Author Archive

Here’s What We’re Working on in the Store These Days…

Thursday, October 15th, 2015
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WEBS Store staff projects for Fall 2015 - read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Our young man, J. is working on a store sample to show off the beautiful new Malabrigo Mora. The pattern is called Herald and was designed by Janina Kallio. J. reports that this asymmetrical scalene triangular shawl pattern will keep your interest and show off any hand-dyed yarns beautifully.

WEBS Store staff projects for Fall 2015 - read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Next up is Marthe’s Eccentric Chevron Wrap. Painstakingly knit from a kit using 6 different colors of Prism Merino Mia fingering weight yarn. Marthe says that this wrap was a fun knit and the yarn was a pleasure to work with. She truly enjoyed the subtle color variations and the delightful ‘hand’ of the knitted fabric. This is a wrap that really needs to be seen in person to appreciate its beauty.

WEBS Store staff projects for Fall 2015 - read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Bonnie took her first rigid heddle weaving class, and here’s the finished project that she completed in one class session. She really enjoyed the class and is looking forward to purchasing a loom and doing more weaving. But that’s not all! Bonnie has been busy the past couple of months–she finished a poncho too. This is a free pattern on our website. It features Berroco Briza, a lightweight blend of mohair, nylon and wool. This on-trend poncho is knit in stockinette stitch and features a garter stitch band across the bottom edge. Bonnie enhanced the existing pattern by picking up stitches around the neck opening and working for a few more inches, creating a loose turtleneck.  She says “It’s a great accessory for fall evenings when a coat is just too much.” She loves the poncho so much she’s knitting another one!

WEBS Store staff projects for Fall 2015 - read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

What are you working on for the fall? We love seeing  your beautiful hand knits in the store when you visit. Please stop by and show off!

The Shawl’s the Thing for Fall

Thursday, September 10th, 2015
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We knitters and crocheters are very fortunate–we have an endless number of accessory options to keep ourselves stylish throughout the year. Over the past few of years, it seems that shawls have become the go-to accessory for knitters world-wide. You’ve probably got one or two or five favorites that see frequent use throughout the year. Clearly the definition of shawl has evolved from frilly triangles knit with traditional lace weight yarns to quite modern silhouettes rendered in interesting shapes, stitch patterns and yarn choices.

Our sample knitters have been working furiously to create more beautiful garments for you to try during your next visit the store. All of these shawls work as casual wear or dressed-up accessories. Here are a few members of staff modeling several of their favorites for fall.

Shawls of all shapes and styles for Fall 2015. Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

First up is Aventine by Carol Feller, worked in Baa Ram Ewe’s Dovestone DK. Beth fell in love with the yarn color, the drapey fabric, and the generous size of this crescent-shaped shawl. This project is also a great opportunity to shop for buttons, too!

Mayla by Rowan, the most elegant shawl of the bunch, is knit in the ever-popular Rowan Kidsilk Haze. This triangular shawl worked in classic lace stitches is lightweight but deceptively warm. The front detail keeps the traditional features fresh and eye-catching.

Shawls of all shapes and styles for Fall 2015. Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

We wanted to use of one of our new gradient packs with an ingenious pattern: Joker and Thief by Melanie Berg knit in Wonderland Yarn’s Mad Hatter in #21, Too Much Pepper and Koigu KPM #1100 was an obvious choice. Emma’s modeling our interpretation of the pattern. The red makes an already compelling pattern pop and the stitch detail (I think it’s called Indian Cross stitch from Barbara Walker’s first Treasury) provides a striking contrast to the garter fabric.

Alyssa’s showing off the Treble Clef Shawl in Zen Serenity DK. This shawl is special to WEBS because Zen Yarn Garden hand dyed over 15 colors just for us. This wrap is worked in the colorways Mystic Ocean, Lakeside, and Truffle. Here’s your chance to create a one-of-a kind accessory in a WEBS-exclusive yarn in 90% superwash merino and 10% cashmere.  You need to see the colors in person to truly appreciate their beauty and depth.

I fell in love with this shawl, Holey Square, over a year ago. I’ve always been drawn to simple shapes and the pattern name grabbed my attention too.   I waited and waited for just the right yarn in the perfect color. My patience paid off. WEBS recently introduced three pure alpaca yarns and the laceweight version, Valley Yarns Hatfield, was the obvious choice for this pattern. The fabric is next-to the-skin soft; it’s hard to choice which of the 25 colors to use. Or you could knit an even more luxurious version in our limited edition Greylock, our 100% cashmere!

Come visit soon and see these beauties for yourself!

How to Navigate our Store, part 1

Thursday, August 20th, 2015
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We’re continually trying to find new ways to make your shopping experience easier when you visit us in Northampton. The store and warehouse are enormous, and if you’re visiting for the first time, our size and selection can be overwhelming. For the past several months, we’ve been producing a weekly flyer which lists a variety of store-related news and events—from new yarns and accessories to upcoming classes and events. The back of the newsletter has a store map, indicating general locations throughout the store.

Grab a map, check out the store displays, or ask a friendly store associate for help in our retail store. More about your shopping experience at WEBS on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

If you’ve visited us recently, you might have noticed a few changes we’ve made. As soon as you enter the store, you’ll find a frequently-changing central display that features some of the most recent additions to the store. We’ve created a new Fingering weight section (see the map) where the novelty yarns used to be. And in the Sport/DK and Worsted sections of the store, we’ve separated the hand wash and machine washable yarns. That way, if you’re looking for a machine washable DK weight yarn, you have an entire wall of yarns to choose from. None of these improvements takes the place of speaking with one of our staff members, however. We’re here to make your shopping experience as enjoyable as possible, so please let us help you find just the yarn or pattern you’re looking for.

Couldn’t Be Any Cuter

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015
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Blue Sky Alpacas Royal Petite Baby Knit Kits available for 6 adorable animals. Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Look what arrived in the store from Blue Sky Alpacas! These darlings comprise their new Royal Petite Babies Series. There are six knit kits to choose from including Marcel the Monkey, René the Rhinoceros, Lisette the Lion, and Georgette the Giraffe.

We had to show you how adorable these kits are so we made two store samples: Marthe chose to knit Hector the Hippopotamus and Meg decided on Emilie the Elephant. Marthe found the pattern to be clearly written and fun to knit. Now she wants to knit all of them!

Each kit comes complete: everything you need to make the animal of your choosing — the eyes and stuffing are even included! The yarn used to knit the animals is 100% royal alpaca which is the finest grade of alpaca fiber available, making them irresistibly soft. Please stop in soon to see how wonderful these animals are–I bet you’ll be inspired to knit at least one of your own!

It Takes a Team

Thursday, June 25th, 2015
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A few members of our store staff got together to participate in the 2015 Massachusetts Sheep and Woolcraft Fair Fleece to Shawl competition and they won! Strong collaboration and preparation before the event, creativity, communication and a bit of improvisation made the difference.

Ashley spun the warp (almost 800 yards of Abstract Fiber 2-Tone Blue Faced Leicester plied with Ashland Bay Mixed Blue Face Leicester); Mary warped our Norwood loom, store staff members created the team name, (Ply of the Tiger) and Carreen made team shirts for competition day.

WEBS staff members, "Team Ply of the Tiger" Compete in the Fleece to Shawl competition, more on the WEBS Blog - blog.yarn.com

On the competition day, the process of creating the shawl ran smoothly, with Mary (fighting a bad cold) carding the fleece; Meg and Ashley spinning singles for the weft; and Carreen plying the singles together to create the weft. Everyone was using their favorite spinning wheel, the Lendrum DT Complete.  Then it was Mary’s turn to start the weaving using a draft that WEBS founder, Barbara Elkins, created just for this event.  The team worked feverishly to make the deadline, while answering the many questions that curious onlookers asked throughout the afternoon.  Things were going swimmingly until the loom’s apron rods separated with 2″ left to weave!  Ashley held the loom in place until the weaving was complete. With minutes to spare, the team made fringe for the shawl and then time was up!

WEBS staff members, "Team Ply of the Tiger" and their winning shawl, more on the WEBS Blog - blog.yarn.com

In the end, the team won the event with a fabulous shawl, blue ribbons, swollen hands and blisters, and, best of all,  enthusiasm to do it all over again.  They’ve decided to enter the Sheep to Shawl competition at the New York State Sheep and Wool Festival in October!

The winning shawl is on display in the store–please stop by to see our staff’s beautiful work.

And if you’d like to share WEBS spinning adventures, please sign up for the Ravelry Tour de Fleece event beginning July 4.  See our Ravelry WEBS forum post to sign up.

Keep on spinning…

 

What to Wear This Summer

Wednesday, May 13th, 2015
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If you’ve been to the store within the last month, you’ve seen many new warm weather store samples. For those of you who haven’t visited lately, I want to share some of these spring and summer knits with you. Store employees are modelling their favorite garments of the season.

Spring and Summer knits at WEBS, read more on the WEBS Blog -  blog.yarn.com

Here’s Alyssa modeling the Irokata Tee knit in Plymouth Linaza. This yarn is new this season and contains alpaca, linen and tencel, creating a sultry fabric that drapes with ease. This tunic features thoughtful details and Alyssa likes the shaping that flatters all body types.

Spring and Summer knits at WEBS - Irokata Tee in Plymouth Linaza, read more on the WEBS Blog -  blog.yarn.com

Our Education Manager Amy (formerly a store employee) is rocking the ever-popular Featherweight Cardigan. Our version is knit with Fibre Co. Meadow, a pleasing blend of merino, baby llama, silk and linen which we carry in 15 colorways. The combination of these fibers make the perfect cover up in overly air conditioned restaurants and theaters.

Spring and Summer knits at WEBS - Featherweight Cardigan in Fibre Co. Meadow, read more on the WEBS Blog -  blog.yarn.com

Meg is wearing a sleeveless top  in Sesia Kreo. This 100% cotton yarn is requires a close up look. It’s chainette-constructed, meaning there are lots of tiny strands worked into a tube, which gives Kreo a weightlessness that most cottons can’t boast about. And the strands are subtly dyed which provides the yarn with a warm depth of tone. Meg says Sesia is next-to-the skin soft and easy to wear with a pair of jeans. She also loves the range of colors available.

Spring and Summer knits at WEBS -Women's Shell in Sesia Kreo, read more on the WEBS Blog -  blog.yarn.com

One of our Assistant Managers, Bonnie, has fallen for Tahki’s Philadelphia Duster in their popular yarn Ripple. The thick and thin texture of this 100% cotton yarn gives the garment a light, airy texture, making a perfect coverup for cool evenings. Bonnie loves the mid-thigh length and the short sleeves.

Spring and Summer knits at WEBS -The Philadelphia Duster in Tahki Yarns Ripple, read more on the WEBS Blog -  blog.yarn.com

This next top has become the the most-admired sample in the store.  Worn by our second Assistant Manager Beth, Shibui’s Slope is flattering, stylish and timeless all at the same time. Shown in Shibui Twig, this cool and comfortable shell is perfect over a t-shirt, tank or camisole. Beth says she’d wear it with jeans and flats or dress it up with a skirt and heels. Either way, this beauty is sure to become a warm weather go-to garment.

Spring and Summer knits at WEBS -Slope in Shibui Twig, read more on the WEBS Blog -  blog.yarn.com

Michele sports another Shibui favorite. Shibui Square is knit with a combination of Shibui yarns — Linen and Cima worked together. The side panel is an unexpected detail in this gorgeous piece. Michele loves the drape and lightness the fabric and says wearing this with jeans make the perfect pairing.

Spring and Summer knits at WEBS -Square in Shibui Linen and Cima, read more on the WEBS Blog -  blog.yarn.com

So, what will you choose to enliven your summer wardrobe? I’ve got my eye on the Sesia Kreo sleeveless top and the Irokata Tee. And maybe Shibui Slope. Possibly Shibui Square. I’m not sure. But I do know that there’s not enough time in the day to knit all the things I like!

If you’re traveling anywhere up or down the East Coast, WEBS is on your way! Please come see us soon to check out what’s new.

Knit away!

What we’re working on…and a little something extra

Thursday, April 30th, 2015
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In the store, customers sometimes ask us if we knit.  Rest assured, every member of WEBS store staff knits well and has other craft-y pursuits as well–from crochet, weaving and spinning to tatting and embroidery. And our love of yarn extends well into our non-work hours. Today, I’d like to show off some of our WIPs so you can see what we like to work on in our free time.

WEBS Store Staff Projects Spring 2015 - read more on the WEBS Blog - blog.yarn.com

First up is a gorgeous linen stitch scarf that Carreen’s been knitting.  The yarn, Misti Hand Paint Sock, comes in a wide array of vibrant colors: Carreen chose #57 polar sunset, #56 edible bright, and #58 corked for her version.  She opted to treat the fringe the way weavers do by using a fringe twister, rather than simply leaving the ends loose.  The best part is there’s no real pattern for this scarf–once you find 2-3 colors that inspire you, cast on the number of stitches that will give you the length you want and cast on.  Knit until the scarf is as wide as you’d like and bind off. That’s it!

Mary is currently enrolled in our popular Top Down Sweater from Measurements class and here is her beautiful cardigan knit in the ever-popular Valley Goshen.  Mary wanted a summer sweater in a vibrant color and this project fits the bill.  Although she’s an experienced knitter, she learned a few more tricks in this class–advanced shaping techniques for a flattering fit and designing that fancy, cabled raglan shaping–a design detail that brings an added layer of sophistication to a classic shape.

Marthe is almost finished with a baby blanket she plans to give to a friend.  She decided on Valley pattern #567, the Maria Baby Blanket, and chose Berroco’s Modern Cotton in a gender-neutral color, #1652 Matunuk.  Marthe knit the 8″ x 8″ blocks and sewed them together by working through the back loops of the bound-off stitches which gives the blanket a professional finish. Two more squares to finish and Marthe will be ready to gift a lucky baby with this heirloom.

And finally, Ashley is working on a new shawl which promises to be a beauty.  She’s using a slightly larger needle size to open up the fabric.  Ashley says, “I love how the designer [Steven West] uses geometry and the contrasts of color in such striking ways in his designs.” She can’t wait to see the finished result and we can’t either!

Pretty impressive, eh? We’re are fortunate to have such a talented, smart group of folks here in the store.  Please take advantage of our knowledge and skill when you’re looking for your next project.  We’re here to help!

Jo Sharp yarns available in the US at yarn.com - read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

And now the little something extra…If you haven’t already heard, Jo Sharp yarns and patterns are available after too long of an absence on the American yarn scene.  The best news is that WEBS is the only store in the US that you can buy these sumptuous yarns and classic but stylish patterns. If you’re a long-time knitter, you know what a big deal this is.  If you’re a new-ish knitter, take the time to explore the world of Jo Sharp. You’ll be as excited as we are to have these yarns at WEBS.

Thanks for reading and knit on…

From Afghan to Tunic

Thursday, March 26th, 2015
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In the store’s final salute to National Crochet Month, I’d like to share a terrific garment made by Connie Chisholm. Connie states that she stopped by WEBS to pick up 10 skeins of Universal Yarn’s Classic Worsted Tapestry. This yarn is no longer available, but using Universal’s Classic Worsted will yield the same beautiful results. Originally, her idea was to crochet an afghan. That plan evolved a few times and the final result is a tunic-length pullover which Connie designed herself using a double crochet stitch. You can read all the details about Connie’s first sweater on her Ravelry page.

Customer crochet projects on the WEBS Blog - Read more at blog.yarn.com

Connie says that she loves to crochet because it allows her to design creatively and that “all you need is an idea, patience and time to enjoy the process.” Connie’s garment clearly demonstrates her enthusiasm for crochet and her design skills too.

 

 

Customer Spotlight

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015
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This week, I’m thrilled to show off this beautiful colorwork sweater Oranje, which was knit by one of our loyal customers, Martha. You can see her project notes here on Ravelry.

Not only was this Martha’s first colorwork sweater, it was her first steeked project as well.  She eased her nerves about steeking by reading lots of information about how other knitters approach the technique. Martha adapted the pattern to incorporate a fair amount of ease and modified the sleeves to a 3/4 length. The pattern calls for yarns that WEBS doesn’t carry, but Martha substituted Madelinetosh Pashmina, and WEBS’ own Valley Superwash DK.

WEBS' customer Martha and the Oranje sweater she knit - read more at blog.yarn.com

Martha says, “The finished sweater is warm and soft and feels more like a favorite sweatshirt!” Hopefully you’ll be sufficiently inspired by Martha’s work to cast on for a project that includes some new techniques you’ve been curious about. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by what you can accomplish!”

If you’re proud of a project you’ve recently completed, tell me about it! Please send all your info, and images, along to me at sgibbs@yarn.com.

Thanks for supporting WEBS and I hope to see you in the store soon.

Welcome to the store!

Friday, January 23rd, 2015
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This is the store’s first official blog post! Our bi-monthly entries will give us an opportunity to share what’s new and upcoming in the store. If you’re lucky enough to have visited us in the past, you know that WEBS offers a jaw-dropping variety of inspiring yarns, samples and patterns, as well as a helpful and courteous staff to assist you with whatever you want to knit, crochet, spin, felt, or weave. If you’ve not yet made it to the store, I hope that our entries will inspire you to plan a trip to see us very soon.

A customer plans a project with a rainbow of Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool at WEBS retail store.

We’ve got some exciting and inspiring plans for 2015. We’ll use this space to share what’s new in the store–event and sales, new yarns and patterns we’re excited about, designer trunk shows, current staff projects and more. I’d also like to use this space to show off  some of the beautiful work that you do. Feel free to email me photos and details of your latest creation. Your work could be featured in this space!

I’m so grateful to each of you who’ve decided to make WEBS your LYS, no matter where you live. Please introduce yourself when you come visit.

 

Please send images of projects you’ve completed with yarn or a pattern you purchased at WEBS, and don’t forget to tell me about your projects! to Sgibbs@yarn.com