and online sales.

We hope you can join us for a class! Or come by the party for an evening filled with fun, glamour, and laughter! The store will be overflowing with samples!

-- Sarah

P.S. Stay tuned for Verb's special colorways created for the 2014 Stephen and Steven Tour!

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Up & Coming: Cocoknits Holiday Party & Alabama Chanin Holiday Party

Posted by Kristine Vejar on December 18, 2013 0 Comments

Sorry I've gotten away from blogging, though not for lack of things happening at the shop! I have a lot to fill you in on - but for the moment, let's focus on some fun events coming up this weekend.

On Saturday, we are hosting a Cocoknits Holiday Party - with Ms. Cocoknits herself, Julie Weisenberger. There will be cookies, and space to sit and knit. For inspiration, Julie is bringing in her new, amazing collection of sweaters knit entirely out of Shibui yarn. The fabric this yarn makes is gorgeous - and the color palette from which to choose - absolutely beautiful and sophisticated. We're offering 10% off all in stock Shibui yarn and 15% off all special orders. So take a break from the holiday-prep madness, come over and squish something soft.

Julie just launched her newest product, The Knitter's Keep. This is a bracelet with a magnet attached - designed to hold you cable needle, stitch markers, and darning needle. All of these notions come with the The Knitter's Keep. Right now, the Knitter's Keep is only available through Julie - but we wanted you to be able to see this in person - so are hosting a one day pop-up shop where you can come and see The Knitter's Keep for yourself. This makes a great gift!

If you are in the mood for sewing, and have been curious about the sewing techniques of Alabama Chanin, I am hosting an Alabama Chanin Holiday Party on Sunday, 3-6. We will make this sweet stocking. There are a range of colors to choose from: red, burgandy, green, blue, white, and taupe. This is a great opportunity to learn about hand-stitching and applique. Advanced Alabama Chanin sewists are welcome too! Let's get together and stitch some stockings and eat cookies! You can sign-up for this event online, over the phone (510-595-verb), or by coming into the shop.

I hope to see you this weekend!



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Up & Coming: Brooklyn Tweed's Habitat Cable Hat class with Chris

Posted by Kristine Vejar on September 03, 2013 1 Comment
Hey all

It’s Chris here making my inaugural blogpost!  I’ve met some awesome Verb folks through Commuknitty Stitch on Thursdays. And for those of you whom I haven’t met yet, I mostly work in the dye studio. If you have peeked past the register into the dye studio this year and seen some random dude back there manhandling a bucket of Reliquary II, that dude is me!  But Kristine didn’t hire me just for the heavy lifting, I am also a long-time maker and skill-sharer.  And I have a special place in my heart for knitting, especially men’s garments. In fact, I will be teaching a class called Cabled Hat Skills with Habitat on September 8th.

I love the Habitat pattern!  It’s one of Brooklyn Tweed’s first patterns. And not only does it show off a handsomely textural and timeless cable motif, but it really takes advantage of Shelter’s most unique property as a woolen spun yarn: loft. Loft gives a yarn warmth due to the extra air captured between the fibers and also a springy quality that helps the fabric retain shape. That springy quality also helps the yarn stretch when needed, as with cables. To prove it, I will show students how to use Shelter with Habitat’s cables and, even, how to cable without a cable needle. Magic? Nah. Totally doable.

Shelter can do it! You can do it!  And, as an added bonus, I’ll show you how to use duplicate stitch to embellish the cables. Using duplicate stitch is a great way to introduce a complementary, analogous, or pop color to any project and really helps cables, in particular, stand out.  Plus, learning duplicate stitch will help you better understand how your stitches are formed which, in turn, will help with fixing mistakes in the future.  This class is a good way to expand or improve your technical skill-set while making a nice product as your reward at the end of your process.

Even if you’re already an expert with cables, Habitat is a great introductory project to learn all about how Shelter behaves as a yarn. It only takes one skein and requires minimal time commitment as far as knitting projects go. Plus, it’s about time to get started on holiday gift knitting anyway, right?

Still not convinced? Sheesh. Talk about a hard sell... Come by the shop to fondle the sample I made for Verb.

And for more on Shelter, see Clara Parkes’ blogpost about it

Cabled Hat Skills with Habitat
Instructor: Chris Roncal
Sunday, Sept 8

As as student in this class, you receive 15% off class materials.

Hope to see you in class!


P.S. We are hosting 2 Brooklyn Tweed trunk shows at the end of September: Men 2013 and Fall 2013. The Fall 2013 collection is coming out very soon. We are the first to showcase this new collection. Plus, purchase yarn to knit one of the the patterns in either of these collections, and receive 10% the yarn.
September 21-29.

I bet you’ll find something you like.

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