Archive for the ‘Authors & Designers’ Category

An Event with Carol Sulcoski and a Giveaway!

Monday, October 15th, 2012
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We have been loving Carol Sulcoski’s new book Sock Yarn Studio: Hats, Garments, and Other Projects Designed for Sock Yarn so when she agreed to hold a book signing event at WEBS on Saturday, November 10th, we were thrilled!

Carol is a talented designer, author and hand-dyer with a particular interest in light weight yarns. This book is filled with gorgeous projects to inspire knitters everywhere to use their colorful stashes of sock yarn for projects other than socks! There is also a handy section packed with information about how sock yarn works, how to best use self-patterning yarns and how to avoid pooling.

The beautifully photographed projects are the real stars of the show in this book. This Gumdrop Raglan pullover makes great use of both solid and striping sock yarns:

And, of course a staff favorite is the Fortunate Cowl by our very own Melissa Morgan-Oakes! Knit in Valley Yarns Charlemont Hand Dyed (in the colorway named for Melissa’s dog, Yoshi) this cowl is sure to help keep the chill away as the New England winter approaches.
In honor of Carol’s visit to WEBS, we are giving away one copy of Sock Yarn Studio!  To enter, just leave a comment on this post with the name of your favorite sock yarn. You have until Friday, October 19th at 9:00AM EDT. One winner will be chosen at random.


And don’t forget to register for the free Sock Yarn Studio event!  Carol will have lots of samples of the projects from the book, so you can see them up close, and she might even share a few tips on working with your favorite fingering weight yarns.

Valley Yarns Trunk Show Event

Monday, September 10th, 2012
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We are excited to kick off our Fall 2012 events season with a celebration of all that is new for Valley Yarns on September 20th at 6pm!

Join us as we hear from some of the people who knit the garment samples you see in the catalog,

as well as from some of the designers of this year’s line!

Kirsten - Valley Yarns Designer

We’ll have all of the fall garments to try on (and maybe even a little sneak peek at the garments from the upcoming holiday catalog.)

Valley Yarns Designs

We’ll also be debuting our newest yarns, with a chance to try them out for yourself!

Join us for an informal evening of fun, snacks and yarn while finding out more about what goes into putting together a line of fun things to knit, crochet and wear.  The event is free, but we do ask that you register here.
Catalog Prep


Valley Yarns Photo Shoot


Ready, Set, Knit #272: Kathy Talks with Julie Hoover

Saturday, July 14th, 2012
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Guest: Julie Hoover, knitwear designer, talks with Kathy about her new collection for Manos del Uruguay yarns.

They chat about her early work as a visual merchandiser and freelance art director and the fateful trip to her local yarn shop in 2006 that began her knitting career.

Julie also talks about her design esthetic, the importance of seams for the structure and framework they add to a garment as well as their use as decorative detail.

Julie’s first design collection for Manos del Uruguay, a mix of garments and fashionable accessories, will be available soon.

Steve’s Yarn Picks

Upcoming Events

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June Events!

Thursday, May 31st, 2012
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If you are local to WEBS and are looking for some fun things to do with your fiber friends, we have plenty of events to keep you busy in June!

On Thursday, June 14th we are excited to host the book launch for our very own Leslie Ann Bestor’s book Cast On, Bind Off! Join us from 6pm – 8pm to celebrate this comprehensive collection of all of her tips and tricks for dressing up the beginning and end of every project. (Leslie Ann is also teaching some of these techniques this summer! Find out more about her classes here.)


On Tuesday, June 5th Iris Schreier will join our regular Drop-In session!  Iris Schreier is the founder and designer of Artyarns, and author of One + One Scarves, Shawls & Shrugs. Stop in to meet and chat with her between 10am and 12pm and see many of the beautiful garments from the book.  Then feel free to stick around for a little advice on your current project.


On Friday, June 15th we will welcome designer Ysolda Teague to the store! From 4pm to 5:30pm Ysolda will hang out in the store for a meet-and-greet after she finishes teaching her class (more information on that class here). Swing by and say hello, she’ll be happy to answer a few questions or sign your book!


And, of course, there is the I-91 Shop Hop!  Eleven local yarn shops located along I-91 from Putney, VT to New Haven, CT are joining together for the second annual I-91 Shop Hop! This event is a fun way to visit new and interesting yarn shops in our area.

The I-91 Shop Hop will take place June 29th – July 1st.  All participating shops will be open from 10am–6pm on Friday & Saturday and 12pm–5pm on Sunday.  Find out how to purchase your passport and all of the other details here.


June is going to be such an exciting way to kick off the summer!  For details about registering for any of the events above, click the event image or visit our events page.

Ysolda Teague, June 15th! New Class Just Added

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012
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When we heard that designer Ysolda Teague is going to be in our area in June, we jumped at the chance to schedule a class with her!  Her book Little Red in the City has such helpful information on garment customization and fit, in addition to containing great patterns, that it’s become a must-have resource.  The Whimsical Little Knits books are also staff favorites, filled with adorable quick projects.

On Friday, June 15, from 1pm – 4pm, join Ysolda for the class “The Perfect Sweater“:

In this workshop we’ll go through everything you need to successfully make perfectly fitted sweaters. We’ll cover matching the right yarn to your pattern, how to get the most out of swatching, and taking accurate measurements. Then we’ll put that information to use learning how to shape your sweater for the perfect fit and a flattering visual effect. This is a great chance to discuss the techniques and information in Little Red in the City and ask questions about shaping for your body. There will also be an opportunity to get hands on help with shaping techniques that you’d like help with, such as short rows.

Then, from 4pm – 5:30pm, Ysolda will stick around for a meet-and-greet where she’ll chat, answer questions, sign books and maybe even sit and knit.

Register quickly as we have a feeling that seats for Ysolda’s class will go quickly, and it isn’t often that this Scottish designer comes to the East Coast!  You can find all of the details about the class here and can find event information here.

Guest Teacher Spotlight: Caro Sheridan

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012
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When Caro Sheridan offered to teach a class at the store, we jumped at the chance!  Not only did we know that our customers would enjoy spending time with her because she is so lovely, but she also offered great ideas for how to bring crafts to life through styling and photography.  Between blogs, Ravelry, other social networks and physical craft journals, we find ourselves taking pictures of our finished objects all the time.  It is great when the photo shows just how wonderful the handmade item is! But it can be disappointing when the image doesn’t do the object justice.   Photos can be even more important for anyone designing a pattern – the image is the first impression a person gets of what the pattern holds. 

If you want to learn the tips for capturing a photo that is just right, you’ll want to check out Caro’s workshop on Saturday, March 17th from 1:00pm – 3:00pm!  This is all about staging – no camera needed!

We recently chatted with Caro about her class:

What do you enjoy most about styling and photographing knit and crochet projects? 

Caro: I love highlighting the hard work and technical details that go into handmade items. Every centimeter of fibre has passed through a maker’s hands to build an everyday object like a sweater. I’m a knitter, so I know how just how much time is in each of the objects I photograph. To me, getting to photograph that FO is so much more than just documenting something you made. If I do my job well, it’s honouring the knowledge and experience surrounding that object by showing the beauty in the details.

Photos by Caro Sheridan

(Photos by Caro Sheridan)

Why is styling important?

Caro: Styling helps set a mood and ultimately will help you sell more patterns. Be it inspirational or aspirational, if you can help people see the finished item in their own closet (or their own dream closet) you’ll be more likely to reach them. I liken it to selling a house. Some people can walk into an empty house and picture their own furniture and paint colours on the wall and know whether it would fit their lifestyle. Other people need a sprinkling of furniture here and there to spark their inspiration and imagine themselves living there. Styling your pattern photographs works the same magic as staging a house to sell.

What can students expect to learn in your class?

Caro: There will be a little colour theory, some composition recommendations, tips on posing, choosing backgrounds. They’ll learn to look at a scene and see it from the camera’s eye.

If someone isn’t a designer, what will they take away from this workshop?

Caro: They will come away with plenty of ideas on how to improve their everyday photography and improve even snapshots that they take with their camera phones. A lot of the methods we discuss are applicable to photos of family life, so they’ll improve not only their finished object shots for Ravelry, but also their photos of friends and family for Facebook.

Can you give us one quick tip for improving the styling of our finished objects?

Caro: I can do better! I can give you ten!  The one biggest thing I would recommend is to tidy up. Not your whole house, not even a whole room; just the two feet around where you’re shooting. Nothing spoils the mood you’re trying to create faster than a pile of junk mail or dirty dishes in the background.

For more information about Caro Sheridan’s class, visit our website.

Ready, Set, Knit #253: Kathy talks with Kate Atherley

Saturday, February 11th, 2012
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Guest: Kate Atherley, author of Beyond Knit & Purl. Kate studied mathematics and has always been a knitter. She worked in the tech industry for 15 years and knit throughout. 10 years ago she started teaching knitting. Kate created the book as a follow-up to the questions she receives after teaching someone the basics of knitting.

The book is available online as a digital PDF and also available as a physical copy.

Steve’s Yarn Picks

KAL with Kirsten

Hearts of Oak Hat

It’s a simple, straight-forward hat. You’ll need just one ball of Valley Yarns Northampton in red. For the cast on, Kirsten recommends knitting the first couple rows of the ribbing flat, and then joining it. This way, it’s easier to join in the round without twisting. Next week, Kirsten will get into the stitch pattern.

Facebook Party will be Friday, February 17th from 3:00pm-4:00pm. Ask us questions and we’ll be online answering your questions.

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Beyond Knit & Purl Blog Tour

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012
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Hi Everyone,

We’re participating in the blog tour for Kate Atherley’s new book Beyond Knit & Purl, released by Cooperative Press (and available in an easy PDF download).

Beyond Knit & Purl is the answer to the questions asked of Kate after 10 years teaching knitting – the questions that come after learning the two basic stitches, like “What’s a good first project?” and ” I’m tired of scarves. What’s next?” Not only will you find a wealth of tips, tricks, and advice, you’ll also find a wonderful collection of patterns to try out your new skills.

The chapters are set-up by topic: Choosing a Pattern, Prepping for Success, Working from a Pattern, What Patterns Don’t Tell You, Frequently Asked Questions, Shaping, In the Round, Socks, Cables, Lace, and Colorwork.

You’ll find great tips throughout the book, such as how to select the right size. There is also “Knitterly Advice” sprinkled throughout provided by knitters from all over.

Beyond Knit & Purl has fantastic step-by-step pictures of the skills that are detailed in the book. Not only is it great for new knitters, it is a splendid reference for the more seasoned knitter out there.

As if the tips, tricks, and skills weren’t enough, there are also fantastic patterns for everything from socks and lace to accessories.

Hop on over to the Cooperative Press website and take a peek at the preview!

What is the best advice you received as a new knitter or crocheter?

Kate Atherley will be on Ready, Set, Knit with Kathy this Saturday!

Ready, Set, Knit #251: Kathy talks with Stephannie Tallent

Saturday, January 28th, 2012
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Guest: Stephannie Tallent, author of the upcoming California Revival Knits. Her first book is set to be released soon with Cooperative Press. It in inspired by the colors and architecture of southern California. Think beautiful, bright, Spanish-influenced tiles and wrought iron. There are projects in the book for everyone! Several of the projects would be great for your first colorwork project.

Stephannie also shares a bit of her background and how she got into knitting.

Find Stephannie at and on Ravelry as stephcat.

Steve’s Yarn Picks

Trends from TNNA

Ruffle yarns were everywhere! Lots of different variations on the ruffle yarn theme, including new ideas. If you prefer classic yarns, don’t worry, those aren’t going anywhere. Lots of cotton/linen designs for spring.

Facebook Party – Friday, February 10th 3:30pm-4:30pm EST. We’ll be answering questions and chatting about what you’re working on.

Pre-Game Party at the store Sunday, February 5th

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Deep South Knitting Blog Tour and Review

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012
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Hi Everyone,

We’re participating in the blog tour for Deep South Knitting by Beth Moriarty.

This new book from the creator of the site is a fantastic collection of patterns inspired by the South. You’ll also find great facts and delicious recipes. The book is divided by states and each state includes a great introductory page, facts about the state, and fantastic pictures.

Here are just a few of the patterns.

I love that the book includes the sizes of the models so you can get an idea of what the project looks like on a person who is similarly sized. I wish every book did that.

I also want to try all of the recipes in the book. I was very excited to see that the Red Velvet cake and frosting were nearly identical to the recipe I grew up enjoying, so I can say that this recipe is worth trying!

We sent some questions over to Beth and she was kind enough to answer them. Enjoy!

What’s your knitting history? When did you start? Who taught you, etc.?
I learned to knit in Junior High from a lovely lady who owned a knitting shop in Cocoa Beach. It was when acrylic yarn (scratchy stuff in crazy colors) first came out and I knit a hideous fluorescent green scarf. I gave up knitting when I became interested in boys and didn’t start again until about 6 years ago. After “feeling” my way through a local shop, I was hooked. I am hopelessly, hopelessly addicted to soft, fluffy yarn, and not afraid to admit it.

Tell us a little about your inspiration for Deep South Knitting.
That credit, or blame, goes to my niece Erin, who did a lot of the design and programming work on It was her idea to do a regionally-inspired book, since Planet Purl is all about travel and knitting. Or rather, it was her idea that I do a book. Since I consider myself a Southern woman, and I love this section of the country, it was a natural first choice. My love letter to the South. Plus, I was going to include some of my own recipes in the book, and who doesn’t love southern cooking?

What made you decide to separate the designs by states?
On family trips, I always play the role of tour guide, I love to research where I’m headed, the history, things to see and do. In Deep South Knitting, I get to take the reader on a journey through the South. We arranged the states as if we were taking a driving tour from the North through the Deep South. We’ve included some travel tidbits, like where to see the best camellias in Alabama, Florida’s best beaches, New Orleans’ celebrations, bourbon tasting in Kentucky, and the Mississippi Blues Trail, for example. I hope it gives readers a taste (no pun intended) of a really special part of America.

Did all of the delicious recipes come from your kitchen? Which one is your favorite?
All the recipes in the book are mine, and the pictures are of food that came right from my own kitchen. I love to cook and bake (Austrian Goulash is simmering on the stove while I write this) even though you can’t knit while you’re up to you elbows in flour. As for a favorite, it’s hard to beat my Red Velvet Cake. But if I need something in a hurry to take to a friend or contribute to a potluck, my Chocolate Toffee Pecan Pie (10 minutes of prep!) or my Pralines are my go-to dishes. Both are highly addictive, though. Consider yourself warned….

If you could only have one yarn in your stash what would it be and why?
That’s tough! If money were no object, my first thought was vicuna, but it only comes in one color. Next thought — muskox. More colors, but then it’s all lace-weight. Maybe cashmere? The left side of my brain says that since I love color and variety, and assuming I’m paying for this yarn, I would have choose a light worsted alpaca/wool blend. Soft, great color selection, double it up for chunky or knit on big needles for lace. The wool helps it keep its shape. I used your Valley Yarns Stockbridge doubled for the Blue Ridge Lap Throw in the book. So that’s the choice the left side of my brain would make. The right side is saying: “Shut up and go for the cashmere!” Rowan and Classic Elite have really yummy cashmere yarns.

How many projects do you currently have going? What are you currently knitting?
I’m almost embarrassed to tell you how many are my needles…over 20 (gulp!). I have personal projects that I rarely get time to work on, I’m already working on projects for the next book, I’m launching my own downloadable pattern line this year under the PurlQueen Patterns label, plus, I’m working on projects for Planet Purl’ s online classes. The two projects that I’m most actively working on are the Snow Princess Capelet for the upcoming Fair Isle and steeking class, and a little cotton cropped jacket inspired by a sweet, defunct “happy whale” attraction on Route 66.

What constitutes a perfect day for Beth Moriarty?
Oh, this one’s easy! I was a trial attorney for 25 years and finally “retired” to work at something I love. So for me, any day I don’t have to practice law is a perfect day. I tell people who knew me then that my very worst day writing, designing, knitting or even doing website database maintenance (that last one is my least favorite) is better than the best day I ever had as a lawyer. Occasionally, I do put my lawyer hat back on to help a friend or family member; my husband definitely notices the difference in my mood. So for me, a day surrounded by yarn, my dogs, and the friendship of other knitters is a perfect day. If there are pralines or Red Velvet Cake on the evening’s menu, even better!

Check out this new book!