September 13th, 2014

Ready, Set, Knit! 371: Kathy talks with Rita Petteys

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Kathy talks with returning guest Rita Petteys about this year’s Spinzilla Event.

EVENTSWEBSSPINZILLA.zoom.1

 

Rita Petteys joins us to discuss Spinzilla. This year, WEBS has a Spinzilla team.

What is Spinzilla?
It started as a way to increase knowledge of handspinning in the fiber world. It helps raise money for the Needle Arts Mentoring program that TNNA (The National Needlearts Association). Spinning and Weaving Week is the first full week of October, and that is when Spinzilla takes place (October 6-12).

How can you get involved?
Visit spinzilla.org and find out about the teams, the competition, the mentoring program, and more. There’s also a blog and blog tour that includes a ton of information on spinning, fiber prep, and more. There are still many teams to get involved with. There are about 400 spaces left on teams, so there’s still plenty of room for you to sign up and join in the fun! It doesn’t matter where you live in relation to your team. You can join a team that fits your personality, or one that fits your goals.

You can also sign up to “Spin Rogue” and not join a team.

Check out the site to find out details on prizes, not only for spinning the most, but there are also random prizes.

The Needlearts Mentoring Program (NAMP) is one of TNNA’s charitable components. Their goal is to help mentors in communities to provide needlearts education to the children they work with, so that they can share with children the appreciation of needlearts. Last year’s donations ($6000 from Spinzilla) allowed the addition of spinning and weaving to the program. Goals for the future include NAMP chapters in every state and better supplies for the children to use.

While you’re on the Spinzilla site, make sure you check out the sponsors. Without them, it wouldn’t be possible.

Steve’s Yarn Picks :

Upcoming Events:

Classic Elite Fall 2014 Event –  THIS WEEK! Sept. 18th 6-7:30pm – The event is free but registration is required.

Don’t miss the eBook that Classic Elite created just to celebrate our 40th Anniversary!

Join Linda Niemeyer of Blue Sky Alpacas for her first ever in-store event! Sept 27th 1-3pm. The even t is free but please register.

It’s time for our 11th annual Knit & Crochet for the Cure! Join us on Oct 5th from 1-4pm. Please remember to register.

8th Annual Bus Trip to Rhinebeck – Saturday Oct 18th. the busses are filing up, get your ticket now!

We have an amazing line-up of guest teachers this year!
Amy Herzog in SeptemberSusan B Anderson will be here Columbus Day WeekendDora Ohrensten is doing a weekend of crochet classes in November!

And 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
September 12th, 2014

Stay Classy

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It’s back-to-school time — the time of year that Staples and Office Max love the most. It’s also “back-to-knitting/crocheting/weaving/spinning” time around WEBS, and we have some great classes for anyone wanting to learn a new craft or brush up on a current one. When I plan the classes for each semester, I try to come up with something entirely new at least once or twice each time, something that I’d tell my friends about or that I’d want to hear about from a fiber friend. This time around I have a few that I’d love to take myself, so I’m going to tell you about them so that you’ll feel cnabled compelled to take them yourselves!

jazerant, cabled and beaded

Emma Welford’s Jazerant Set was designed especially for our Fortieth Anniverary and the pattern is knit in the most beautiful Valley Yarns Northfield, hand dyed by Malabrigo just for us. We are so lucky that Emma works here at WEBS and is generous enough to teach a class to show knitters how to make this gorgeously cabled and beaded hat and cowl. You don’t have to use Northfield, of course, because no matter what you use, the end result is going to be stunning. That class starts soon, so hurry before all the seats are filled!

Another class I’d take in a heartbeat is Heather McQueen’s Tunisian Crochet Infinity Scarf class. Tunisian Crochet is so fascinating–it’s fast, like crochet, and produces a really unique-looking fabric that resembles knitting. This 4-week class will have students using up those novelty yarns hiding in your stash as well as learning some more advanced Tunisian techniques. The scarves are fast and fun, and look amazing.silky lace and tunisian stitch

I am completely impressed with myself for hunting down some great guest teachers this semester–none more so than Susan B. Anderson, who is a designer, author, knitter, spinner, and all-around-lovely-person. She’ll be here for a weekend in October to teach not only some great garment classes, but we are lucky enough to have her show her students how to make her knitted toys, which are a great holiday gift as well as ideal decor for a nursery or little one’s room.Sock Yarn dragon fun!

Check out all our classes here, and just remember: Shopping at WEBS for supplies is way more fun than shopping at Staples for binders and notebook paper!

September 11th, 2014

Classic Elite Celebrates WEBS 40th Anniversary!

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Our 40th Anniversary year has already been full of so many great pattern and yarn collaborations and the newest one is no exception. Betsy Perry and the staff at Classic Elite Yarns have pulled 3 beautiful patterns from their vaults and given them new life in new yarns and colors, and on top of that they’ve designed a gorgeous cardigan just for our anniversary!

Joni from Classic Elite Yarns, knit in MountainTop Vista - pattern available exclusively at yarn.com

 

Joni is worked in Vista, a squishy soft blend of super fine alpaca and wool with a subtle halo. This sweater is sure to become one of your 3-season favorites. You can see the original sample pictured on a teenage Uma Thurman, a one-time resident of Amherst MA. where our first store was located!

Roberta from Classic Elite Yarns, knit in MountainTop Chalet and Majestci Tweed - pattern available exclusively at yarn.com

Roberta is a classic drop shoulder cardigan with beautiful color work on the front panels worked in a combination of Chalet and Majestic Tweed.  The updated color scheme and combination of solid and tweed yarns really make this a stand out wardrobe piece.

Olivia from Classic Elite Yarns, knit in Color by Kristin - pattern available exclusively at yarn.com

 

The fun argyle accents on the Olivia pullover can add the perfect pop of color to your fall wardrobe, especially when knit  in the vibrant colors available in Color by Kristin.

Dianna from Classic Elite Yarns, knit in CSoft Linen - pattern available exclusively at yarn.com

 

Finally Classic Elite has unveiled a brand new design for us in their lovely Soft Linen yarn. Dianna is a long, cabled, open front cardigan, the perfect layering piece.

Each of these patterns is available individually or together in one eBook. And you can see all of the garments in person at our retail store on Sept. 18th when Betsy Perry and her staff stop by to introduce us to all of the new Fall yarns and full line of designs. The event is free but please register.

September 10th, 2014

Valley Yarns Pattern Feature -the Arbor Pullover

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The Arbor Pullover, worked in valley Yarns Amherst, is a simple set-in sleeve pullover with a pop of texture at the yoke. With a classic crew neck, ribbed cuffs and hem this stockinette pullover could be boring and bland but the addition of a textured slip stitch pattern at the yoke livens it up and gives it a bit of polish.

arbor promo

You could use two high contrast colors of Amherst as we’ve done for the sample or be more subtle and choose two tones of the same color like Balsam and Navy or Light Grey and Charcoal. Which colors would you use?

September 6th, 2014

Ready, Set, Knit! 370: Kathy talks with Linda Niemeyer

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Kathy talks with returning guest Linda Niemeyer, owner of Blue Sky Alpacas.

Growing up Linda dreamed of being a graphic designer and having a horse farm but the realities of graphic design left her bored and wanting more. After seeing a special on PBS she bought her first alpaca and the rest is history! Listen as Linda tells Kathy about the history of the company and how they develop their yarns. And check out their newest yarn, Extra!

Join Linda at WEBS on Sept 27th from 1-3pm Spend some time with Linda Niemeyer , check out the Trunk Show and try your hand at the “swatching bar,” Be there for a fascinating and educational day and a prize drawing! Please register if you plan to attend.

Steve’s Yarn Picks :

Upcoming Events:

Classic Elite Fall 2014 Event – Sept. 18th 6-7:30pm – The event is free but registration is required.

8th Annual Bus Trip to Rhinebeck – Saturday Oct 18th. the busses are filing up, get your ticket now!

We have an amazing line-up of guest teachers this year!
Amy Herzog in SeptemberSusan B Anderson will be here Columbus Day WeekendDora Ohrensten is doing a weekend of crochet classes in November!

And 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
September 5th, 2014

Valley Yarns Pattern Feature – Essential Accessories eBook

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Our Fall 2014 Catalog is online and will begin arriving in mailboxes in about a week (if you don’t get our catalog but would like to you can sign up here). One of our favorite things in this issue is the Valley Yarns Essential Accessories eBook. With 5 patterns in some of our favorite Valley Yarns like Stockbridge, Northampton, Huntington, Franklin and Amherst, this is a pattern collection you’ll keep coming back to for all your seasonal accessory needs.

Valley Yarns Essential Accessories eBook available exclusively at yarn.com

And if you’re really in need of just one great hat or the perfect fingerless mitts, all five pattern are also available individually! The Essential Accessories eBook, containing all 5 patterns is just $11.99 but the Basic Hat from Measurements, Basic Heel Flap Sock, the Simple Shawl, Essential Fingerless Gloves, and the Knit and Purl Cowl are all available  for just $3.99 individually. Which one will you make first?

September 4th, 2014

Weaving with knitting yarn?!

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Surely you jest!

As a weaver I sometimes get stuck walking the same path through the store and web pages, looking at the coned yarns because that’s what weavers use, right? But wait, there’s a lot of fun textures and colors over in the knitting yarns that would be great for weaving! And there’s even some yarns I’m used to seeing on cones that are packaged in skeins (knitter’s camouflage?). Here are a few of my  favorite crossover yarns:

luscious heathery colors and softnessJaggerspun Heathers is a wonderful 2/8 wool that arrived recently and I am delighted to see it in 100g skeins. The great benefit of this is that you can buy an array of colors and not be limited by having to commit to one pound or half pound cones and end up with leftovers (not that I object to building stash, mind you). I love to weave blankets and the 2/8 weight is perfect for something warm and cozy. The range of colors includes both natural and richly heathered shades. This is truly a weaver’s staple.

Woven scarves are great as gifts and a perfect canvas  for playing with new textures and fibers. Some basics in my scarf stash are Valley Yarns Leyden, a variegated fingering weight and Valley Yarns Charlemont, a lusciously soft merino-silk blend in solids, kettle dyed and hand dyed colors. Both these yarns have beautiful drape and sheen. And with a sett of 12 -16 epi, these are quick to weave!

Sweet Georgia CashSilkLaceI have a soft spot  for hand-dyed yarns and often take a circuitous route through the lace section of the store, drawn by the luminous colors and luxurious fibers. The lace weight yarns generally have great yardage in each skein, and a single skein can be used as weft to create a special, one-of-a-kind piece. Sweet Georgia makes some stunning yarns, including both CashSilk Lace (pictured here) and Merino Silk Lace. I’d like to take a nap in a cozy nest of these yarns, but will have to settle for a handwoven scarf draped around my neck.

Prism Delicato Layers woven scarfAnother hidden gem is Prism Yarns Delicato Layers. This is a tonally dyed tencel, equivalent to a 6/2 weight, and the colors are spectacular. I wove this scarf using Delicato in Deep Sea for my warp and Valley Yarns 5/2 Bamboo in Hummingbird for my weft. The Delicato adds such depth and movement to the scarf and it has the drape and softness of silk.

I would be remiss if I let myself (and you) get totally distracted by the siren song of luxury yarns. There are many yarns with fun textures and color patterns that are great to weave with. One afternoon this summer we had a scavenger hunt, looking for unusual and offbeat yarns in the store and then wove them into the sampler below. We used Juniper Moon Farm Zooey as the warp, sett at 10 epi (you could also use Valley Yarns 3/2 Cotton) and then wove sections of (from left to right)  Tahki Tandem, Trendsetter Cin Cin, and Lang Ella. These would make lively and unique placemats and table runners. One thing to keep in mind is that if the yarn is self-striping, with long sections of each color, it may pool or look blocky as weft and work better as warp where the color runs stretch out.

rigid heddle weaving knitting yarns

 

So play around with knitting yarns and have fun weaving!

Just don’t call me Shirley.

August 30th, 2014

Ready, Set, Knit! Flashback

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There’s no new show this week as Kathy and Steve are enjoying the holiday weekend with friends and family, and hope that you all have a wonderful holiday weekend as well!

If you’re needing an RSK fix check out this show from September 17, 2011.

Remember:

WEBS will be closed tomorrow, Sunday Aug. 31st, and Monday Sept. 1st.

Our End of Summer Sale ends TOMORROW at 11:59pm EDT, get your orders in!

Upcoming Events:

Fibre Company Yarn tasting – Sept. 4th 6-7pm

Classic Elite Fall 2014 Event – Sept. 18th 6-7:30pm – The event is free but registration is required.

8th Annual Bus Trip to Rhinebeck – Saturday Oct 18th. the busses are filing up, get your ticket now!

We have an amazing line-up of guest teachers this year!
Amy Herzog in SeptemberSusan B Anderson will be here Columbus Day WeekendDora Ohrensten is doing a weekend of crochet classes in November!

And be sure to check out all of our upcoming Events here.

August 28th, 2014

Just For Fun

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Usually, I am a “color inside the lines” kind of person. I don’t use glitzy yarn, or fluffy yarn, or even much bulky yarn. But recently, Tahki Poppy made itself known to me and I was absolutely captivated by just how different it is from anything I’ve ever used before. For one thing, it’s enormous. The skein barely fits in my hand. But the best part about this yarn is:

Moveable Flowers.

moveable flowers and soft squishy yarn

Yes. Not only are there adorable flowers with a little bead stamen in the center of each flower, but you can position them along the yarn in any configuration that works for you. Make a line of flowers along the cuff of a mitt, or arrange them in a circle around the crown when you make the FREE hat pattern that you’ll find inside the label of the skein. It’s a cozy blend of wool, mohair, and acrylic, and at $11.95 a skein for 43 yards, you’ll get at least a hat or a pair of cuffs to keep you warm (and smiling) all through cold-weather season. What’s a chance you recently took with a yarn or pattern?

Try something new once in a while. It’ll spice things up!

August 28th, 2014

Spinzilla 2014

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Spinzilla 2014 is here! Spinzilla is a global event in which teams and individuals compete in a friendly challenge to see who can spin the most yarn during Spinning and Weaving Week, October 6-12 2014. It is organized by TNNA (The National NeedleArts Association) for the dual purpose of raising money for their Needle Arts Mentoring Program, and to promote handspinning.

Spinzilla spinning wheelWEBS is hosting a team this year and we’re looking forward to seeing what our spinners create. It’s going to be a lot of fun and a great opportunity to not only create connections in our local spinning community, but to encourage our team members to build their skills and enjoy the camaraderie and creativity of spinning together. Spinning expertise is not required, just the desire to spin yarn, have fun and enjoy the team spirit of the event.

The focus for Team WEBS is to motivate and inspire each other to become better spinners–and who says that won’t be fun? Do you need a nudge to push through your fear of spinning fine yarns? Want to try your hand at a new fiber? We are planning some meet-ups and a free workshop before the event, and some spin-ins during the week. Of course we will have goodies and team prizes! We’d love to have you join our team. It’s even possible to be a ‘virtual’ team member if you don’t live nearby.

Sign-ups for the team are open until September 22, or until our team is filled (max of 25 spinners). Go to spinzilla.org to sign up, and look for Team WEBS.Spinzilla drop spindle

We will keep in touch with our team through email and through our thread on the Spinzilla Ravelry group. Watch for information about scheduled meet ups and more. And please, introduce yourself to the team. Team Captain Leslie Ann Bestor, Weaving Manager at WEBS, can be reached at labestor@yarn.com.