Author Archive

Spring 2014 Catalog

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014
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WEBS Spring 2014 CatalogOur new Spring 2014 catalog went up online last week and the paper version is heading to your mailbox and should arrive sometime next week. We’re pretty excited about all of the great new yarns and projects. We’re also thrilled with the editorial content that we’ve included in this catalog.

Spring 2014 is the first catalog we’re celebrating our 40th anniversary with and inside you’ll find a great article by Kathy and Barbara about the beginnings of WEBS. There are also some great photos from the archive that are fun to check out.

You’ll also find our first Valley Yarns ebook. Soft Landing features five projects that will be right at home in your house. All of these patterns are available individually for $3.99, but the ebook is just $11.99. I’m loving the Hen Plaid Wrap and Viola Plaid Pillow, because I’m a big fan of plaid.

For crocheters, you’ll find patterns as well as a fantastic piece by Sara Delaney about spicing up a simple design with different yarn choices.

If you want to flip though the catalog before it hits your mailbox, you can check it out online here.

What’s your favorite new product in the catalog?

WEBS <3s You!

Monday, February 10th, 2014
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WEBS <3s You!

It is amazing to us that we’ve reached 40 years in this business and we wanted to take a week to say thanks. Thank you to all our amazing customers, you are the reason we’re here!

Over the course of the next week we’ll be giving away one $40 WEBS gift card each day on a different social media site.

Winners will be randomly drawn and may only win once, though you can enter to win on each site.

At the end of the week we’ll be giving away a Della Q bag stuffed with 5 skeins of our Limited Edition Madelinetosh dyed Valley Superwash DK in our 40th Anniversary Ruby colorway to one random winner selected from everyone who entered.

Participation is open between 12:00am(midnight) and 11:59pm EST on the day indicated. Any entries posted before or after that time period will be disqualified from entry.

Here’s the schedule:
2/10 WEBS Blog – And our winner is Michele, who commented, “I connect with Webs mostly via Facebook but also check the blog and Ravelry group.” Congratulations!
2/11 Twitter – And our winner is Kristen, who tweeted, “Love Color by Kristin! #WEBS40th ” Congratulations!
2/12 Google+ – And our winner is Heather, who said, “I love Tonia Barry’s designs. From sweaters and wraps to shawlettes and scarves her patterns are always an enjoyable knit, clearly written, flattering and have a great attention to detail. Doesn’t hurt that she is a super-wonderful person as well! There always seems to be at least a few of her patterns in my favorites or my queue.” Congratulations!
2/13 Ravelry – And our winner is jchant, who said, “Last year at the WEBS booth Stitches West I purchased a skein of Kangaroo Dyer BFL Fingering Hand Dyed specifically to knit Kirsten Hipsky’s Burning Branch Shawl. I am knitting the shawl now (I’m on the last leaf) and I’m really enjoying both the pattern and the yarn.” Congratulations!
2/14 Facebook  – And our winner is Shari, who said, “About three years ago my local knitting group became yarn enablers and recommended WEBS. I also found links to WEBS – America’s Yarn Store on Ravelry.com” Congratulations!
2/15 Pinterest – And our winner is Tracie, who said, “I love webs – so nice to have such a variety available and to hear them on their podcast.” Congratulations!
2/16 Instagram – And the winner is thepesin, who said, “#WEBS40th berrocco zazanna, almost done.” Congratulations!

Photo by Amy Stephens

And our Grand Prize winner is Kathleen who entered on Pinterest on Saturday and said, “I love WEBS discounts and the fact that I can find ANYTHING I need there! #contest #WEBS40th” Congratulations!

Selfish Project Month

Monday, February 3rd, 2014
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The holidays are now a distant memory, and while some of the more organized and enterprising members of our crafting community have already started planning, and possibly even working on projects for the end of this year, many of us just want to take a little time to focus on ourselves. I am included in that second group. I didn’t make nearly as many projects as I was planning for gifts, but as I was working on them, all I could think of was projects I wanted for myself – legwarmers, mittens, hats. (It has been really cold!)

Since February also happens to feature Valentine’s Day, we thought it might be nice to show ourselves a little love and focus on selfish knitting and crocheting. In the next month, we’ll feature patterns and ideas that you can make for yourself (or someone else if you really wanted to).

You’ll also want to keep an eye out here and our other social media sites next week because we’re going to be doing something special.

Are you planning on knitting or crocheting for yourself?

Staff Favorites: Patterns

Thursday, January 30th, 2014
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In the store, we often get to see customers come through with great finished projects made with stellar patterns. We realized recently that several of us have finished some really great patterns and wanted to share them with you. Some of them are new, some are old, and some are even designed by our staff. Take a look at what we’ve worked on.

Elektrocute designed by Emma Welford

Elektrocute by Emma Welford
Like most of my design ideas, Elektrocute started out as a hastily-scribbled sketch on a post-it note while I was working. From sketch to chart to FO, it turned out exactly as I was picturing it and that makes it my latest favorite! I think the evolving colorwork pattern is fun and youthful while Madelinetosh Pashmina makes it luxe. Go wild with color combinations…I dare you! - Emma W.
I test knit this for Emma, and I must say, it’s a super fun pattern! – Mary

Cabled Baby Sweater designed by Rebecca L. Daniels

Cabled Raglan Baby Sweater by Rebecca L. Daniels
Made in Louet Gems Sport, a wonderful springy yarn that had a lot of personality and showed cabling nicely. This was my first top-down raglan sweater (believe it or not) and they each knit up in less than a week. Not only did I love the pattern, I loved learning this technique and I can’t believe I didn’t come around to it sooner. I’m contemplating making another pair as a first-birthday present. - Amy G.

Cladonia Shawl designed by Kirsten Kapur

Cladonia by Kirsten Kapur
I love knitting the Cladonia by Kirsten Kapur.  It was a simple shawl with a very nice lacy details to finish it off.  I knit it up in the Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light as the main color and Madelinetosh Tosh Lace for the lace detail in a different color. - Bonnie L.

Rooshed designed by Amy Stephens

Rooshed by Amy Stephens
I have always loved lace weight yarn but my attempts at knitting lace have always ended in tears. Rooshed is my answer! It’s an asymmetrical shawl/scarf that is practically weightless. It’s long enough to style a number of different ways. I’ve knit three already, in a silk/merino blend and have plans to knit another one in black. They’ve been popping up on a number of people who work in the store too. I love seeing everyone’s fiber and color choice. - Amy S.
I’m pretty excited about this pattern. It’s definitely on my to-knit list! – Mary

Crossroads Hat designed be Elena Nodel

Crossroads Hat by Elena Nodel
I knit this hat while start to finish while watching a football game. It was a super quick knit and it was also a really fun knit. I’m not a huge fan of purling, so it seems silly to have chosen this particular pattern, but the slipped stitches and cabling helped to break it up and move it along. Once you get going, the location of the slipped stitches and cables just flows. I knit it in two colors of Madelinetosh Tosh DK. - Mary K.

Elementary Cowl designed by Amy Stephens

Elementary Cowl by Amy Stephens
One of my favorite patterns, right now, is the Elementary Cowl. I think I’m knitting the 12th one. I just can’t stop! The pattern is incredibly easy. What I’m drawn to is picking out different colors and working with yarns that have a chainette construction like Classic Elite Chalet/Chateau, Cascade Eco Cloud, and Rowan Lima/Lima Colour.  The fabric is so warm, soft and squishy. It’s a perfect knit for watching TV, a knitting group project, or watching swim meets. - Amy S.

What’s your favorite pattern that you’ve recently completed? Do you like seeing our finished projects and patterns recommendations?

 

Valley Yarns 574 Safe Passage and the Hot Chocolate Run

Wednesday, December 4th, 2013
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Valley Yarns 574 Safe Passage SetThe close of November not only brought a bit of panic to my life (I want to knit how many things by when?!), it also meant the end of our Ravelry KAL. This month we did Valley Yarns 574 Safe Passage. All of the proceeds from the sale of this set will be donated to Safe Passage. We had two wonderful members of our group knit them, and I send a big thank you their way.

With the Hot Chocolate Run for Safe Passage quickly approaching (it’s this Sunday, December 8th), I’d like to share with you a little information about Safe Passage, and our team’s fundraising goals.

Safe Passage is located in Northampton, MA and has served Hampshire County since 1977. Safe Passage offers survivors of all types of domestic violence hope, along with support, as both are essential in the journey from violence to safety.

Here are some ways Safe Passage will put your gift to work:
$25: Resources, support and hope for a woman calling the 24-hour hotline
$75: Safe transportation for a family traveling to Safe Passage’s emergency shelter
$100: A drop-in support group session for survivors of domestic violence
$140: Education for parents on talking with their kids about domestic violence
$500: Healing counseling for a child who has witnessed violence

This year, the WEBS staff as a team hope to raise more than we have in the previous years. To encourage that, one of our staffers has started the More Jacksons than Jackson campaign. Kathy and Steve’s son is signed up as a member of our team, and at this moment, he is in the fundraising lead. We’re all trying really hard to raise more than him (in good fun, of course). WEBS will match all of the donations that we receive, but if Jackson wins, instead of doubling the donation, it will be tripled. If you’d care to donate, you can do so here. Donate to the whole team, or a specific member (including Jackson).

Thank you!

Valley Yarns 579 Advent Candle Wall Hanging

Sunday, December 1st, 2013
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Valley Yarns 579 Advent Wall Hanging Free PatternAs we enter into the darkest month of the year, it is fitting that candles have a symbolic role in the Christmas holiday. Our festive Advent Candle Wall Hanging allows you to mark each of the weeks of the Christmas season. Now you can celebrate the season without fearing hot wax, flames or prickly pine needles. In addition, our pattern allows you to create a 4 or 5 candle arrangement.

You can download the free pattern here.

Happy Holidays!

Ravelry KAL: Valley Yarns 574 Safe Passage Set

Thursday, November 14th, 2013
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We’re at just about the halfway point of our KAL for Valley Yarns 574 Safe Passage Set. How are your projects coming along?

Valley Yarns 574 Safe Passage Set - MittensI’ve started on the mittens and I’m at the colorwork section. They are speeding right along now that I’ve finished the ribbing (for some reason, ribbing seems to take forever to me). As you can see, I chose a different set of colors. I went with black, gray, natural, and just a pop of color. It’s very similar to my wardrobe! I’m loving the way that they’re knitting up.

I’m really excited to finish this project, and not only because it’s getting cold and I need mittens and a hat, but because I feel so strongly about supporting Safe Passage. If you don’t know about Safe Passage, it is an organization that is local to us at WEBS that offers survivors of all types of domestic violence hope and support. You can learn more about Safe Passage by visiting their website.

A team from WEBS will be walking and running in the Annual Hot Chocolate Run for Safe Passage. If you’d like to donate to our team, you can do that here. WEBS is going to generously match all of the donations that we as a team receive. Last year, with the match, we were able to raise over $8,600. We’re hoping to beat that number by leaps and bounds this year!

Don’t forget, you could win a $50 WEBS gift card! Check out the details in our Ravelry group, All Things WEBS. Work up this mitten and hat set (or just the mittens, or just the hat) and be entered to win!

Are you a Standard Size?

Sunday, November 10th, 2013
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This is our last guest post by Dora Ohrenstein.

Let me start with a question: do you choose a sweater size based on your “standard size”? This is the number one reason people experience “sweater fail,” and those who have know how disappointing it is. Standard sizing is something that clothing manufacturers have developed, for obvious reasons of convenience, and that designers are required to follow when grading patterns. If your measurements are not standard — and let’s face it, whose are? — you will be so much happier with your garments if you learn to alter patterns.

Some women have a bust size that is large in relation to their overall size — they are really a small or medium according to standard sizing, but with a few extra inches in girth here or there. Others may have shoulders that are larger than standard, or a significant difference in circumference between bust and hips. Once you understand the key measurements and alteration points of a sweater, you can tweak patterns to fit you more precisely.

Schematics are included in most patterns to allow the knitter or crocheter to see what the actual finished measurements of individual pieces are, and to compare them to her own. Where there is a discrepancy of over an inch, it’s time to think about making an alteration. You’d figure out how many inches of difference at various crucial points, and how you would alter the stitch and row counts so that the sweater ends up at your measurements, not the mythical standard sized person. Alteration is just some tinkering with the numbers on your calculator, it is not rocket science, and it can be mastered if you are motivated.

Now is the time to bring up the sensitive subject of measuring one’s body. Nobody likes to do it, it’s hard to do yourself, and your husband won’t know how and all that. Nevertheless, I urge you to please find a way, because without it, it’s hard to make a sweater that fits, trust me. For very good instructions on how and where to measure, please visit: http://www.craftyarncouncil.com/sizing.html

Our main areas of concern are three width measurements on the body: bust circumference, high hip circumference, and shoulder width (sometimes called cross back width), and two length measurements on the body: shoulder to high hip, and armhole depth. If you like sweaters to hang at different lengths, then take circumference and length measurements at the low hip, waist, and mid thigh as well.

We also need at least one width measurement and one length measurement on the sleeve: your upper arm circumference, at the largest point, and sleeve length from the underarm to the wrist. I suggest you make a schematic and record these width and length measurements on it, then scan and save it in your computer.

Once you’ve done this, please visit this page: http://www.craftyarncouncil.com/womansize.html

to see how your measurements compare to standard sizes. You’ll see immediately which areas you will need to consider for alterations in sweaters. Keep in mind that this same alteration is likely to come up repeatedly, and that once you’ve done it on a couple of sweaters, it will be quite easy.

One more important concept to consider is the matter of ease, the bit of extra fabric we add to body measurements to make a garment more comfortable to wear. I’ve noticed a strong temptation to add generous amounts of ease, as if in terrible fear that the sweater will be too small. Please do not fall into this trap. A sweater that’s 4 – 6 inches larger than you everywhere will look like a big baggy sweater. Keep in mind that knot or crochet fabric is very stretchy, in all directions, and can be counted on to stretch more with wear. In most situations except outerwear, there’s no reason to add more than 2″ of ease over your full body circumference. In fact, bustline widths can be done with no ease, or with negative ease. No ease can be very comfortable and flattering and if you are very shapely, an inch of negative ease is not be scoffed at. It will simple make the sweater emphasize your curves. You can take a cue from your store bought sweaters by measuring them at the bust width to see how much ease they have over your actual body measurement — remember you are measuring half your circumference. You may be surprised to see the result!

Whether you’re making a sweater from the top down or bottom up, knowing your measurements ahead of time, and comparing them to the sweater pattern, will save you lots of time and energy. There is some math involved, but please don’t panic – the calculator does all the hard work!

If you’re interested in exploring this topic further, you might want to join me at VK Live, where I will be offering a class entitled: Altering Crochet Sweaters. To learn more, or register, go to http://www.eiseverywhere.com/ehome/66410/classes/. Or visit my website to learn more about online classes: CrochetInsider.com.

Valley Yarns 578 Hanukkah Menorah Wall Hanging

Thursday, November 7th, 2013
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FREE PATTERN Valley Yarns Hanukkah Menorah Wall Hanging

Ping Wood shares a little about her latest design for Valley Yarns, 578 Hanukkah Menorah Wall Hanging.

Throughout the globe, there are celebrations to mark the changing seasons. Interestingly, celebrations occurring during the transition to Fall and Winter often involve light, mainly in the form of lanterns and candles. These celebrations recognize the shortening hours of daylight and the symbolic and practical notion of illumination.

Some of these holidays across the world include the Lantern Moon Festival in China, and Diwali, and Indian holiday. In November of this year, Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Light is celebrated by Jews around the world. How about knitted wall hanging to help you celebrate this holiday?

This wall hanging includes removal knitted candles and a back pocket for storing your mock candles, and even hiding some yummy chocolate coins. A wall hanging allows you to share the holiday tradition with young children without having to handle a lit candle.

Check out Valley Yarns 578 Hanukkah Menorah Wall Hanging. It’s a free pattern!

Our Newest Holiday Catalog

Monday, November 4th, 2013
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WEBS 2013 Holiday CatalogIt’s happening…no matter how much denial we may be in…the holidays are coming!

Our 2013 Holiday Gift and Inspiration Guide should be hitting your mailbox any day. If you’d like to get a preview online, you can flip through the pages here. We hope that you’ll find tons of great gift ideas, both for the people on your list, and maybe a little something you can ask for for yourself.

Valley Yarns Holiday 2013 PhotoshootWe had the photoshoot for the new Valley Yarns patterns at the Wisteriahurst Museum in Holyoke, MA, and our model was our own Emma Welford. (Not only does she work at WEBS, but she’s an amazing designer, and you can check out her designs here.) If you remember, we also had the photoshoot for our Valley Yarns catalog at Wisteriahurst. If you’re ever in Holyoke, MA, it is a beautiful place to visit full of interesting history.

This year’s cover features knit and crocheted jar covers. You can use Valley Yarns 575 Crochet Jar Covers and Valley Yarns 576 Knit Jar Covers to spice up your Mason jars. And even better, the patterns are free. They’re great to use for storage of anything (crochet hooks, knitting needles, pens, etc.), as vases, or, you can use them for holiday decorating by popping a flameless LED candle into the jar. (Important: please use ONLY flameless LED candles in your jars.) I’m a big fan of the LED candles and have them all over my house. I love that many of them have a timer, so I’ll have great ambiance without having to remember to light or extinguish a candle. I’m looking forward to adding a few of these jars and jar covers to my decorating this season.

Valley Yarns 574 Safe Passage SetI must say that my favorite project from the catalog is Valley Yarns 574 Safe Passage Set. All of the proceeds of sales of this pattern will be donated to Safe Passage. Every year, WEBS participates in the Hot Chocolate Run that benefits Safe Passage, and I think I’ll be making a set for myself to wear. You’ll be hearing a lot more about this set soon, and it is our November Ravelry KAL, so join in!

We hope that you enjoy flipping through and shopping the holiday catalog as much as we enjoyed creating it.

What project from the catalog is on the top or your list to make? What are you hoping to get this holiday season?