Author Archive

Ready, Set, Knit! 385: Kathy talks with Kate Atherley

Saturday, January 10th, 2015
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This week Kathy talks with Kate Atherley about her new eBook, Pattern Writing for Knit Designers.

Ready, Set, Knit! ep. 385 - Kathy talks with Kate Atherley about her new book - listen now at blog.yarn.com

Learn about how Kate got into pattern design, her work with Knitty.com, her history with pattern design and editing, and how this book can help you.

Kathy then talks with Education Manager Amy Greeman about our upcoming Mystery Knit-along and Mystery Crochet-along. If you’re local to the store sign up for the class, if you’re not be sure to check our blog in late January for more details of how you can participate.

Reminder:

Drop-ins are Back! Be sure to stop by the store Tuesday and Thursday mornings between 10am and 1pm and Thursday evenings from 5:30-8pm

Winter/Spring 2015 Classes are on the website now, register before they fill up!

Upcoming Events:

Our 9th Annual Pre-Game Event is coming up on Feb 1st – It’s free but be sure to register!

Join us for a Yarn Tasting with Cascade Yarns on Feb 12th.

Don’t miss your chance to meet and talk with Norah Gaughan on March 7th!

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

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Designer in Residence – Fiona Ellis

Tuesday, January 6th, 2015
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We’re so excited about our new Designer in Residence program for 2015! We’ve teamed up with two truly talented designers to bring you gorgeous knit and crochet designs that showcase some of our favorite Valley Yarns. This month we’re debuting the I Feel Vine Cardigan from knitwear designer Fiona Ellis and we’ll have a new design from her each odd numbered month of the year. And we’ll reveal the first crochet design from Doris Chan in February to be followed by a new design from her each even numbered month this year!

Fiona Ellis WEBS 2015 Knitwear Designer in Residence, her first design the I Feel Vine Cardigan in Valley Yarns Amherst - learn more at blog.yarn.com

This long-line cardigan worked in Valley Yarns Amherst is perfect for all seasons; cozy for the chilly months but also great to slip on over a sleeveless top in warmer months to fend off the chill of air conditioning. It’s clever use of stitch patterning utilizes the elasticity of rib patterning at the waist and cuff to give gentle shaping. The rib then morphs into a unique leaf pattern & finally into eyelet lace stitch work which adds to the overall femininity of this garment.

Fiona Ellis WEBS 2015 Knitwear Designer in Residence - learn more at blog.yarn.com

We asked Fiona to tell us about about her process and inspiration, and to give us a bit of a sneak peek into what we can expect to see throughout the year.

Tell us about your design process. Do you have design ideas in your head that inspire you to search out the right yarn or do you find a yarn and let the design grow from there?

I keep an on-going archive, of sorts, for design ideas and projects that I want to work on. So mostly it’s the idea that comes first and then I search out the perfect yarn for the project/design rather than the other way around.

Where do you find inspiration? Do you hike? jog in the city? take your camera everywhere you go? have a studio full of inspiring color and images?

I find inspiration everywhere so I always carry a camera (or my phone) and try to bring a small notebook with me wherever I go. I find inspiration can strike at very strange times – sometimes it’s at 3am! And I find it’s a process that you can’t really command. The ideas just seem to appear of their own accord and can sometimes be fleeting or hard to pin down. So I end up with pockets full of ideas scribbled on coffee shop napkins because I forgot to bring my notebook with me that day. On the other hand I also have this mindfulness practice of taking a photo every day even if nothing seemingly exciting is happening. I’ve been doing this since Sept 2007 and have found some great ideas have emerged from this habit of encouraging myself to closely observe the world. I believe that somehow the two elements work off of each other.

Tell us about your design aesthetic. What can our customers expect to see from you this year?

I studied fashion knitwear design at University so my aesthetic has a lot to do with current (wearable) fashion trends in terms of garment silhouette. I have been a knitter practically my whole life so I like pattern-work that challenges me, though I do try to include sections in each project where there is less challenge, that way some parts of the project can be carried around or worked on in front of the TV (or even in a bar maybe).

Tell us about your favorite Valley Yarn, is there a Valley Yarn you are excited to work with?

It’s so hard to choose because they are all great and each one perfect for specific projects. So I’m going to choose Amherst for entirely personal reasons- see my answer to the next question.

How did you discover Valley Yarns, what is your history with WEBS?

I used to live in Massachusetts very near to WEBS, but this was in the days when I designed for ready to wear fashion houses, before I designed for the independent home knitter. I used to shop at WEBS for my personal projects but I had moved away from the area before I became intimately acquainted with the Valley Yarns.  Since then I have used them when they have been selected for magazine editorials such as the designs I have done for Twist  Collective, Knitters Magazine and others: Sugarbeach in Longmeadow,  Blue Helix in Colrain, Athabasca in Northampton,  and Paula in Stockbridge.

What designers do you like/follow? Are there designs you wish you had time to knit/crochet/sew?

I tend to look at couture designers and my most favorite is the late Alexander McQueen. In terms of knitwear designers that I admire, boy this is actually a long list. I admire so many of the designers working today, but if I had to pick just one I would chose Norah Gaughan. She always comes up with such eye-catching and wonderful designs, ones that I’m almost jealous that I didn’t come up with the idea myself. If I had time to knit for myself from somebody else pattern it would definitely be one of Norah’s…or maybe an Alice Starmore pattern.

Ready, Set, Knit! Flashback

Saturday, January 3rd, 2015
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Kathy and Steve are still enjoying their holiday break but you can listen to a flashback episode from January 2, 2010 here.

Reminder:

The Year End Blowout Sale is running through the end of the day today! Stop by the store or get your order in today!

Drop-ins will return next week, on January 6th.

Winter/Spring 2015 Classes are on the website now, register before they fill up!

Upcoming Events:

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

Last Days of the 2014 Year End Blowout Sale

Thursday, January 1st, 2015
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You have just 3 days left to fill your cart at WEBS Annual Year End Blowout Sale! Orders can be placed online until 11:59pm EST Saturday. Our retail store is closed today but will be open 10-5:30 tomorrow and Saturday.

We still have multiple colors of our 40th Anniversary Huntington hand dyed by Lorna’s Laces and our Northfield hand dyed by Malabrigo. Don’t miss your chance to stash some Kettle Dyed Charlemont once it’s gone it’s gone! And don’t pass up the incredible prices on Noro Taiyo Lace, Berroco Lago, Cascade Luna Paints and plenty more!

Happy New Year!

Thursday, January 1st, 2015
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Thank you to all our amazing customers for making 2014 a truly wonderful year and the best 40th Anniversary a little company like ours could hope to have.

Happy New Year

We hope 2014 was just as fantastic for you and that 2015 is even better. Happy New Year!

Bouquet of Hearts Baby Blanket draft designed by Leslie Ann Bestor

Wednesday, December 31st, 2014
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We began our 40th anniversary series of drafts with a beautiful 16-shaft twill design from Barbara Elkins and end the year with a lovely baby blanket woven on a rigid heddle loom and designed by Leslie Ann Bestor, the new Weaving Manager for WEBS. It is a set of bookends that describes the weaving community in so many ways, touching on the breadth of experience, fibers and looms available.

Draft 12

The Bouquet of Hearts Baby Blanket, woven with Valley Yarns Longmeadow, showcases both the simple beauty of plain weave and the ability to add intricate details that rigid heddle looms do so well. Brook’s Bouquet is a technique of wrapping small bundles of threads to create lace-like windows in the cloth. In the blanket, the motif is a heart, but you can graph out and add your own motif – anything from the baby’s initials to other shapes.

Another key piece of the design, says Bestor, was to encourage weavers to work beyond the width of their looms and weave panels that can be seamed together. The seam can be done by hand or machine, invisibly or as a decorative accent. However it’s done, putting woven panels together expands the width – and the possibilities – of your loom.

What an amazing 40th Year we’ve had! Thank you!

Tuesday, December 30th, 2014
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We couldn’t have asked for a more amazing year of celebrations, and we’ve finished the year with some of our favorite products and projects!

Valley Yarns Charlemont hand dyed by Dream in Color for WEBS 40th Anniversary - available exclusively at yarn.com while supplies last

Thank you to Dream in Color! When our Valley Yarns Charlemont in their hand dyed shades arrived we were stunned by how luminous the colors were and you must have been too because there are almost none left!

WEBS 40th Anniversary exclusive patterns and products - available at yarn.com

Our thanks to Edie Eckman for the College Park Shawl, and Gudrun Johnston for the Tirrick Shawl, two perfect seasonal layers! And the adorable Clivia hat and mitt set, one of the few unisex patterns we carry!

WEBS 40th Anniversary exclusive patterns and products - available at yarn.com while supplies last

We were honored to have Sally Melville design the Long Collared Vest, and we couldn’t get enough of the project bags from Della Q or the exclusive, custom print bags from Stitched by Jessalu! Thank you!

Three exclusive Rowan designs  - available exclusively at yarn.com

Just when we thought there couldn’t be more to be thankful for our friends at Rowan surprised us with three wonderful designs in Fine Art, the Verdant Lace Shawl, the Cable and Lace Stole/Scarf and the Lace Panel Cowl.

WEBS 40th Anniversary weaving drafts from guest designers - available exclusively at yarn.com

And we couldn’t be more thankful for three beautiful weaving drafts to end a year of celebrating a company founded by a weaver and started with the intent of creating weavers. The Bouquet of Hearts Baby Blanket by our own Leslie Ann Bestor, the Celebration Overshot Runner woven by Ute Bargmann and the Optical Twill Rug designed by Jason Collingwood.

You can see all the wonderful projects and products we’ve had throughout the year here, here and more here.

As an added treat we have a short film about the history of our company for you to enjoy! Thanks for being a part of our first 40 years!

Ready, Set, Knit! 384: Kathy talks with Carol Sulcoski

Saturday, December 27th, 2014
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This week it’s time for Kathy and Carol‘s Year in Review!

Ready, Set, Knit! ep. 384 Kathy and Carol's annual Year in Review. Listen now at blog.yarn.com

They discuss new yarns, consumer yarn shows and fiber festivals, online classes, the closing of some local yarn shops, new yarn businesses, what folks are knitting and more.

Ready, Set, Knit will return on January 10th with guest – Kate Atherley!

Steve’s Yarn Picks from our Year End Blowout Sale :

Reminder:

Drop-ins will return the first full week of January.

Winter/Spring 2015 Classes are on the website now, register before they fill up!

WEBS will be open on New Year’s Eve until 4pm and will be closed New Year’s Day. Check all our holiday hours here.

Upcoming Events:

The Year End Blowout Sale is currently running through Jan. 3rd.

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

Year End Blowout Sale – In-Store

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014
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Our Year End Blowout Sale is in full swing online but if you’re local to our Retail Store, or travelling through for the holidays, be sure to stop in and take advantage of some pretty incredible In-Store only deals from December 26th through January 3rd.

Steve pulls out all the stops for this annual event! Please remember: WEBS opens at at 10am on December 26th and is closed on New Year’s Day, so be sure to check our store hours before heading over.  Don’t miss your chance to stock up on great stash-building work horse yarns, sample garments, books, bags and one of a kind hand dyed yarns that you won’t find online!

Ready, Set, Knit! 383: Kathy talks with Yonca Ozbelli

Saturday, December 20th, 2014
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This week Kathy talks with Yonca Ozbelli, co-owner of Universal Yarns.

Ready, Set, Knit! ep. 383 - Kathy talks with Yonca Ozbelli, co-owner of Universal Yarns. Listen now at blog.yarn.com

Yonca talks about founding the company with her husband Hal, relocating to the US and the different yarn lines they carry. They also discuss how they choose and produce yarns.

Steve’s Yarn Picks from our Year End Blowout Sale :

Reminder:

Drop-ins are on hold for the rest of the holiday season and will pick up again the first full week of January.

Winter/Spring 2015 Classes are on the website now, register before they fill up!

WEBS will be open on both Christmas and New Year’s eves until 4pm and will be closed Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Check all our holiday hours here.

Upcoming Events:

The Year End Blowout Sale is currently running online and begins in store on December 26th, both run through Jan. 3rd.

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